Internal Affairs Minister Admonishes Border Security

By Aaron Bundu Lahai-PRO

The Minister of Internal Affairs Major Ismael Sengu Koroma has admonished security personnel deployed at the Sambalu Border Crossing Point in Kailahun District to be vigilant and do thorough security screening for both Sierra Leoneans and Guineans who crossed the Makona River. He reminded them of the March 7 General and Presidential elections which he described as crucial for the peace and stability of the country, referring to the elections as transitional with a change of Government and leadership. He cautioned them to be loyal to the State and not involved themselves in any clandestine activity that will undermine the peace and tranquility Sierra Leoneans and other residents in the country are enjoying. Minister Sengu Koroma cautioned the security personnel to be robust in their duties, this he stated will deter anybody that intends to use that Point to enter Sierra Leone and disturb the March elections and peace. Furthering that he wants to see peace before, during and after the elections, the main reason he is touring the country to engage Officers of Departments under his supervision as well as other security Officers posted to border areas. Security Officers present during the Sunday 7th January, 2018 visit commended the Minister for such visit; they assured him of doing exactly what they have been instricted to do.

Similarly, Major Sengu Koroma met with management and other ranks of the Sierra Leone Police in Bo Regional Headquarters and Kenema on Saturday 6th January and Sunday 7th January, 2018 in Kailahun. During the meetings, the Minister encouraged the police to professionally discharge their duties as the country is going through a palpable, tense and volatile transitional period from one president to another. The Minister clearly stated that professionalism on the part of the police in the discharge of their duties during the transition period will stabilize the peace President Ernest Bai Koroma has maintained for the past ten years without any major violence disturbance, stressing that anything that will hamper the President Peace record will not be accepted as he prepares to handover to another elected President after the March 7 Presidential and general elections. “The rule of law must exist and it is the responsibility of the police to ensure that it exists” he reiterated.

The police he lamented are doing great job in the country but the public only focuses on the negative aspect completely ignoring the good work of the Force. He prevailed on the top management in the districts and regions to improve on their Public Relations activities by making known to the public the good work of the Force. He told the police that the supply of eight bags of backlog rice and the considerable promotion were meant to motivate the personnel to be proactive in the execution of duties, he assured them of having immediate meeting with the Inspector General of Police on the operational challenges especially in the areas of mobility and speed, and Public Order equipment among others on the completion of the tour.

The tour he opined was meant to get first hand information on the status of facilities and engaged the personnel on their operational preparedness and readiness as the country goes through elections, and to know their challenges as the Minister responsible for policy direction and control. Internal Affairs Ministry he explained provides oversight responsibility over the Sierra Leone Police and six other agencies, reason he furthered the team is undertaking the tour to know the constraints of the Force in order to find ways to ameliorate some of the constraints that need immediate solutions.

Regional and Local Unit Commanders of South Province and Eastern Provincial Districts of Kenema and Kailahun Police Divisions highlighted various challenges. The challenges were insufficient operational vehicles, insufficient fuel, personnel, public order equipment, handcuffs, cameras, computers and printers, photocopiers and lack of functional generators to supply electricity to the Headquarters. Also, the Minister Correctional Centers in south/east where he addressed both Officers and Inmates.