For the first time since the Independence celebrations in Liberia’s Southeastern Grand Kru and Sinoe Counties in July, especially following her recent foreign trips, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf,
on Thursday, November 19, 2015, delivered a Special address to the nation. The President’s address featured her recent foreign travels to Indian and the People’s Republic of China, as well as issues of socio-economic, political and security concerns as they relate to the well-being and development of the Liberia.
While the economy – the engine of the nation consistently highlighted in the President’s address, remains paramount to the nation’s development and progress, the issue of public safety and security as featured by her (President Sirleaf) may have also brought some relief to the scaring population, especially in Monrovia and its environs.
The fact that she highly spoke of her government’s acknowledgement of the security of the people as it relates to the increasing and alarming rate of ritualistic killings and armed robbery, as well as instructing the security forces, especially the Liberia National Police, to ensure the necessary actions in consonance with the law, it is acceptably considered that the message has already been understood by the perpetrators and facilitators.
Now that at the highest level of the Liberian Government, the political will has been exhibited, it now behooves on state security forces to whom the Commander-in-Chief has given the orders, to immediately and effectively enforce such Presidential instructions to the latter without delays.
Perhaps being cognizant of the implicating consequences of the ongoing armed robbery and ritualistic killings across the country ahead of the 2017 General and Presidential Elections, it became an urgent necessity to arrest the situation.
It came just following the announcement by the Director of Police, Col. Chris Massaquoi, that a number of armed robbers had been arrested and that those in police custody had revealed that they had received arms, ammunition and uniforms from within the LNP.
But as the Police execute the orders to immediately go after these heartless and undesirable criminals, the urgent need for the hierarchy of the Liberia National Police to effect an in-house investigation for conspirators/facilitators cannot also be over-emphasized.
This is against the backdrop of recent reports of acts of unprofessionalism by policemen, including alleged rape and murder, armed robbery, as well as extortions, among others; it would further interest the general public and further restore public confidence in the LNP, if the results of such in-house police investigations and identities of such individuals are made public.
To fast-track President Sirleaf’s orders to a great success, the Liberia National Police must also consider Community Policing, as it relates to access to justice – timeliness to telephone calls from community dwellers in the event of armed robbery in any community.
Regarding the issue of the high wave of ritualistic killings, the various communities around the country must exercise the highest degree of commitment, sincerity and vigilance in working with the LNP and other security networks either through the Community Policing Forum or other means in arresting the situation.
Now that the Government of Liberia, through the President, has shown the political will to fight alarming rate armed robbery and ritualistic killings, it is now incumbent on the people of Liberia to work with state security forces, especially the police, to ensure the safety of all.