The Justice Minister and Attorney General of Liberia, Cllr. Frederick D. Cherue, has warned graduating officers of the elite presidential guard Executive Protection Service against giving out classified information about their offices to the outside world.
“You are not an Information Minister- you are not Information Minister passing information from your office to the outside world,” Minister Cherue said on Friday, 9 September at the Liberia National Police Training Academy or LNPTA in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
Delivering the keynote address at the graduation ceremony of the first 100 newly recruited EPS officers in Liberia’s post-UN Peacekeeping operations, the Justice Minister warned that EPS officers are to only give out information when required by those in authority, reminding the graduates about their responsibility to keep the President of Liberia and family safe at all times, and that such task “requires love for humanity, patriotism, loyalty to the country and people and above all the fear of God.”
He said promotion of officers will not be on the basis of gossiping superiors and their colleagues, but their commitment, diligence and integrity.
In remarks, Senate Committee Chairman on National Security, Intelligence and Veteran Affairs, Sen. Steve Zargo of Lofa County, urged national security institutions to network, noting that networking would have prevented a security clash between officers of the EPS and the Liberia National Police or LNP at the funeral service of late Amb.
Rudolph von Ballmoos. He described it a dark day in the history of national security, warning that it should not transpire anymore. In protecting the VIPs, Sen. Zargo said, EPS officers need external information, he suggested, requires networking with other national security institutions, including the military and para- military and intelligence. Sen. Zargo told the EPS graduates that the job that they have chosen was a good job only with passion and not money.
He therefore urged national security leaders to coordinate, do away with pride and go into weekly meetings and demonstrate friendliness so that it triggers down to their subordinate officers in different national security agencies. Atty. Samuel F. Darkina, on behalf of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s National Security Advisor Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh, said the work EPS officers were about to do was critical and important as it concerns protecting the president and other VIPs.
He warned that the services also extends to protecting classified documents, top secrets and confidential information, as breach of such task amounts to violation that is punishable by a US$10,000 fine or seven year-imprisonment or both.
EPS Director Col. Frank O. Nyenkan thanked President Sirleaf for making available the funding to train the new recruits amid budgetary constraints. He urged the graduates to never compromise their security obligation, accept gratuity, admonishing them to keep secret confidential information at their official duties.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by George Barpeen