Waves of arguments have been growing up heated recently, especially amongst young hip hop lovers and even elderly people, about the ban imposed by the Police on the launching of the album “Back to My Roots” show of popularly hip hop artist Amara Turay aka Kao Denero belonging to the Black Leo Family which was slated to take place at the National Stadium on the 6th April 2013.
The reason advanced by the Police for taking, what some have termed a last minute decision, was that on the 5th April the so called fans of Kao Denero whilst rallying from the East End of Freetown went berserk and started attacking people snatching their phones, monies and other personal items as well as violently assaulting perceived rival members, said to be fans of L.A.J another hip hop musician belonging to the Red Flag Movement.
Many Sierra Leoneans supported the move taken by the Police saying it was wise and timely at the same time denouncing the violence perpetrated on innocent persons adding that the clashes between supporters of rival musical groups are now too much to stomach.
However others, especially diehard fans of Kao Denero interpreted it differently arguing that the action of the Police was dictatorial, how they should have imposed the ban long ago not at a time and same day for the show, when tickets have been bought further stating that in fact it had political undertones (but however could not elaborate on that or probably another round of politicising everything under the sun).
Some even went further to say that they were going to sue the Police in court stressing that their case is clear, they will surely win it and the Police will compensate them for the expenses they have made so far to ensure that the show becomes successful.
Probably to whip up sympathy they maintained that it was other rival musicians who, out of jealousy for the popularity of their hip hop “King” ,Kao Denero, paid up hooligans especially the notorious Black Street gangsters to infiltrate the well behaved fans, cause mayhem with the avowed aim of destabilizing the launching album show.
Whatever the arguments are, The Torchlight strongly believes that the spate of violent activities that have been recently perpetrated by young people has become so alarming that stern measures must be taken by law enforcement agencies to checkmate it.
It has been observed also that the level of intake of intoxicating substances including drugs and liquor is on the rise and when must youngsters are under the influence of it they can do any untoward violent act.
This medium maintains that robust actions have not been taken to track down and raid points were young people hibernate to consume dangerous drugs. It is this negligence on the part of the Police and the Drug Enforcement Agency which gives young people the scope to continue to abuse drugs.
Another thing is that there is a proliferation of cheap rum all over the place and it takes only three thousand Leones for a vagabond to get intoxicated and start making all types of rudeness. The companies that do manufacture alcoholic drinks are increasing by the minute and the number of rum houses comparatively is on the rise.
In as much as those companies are paying excise taxes to the National Revenue Authority the fact of the matter is that the damage caused to young people and society cannot in any way be compared to the revenue generated. What probably is plausible to do is to follow an action recently implemented in neighbouring Liberia, which is raise the percentage of taxes on the companies which will force them to increase the prices of their products to make most young people not able to afford buying them which may correspondingly discourage them from consuming them.
The Pharmacy Board should also act swiftly to restrict the quantity of tranquilizers such as Valium 10 and Daisy which many young people are abusing.
What is also noticeable is that there are few rehabilitation centres and we stand to be corrected that here in Freetown there is only one operated by one Pastor Gobeh at Fort Street where wayward youths are socially and psychologically rehabilitated to reintegrate decently in society. Well meaning Sierra Leoneans should try to invest in such a venture to help save the lives of young people and society.
The Torchlight was made to understand that few days from now L.A.J of the Red Flag Movement will be launching his new album at the National Stadium. What many are now looking forward to is whether he will be issued the clearance to go ahead with his show.
However, it is the view of this medium that the Police must think twice before granting L.A.J the go-ahead. The reason why we are cautioning the Police is because it is already the harboured notion of many Black Leo fans that L.A.J or the Red Flag Movement contributed largely to the cancellation of their show. With such a notion there is every possibility that Black Leo fans will revengefully go all out to do certain things to create tension in order to disrupt the show which may turn out to be calamitous.
The Police must not think within the context of human rights but rather the security of the majority and maintaining tranquility.
For most young people hip hop music is synonymous with violence; even the language used is not fit for listening to as it is full of gutter words and the idea of to shoot and kill or to stab.
The Police must have this at the back of their minds and think twice but if they have the wherewithal to assure us of maximum security no problem otherwise we will hold them responsible and call for the resignation of I.G Munu.Lonta!