When the VP donates for Sierra Leone’s growth
The Vice President’s performance in Sierra Leone’s governance and development indicators has often gone missing from the front of media relations and public communication. In 2011, I had a brief interview with him. His relationship with the media was discussed. He was quick to assure of his ever-growing desire and love to always engage the media but again, suggested when his boss (the President) speaks, he speaks for all. Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana, just like the entire government functionaries, is aware of the fact that the media should always be brought closer, given their strategic role in nation building. In fact, one among dozens of positive developments that the Koroma led administration did is to effectively engage the media; even the most critical of journalists, is a friend of the President; never has he jailed a journalist, rather, we see media people being part of state governance. (Photo; John Pa Baimba Sesay, IA, China)
This brings to mind, recent media reports from Sierra Leone pointing to a donation of electrical equipment, cement blocks and roofing materials worth millions of Leones to the Lumley Police Division, by Vice President Sam Sumana. There was also another SLBC TV report on the Office of the Vice President, precisely the Minister of State, VPs Office, making a donation to a foundation on behalf of the Vice President. But let us look at the donation to the police force by Sam Sumana. Such a donation was aimed at helping boost the construction project of an ultra modern building that will be hosting the Sierra Leone Police Regional Headquarter West, when completed. The significance of this heart-touched donation by Sam Sumana could not have come at a better time, given Sierra Leone’s strong quest to foster peace and national security and the maintenance of law and order, to which the police force has a crucial role. A nation’s prosperous future demands a robust and well managed national security.
Sierra Leone’s progress in fostering national security has gone miles, with also more progress now made at the regional and sub regional levels. In Somalia, Sierra Leone latest contribution to ensure stability in that country was in the form of sending a total of 850 troops. “…the battalion-strong contingent will be deploying shortly into southern Somalia where they will operate alongside the Kenyan contingent. This is encouraging given how other countries also even supported us when we had our decade long civil war. The Sierra Leone Police has also gone miles in not only fostering the country’s internal security. In Sudan, we have also been playing a role. Given the success stories of our police force, we witnessed how a delegation from the African Union Peacekeeping Mission in Somali (AMISOM) and the Somalia Police Force (SPF) visited Sierra Leone in March this year “to learn best practices of reform, restructuring and rebuilding, implemented in Sierra Leone to enable SPF and the Federal Government of Somalia to initiate and adapt to effective reform process towards a sustainable organizational transformation for effective service delivery for the Somali police force. In the last couple of years, the force was engaged in intensive reforms in the areas of change management and training, crime management operations and support services. What we saw was the formation of a Trans-National Organized Crime Unit to arrest Drug Traffickers.
In all this, there has been the crucial and contributing factor played by the country’s Vice President, especially in line with the constitutional mandate, as prescribed by particularly sections 156 and 158 of the 1991 multiparty constitution. By virtue of his position as Vice President, Sam Sumana is also Chairman of the Sierra Leone Police Council. Section 156 (1) states, that there shall be established a Police Council which shall consist of— a. the Vice-President who shall be Chairman; b. the Minister of Internal Affairs; c. the Inspector-General of Police; d. the Deputy Inspector-General of Police; e. the Chairman of the Public Service Commission; f. a member of the Sierra Leone Bar Association who shall be a legal practitioner of not less than ten years standing as a practicing Barrister, and shall be nominated by that body and appointed by the President; g. two other members appointed by the President, subject to the approval of Parliament.” Section 158 (1) also states, that the Police Council shall advise the President on all major matters of policy relating to internal security, including the role of the Police Force, Police budgeting and finance, administration and any other matter as the President shall require.
From the above, one would say, the donation by Sam Sumana, Chairman Sierra Leone Police Council, also helps to demonstrate how determined he is, in ensuring that the force continues to live up to expectations, given the numerous challenges we have as a nation. It is also a manifestation of how all the players in the prosperity drive want to see the growth and development of the country. The full implementation of our prosperity agenda needs the realistic involvement of our security forces. When our police officers fail to do what is expected of them, it becomes a serious challenge in our development initiative. And where there is inadequate infrastructure for them, it also would affect their operations. So supporting the force fix its infrastructure is an encouraging development. We can all be part of the change and development of our country. We all should give our best to supporting the quest for prosperity in our little ways.
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