State institutional failure in Sierra Leone but there is hope – Op ed

Dr Doma: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 30 November 2023:

Sierra Leone, a nation with a rich history and resilient citizens, today finds itself facing a myriad of challenges that threaten the very fabric of its society. The recent events of November 26th shed light on the insufficiencies plaguing crucial state institutions, leaving many to question the effectiveness of the systems in place.

The security breach on Sunday November 26th, where individuals attacked the Armory at Wilberforce, raises significant concerns about the state’s ability to protect its citizens.

Shockingly, the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) admitted that there was no Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) surveillance at the military ammunition stores in Freetown.

In an era where technological advancements are paramount, the absence of such basic security measures is alarming.

The prison break on the same day further underscores the vulnerability of the security sector.

While the state security apparatus attempts to reassure the public that everything is under control, the glaring lapses in preventing such incidents demand immediate attention.

The attempted coup d’état adds another layer of complexity, leaving a plethora of unanswered questions.

The call for an overhaul of the security sector is not just a suggestion but a necessity.

Citizens deserve a robust and reliable security apparatus that safeguards their lives and upholds the integrity of the nation.

Another sad reality is the inconsistency of our state regulatory agencies.

The Coco Samba issue highlights a troubling lack of cohesion between key institutions responsible for regulatory oversight in Sierra Leone.

The conflicting statements from the Standards Bureau and Pharmacy Board Sierra Leone regarding the safety of herbal drinks raise questions about the effectiveness of these institutions.

While the Standards Bureau clears Coco Samba and OGA Ar Beg as safe for consumption, the Pharmacy Board expresses concern about the product’s safety and quality, stating that they have not registered it. This inconsistency not only undermines public trust but also poses a potential threat to public health.

The conflicting views on regulatory matters suggest a need for better coordination and communication between institutions. Inconsistencies of this nature have far-reaching consequences, eroding confidence in the regulatory framework and endangering the well-being of the citizens.

While these instances paint a grim picture of Sierra Leone’s current state, it is crucial to approach the challenges with a call for action rather than succumbing to despair.

Addressing the insufficiencies in state institutions requires a collective effort from citizens, policymakers, and the institutions themselves.

Sierra Leone has the potential for a brighter future, but achieving it requires a commitment to transparency, accountability, and the continual improvement of its institutions.

By acknowledging the issues at hand, the nation can work towards building a more secure, reliable, and cohesive framework for the benefit of all its citizens.

It’s not a proclamation of doom but a wake-up call to forge a path towards a better, more resilient Sierra Leone.


1 Comment

  1. It is naive for someone to call the incident at Wilberforce barracks in the early hours of Sunday morning a security breach. That incident has subsequently been termed an attempted coup by the President. However, it beggars belief and defies logic and rationality that the coup plotters will head all the way to Pademba Road to free prisoners.

    Now why didn’t the coup plotters head to the residencies of the President and Vice President which are a stone throw away from the barracks. I believe the coup plotters are Sierra Leoneans not foreigners, and therefore know the location of the two residencies.

    This so – called coup is orchestrated to fool Sierra Leoneans and distract people from the signed communiquè after that peace dialogue. There are important provisions in that document which the Government currently cannot honour and therefore stage a coup.

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