Titus Boye-Thompson, Communications Consultant
The Sierra Leone Police has never ever had a graceful transition of power from an Inspector General to his successor as witnessed this past Friday morning at the Kingtom Police Parade Field. In a sombre ceremony, and for the first time ever, Inspector General of Police, Dr Richard Richard Moigbe took over the men and women of the Sierra Leone Police in a unique fashion when he entertained outgoing Inspector General, now Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the Republic of Liberia.
In his final address to the men and women of the Sierra Leone Police, Former IG Munu thanked God for sparing mercies and then reiterated that in his 33 years of service to the force, his successes and challenges have all been shared with the rank and file. He noted that it was on account t of his perceived successes that His Excellency the President saw it fit to award him the chance of further service to his country as an Ambassador, a position n of higher rank and status. In the event, he dedicated his new appointment to the men and women of the Sierra Leone Police and above all to the Executive Management Board which had served as his signal of collaborative support during his tenure. Ambassador Munu categorically stated that with all his accomplishments, he had not worked alone but had enjoyed the support and camaraderie of a group of fine officers at the EMB who had gave him support through thick and thin.
Ambassador Munu stated that he had all the support that someone in his position would have wished for. He paid special tribute to the tenacity of his Deputy who served him with all humility and with whom, despite their several differences, he was always assured of his resolve and commitment to the overall goals of making the Sierra Leone Police a force for good. These comments he equally stated could be well attributed to all other members of his team at the highest level at the Executive Management Board, with whom he had the sincere support and trusted following.
Munu’s parting words were easily subscribed to the theme that “he was never working alone.” This theme paid tribute to his Officers and men of the force, specifically to those who toiled in the sunshine or got themselves soaked in the rain to ensure that the country sleeps well at night in peace and solitude. In his goodbye address, he was pleased to point out that the SLP is now a better force than he met it, well capable and competitive as a preferred force in securing peacekeeping services for both UN and AU Missions. The force is now better equipped and with more facilities and infrastructure to deliver better policing outcomes for the country. He was also pleased that he was leaving the force with a team of which he was proud, an IG and DIG of high repute and professional standing next to none in the country. In finalising his remarks therefore, Ambassador Munu noted that there is no success without a successor and thus displayed his confidence in Dr Richard Moigbe, the man charged with taking the Sierra Leone Police forwards.
In his remarks, the Inspector General of Police, Dr Richard Moigbe thanked the organizers of this unique though symbolic ceremony of transfer of authority of the force for their fortitude in putting the mechanics together to see this occasion come to pass. He thanked God for the manner of transition accorded to him, talking over from his former boss, now appointed to a higher position of State.
Dr Moigbe could not recall such an event being part of the Sierra Leone Police Tradition but pledged all the same to formalising it as a veritable epoch in the history of the force.
Commenting on the Police Force that he was inheriting, he assured the outgoing Inspector General, now Ambassador to Liberia that he is committed to building a stronger force based on the foundational principles already established. He expressed, on behalf of members of the Executive Management Team, the fact that they enjoyed working with Ambassador Munu as their boss whom he described as a fine gentleman and a professional Policeman. He recalled that former IG Munu always accosted them not to take life or even themselves too seriously and for the reason that whatever you do or whichever decision you take, there would always be those who would not agree with you. Dr Richard Moigbe also recalled the very excellent working relationship they shared and the comments by His Excellency the President to him that theirs was an exemplary combination of professional Police Officers. He noted that he was sure that the service to his boss and his commitment to duty was instrumental in this unique situation wherein he was appointed to succeed hi boss, something that was very rare in the Sierra Leone Police. He noted that as opposed to both of them being swept away, their joint collaboration and supine relationship over the years has caused both of them to be appointed to higher leadership and setting the stage for this unique ceremony of handing over, and taking over at the helm of the Sierra Leone Police. He pledged his commitment and that of his Deputy, Dr Al-Shek Kamara to following on the precepts of making the Sierra Leone Police a capable force in Sierra Leone.
In concluding, Dr Richard Moigbe stressed that the immediate focus for him is to ensure that the Sierra Leone Police faces the present challenges of meeting the policing needs of the festive season and the duty to create a peaceful and enabling environment for the forthcoming elections in 2018. He noted that as he looked around, he is faced with men and women who have had the experience of policing elections in the past and upon whom the mantle of leadership now falls for the coming polls. He recalled in 2007 when he was assigned to address the United Nations Security Council and other Agencies at the Mammy Yoko Hotel and he was faced with a barrage of Ambassadors and diplomatic corps. He mentioned that after a three hour drilling, with him sweating even under air condition, he was able to provide the necessary assurances required that the Sierra Leone Police was capable to supervise the elections and keep the peace, it was on his performance that up to $500,000.00 was authorised immediately to the Sierra Lone Police for logistical support and over $33million approved to the Sierra Leone Government for the election. It is such pressures that have become the trademark of the man who now heads the Sierra Leone Police going in to the 2018 elections and he gave full assurances that he is well and truly able and ready to deliver on his mandate to the satisfaction of the state and the international community.
In his vote of thanks, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Dr Al-Shek Kamara thanked those who had left their busy schedules to witness this epoch making event at the SLP. He outlined the observations of Nelson Mandela on “vision” and “action” and the combined effects of both in making for progressive outcomes within institutions. He explained that losing one’s vision was likened to being beyond blind, because it is the vision, which when combined with action, makes for progress. He therefore assured the outgoing Inspector General of the SLP’s commitment to retaining the vision and the resolve to follow along the paths already trodden.