By John Ikani
The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, on Tuesday August 17, signed a cooperation agreement with his Sierra Leonean counterpart, Dr Ambrose Michael Sovula, at the Force Headquarters, Abuja.
The bilateral policing engagement targets the deepening and consolidation of the relationship between the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and Sierra Leone Police (SLP) in areas such as manpower development, intelligence sharing, tackling regional and transnational threats and crimes.
A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba, said the Inspector-General of the Sierra Leone Police is on a five-day working visit to the Force Headquarters, Abuja, led by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Republic of Sierra Leone, Mr. David Maurice Panda-Noah.
Alkali, during the meeting, noted: “Crime is dynamic especially in planning, perfection, and execution, and is increasingly resonating beyond the borders where it is committed.”
As a panacea, Alkali advocated, among other things, “the need for continuous bilateral police cooperation and network to successfully confront regional security threats.”
He stated that the Nigerian Police Force has a historically unique relationship with the Sierra Leone Police, especially in the area of capacity building.
He noted that “for instance that in 1996, the NPF offered slots for the training of seven Sierra Leonean cadet officers at the Nigeria Police Academy, Kano.
“The IGP proudly observed that amongst the officers trained at the time are AIG Ahamdu Mannah, the current Director of Operations in the Sierra Leon Police, and CP Austin Kaile, the current Police Commissioner for the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
“In addition, IGP mentioned that ten Senior Sierra Leonean Police officers are part of the course participants currently attending the Strategic Leadership Command Course at the Nigeria Police National Institute of Police Studies, Abuja.”
On his part, Sovula appreciated Alkali for approving the participation of 10 senior SLP officers in the ongoing Strategic Leadership and Command Course at the National Institute of Policy Studies, Abuja. He commended the leadership of the NPF for collaboration in training and capacity building. He also expressed the belief that this would enhance the strategic management and operational visibility of the SLP.
Panda-Noah, in his remarks, expressed the appreciation of the government and the people of Sierra Leone for the relationship between the two police organisations.
He affirmed that the synergy has impacted positively on policing services in Sierra Leone. He also expressed hope that the signing of the agreement would enable both countries to perfect a Memorandum of Understanding to evolve a formidable policing collaboration.