By Tony Yayo
The Interim National Coordinator of the National COVID 19 Response Committee, Retired Brigadier Kellie Hassan Conteh, has disclosed to the public that, in order for the security apparatus to adequately enforce the preventive measures under the three days nationwide lockdown, the Office of National Security (ONS) will be invoking the Military Aid to Civilian Power, otherwise known as MAC-P.
He made this disclosure recently at an emergency press conference to announce an additional case of the corona virus in the country. While addressing the press, Brigadier Hassan Kellie Conteh said that, under the MAC-P operation, officers belonging to the Sierra Leone Police Force and the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces will be teaming up to conduct a joint patrol across the entire country. According to the Interim Coordinator of NCRC, the team will arrest and place into custody anyone found to violate the regulations and preventive measures put in place by the government.
He added that they decided to use the MAC-P operation because of its past achievement in curbing national violence and also because of the discipline instilled in the officers during past trainings.
The NCRC Boss warns residents to keep off the streets as the MAC-P team has been given the power to fully enforce the laws. He continued that the reason for increasing the security, during the lockdown period, is because the government has observed that people who are placed under quarantine or self isolation normally break the rules, adding that this time round such attitude will be a thing of the past. Furthermore, the NCRC head noted that, during the lockdown, people are not allowed to travel over a distance of two hundred and fifty meters in order to prevent mass gathering.
However, he revealed that those who are out to find food, medicine and other essential service are allowed to ply their areas. He also cautioned the security officers not to take advantage of the situation to perpetrate violence against the people or do anything that will breach their human rights.
Kellie Conteh concluded by calling on both the security officers and the ordinary people to follow the social distancing and hand washing guidelines.
By Tony Yayo