By: Arabieu Bah
The Liberian National Students Union (LINSU) wants tertiary institutions to serve as a nesting ground for leadership. In a hurriedly organized press conference, the President of LINSU Mr. Mohammed Kamara urged higher education institutions to encourage students’ leadership and politics.
Mr. Kamara intoned that students’ leadership validates the students’ willingness to demonstrate their leadership talents, abilities and skills to meaningfully contribute to advancement of the youth and students’ community as well as the Liberian society as a whole.
President Kamara further conveyed that curtailing students’ politics on various campuses is equivalent to paralyzing the democratic political development which is very holy to the overall national political and democratic happenings. “Limiting students’ politics on various campuses is tantamount to paralyzing the democratic political development which is sacrosanct to the overall national political and democratic happenings,” he expressed.
Mr. Kamara noted that it is emphatic that political engagements of students are optima of the larger society and therefore must reflect sanctity and best practice. He noted that no amount of negative factors will prevent students’ quest for quality education or limit the exercise their political franchise by involving in campus base politics.
He called on the speaker and acting President of the University of Liberia Students’ Union (ULSU), K. Edward Norman Jr., to abolish the interim leadership and return to democratic rule by conducting peaceful elections in sixty days. He noted the University of Liberia (UL), which is the premier institution of learning, should take the lead and serve as an example to other higher institutions of learning in the country. He said ULSU has had the longest interim leadership in the Liberia, which began in 2012. He said it does not showcase modern democracy.
Kamara further called on the Stella Maris Polytechnic (SMP) to avoid organizing programs and give the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) the avenue to conduct its own affairs.
He noted that by directive of the National Executive Committee of LINSU, all universities and colleges as well as high schools in the country are mandated to peacefully conduct smooth and democratic elections on their various campuses within sixty days. President Kamara said failure on any institution’s part to adhere to the mandate; LINSU will not relent to suspend said member institution.
Mr. Kamara revealed that LINSU vows to create conducive environment for students and also foster the independence of students’ political engagements that will effectively provide forums for the competition of ideas and serve as a source of leadership for economic, social and political development.
He added that the National Executive Committee urges all courageous students who still uphold the tribune of academic freedom, social justice and peace on various campuses of learning in Liberia to continue to adopt a more productive and mature approach in engaging administrations to get rid of barriers that have the propensity to deny students the right to campus leadership.
Speaking further, President Kamara said freedom of speech is one of the fundamental pillars of democracy. He said he expects the media to be unbiased in their reportage. He noted that the media is a conduit of information dissemination and the mirror in promoting transparency and accountability in government and society at large. And that they should seek to promote and evoke credibility in their role irrespective of attachment and association.
President Kamara called upon actors of the media to uphold the “ABC” (Accurate, Balance, and Credible) concept of journalism in conformity with standard and professional practice so that sanity and hygiene will be instilled in the media. “It is incumbent upon media actors to exhaust the “ABC” concept of journalism in compliance with standard and professional practice, so as to instill sanity and hygiene in the media landscape”, he expressed.
He was unclear on matters he found biased in the media that precipitated his call for the media to remain unbiased.
Without making reference to any specific allegations, the LINSU leader went on to clarify: “LINSU is not a stooge for government and will not serve as oppositions’ pathfinder” he said.
He noted that LINSU serves a uniting force of all students and students’ institutions in Liberia for the protection of their rights, collective advancement, and mutual cooperation leading to the security and protection of their general welfare.
LINSU was created by an act of national legislature on January 25, 1957. It advocates for intuitions of learning to establish students’ leadership and media actors to uphold the “ABC” (Accurate, Balance, and Credible) concept of journalism. The President of LINSU, Mohammed Kamara, revealed that institutions of higher education around the globe served as the cradle for career development for which politics, engineering, law and other disciplines are embodiment of said agenda.