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Exclusive Interview with IG Brima Acha-Kamara

Exclusive Interview with IG Brima Acha-Kamara

Sierra Leone’s Inspector General of Police (IG), Brima Acha-Kamara, was in London last week to attend the ‘INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP AWARD CEREMONY,’ where he was invited as one of the recipients of such enviable award. It brings pride to our country and our police force, when we heard our country’s head of police was one of the recipients of such great honor, especially by a nation of (UK) standard which used to be our colonial master. It also further demonstrates our commitment to build on our law enforcement cadre and to establish and maintain peace and security for the people of Sierra Leone and for our numerous visitors and friends from around the world.  I was fortunate to have a dialogue on the phone with the great Inspector General while he was still in London; and this is what he had to say:

Brima Turay (BT): Mr. IG, congratulations on your recent achievement as one of the recipients of this enviable award not only in our country’s police force but the whole of Africa and the world in general. How did this come about, if I may ask?

IG Brima Acha-Kamara (IG): It is due to the work I have put into it, for example, the initiatives and reforms that I have introduced in the Sierra Leone Police Force  since I took over as Inspector General of Police. I sustained the achievements of my British predecessor and I have re-branded the force, which today is engaged in peacekeeping operations in other African countries and Haiti. According, to the citation read at the ceremony, I have been able to promote human rights and fought to reduce corruption in the Sierra Leone Police force. Moreover, we policed three general elections with huge success.

BT: Quite recently, as a result of the incessant armed robberies across the nation and Freetown in particular, the President, Dr. Ernest Koroma, invoked the Military Aid to Civil Power (MACP) protocol. What is your reaction to this, and how effective is this joint venture?

IG: The president knew how stretched out we are as a police force and therefore gave us the military to help out.  Some key arrests have been made.  Some key armed robbers have been arrested recently. So I am satisfied that we have achieved a lot

BT:  How do you feel in receiving such an award?

IG: I am personally happy and feel great because as a post-war country and regardless of the malicious attempts to smear my character, we are doing great and making progress. It is a personal honor for me but I owe all of it to the fine men and women that I work with everyday throughout this period and who put their lives on the line everyday for the peace and security of our nation. They are all my heroes.

BT: You served the SLPP administration as IG, and now the APC. How critical or challenging has this been for you, given the political atmosphere in our country between the two parties?

IG: It has been very challenging. However, I have lived up to the expectation because of the professional way I have led the SLP for these passed years. During the elections, after my appointment I made sure the police was neutral and had legitimacy.

BT: Some people have called for your resignation, while others suggested that the president replaced you immediately. What can you say to such demands from citizens of this country?

IG: There is only one president who has the constitutional authority to hire and fire. He has the helicopter and informed view on people. So that should be the president’s decision but I think I am delivering services well and I have his confidence. The president’s enemies should not dictate who to hire and fire; he has great wisdom and knows what to do.

BT: What has been the reason for your continued success?

IG:  There is currently the political will for the police to remain independent started with the former President Kabbah and now reaffirmed and continued by President Ernest Bai Koroma.  The present administration assured me of operational independence and resources, but that I should be prepared to deliver quality services which are key to the implementation of peace and security by our police force. Police neutrality and a political stance remains my highest commitment and I vow to stand by it with honor for my office and for the people of Sierra Leone etc.  The current police leadership is very strategic and well educated in modern policing. We work as a team in the Executive Management Board.

BT: What message do you want to send to all Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad and to all investors about their security and that of the nation?

IG:  That Sierra Leone is a peaceful and quiet country, and investors are assured of a positive climate.

BT: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest point, where would you place Sierra Leone in terms of security?

IG:  I would say about 8.

BT: Thank you very much IG, and may God protect you and our men and women in the police force in Sierra Leone.

IG: Thank you for recognizing the hard work the Sierra Leone police is doing.

Courtesy of Brima M. Turay, Editor-In-Chief, New Rising Sun

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