By: Jefferson G. Togba, Sr.
In an effort to bring to fruition the logistical support to the (Liberia National Police (LNP) and Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN)) Ministry of Justice received, and subsequently turned over several vehicles and motorbikes from Liberia’s development partners.
These ceremonies were recently held in Monrovia at a well attended program organized by the Ministry and its Partners including China, Japan, UNDP and UNMIL at the LNP headquarters to improve police operations in fighting crimes throughout Liberia in 2015 and 2016.
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), in collaboration with the Government of Japan donated 16 vehicles to the Liberia National Police (LNP) and the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN) as part of their commitment to support various institutions in October, 2015.
Presenting the vehicles on behalf of their respective countries and institutions were: Japan’s Ambassador Kaorr Yoshinura, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yue, UNDP and UNMIL. For his part the Country Director of the UNDP, however noted that those vehicles would be used on a rotational basis from one security entity to another including the police and BIN.
For his part, Michael Page, the UNMIL Advisor to the Special Representative of the Secretary General, described the ceremony as an important step in fighting crime in Liberia.
At the turning over ceremony which was held at LNP headquarters on Thursday, October 2015, UNDP Country Director, Dr. Kamil Kamaluddeen said “The ceremony marks another milestone and partnership between the United Nations and the Governments of Liberia (GOL) and Japan”, and further mentioned that the donated vehicles are intended to help enhance border surveillance in eight of the 15 counties, and also to beef up the capacity of security officers assigned in those areas”.
Dr. Kamaluddeen said that the milestone has initiated the joint effort between the government and its partners to work together for the good of the country, including security and development, which has continued in a peaceful and orderly manner.
Dr. Kamaluddeen, therefore urged the public and the recipients in particular (LNP and BIN) not to see the donations as just vehicles, but as another step towards strengthening the services and institutions responsible for their deliveries, especially those that are basic to human development, security and critical importance”.
The Government of Japan in collaboration with UNDP is proud to have aligned with the GOL and people, noting that “We will continue to work together to support you in everything that is required.”
The recipients were charged to continue “Doing a good job” to claim the needed benefits. So the question before us is where are those donated vehicles?
The LNP by now should not be complaining about logistical support, when in fact authority at the LNP lacks monitoring, maintenance and safety of these entrust properties for the benefit of their workings during the drawdown of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).
For his part, the then Minister of Justice, Cllr. Benedict F. Sannoh, said the Ebola virus taught the Liberian Government a lesson to appreciate not only doctors and nurses, but also the police.
He used the occasion to urge both the LNP, BIN and security officers to be focused on the maintenance of the donated vehicles to motivate the donors in order to provide more support to the Government. But again the question still being flips at the lips of Liberians is where the maintenance effort is? Do they really actualize their words during these ceremonies?
“We pledged our commitment to maintain the donated vehicles at all times” according BIN Commissioner Lemuel Reeves and LNP Deputy Director for Administration, William Mulbah.
In addition to the recent eighteen Land Cruiser Jeeps donated to the Government of Liberia by the Japanese Government to be used by the Liberia National Police and the BIN officers assigned in the eight bordering counties.
In addition to the vehicles donated, one hundred and sixty motorbikes two thousand sets of raingear, two hindered Infrared Thermometers and eighty Public Address System with each county receiving one.
The eight counties include Maryland, Gbarpolu, Lofa, Bong, Cape Mount, Grand Gedeh, Rivergee, and Nimba Counties. The turning over ceremony was graced by Justice Minister Benedict F. Sannoh and Police Director C. Clarence Massaquoi, both are now formers government official.
On October 05, 2016 barely one month ago, China gave US$2m Supplies to the Liberia National Police during an exchange notes for the provision of the fund when the Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, Zhang Yue and Acting Foreign Minister Elias Shoniyin signed for the batch of China Aided Police Supplies by both Governments.
The Government of Liberia must institute measures to reprimand individuals or institutions where said vehicles are been assigned within the LNP and other government line ministries and agencies to value, appreciate and maintain donors’ efforts. We no longer see those Mercedes given the LNP few years ago.