Police Inspector General (IG), Gregory O.W. Coleman, has warned non-state actors particularly the licensed ‘gun carriers’ to desist from making themselves security personnel in the public domain when in fact they are not. Coleman, who chairs the National Elections Security Task Force, described action warned about as ‘counterproductive to the peace and stability of the country.’
He gave the warning at the headquarters of the Liberia National Police (LNP) where a group of civil society actors honored him as a ‘Father of Modern Policing.’
Coleman said that making one a self-styled security officer in the public space is ‘absolutely not the function of non-state actors, but an issue that borders on national security personnel.’
He said it is illegal under Liberian law for citizens to impose themselves as national officers, an act that has the propensity to pose threats to the peace and stability of the state, especially during the country’s ongoing political impasse.
Coleman alarmed that LNP officers have in recent time observed that some citizens, who claimed to be loyalists of the political leader of the Coalition of Democratic Change (CDC) of George Weah, “being deployed in militant posture few days ago at the Palm Spring Resort, which created fear and pandemonium in the minds of the residents.”
He said that it is the full responsibility of the state to provide security protection for everyone, in spite of status, but not individuals, who are not allowed to do so under the law.
Coleman said he has concluded a security negotiation, which calls for the reactivation of personnel of the Executive Protection Service (EPS) that are assigned with the president to provide “Very Important Persons (VIP) protection for the two candidates in the pending presidential run-off, namely Vice President Joseph N. Boakai and Senator George Weah.
The IG admitted that Sen. Weah has been quite cooperative with ‘this venture to assign EPS officers to provide security protection for him.’
The IG has meanwhile re-echoed that he is strongly resolved as chairman of the National Elections Security Task Force not to slip off his feet to ensure that the country enjoys a solid and lasting peace, not a fragile one, but the one that would have the citizens sleep sound.
Coleman is therefore strongly warning that any one member of a particular political party that will be caught wearing T-shirt belonging to another political party to provoke to anger of that party will be severely dealt with in keeping with the laws.
“This act has the propensity to undermine the stability of the country,” Coleman said as he called on citizens to remain resolute and peaceful that the election security mechanisms and strategies are still intact and under control.
In a related development, the president of the 16th graduating Class of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion University on Benson Street in Monrovia, James M.D. Mah, said the Police under the leadership of Coleman has done ‘extremely well by maintaining peace during and after the October 10 elections.’
Mah said it is prudently gracious to gown any true patriot Liberian, who has committed his benevolence to the citizens amidst societal challenges.