By Sitta Turay DeGreat.
New York City, where I have been living for the past ten years, is said to have got the best Police in the world. Some will want to challenge that by making references to some isolated incidences. Even at that, it is clear that, the New York Police Department (NYPD), is one of the best Police institutions in the world. Those of us that have lived in New York for that long, know it is true.
I am referring to the NYPD here because I want to talk about my above topic in regards the NYPD law. In New York, vehicles are restricted when it comes to tinting or darkening. It is not allowed to darken vehicles in totality and there is a measurement for darkening. That is because the NYPD have done their research and there are all indications that most criminals use tinted or darkened vehicles to commit serious crimes.
In Sierra Leone, it has become a model or fashion to tint or darkened vehicles so much so that even the windscreens are 90% tinted or darkened. As far as I know, sometime in 1998 when the war was still raging on and President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah was returned to Sierra Leone, it was recommended by the security apparatus at that time to ban vehicles from being tinted or darkened all over. After a clear study of crimes at that time, the President and his security personnel became very serious about cars that are tinted or darkened. Up till the time the Sierra Leone People’s Party was leaving State House, that regulation was in place.
But, when the All People’s Congress (APC) returned to power, and because most of them are hardened criminals, that policy was not maintained. Vehicles are darkened so much so that, no one will recognize the people in them. That in itself is a security threat and it is happening at a time when countries are being threatened by a terrorist group called Al-Shabab.
It is also happening at a crucial time when this government has decided to investigate the past APC government on corruption. Those of us that know the APC do believe that, it is very possible that they will start some criminal activities. They may want to create something that will forestall the Commission of Enquiry. I am raising this alert so that government will take proactive action that will protect citizens of this country.
Information reaching us at www.sittawitness .com suggests that clandestine meetings are being held in Makeni and elsewhere involving top APC members and known bandits in the country. Some hardcore criminals that were very active during the Ernest Bai Koroma regime have suddenly disappeared and no one is trying to know their whereabouts, what they are doing and why they have suddenly gone underground.
It might be calm and peaceful for now, but it seems there is no one on the ground doing evaluation of the calmness and its sustainability. In security management, calmness or peace prompts massive calm and peaceful preventive covert investigations. The safety of a country depends on how much and how robust its secret agents are working.
Reports on our desk, shows that very little is done in the direction of secret operations. Sierra Leone needs very robust and professional secret agents that sit on the tail of criminals and their activities. When that is not done, there is a reason to start getting scared for the safety of Sierra Leone and its citizens.
The Police that are supposed to be champions in securing our lives and properties might be preoccupied with some other issues that they consider much more important. I believe the Police are considering the darkening of vehicles as a secondary issue. That is worth believing because of the rampant manner vehicles are being darkened or tinted.
That brings my attention to ask the question, why the secret service system (Special Branch of Police) has been separated from the traditional State House Security? In every country that I have studied security management, the secret service is an integral part of the Presidential security apparatus. Just of a sudden, the Special Branch (known as SB) is a separate body of the State House security. That is serious also and it creates grave security lapses. For that reason, it will spill on every security system in the country. It must be readjusted.
In another serious issue, I am baffled to know that a so called Lebanese man, Issam Elsamad is traversing our waters and in the process challenging every authority that questions him for so doing. As we at www.sittawitness.com are continuing to investigate, this so-called Lebanese is allegedly not of a Lebanese origin but of a Palestinian background.