With the spate of continuing undemocratic policing backed by high handedness clearly manifesting itself in the conducts of personnel of the Sierra Leone Police, especially the paramilitary – Operational Support Division OSD, is alarming to the extent that people are expressing fears about their personal safety, security and freedom in an atmosphere that is always charged with heavily armed police presences everywhere in the country.
It is the same in Port Loko, Makeni and other major cities as police are always set to pull their triggers at vulnerable civilians in firm defence of law and order, as their mandate to uphold and maintain law and order, even when there is no public disorder, which mostly leads to their high handedness.
Police for God’s sake must revert to professional, ethical, democratic policing and bow away from its high handedness and rights abuses of the people. Security forces private or public must be seen working within the confines and the legal structure of the law, bearing in mind that the police as a neutral body, that should be serving all sides of the democratic processes rather than just reducing itself to one side to satisfy the powers that be. That is not good for the reputation of the police as a professional institution and for the peace and tranquility of our country.
Forum Newspaper notes with serious concern the lack of appropriate leadership in the SLP that is why Freetown and other provincial towns are experiencing the spate of police high handedness, with frequent releases of teargas canisters at vulnerable people including former presidential candidate for C4C, Sam Sumana, who was recently roughed in Port Loko by police personnel on orders from above. That was a gross human rights violation and abuse of his rights by the police unprofessional unethical assaults at the former vice president.
We as a media house condemn the police for its unprofessionalism and hope the leadership of the police will correct such mistakes in future operations, so as not to disturb the peace of the people next time.
The very display of fire arms is not peace but a mere threat to the peace of community, individuals the securities tend to be protecting. So armed police presence in major towns and cities in Sierra Leone is not the right security approach we need now when there is no public disorder. Police should stop its high handedness now to give peace a chance.
Forum Newspaper urge the IGP to behave professionally by practicing democratic policing for national peace, and refrain from manufacture matters out issues that are not public disorder related but only turn them into politically motivated crimes and cases against political opponents for point scoring.
To call things by their right names, Sunday June 19th 2019 violent police teargas attacks on the former C4C party presidential candidate, Alhaji Chief Samuel Sam Sumana at Port Loko was uncalled for, and was never in the best interest of national peace, but to continue to escalate political tension.
And we shall therefore continue to talk about police brutality, undemocratic policing and the whole sickness of unethical policing until reforms are manifested in the general conducts and attitudes of government and the police towards the opposition parties and the people. They are paid from tax payers moneys to protect lives and property, but that is rapidly lacking under IG-SLP Dr Richard Moigbeh, whose retirement reminder bell keeps ringing whiles he continue to mislead the force.
But for all we know, the IG must give accurate account of his leadership in the police one day. He is the boss and knows that his personnel abuses and violate rights of defenseless civilians, at the APC party office in Freetown, Kenema and Port Loko where the IGP Moigbeh needs to call his commanders to order and correct them for their unprofessional policing conduct.
Obviously confirmed by the police spokesman, Brima Kamara, police fired teargas to disperse the crowd. Besides the people have rights to peace, which should not be derailed from its normal trajectory. But rampant police uses of fire arms is disturbing the peace and will not encourage tourists and direct foreign investors to our country so its over to you chairman for Police Council.
The police records for now are not rosary at all due to the wrong doings the police have done that contravenes International Humanitarian Law among other international treaties.
Forum Newspaper holds the view that Sierra Leoneans are not ready for disaster anymore so government and the police must turn done their high handedness and brutality against the people and revert to professional policing, with respectability for rule of law and human rights as part of democratic.
We are calling on the police to restructure the unethical presence of armed police personnel everywhere in the streets of the country. Street policing cowing people to oppression through police brutality is not the best approach so turn a new leaf now Sir Mr IGP.
The C4C party is part of the democratic process and there is no way government and ruling party operatives can continue to intimidate their opponents through police brutalities, restricting their freedom of movements. This must stop now and government should be seen creating a level playing field ensuring political and democratic equalities across parties and not partially limited to the ruling party like Chief Minister Prof David John Francis publically doled the $3m tree planting funds to SLPP women.
Policing under the former presidents Koroma and Kabbah eras were somehow better than now largely caused by unprofessionalism from the top to bottom. They need better trainings to enable the police remain neutral, professional and should also refrain from reversing to military policing tactics by the barrels like we have come to encountered since last April 2018 to date. The police under the IG Moigbeh and president Bio continue to be used by government as tools of political intimidation of opponents in a democratic dispensation.
Reduce the spate of police use of teargas, brutality and harassments of civilians, opposition politicians and the likes…undemocratic policing against opposition parties and politicians as well as vulnerable people to the peak of depriving them of their rights to peace is not applicable in 21st police resources management.
Forum Newspaper once more reiterate our call on the IGP to continue to ensure the safety of all sundry through an efficient and professional democratic policing in accordance with international standards, and by extension Dr Moigbeh school your commanders to conduct themselves well and give peace a chance, as we have no public disorder now. So try hard to redeem the image and reputation of once ‘force for good’.