By Ragan M. Conteh
The Regional Commander Freetown East, Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP), Aiah E. Samadia, has said the result of negative posture has started yielding positive gains as it was experienced when a total of over 46 violators of inter-district lockdown and curfew were arrested.
Updating the media at the Kingtom Police Barracks, the AIG said on Monday 18th May, 2020 at around 5:30 p.m. or thereabout at Newton checkpoint, eighteen (18) passengers that ran out of luck were found inside empty mango baskets.
The AIG furthered that, during a search in a loaded van with foam mattresses, about eleven (11) passengers including 9 females and 2 males were under the mattresses in the locked van, adding that on 20th May 2020, at about 2:00 p.m., a vehicle with registration No. ANO 210 (poda-poda van) was intercepted at crossing point with 7 female passengers heading to the provinces concealed in the van.
Again at about 5:30 p.m., at the date and the same check point, a mini-van with registration No. AOE 626 was also apprehended with 13 passengers travelling to the provinces in violation of the inter-district ban, the Regional Commander disclosed.
According to AIG Samadia, when the police discovered the passengers inside empty baskets in a truck with registration No. AMO 336 that was heading to the provinces, the truck driver that purported to be heading to the provinces to collect a large quantity of mangoes was subjected to the conduct of a thorough search and the said persons were found and apprehended.
The primary aim of those found inside the baskets is to beat the restrictive measures imposed against inter-district movement.
In a similar development, seventeen (17) commercial motorbikes were apprehended at Newton Crossing and Rokel checkpoints for being found crossing with passengers in contraventions with the existing ban on inter-district movement and curfew.
These bikes, the Police Commander said, have been conveyed to the Waterloo Divisional Headquarters, whilst those 18 persons arrested have also been subjected to investigation at the Regional Headquarters for security purposes.
AIG further disclosed that the vigilance of the security men and women cannot be overemphasized, particularly when another unimaginable act in contravention of the inter-district lockdown was prevented by personnel at Newton and Rokel night checkpoints.
These discoveries indicate that some people are really bent on derailing the effects of others for their own personnel aggrandizement at the detriment of the state, the AIG averred, pointing out that the message of the existence of tight security measures can now be sensed in the region particularly violators of imposed restrictive measures.
The AIG said in common parlance that “if a nursing baby does not allow its mother to sleep, then the child should also realize that the mother too is even more determined for the stubborn baby not to sleep.”
He concluded that amid public criticism, the Freetown East Region is steadfast in its strive to uphold the good image of the ‘Force for Good’, particularly when it falls under the auspices of his jurisdiction as the Regional Commander.
This development comes following criticism by the general public that the SLP personnel had made the inter-district restrictive measures serious business.
It could be recalled that the Independent Member of Parliament from Constituency 001 in the Kailahun District recently lambasted the security forces for allowing people from COVID-19 affected districts to enter Kailahun District, thereby leading to the first two cases of the pandemic in the district.
The security men and women, who considered the accusations as negative, became vigilant in the dispensation of their duty that is now yielding dividend.
By Ragan M. Conteh