ECOWAS Ambassador to Liberia Mr. Babatunde Olanrewaju Ajisomo last Wednesday urged the government to work towards depoliticizing law enforcement agencies to enable them to execute their duties professionally without favoritism.
Ambassador Ajisomo also called on law enforcement agencies to ensure they respect the rights of all in the discharge of their duties.
He said the Liberian Constitution gives security agencies the right to defend and protect people’s rights. “Your loyalty is not to a single person. Your loyalty should be to defend the integrity of your institutions and the community. Let the community see you as their friends,” Ajisomo noted. “Your role is constitutional to protect and defend the country and not to support the interest of an individual or group.”
Speaking at the 24th Anniversary of the Liberia National Law Enforcement Association (LINLEA) Ambassador Ajisomo disclosed that officers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) were benefiting from a sub-region multinational training on trans-border crime, which they are considering replicating with the police.
He reminded officers of the various agencies to remain loyal because it is cardinal to the development of the integrity of their institutions.
Echoing Ambassador Ajisomo’s statements, Cecil B. Griffiths, president of the Liberia National Law Enforcement Association (LINLEA) explained to the officers that leadership in the security sector is a very challenging task, “particularly if you want to abide by the Canons of Police Ethics which state that law enforcement official represents the whole of the community and is never an arm of any political party or clique.”
“We frown on the politicization of the security by politicians and by some members of the profession,” Griffiths declared.
According to Griffiths, nowadays law enforcement officers are using social media and local media to castigate their commanders and executives.
“This is unprecedented in the history of law enforcement in Liberia, and globally. What could be the cause of this phenomenon and addressing it, is very crucial because the effective delivery of security services primarily depends on the level of discipline exhibited by the men and women of the profession,” he said.
Griffiths used the occasion to call on President George Weah and the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) to ensure the activation of the Civilian Complaint Review Board of the Liberia National Police (LNP) and the Liberia Immigration Service and the effective functioning of the policy management of those entities.
“The policy management board should begin the process of developing an order of merit for recruitment and issuing ranking to officers of the institution,” the LINLEA president suggested.