Policing Above Party Politics By John Baimba Sesay
In any democratic state, and more particularly in contemporary governance, the role of the Police Force is as crucial as the need to maintain internal peace, security and stability. Often and again, nations, especially developing ones have had the difficulty of appreciating the strategic and never ending role played by the law enforcers.
Sierra Leone has come a long way in terms of maintaining internal peace and stability as a result of the contributing role by all stakeholders but especially our security forces. Following the end to Sierra Leone’s civil war, her Police Force has today witnessed a number of transformations especially in terms of professionalism and local community policing, thanks to the will and political support they keep enjoying from the Government. The force also has continued to demonstrate its relevance in society especially in the maintenance of law and order and in protecting lives and property.
That the force has been able to police a number of elections is an indication of how far it has come. But there still are a lot of expectations from the public when it comes to police operations. If a country should progress, her Police Force has a daunting task to perform. Sierra Leone is no exception to this fact. In fact there always has been the issue of party politics and state security from the perspective of what is required of state security apparatus like the Police.
Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh, as Chairman of Police Council has not downplayed the outstanding contribution that the country’s Police Force could play in her development process. On 13th May, during a meeting with Senior Officers in Freetown, the Vice President referred to “the Police as very vital component “ in the running of the state since “without proper internal security, it becomes a serious challenge for a country.”
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The Police have always had an unfair share of criticism from the public especially from opposition politicians and political parties when it comes to performing their duties independently. Policing can be an intricately challenging job and it was with such a view, that the Vice President called on the force to be apolitical. “Don’t get involved in party politics. Keep away from it. You can serve the government to the day but don’t indulge in party politics.” This is a challenge that the Vice President has thrown to the force and they sure will live up to such a challenge.
What comes to mind next is the issue of team work. Victor Bockarie Foh is a team player. A leader that does not believe in teamwork is bound to fail. So, it comes as no surprise that the Vice President has emphasized the need for the force to work collaboratively.
In fact it is as a result of the existing teamwork in the Police Force that, in the words of Francis Munu, the IGP, they have been “able to do all what is required of the force …all our accomplishments are as a result of our collective efforts as a police force.” The force has indeed come along way and they sure will work in tandem with their constitutional responsibilities. And the Vice President, as Police Council Chairman has shown determination to work assiduously for their betterment.