In order to reduce to the barest minimum, the security challenges in the two countries, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, and the Inspector General of Sierra Leone Police (SLP), Dr. Ambrose Michael Sovula, have signed a cooperation agreement between the two countries.
The agreement is to enable the two countries confront regional security threats.
The agreement was signed when the Inspector General of Sierra Leone Police (SLP), Dr Ambrose Michael Sovula, paid IGP Alkali a courtesy visit in Abuja, Tuesday.
The SLP Chief who is on a five-day working visit to the Force Headquarters, Abuja, was accompanied by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Republic of Sierra Leone, Mr. David Maurice Panda-Noah.
Speaking, IGP Alkali called for continuous bilateral police cooperation and network between the two countries.
The Cooperation Agreement, he said, was targeted at deepening and consolidating relationship between the NPF and the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) in core areas of policing such as manpower development, intelligence sharing, tackling regional and transnational threats and crimes, amongst others.
While making a case for a bilateral police cooperation, IGP Alkali, reiterated that; “crime is dynamic especially in planning, perfection and execution, and increasingly resonating beyond the borders where it is committed.
“There is, therefore, the need for continuous bilateral police cooperation and network to successfully confront regional security threats”.
IGP Alkali, however, recalled that the Nigeria Police Force has a historically unique relationship with the Sierra Leone Police, especially in the area of capacity building.
According to him, in 1996, the NPF offered slots for the training of 7 Sierra Leonean cadet officers at the Nigeria Police Academy, Kano.
The IGP further revealed that amongst the officers trained at the time include the current Director of Operations in the Sierra Leon Police, AIG Ahamdu Mannah, and the current Police Commissioner for the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), CP Austin Kaile.
He also disclosed that 10 Senior Sierra Leonean Police officers are part of the course participants currently attending the Strategic Leadership Command Course at the Nigeria Police National Institute of Police Studies, Abuja.
IGP Alkali therefore, vowed that the Nigeria Police Force would sustain what he called “valuable relationship with other Law Enforcement partners within the West-African region and across the globe towards enhancing policing exchanges and staging common regional front in tackling crimes and criminality and improving public safety and security.”
The bilateral policing engagement also had in attendance, the High Commissioner of the Republic of Sierra Leone to Nigeria, H.E, Dr. Solomon Momoh Christopher, members of the NPF Management Team, Senior Officers of the Nigeria Police Force and other Members of the Sierra Leone Police delegation.
Speaking, the SLP Chief, Dr Ambrose Michael Sovula, applauded IGP Alkali for approving the participation of 10 Senior Sierra Leonean Police officers in the ongoing Strategic Leadership and Command Course at the Nigeria Police National Institute of Police Studies, Abuja.
He commended the leadership of the NPF for the collaboration, especially, in the area of training and capacity building and expressed optimism that it would enhance the strategic management and operational visibility of the Sierra Leone Police.
In his remarks, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Republic of Sierra Leone and leader of the Sierra Leonean delegation, Mr. David Maurice Panda-Noah, appreciated Nigeria for the collaborative relationship between the two Police organizations.
The synergy between the two sister organizations, he said, has impacted positively on policing services in Sierra Leone.
He expressed confidence that the signing of the Cooperation Agreement would enable both countries perfect a Memorandum of Understanding that would help evolve a formidable policing collaboration between the two West African countries.