As a demonstration of their appreciation of the Office of National Security (ONS) for the professional role they played in the successful conduct of the just concluded general elections, the leadership of the Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion (ICPNC) on Monday, 24th July 2023, paid a courtesy call on the National Security Coordinator (NSCoord), ONS, Abdulai Caulker.

In his appreciation statement, the Board Chairman of ICPNC, who led the delegation, Reverend Showdankay Johnson, lauded the ONS’s leadership for professionally coordinating the activities of the Security Sector in providing security during the country’s multi-tier elections held on 24th June 2023. Reverend Johnson encouraged ONS to continue their good work as the professional position of the security sector is what Sierra Leone requires for the prevalence of peace, security, and development.

He requested ONS to comment on the issues of handling the media, lessons learnt during the electioneering period, the relationship between ONS and political parties (especially the main opposition All People’s Congress), mediation efforts, how sustainable these efforts could be and challenges faced during the elections, among others.

Responding, the NSCoord, Abdulai Caulker, thanked the ICPNC’s leadership for recognising ONS’s efforts in coordinating the Security Sector to the successful conduct of the elections and promised to continue the good work. The NSCoord cited unity of purpose among the various Security Sector heads as one of the reasons for the successful provision of security during the elections. “The Security Sector was firmly together throughout the electioneering period, and this approach will be upheld in the provision of the general security for Sierra Leone”, Mr. Caulker said.

Reflecting on the critical challenges the security sector faced, Mr. Caulker identified the misuse of social media as the key and greatest threat to national security. However, he said the threat was diffused with a robust social media handling strategy. He further said that effective public engagements using both conventional and non-conventional media methods to reach out to members of the public yielded positive dividends that impacted the overall success of the elections.

The meeting was climaxed by pledges of commitment for continued cooperation, coordination, and collaboration between the ICPNC and ONS.

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