ECOWAS Ambassador Calls for a Depoliticized Police

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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.”

Cecil Griffiths, president .jpg
Cecil Griffiths, president, Liberia National Law Enforcement Association (LINLEA)

“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.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Great points by the ambassador and Mr. Griffiths. There should be the Liberian National Police and not Doe police, Taylor police, Ellen police, or Weah police. I like the merit base issue touched by Mr. Griffiths. In my opinion, it is fundamental to reducing political appointments. In my department; Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (known as DC Police), promotional exams are given every other year. If you meet the requirement and study, you will pass and get promoted. You do not have to know somebody to get promoted.
    I also agreed with Mr. Griffiths on the activation of the Civilian Complaint Review Board. It helps bring transparency. The police should put together a solid internal affairs unit whose sole purpose will be to investigate and find the truth to what occurred when an officer is accused of misconduct. An investigation can also give insight on a policy itself that may have issues.

  2. African trade has nothing to do with politicizing Liberian internal affairs. ECOWAS should worry about present tyrants, for instance, Togo who now heads the trade organization. June, 2018 is the end of his chairmanship. Find a democratic replacement. African solidarity has nothing to do with the foreign materialism of Liberia. African leaders should know who Liberians are and the purpose for which Liberia was founded because we have our own style and heritage. Have we forgotten that Liberia is the light of freedom in Africa? Why than are we still encouraging Pseudo African unity through an imaginary language, seeing why OAU fell, when we know some tribes have no written records yet to sort? Why do we print regional Passports when even individual nations pass away have their own political and economic set and untouched? Some corrupt past were giving and still allow foreigners to use Liberian IDs. Liberia has its own and nothing will be tampered with any longer by those who intend once more to colonize most of this continent, re-install apartheid, and sell slaves again. God is on his watch at all times. Let Liberians know. Do not answer this box.
    Gone to silent majority.

  3. I appreciate Ambassador Ajisomo for this educative message.
    ”Your Loyalty is not to a single person.
    Your loyalty should be to defend the integrity of your institution and community. Let the community see you as their friends”.
    Let this message resonate loud and clear in the ears of our law enforcement officers. Why it is true that you support the regime of every leader, that should not limit you to pledge your loyalty to them only. I strongly believe that the only way you can work efficiently and effectively is to be independent and impartial in doing your job. Also many thanks to the veteran Alphanso T. Gbatu for his brilliant input. We will need you someday.

  4. Okay, so there are two major West African organizations. They are:
    1. ECOWA and
    2. ECOMOG.

    The ECOWA ambassador to Liberia, Mr. Ajisomo, would like to see the law enforcement activities in Liberia depoliticized. Let’s say he’s right for saying that for now. Every peace-loving human being can warn against police brutality, vigilantism, prostitution and politicizing police departments in Africa or anywhere in the world. Still, I am not sure about Mr. Ajisomo’s official duties.

    So ECOWA has an ambassador, possibly of Nigerian background in Liberia. Well, does ECOMOG have an ambassador in Liberia? And if so, what matters would the ECOMOG ambassador be involved with? Also, does Liberia have an ECOWA ambassador as well as an ECOMOG ambassador in any of the member states?

    What’s happening in West Africa?

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