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Police officers attached to the Makeni Division of Sierra Leone Police on Wednesday October 26th this year enthusiastically saluted President Koroma’s “Agenda for Change” which they said is an appropriate solution to Sierra Leone’s decades-old problems. (Photo: Cross section of police officers in Makeni listening to the address of ABC)
The officers asserted that although previous political leaders detected that poor attitudes and behaviours were responsible for the country’s backwardness none of them initiated an approach to address the problem.
They made this unreserved observation while the Attitudinal and Behavioural Change (ABC) Secretariat paid them a visit in order to sensitize police officers on the ills of unpleasant manners and deeds to institutional image.
Welcoming the ABC Secretariat, the Local Unit Commander of Makeni Division, David Sahid Koroma bemoaned how the negative attitudes and behaviours of a few undisciplined officers while dispensing their constitutional obligations have smeared the image of the entire police force. This he said is disheartening because the public on whom the police rely on for vital information and cooperation today view police officers as enemies instead of as partners in development. LUC Koroma described the intervention of the ABC Secretariat to ensure that bad manners are weeded from the police as a worthwhile stride. He advised his colleagues to see the sensitization process as a solution to their image restitution course. He assured that with continuous sensitization programmes, monitoring and motivation of well disciplined officers, good manners and professionalism will be valued in the shortest possible time.
In her tuition the National Coordinator and Second-in-Command of ABC Secretariat, Mrs. Nanette Thomas underscored the police as an important institution for the promotion of good governance. The police, she said, must be aware that they can only make this national contribution provided the public that is supposed to be protected, trust them. Madam Thomas claimed that the police have lost this valued public confidence simply because they are indulging in criminal activities. She condemned police officers who are in the habit of taking bribes, conniving with hardcore criminals to fleece investors and abating with lawless persons. Madam Thomas called on the police to see reason in ranking nationalism above personal aggrandizement. According to her this can be done by setting themselves higher ambitions and standards. She encouraged them to effectively and efficiently manage their finances, relationships, environments, spiritualities and health in a bid to reframe from bad attitudes and behaviours. Madam Thomas highlighted that while good manners generate success and long life, bad attitudes and behaviours cause failure and untimely death. She however noted that there are plenty good police officers and cited those attached to the Bo Division who bagged the 9th position among other African police divisions quite recently as a good example others should emulate. Madam Thomas warned the officers to stop blaming their salary scales as a cause for the prevalence of unprofessionalism among their rank and file.
In his exposé on basic human attitude, the Executive Director of ABC Secretariat informed the officers that it is an innate factor that constitutes varying thoughts, emotions and desires and added that, these attributes are demonstrated by behaviours. He maintained that because bad attitudes and behaviours are retrogressive, police officers must change and modify them respectively. The ABC Secretariat he disclosed has the police as an earmarked institution they are committed to reform because of their role in effecting the rule of law so that Sierra Leoneans can enjoy freedom, unity and justice.
In another engagement within the Makeni Township the ABC Secretariat schooled the administration and students of Sierra Leone Muslim Brotherhood (SLMB) Senior Secondary School on relevance of positive attitudes and behaviours en route for academic prowess.
Dr. Thomas reprimanded the students to put more seriousness on their academic pursuit than violence in sport, drug abuse and sexual immoralities among other distracting activities. The Executive Director enticed the learners that although there are predictions for a shrinking job market, those who endeavor to get potent professional qualifications are assured of decent and payable jobs in their adulthoods. He called on the students to respect their teachers and school’s code of conduct since schools are not just meant for acquiring academic understanding but also avenues for inculcating good and exemplary manners.
On her part the National Coordinator and Second-in- Command of ABC Secretariat, Mrs. Nanette Thomas reechoed that learning is better than silver and gold. This she warned the students to epitomize because as future leaders they are supposed to be armed with the requisite qualifications that will empower them to content the possible economic, political and social challenges. In this light, she warned them to expediently use their scarce time on studies rather than on the fad of watching films and attending nightclubs. Madam Thomas motivated the students not to consider their economic backgrounds, culture, religion and sex as drawbacks to education. She warned the school’s administration especially male teachers to stop sexually abusing school girls in the guise of assisting them to pass examinations. She said the act is not just unprofessional but a deterrent to effecting President Koroma’s dream of promoting the girl-child education countrywide.
She disclosed that in their drive to maintain good manners among students and school administration her secretariat intends forming an ABC Club at SLMB School in Makeni.
The school’s Principal, Abu Bakarr Kargbo commended the ABC Secretariat for visiting his school and promised their sensitization will help to foster students’ performance and their relationship with the school administration.
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