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Parliament unanimously approves national security coordinator

January 24, 2022

By Alfred Koroma

Parliament has on Thursday 20th January approved Abdulai Caulker to serve as National Security Coordinator, Office of  National Security (ONS).

ONS was established by an Act of Parliament to effectively coordinate national security and intelligence architecture with the aim of creating enabling environment for sustainable national development, poverty reduction and conflict prevention.

While approving the Coordinator, MPs from all sides of the house expressed satisfaction with Mr. Caulker’s security experience and the president’s decision to appoint him as ONS National Coordinator.

In his comment during the approval, Hon. Hassan Sesay, Chief Whip of the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC), said Caulker is not a stranger to ONS; while an Independent MP, Hon. Musa Shiaka Sama described him as a very good and helpful man that the country needs. That was followed by another Independent MP, Hon. Quintin Salia Konneh who said the appointment of Caulker didn’t come by chance, due to his military background.

 The leader of the Coalition for Change (C4C) party, Hon. Emerson Lamina said he has no doubt that the ONS Coordinator will deliver as he has gone through all the ranks of the security.

 Hon. Bashiru Silikie, Deputy Leader of Government Business referred to him as a man with huge experience in handling ONS as he was part of its creation. He called on the Coordinator to use his huge security experience to make the country proud in times of security.

The ONS National Coordinator was approved alongside nine other nominees including key opposition figure, Hon. Alhaji Alpha Kanu who will now serve as the Resident Minister for the North-West Region with cabinet rank, and Sadiq Sillah who replaces Dr. Ali Kabba as  Ambassador of Sierra Leone to Egypt.

 Other nominees approved yesterday include Hon. General (Rtd) K.E.S. Boyah, Resident Minister Eastern Province; Haja Isata Abdulai-Kamara, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry; Mrs. Mamusu Massaquoi, Deputy Minister Basic and Senior Secondary Education (2); Mr. Andrew Fatorma, Chairman, Board of Directors, Road Maintenance Administration Fund; Dr. Anthony A Sandy, Commissioner, Health Service Commission; Justice Ansumana Ivan Sesay, Chairman, Legal Aid Board, and Ms Isatu Moses, Member National Youth Commission.

Abdulai Caulker, the new National Security Coordinator of ONS, is a seasoned administrative security sector practitioner with over 21 years’ experience in the security sector of Sierra Leone. He is among the founding members of the Office of National Security (ONS), who played a pivotal role in talent-spotting and recruiting the current crop of Directors at ONS.

 He holds a Master’s degree in Educational Administration and has several professional certifications in security sector related issues, ranging from Security Sector Reform, Personnel Administration and Management, Human Resource Development, Trade Craft, Agent Targeting, National Security and Development, Coordination and Cooperation in Emergencies, Investigating Techniques and Research Methods, Ethics and Integrity, Policy Analysis, Conflict Analysis and Mediation, Early Warning and Early Response, Ethics and Professionalism to Threat Assessment, Agent Targeting and Cultivation, Staff Development, Educational Law, Management and Administrative Theory, Human Behaviour and Organisation.

The ONS National Coordinator also studied Philosophy and Education; Sociology, Developmental Psychology, Guidance and Counselling; Social Psychology, Measurement and Evaluation; Learning Theories, and Communication Skills.

Apart from his enormous experience in security related and academic background, Mr. Caulker also has a reputation for his immense contribution to ensuring ONS remains very strong and able to provide strategic leadership for the security sector of Sierra Leone, thus contributing its quota to the governance and democratisation process of Sierra Leone. He has worked with development partners like UNDP, DfID, ADB, IMATT, ISAT, etc. and possesses the ability to facilitate grants on-behalf of Government and to oversee the successful implementation of targeted projects for sustainable development and national security.

Coordinator Caulker served as National Chairman, Movement for the Restoration of Democracy during the 1997 interregnum. Whilst in Conakry, he was appointed by the Government of Sierra Leone as Programme Officer to monitor sanction busters, a programme sponsored by DfID to monitor sanctions on AFRC regime. It was in this organisation that the idea of establishing a coordinating institution for the security sector in Sierra Leone was born, eventually leading to the establishment of the ONS.

 Mr. Caulker has Further served ONS in  strategic capaties including Deputy Director, National Intelligence Unit (NIU) for Southern and Eastern Provinces (1999 – 2000), Director, Administration and Finance (2000 – 2016), Director, Finance and Corporate Services (2016 – 2018), Deputy National Security Coordinator (2018 – 2020) and Acting National Security Coordinator (November, 2020 – January, 2022) – a position he held until his appointment as National Security Coordinator on 12th January, 2022.

He is innovative, a strategic thinker, team player and a go-getter. He perseveres in his endeavours and well-grounded and knowledgeable on issues relating to security sector coordination and governance. Being a security expert and a seasoned administrator, he was the team lead for a set of ONS staff that travelled to Israel in 2008 for a capacity building training in National security and Intelligence.

As Director of Finance and Cooperate Service, Mr. Caulker has, on behalf of the ONS and Government of Sierra Leone, successfully managed a portfolio of over 20 projects worth millions of US Dollars. Some notable examples include the construction of the Office of National Security headquarter building at Tower Hill, the 14th August 2017 twin Flood and Mudslide Disaster Account at the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB), the 2018 National Elections and Early Warning Early Response Project, and the Security Sector Reform (SSR) Project in Sierra Leone.

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