Sierra Leone Telegraph: 31 December 2018:
Last weekend president Julius Maada held talks with the country’s security chiefs at a dinner hosted by his wife – the First Lady – Mrs Fatima Bio at the Presidential Lodge, Hill Station, West of the capital Freetown, where he called for more and effective inter-agency collaboration to improve security in the country.
Sierra Leone like most West African nations is faced with the need to step up response to threats from international drugs cartels, money laundering, cyber-crimes and terrorism.
The president said that one of the main challenges the country’s security sector faces is the lack of proper coordination among the different security agencies, as he called for synergy.
But president Bio praised the security chiefs for their patriotic service to the nation. He said that despite the difficult challenges, they have always acquitted themselves well in discharging their duty to the fullest.
“As a Government we appreciate what you do every day, to ensure that there is peace and stability in our country. By taking up the uniform, it means you have a difficult choice to serve this country. So, we are grateful for that.
“Most of the times we have had problems with the lack of synergy between and among the various forces, which is not helpful for the country. We know that quiet conflicts are bound to happen, but we must see the need to work together for a common goal. No one can do it alone. So, we need collective efforts,” he urged.
He said that he is satisfied with the progress made so far in the eight months of his new government, especially in re-branding the image of the nation on the international stage.
The negative perception people held across the world of Sierra Leone is fast changing because of disciplined leadership, Bio said.
“I have promised and will continue to provide the quality leadership we need to move this nation forward. The perception out there is beginning to change. When they talk about serious nations now, we are being mentioned as one of them, which is a very good start that we all can collectively build on.
“As the Leader, I want to inspire you all to make your own contributions in making our country great again. Today is for you, and I want to say thanks to you all for your service to our nation,” the president told security chiefs.
The next few weeks will be crucial for the security forces, as tension mounts in the country in response to corruption investigations of former government officials.
A commission of inquiry into the governance of the country by the Koroma led APC government, amid several allegations of impropriety and mismanagement, will commence in two weeks.
Radical activists in the opposition APC are using social media to advocate violence and anarchy.
But speaking to local reporters, the country’s police chief – Inspector General Moigbeh says that his force is fully prepared to uphold law and order.
This message was also echoed by the Secretary General of the opposition APC – Alhaji Osman Yansanneh, who strongly condemned those in the APC calling for violence and anarchy.
Several APC party leaders and activists, including the former president’s younger brother, were out on the streets protesting at the entrance of the Police CID Headquarters last weekend.
They were demanding the release from detention of the former defence minister- Palo Conteh.
Conteh is being held in detention, pending charges by the Anti-corruption Commission on allegations of corruption amounting to tens of millions of dollars in military procurement contracts.