It is unfortunate that while a lot of priority issues are being downplayed by the current government, the Weah Administration is spending millions of dollars on vacancies created in the governance system of the state, all out of greed for power and personal benefits, a national security expert has said.
Momo T. Cyrus, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Security Expert Guard Agency of Liberia (SEGAL) said that the progress and development of any state, especially Liberia, hinges on security, education and agriculture; none of which, he said, is getting the needed attention or investment that would improve the development of the country and its people.
Being a security expert who served with the National Security Agency (NSA), Mr. Cyrus laid more emphasis on the sector, terming it as the backbone of every state.
“Without a secured society, nothing else falls into place. This is why we have been calling for more investment in the security sector, with specific focus on the police,” he said.
Cyrus made these comments over the weekend at a ceremony held in his honor at the Free Pentecostal College (FPC) in Voinjama City, Lofa County. The college named its Criminal Justice Department, one of three new academic disciplines, in honor of Mr. Cyrus.
The other disciplines are Agriculture and Mass Communications. But the FPC authorities said Mr. Cyrus was selected out of three candidates, “because of his invaluable services in the security sector as well as his humanitarian work across the country.”
“Education is the bedrock of any society, because agriculture alone does not only bring about food sufficiency, but creates jobs for the citizens, while security creates the stability for investment, growth and development. Unfortunately, government is not investing in these areas,” he said.
“Without huge investments in these sectors, our country will not have the requisite foundation to develop,” Cyrus said.
Cyrus, who served as NSA regional commander for Grand Bassa, Margibi and River Cess counties from 2004-2007, informed the audience that the country’s security is fragile, promising to work with the government until it can invest in the security sector.
“The manpower of our security apparatuses is a joke in this country. The police, which have the largest manpower, are a mere 5,000 in numerical strength and have a very meager budget. With these, we don’t expect to see the impact of the officers across the country. It means that our people are not safe,” he said.
“We are experiencing a lot of wasteful spending, especially on by-elections and some personal projects. Our government needs to invest more in the security, education and agriculture sector,” he said.
Cyrus said that laws need to be enacted to stop people, who occupy elective offices, from seeking other positions while still serving their tenures. “This is unfair, because our lawmakers need to stop our national coffers from bleeding,” he said.
Mr. Cyrus, who operates the largest private security firm in the country and that has an estimated 4000 personnel, expressed frustration that none of the country’s security institutions, in particular the police, is adequately deployed throughout the country, because all lack personnel and operating resources. LNP stands at just over 5,100 officers, including 970 women. About 3,858 are deployed in Monrovia and its environs, leaving only 1,284 officers for the rest of the country.
With a population of an estimated 5 million, this means a police officer to every 10,000 people. “This is ridiculous,” Mr. Cyrus said, adding: “Our country is vulnerable, if one were to consider this low number of manpower that lacks logistics.”
Meanwhile, FPC president Dr. Joseph N. Glenn said that with the introduction of the Criminal Justice discipline, the college will be able to educate the young people about crime and law enforcement.
“We experience a lot of crimes that have been perpetrated by violent people, especially the youth. This is one of the many reasons we thought it prudent to introduce this discipline, so that we can teach our people the policies involving law enforcement, including all legal measures designed to promote proper implementation, through impartial treatment as intended by society,” Glenn said.