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Turkish Ambassador Pays Follow-up visit to IGP on PIKM Regulation

Turkish Ambassador Pays Follow-up visit to IGP on PIKM Regulation By Kembay Police Headquarters George Street Freetown, Wednesday 28th February, 2024 Her Excellency the Turkish Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Madam Sibel Erkan has visited the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mr. William Fayia Sellu to know the SLP stands on the Police Coordination and Cooperation Center (PIKM), ahead of the 5-6 May and 15-17 July, 2024 OIC meetings in Banju and Yaounde respectively.  In her presentations, Her Excellency Madam Erkan discloses that, her visit was to know if the SLP is interested in being part of the Police Coordination and Cooperation Center (PIKM) establishment following the 13th Summit  heads of States and Government of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The PIKM she went on to explained would be established to combat terrorism, extremism, organised crime and to strengthen capacities of PIKM members states.  "For the Center to become op

𝐍𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝟐𝟔𝐭𝐡 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐩 𝐀𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐦𝐩𝐭:𝐀 𝐂𝐫𝐢𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐄𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐞 𝐅𝐮𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐁𝐲 𝐁𝐢𝐠𝐨𝐭𝐫𝐲

𝐍𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝟐𝟔𝐭𝐡 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐩 𝐀𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐦𝐩𝐭:
𝐀 𝐂𝐫𝐢𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐄𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐞 𝐅𝐮𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐁𝐲 𝐁𝐢𝐠𝐨𝐭𝐫𝐲
𝐁𝐲 𝐒𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐤𝐡 𝐌 𝐁𝐚𝐰𝐨𝐡

Last week’s publication by the leading Sierra Leonean Think Tank, the Institute of Governance Reform which highlighted amongst other issues people’s perception of what they thought might have motivated the recent coup makes an insightful reading.  In the IGR study titled: Violence Entrepreneurs- Understanding the Actors and the Incentives behind the November 26 failed Coup”, five main reasons were proffered as possible motivating factors for the failed coup on November 26th. They include the economic hardship, the credibility issues of the June 24th , the trend of coups in Africa, the political division and lastly “part of a chain of violent disturbances promoted by anti-government forces unsatisfied with the change of government since 2018”. 
No sane mind can downplay the seriousness of other factors highlighted in the IGR study, but it is compelling to conclude that since the accession to power of President Julius Maada Bio in 2018, the spate of unprecedented terror-style attacks on governance infrastructures around the country, including police stations bore the hallmark of desperate criminal elements fueled by bigotry who seek power through the barrel of the gun. 

𝐍𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝟐𝟔: 𝐀𝐧 𝐀𝐏𝐂 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐩?
Notwithstanding the characters behind the November 26th attempted coup, the IGR study falls short of referencing it as an APC coup. Of the more sixty suspects already arrested by the security forces so far, most, if not all are members of the APC. However the IGR argues and rightly so that “linking them to political party or ethnic or regional group will only complicate a straightforward case”
The logic in the IGR argument is undisputable. To conclude that the attempted coup was APC led could mean, the investigators’ dragnet should target all the legally constituted executives of the party. It is imperative to note that despite the bitterness, frustration and recriminations of losing the 2018 election, the APC as a party, with all its violent dispositions in the political history of Sierra Leone, would be difficult for it to undertake a highly treasonable venture like the November 26th attempted coup.  The APC knows more than any other political party that using the force of arms to wrestle power from another political party in a democratic dispensation is not only repulsive but also detrimental to its own very survival. The seditious nature of such dangerous enterprise makes it even more improbable.  
Therefore, the logical conclusion one should make about not just the November 26th putsch, but of all other major security breaches since 2018, is that, it is the handiwork of a faceless demi-god and an evil genius who capitalized on the electoral loss of the APC in 2018 to attract and radicalize its members, particularly the youth to  undermine the peace and tranquility of the country. The saboteurs were made to believe that whatever is not made in Makeni is not good and must be destroyed. Thus the destruction of transformers and electricity cables across Freetown for example, which were installed under the regime of President Julius Maada Bio are all testament to the fact.  It makes sense to think that APC members who took part in the failed coup could only have acted on their own volition or on the instructions of their paymaster out of the realm of their party. 
So to summarize the IGR’s description of the November 26th putsch; criminal elements fueled by bigotry and ill-gotten wealth of failed politicians who suddenly realized after 2018 that the eleven years looting wasn’t enough as they previously thought took upon  themselves to take power through the barrel of the gun. 

𝐄𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐊𝐨𝐫𝐨𝐦𝐚’𝐬 𝐌𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐓𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐎𝐧 𝐌𝐲 𝐌𝐢𝐧𝐝
Notable among the suspects now in the police net is former President Ernest Bai Koroma, the man who spent eleven years in power and who has an unenviable pedigree of wanting to retain power after the mandatory two terms during his time.
It is a well-documented fact that it took the intervention of no less a person than the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for West Africa and the Sahel Region, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambers and the ECOWAS Commission to prevent what was clearly a looming constitutional crisis, six months to the 2018 elections. Undoubtedly, the former President was desperate for a third term which the laws of this country prohibit.  But in a crunch meeting at State House on August 24th, 2017, the visiting diplomats whose mission was to ensure Sierra Leone keeps within its widely acclaimed democratic credentials either prevailed on the former President or  simply arm twisted him to drop his destructive ambition of running for a third term. And in a massive twist of event, President Koroma had to swallow his pride and assured the regional diplomats that the previously announced March 18th, 2018 date for the general elections, which the opposition political parties doubted initially, would go ahead as planned. And as was expected, the “After You, Na You” or  the“ More Time”,  being campaign slogans designed to test public reaction and to popularize his intention to extend his stay in power were finally disappeared from the vocabulary of the then ruling party supporters.
The object of recalling this piece of history is not to the claim that had the coup succeeded, the former President would be made Head of State. Although he has a voracious appetite for everything under the sun including power, it would be unfair to him to think he would have assumed the leadership of an enterprise that is both criminal and destructive in nature. The truth is that the former President’s Godfather role was always not in doubt due to his connections with those arrested alongside him and the others on the run.

𝐆𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐥 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐦𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐅𝐚𝐢𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐩
Both locally and internationally, the November 26th insurrection was roundly and instantly condemned by all including governments, multinational organizations, the regional bodies, civil society organizations etc. Those condemnations are enough evident to indicate that despite the trends of coups in the region, the November 26th coup was destined to fail. There is growing nervousness among West Africans about the spate of military coups in the region due to their wider security implications.
Ernest Koroma May Have His Day In Court
Once investigations are concluded by the police and charges proffered against the suspects, they will have the opportunity to defend themselves in a court of law. And for former President Koroma particularly whose name has become a subject of scorn lately, he would have the opportunity to prove his innocence when and if he is charged to court.
For Sierra Leoneans, the trial will not just be about exposing the root causes of the new wave of violence since 2018 and the naming/shaming of the perpetrators and their perpetrator in chief, but it will also  be about ridding our society of the criminals who think they can do anything and everything and get away with it.


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