Op ed

Sierra Leone is the safest in the sub- region

sierraLeone-soldiersNigeria High Commissioner reveals that Sierra Leone is the safest in the sub- region .. Peace and tranquility has finally returned to Sierra Leone and international partners including members of the West African Sub region are now pleased with the country’s security.
It is revealed that Sierra Leone is one of the safest countries in West Africa as people go about their normal business activities at any given time without hindrance.

Nigeria was instrumental in bringing peace and stability to Sierra Leone as they provided both financial and logistical support for the government to vividly pursue the assailants and military juntas out of power. There is a strong security set up across the country and government machinery is actively operating in those areas.

In fact Sierra Leone was said to be one of the safest country for investors and corporate entities. This statement has been re-echoed by the Nigerian High Commissioner to Sierra Leone His- Excellency Godson O. Echegile who among other Diplomats expressed confidence in the country’s security while explaining to journalists about his country’s golden jubilee independence celebration scheduled for 1st October this year. Chief Echegile said Nigeria did not only contribute to the peace keeping process but also committed itself to the post conflict development of the country adding that they provided funds for the refurbishments of State House and other government institutions.
He said the justice sector became a major area of concern and therefore the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria also provided fleets of vehicles to members of the judiciary.

Adding that in order to address impunity in the country the Nigerian government again provided huge sums of money for the setting up of the Special Court for Sierra Leone through ECOWAS. He said Sierra Leone and Nigeria for a very long time has a bilateral cooperation and that Nigerians recognized their Sierra Leonean counterpart as brothers and sisters.

“Nigeria did not only spend it resources but a good number of our brothers and sisters lost their lives during the conflict in Sierra Leone”.
Sierra Leone’s defense minister Major (rtd.) Alfred Paolo Conteh was once assured by his Nigerian counterpart, Adetokumbo Kayode, of his country’s continuous cooperation and support.

Conteh had appealed to the government of Nigeria to address one of the biggest challenges faced by the Sierra Leone army over the years.
He said barracks development has been a concern to President Ernest Bai Koroma as commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces.
“The president wants to ensure that personnel are well cared for because they have given their lives in defense of the country. Before the war he continued, the strength of the Sierra Leone army was three thousand men and women, with accommodation and all were confined in barracks. But during the war, the army was bloated to seventeen and a half thousand personnel. The present strength of the force is eight thousand five hundred after a restructuring exercise with inadequate accommodation. So I am here to explore ways where the Nigerian army could support the Sierra Leone army,” Conteh explained

But the Nigerian Chief of Defense staff at the ministry of defense Ship House in Abuja, Kayode assured that his country will never renege in its quest to continue with its support to sister and brother countries in ensuring stable member states, coupled with unity and oneness.
“We will continue to engage with you especially in this post conflict era of Sierra Leone. We look forward to your cooperation to ensure that there is no retrogression. I want to assure you that Nigeria remains committed to peace keeping operations in different parts of the world; expensive though it is, we accept the responsibility because we owe it to the world,” Kayode said.

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