‘Threat of Terrorism is Real’

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The Director of the National Security Agency, (NSA) Fumba Sirleaf, has warned that the threat of terrorism is real, calling on all security agencies in the country as well as the Liberian public, to begin to develop the understanding of what terrorism is, and how it affects them and their communities.

The NSA Director indicated that God has blessed this country and so far it (Liberia) is yet to experience any incidence of terrorism; he warned, however, that it could happen anywhere or anytime and Liberians, especially the security sector of the country, must prepare themselves for any eventuality.

Mr. Fumba Sirleaf, who is a son of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, made the statement when he served as a proxy for President Sirleaf, at the second graduation exercise of 50 special agents of the Executive Protection Service, (EPS) following counter-terrorism training at the State Services Academy in Lagos, Nigeria.

The NSA boss repeated that “the threat of terrorism is real and all Liberians including the public must begin to develop the understanding of what terrorism is, how it affects them, and their communities. The threat is real and we now need to take a hard look at it,”

Mr. Sirleaf thanked for a job well-done, the EPS graduates, who he said, have become vanguards in the fight against terrorism. “They are not only here to protect very important persons. (VIPs) or the President; they have become the vanguards for the protection of our society,” he said.

Mr. Sirleaf commended Nigeria that provided the opportunities for the EPS officers to be trained, for the sacrifices made in restoring peace to Liberia and for the numerous contributions they continue to make in preparing the country’s security sector for the eventual departure of the United Nations Mission in Liberia.

In addressing the graduates, the NSA boss quoted U.S. General Douglas McArthur: “Duty, Honor, Country,” in which he noted that the three hallowed words dictate what ought to be, what can be, and what will be, noting that these are the rallying points around which to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith where there seems to be little cause for faith, and create hope when hope becomes all seems lost. “You are our faith, hope and the men that will give that service—not only to your country but to your people and to yourselves,” he said.

Speaking earlier, the Director of the EPS, Mr. Othello Warrick said his administration will continue to transform the EPS to a more disciplined and professional institution. “Looking at our past as the Special Security Service, we want to say no to the things that we used to do,” he declared, adding that since they transitioned to EPS, there has been a huge difference.

In personally appreciating the men and women of the Service, Director Warrick said that their sacrifice, commitment, and diligence to duty, might not have been noticed by others, but those that are serving understand their responsibilities. He expressed profound appreciation and thanked them for their service to the country.

“Thank you for a job well done,” he said.

He assured them that the Government will continue to provide the needed logistical support—including capacity development—to each and every agent of the Service; he warned, however, that his administration will not fail to terminate or suspend any agent that falls on the wrong track in the performance of their duty.

“We can assure the Liberian people that we will always abide by the laws of this country,” Director Warrick said, and asked them for their support.

He reassured the media of his support and asked for their support in the performance of their duties. “We ask you to work with us. We are all Liberians. We open our doors once more to you and welcome you to the EPS,” he said, adding, “You can come for discussions and we can assure you that no EPS agent will mistreat or humiliate you. This is our promise to the Fourth Estate.”

Director Warrick thanked the Nigerian Government for the overwhelming support to the security reform process, especially to his institution to ensure that the peace Liberians enjoy today is sustained. 

Also speaking was Nigeria’s Ambassador to Liberia, Chigozie Obi-Nnadozie, who said her government stands solidly behind Liberia in making sure that the peace the country enjoys is sustained and remains permanent. She noted that it’s only in peace that a country can develop and be the best it ought to be.

She urged security personnel to be on the lookout for small arms and light weapons, awash around the sub-region, borne by rebels without a cause who have infiltrated societies. “It behooves those of us that have been called to serve, to make sure that we thwart the plans of such evil forces,” she cautioned, adding that whatever happens in Liberia will have a ripple effect in Nigeria and vice-versa and indeed the sub-region if not the whole continent.

Ambassador Obi-Nnadozie congratulated the graduates for a splendid job and reminded all that Nigeria will be with Liberia through thick and thin and will always lend their support.

Six of the 50 graduates received special awards for exceptional performance. They are Tarpeh L. U-Sayee, Jr., Overall Performance; Kadalla Wright, Best Academic Performance; Victoria T. Higgins, Best Physical Training (female); Charick G. Geply, Best Physical Training (male); Michael J. Wesseh, Best Marksman (male); Nelly Siaway-Saye, Best Marksman (female). All of the graduates were awarded certificates of achievement. 

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