By the time the British government intervened to rebuild the Sierra Leone Police Force, the SLP had only eleven road-worthy vehicles. Police officers could be seen in torn out uniforms and broken boots. Police stations across the country were nothing to write home about.
As a result of the intervention of the British government, the Sierra Leone Police Force became the leading light of transformation in the security and justice sectors in Sierra Leone.
A lot of the senior Police officers we see today, benefitted greatly from overseas training under the leadership of the SLPP government led by the late Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. Some of them even worked directly in the Office of the President. Al-Sheik Kamara, for instance, held the post of ADC (Aide de Camp) to the late President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah at State House.
When President Kabbah decided to transform the Sierra Leone Police Force into a Force for Good, he was accused by the APC (then in opposition) of trying to re-colonize the country, by appointing a white British Police officer, Keith Biddle as Inspector General of Police. But it was under Biddle’s leadership that, the SLP won the enviable accolade of “A Force for Good”.
By the time IG Keith Biddle was chased out of office by the APC (then in opposition), the SLP had gained worldwide recognition for its professionalism. Today, we see Police personnel serving as peace keepers in war torn countries like Somalia and even in Sudan.
Brima Acha-Kamara, who took over from Keith Biddle as Inspector General of Police, never played politics with his job. He was a fair and compassionate Police officer.
Brima Acha-Kamara never allowed Politicians to mess him up. He remained a professional Police officer until he was shockingly retired by the APC government and later appointed as Ambassador to Liberia, a position which he still holds.
Francis Allieu Munu, who succeeded Brima Acha Kamara as Inspector General of Police is slowly becoming a sidekick of the APC party.
IG Munu can be a professional Police officer if he chooses to be so. He is a highly educated man. But his close affinity with the APC party and his determination to keep his job at all cost is slowly undermining his credibility as an even-handed Police supremo.
The latest decision by IG Munu to send his boys to the SLPP head office in Freetown to arrest and intimidate peaceful party supporters is totally unacceptable in a modern democracy.
It is unbelievable that, the Police officers who went to the party head office, fired teargas canisters right inside the party offices where party supporters were celebrating sixty five years of their party’s existence.
How can any reasonable Police officer behave in such an inhuman way? How can you arrest the Women’s Leader of the SLPP just because the woman went to enquire why her son was arrested right inside the party head office?
Lulu Sheriff (the SLPP National Women’s Leader) is a highly respected and admired administrator, having served as Principal of the prestigious Hafford Secondary School for Girls in Moyamba for several years. Her arrest and subsequent detention is totally baffling. It is only a Police chief that is under the influence of politics that can behave in such a barbaric manner.
Francis Munu is in office at the behest of the President who is almost at the tail end of his Presidential tenure of office. IG Munu has everything to lose, including his credibility, if he continues to dance to every tune composed by ruling party Politicians.
Some of us expect him, as a respected professional Police officer, to always maintain neutrality in the execution of his job. That is the way professionals behave, no matter who calls the shot.
Some of us continue to insist that, IG Francis Munu is one of the best professionals and highly educated Police Officer in this country. But his decision to be implementing decisions taken at APC party headquarters without given such decisions a balanced thought, might undermine his credibility.
I am today calling on the rank and file of the Sierra Leone Police Force to remain neutral and strive towards professionalism at all times. After all, the APC will not be in power forever.
Until he became a full-time Politician, James Bambay Kamara was a fantastic Inspector General of Police.
When he decided to meddle in local party politics, by wining and dining with ruling party Politicians, his credibility got shredded and he paid the ultimate price for betraying his professional calling. He was later murdered and buried in an unmarked grave at Rokupa, in the far east of Freetown.
I wish to condemn, in no uncertain terms the disproportionate force that was used by the Sierra Leone Police Force against peaceful SLPP supporters on Wednesday 27th April, 2016 inside the SLPP party head office in Freetown.
I plead with IG Munu and his political backers to immediately order the release of all those SLPP supporters that were arrested and unlawfully detained on Independence day.