September 12, 2017 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of the Eastern region has assured of the readiness of the force to provide adequate security throughout the planned national delegates’ convention of the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), scheduled for September 15, 16, 17, 2018 in Kenema.
In an interview with Concord Times yesterday, Alfred Karrow-Kamara stated that they had commenced preparation for the event a month ago, adding that the police high command was only officially informed about the convention last Saturday (September 9).
He said together with the military and Office of National Security (ONS), a threat assessment has already been done, with potential threat to the convention identified.
He added that the Joint Security Intelligence Committee in Kenema has held several meetings to discuss intelligence germane to the SLPP convention.
“We want to allay the fears of the public that the convention will be peaceful,” he assured.
The police boss in the eastern region, which is an opposition bastion, told Concord Times that together with the party’s district and regional executives, they have also visited the venue of the convention and marked parking space for vehicles as well as identified ‘no go areas’.
According to AIG Karrow-Kamara, the party’s district and regional executives have informed the police high command that some 700 delegates and 1,500 observers would attend the convention.
Since the main opposition party has in the past three years been stymied by intra-party fracas, there are fears that the event could be bedeviled by violence.
However, AIG Karrow-Kamara assured that the police would be on top of situation throughout the event as extensive preparations have been carried out by security operatives in the eastern city in a bid to ensure an incidence-free convention.
He disclosed that officers from the Operational Support Division (OSD) and General Duty of the police would be adequately deployed to police the entire process.
AIG Karrow-Kamara warned that those that will be contesting for the standard bearer position of the party would not be allowed to use their private securities as the police would provide security for them throughout the convention.
Meanwhile, Public Relations Officer of the party’s Independent Elections Monitoring and Observer Committee, Dr. Dennis Sandy, insisted on Radio Democracy’s (98.1) ‘Good Morning Salone’ programme yesterday that the SLPP is determined to go ahead with the conference despite calls by one of the aspiring standard bearers, John Oponjo Benjamin, to postpone it until October so as to ensure that issues bordering around the delegates’ list, amongst others, are addressed properly.
According to Mr. Benjamin, the national delegates’ conference cannot go ahead as planned because there are grey areas that ought to be addressed. He threatened to take the party to court if they failed to do the right thing before hosting a national conference.