The President of Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa (CHRDA), Barrister Agbor Nkongho has admonished Civil Society Movements (CSMs) to do comprehensive background checks on people who want to be recruited into their organizations in order to avoid any negative behaviour.
“As a group, if you start a movement it’s good to screen the people you recruit in the group because you don’t want to have people who when you say let us protest and we don’t want to commit atrocities; at the same time they are seen burning places. And you don’t want also to recruit people into the group who are informants in government.”
“But because of social media it’s difficult to screen people. And my advice is that at least do a little bit background checks because some of them in that group might put the entire group into problems,” he stressed.
In his presentation, he noted that activists of CSMs should do their best not to play the role of political parties in their cause and be credible enough as well when putting out things in the public domain and have realistic demands always to ensure consistency in their line of work.
In as much as some activists hate some regimes, at a point in time in their individual countries to which they criticize them, that should not warrant them to hate their countries.
He added that not everybody in government is an enemy to CSMs.
He noted that before one joins in the activities of civil activism, one needs to take some things into consideration his/her family by preparing their minds and explain to them the attacks an activist may likely to face.
"Retreating when the enemies of activists attack is the right thing to do to which that decision doesn’t show a sign of weakness on the part of Activists. Thus, they should accept when mapped out strategies are not working and always have a plan ‘B’ just in case the unexpected happens," he emphasized.
Barrister Agbor Nkongho was speaking during a Training Workshop on Effective Non - Violent Mobilization on 6th November, 2019 at Mensvic Hotel, Accra, which was organized by the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) and supported by Open Society Institute for West Africa (OSIWA).
The Training Workshop aimed at strengthening the capacity of Activists from Cote d’ Ivoire, Guinea, Cameroon, Ghana, The Gambia and Togo on effective non – violent mobilization tactics to which 35 selected Social Activists across West Africa participated.