Freetown witnessed a crucial stakeholders’ dialogue conference on elections preparedness yesterday, 8 June 2023, as the country gears up for the upcoming general elections scheduled for 24 June 2023.

The primary objective of the conference was to provide electoral stakeholders with an update on the level of preparedness for ensuring a peaceful and successful electoral process.

The National Security Coordinator, Mr Abdulai Caulker, took the stage to brief stakeholders on the security sector’s readiness to create a level playing field for all political parties involved. He assured the audience that the Security Sector remains committed to facilitating the smooth execution of political activities.

During the conference, Mr Caulker revealed that the Integrated Elections Security Planning Committee (IESPC) had been activated and had conducted a comprehensive National Elections Threats Assessment and District Risk Mapping.

As a result of their findings, three key elections security documents have been developed and are currently being implemented. Furthermore, the National Situation Room, operating around the clock on a Toll-Free Line (119), along with the IESPC Secretariat, Incident Command Centers, and Forward Control Points, have been fully activated to support the electoral processes.

In an effort to foster collaboration among security sector agencies, Mr Caulker recently led a delegation from the National Security Council Coordinating Group (NSCCG) in joint meetings with decentralized security structures at the provincial level.

Highlighting the importance of building trust in the delivery of security services, Mr Caulker confirmed that productive engagements had taken place between the Security Sector and various political parties. These discussions aimed to address concerns and ensure a shared understanding of the electoral process.

One immediate security threat that the Security Sector is confronting is the misuse of social media and toxic incitements propagated by politicians. To counteract this challenge, a Security Sector Communication Strategy has been developed to debunk false rumors and disseminate accurate information.

Despite these challenges, the NSCoord emphasized the Security Sector’s preparedness to provide the necessary security arrangements for the forthcoming general elections.

He issued a strong caution to the general public and politicians, urging them to refrain from engaging in violence or making provocative statements that could jeopardize the democratic process.

Concluding his address, Mr Caulker pledged that the Security Sector will continue to create a conducive environment for the upcoming elections, ensuring they are conducted in a democratic and all-inclusive manner.