From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

As he summons Politicians to Emergency Meeting …Inspector-General in Excellent Proactive Policing
By Aruna Turay
Dec 1, 2010, 17:06

The move by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to summon the National Secretary Generals and other representatives of political parties in order to dialogue and chart the way forward for peaceful elections has been widely acclaimed as a step in the right direction.

IGP Francis Allieu Munu on Tuesday 30th November 2010 invited and met the All People’s Congress (APC) party, the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), the People’s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC), the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the Revolutionary United Front Party (RUFP), at the conference hall of the Police Headquarters, George Street in Freetown, and in attendance included Assistant Inspector Generals of Police (AIGs) and other senior officers.

IG Munu addressing the audience whilst his deputy Moigbeh looks on

IGP Munu started by thanking the political parties’ representative for honouring the invitation though at short notice.

He said the meeting was summoned to serve as a platform wherein political leaders and the police could sit and dialogue on the current security situation in Kono, especially as the district council chairmanship election is fast approaching.

The police boss called on the political parties’ representatives to judiciously utilize the dialogue forum organized by the SLP by actively and sincerely participating and make meaningful inputs.

APC National Secretary General Victor Bockarie Foh

He used the forum as an opportunity to assure the general public that the police have and will always be neutral in the discharge of their duties.

“We will continue to provide maximum security and an atmosphere of a level playing ground for all political parties to ensure peaceful elections,” he emphasized.

He admonished the political parties and other Sierra Leoneans to always endeavor to refrain from violence and report it occurrence to the police without delay. He also advised all and sundry to desist from taking the law into their hands.

SLPP National Secretary General JJ Saffa

He revealed that the SLP has designed proactive and active policing strategies to police the Kono bye-elections come December 11 2010.

Munu however noted that the drafted plans of the police are subject to amendment which was part of the reasons for summoning the political parties.

“After we would have amended the draft security measures, the information would then be circulated to all the police regional commanders in the various elections zones,” the police boss pointed out.

RUFP Leader Eldred Collins

Amongst the drafted election security plans of the police include restriction of the movements of alleged notorious thugs including Adamu Eze, Samuel Sandy, Kalilu Fofanah aka Kalizo, and John Gborie aka Jojo on the date of the election in Kono, and prohibition of the use of political parties’ colours on and after the elections.

The police boss advised the political parties’ representatives to relay the details of the outcome of the meeting to their members and supporters. He stressed that the SLP will leave no stone unturned in arresting law breakers.

The SLP, he continued, has already deployed sixty armed police officers in Kono. He said an additional three hundred and fifty personnel are expected to join the advance team in order to achieve a peaceful electoral process in the Kono election.

PMDC Representative

“Additionally, the SLP has assigned two police personnel to each aspirant of all the political parties contesting the Kono election,” he pointed out, whilst emphasizing that there is therefore no need for the aspirants to use special securities apart from those assigned to them by the SLP.

Munu disclosed that the police have already erected a checkpoint to search people and vehicles entering and leaving Kono, noting that the movement of people who have no serious business in Kono have been restricted until the Kono election ends.

SLPP’s Women Leader Isata Jabbie Kabba making a statement

APC National Secretary General, Victor Bockarie Foh, expressed appreciation to the IG for convening such a meeting aimed at enhancing peace and stability in the country.

Mr. Foh, on behalf of his APC party, assured the police boss and the general citizenry that the APC welcomed the security measures and promised that they will strictly adhere to them.

He called on all of his colleague politicians to make an undertaking that they will desist from inciting violence, as according to him, it will yield no good fruits for the country.

Jacob Jusu Saffa, National Secretary General for the SLPP described the initiative of the police as brave and unprecedented.

He however pleaded for the police to be neutral in the discharge of their duties to protect lives and properties.

J.J Saffa advised the IG to caution his personnel not to enter any polling center in order to avoid suspicion.

Representatives of the PMDC, NDA and RUFP all pledged their support to the arrangement for peaceful election.

National Women’s Leader of the SLPP, Mrs. Isata Jabbie Kabba used the forum as an opportunity to appeal to the government to demonstrate the political will to the new arrangement.

She also urged all political parties to always respect women and desist from violating their rights. She admonished all to put hands on deck and portray a positive image of the country to the world.

The Deputy Inspector General of Police, Richard Moigbeh, informed the gathering that the police had already issued out a circular warning to all police personnel manning the elections to take no instruction from any politician. “They have been warned to only take instructions from the police hierarchy,” he ended.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.