By the look of things, it is evident that the Ministry of Internal Affairs is going through rapid and visible transformation since the ‘inning’ of the current minister, the veteran and experienced politician, Hon. Joseph Bandabla Dauda and his vibrant Permanent Secretary Augustine Sahr Sheku.
The quality leadership displayed by these senior figures, the minister as policy director and the Permanent Secretary as vibrant administrator has undoubtedly injected life into the once dormant ministry.
The mere relocation of the ministry’s headquarters to a more decent and spacious building is quite a motivating factor for the workers who now move and breath freely in their new offices in comfort.
Importantly, the sensitivity of the ministry of Internal Affairs cannot be overemphasized, considering the fact that it directly deals with the internal security organs of the state including the Sierra Leone Police Force, Sierra Leone Correctional Services, National Fire Force (NFF), Immigration, Sierra Leone Drug Law Enforcement Agency (SLDLEA) and the Coroner’s Office.
But in spite of its importance, ministry had remained dormant for very long time with each of these agencies almost acting separately. The arrival of these senior development minded officials however, has significantly turned things around, more so when they are aware of the fact that the ministry is obliged with the responsibility to make sure the internal security of the state is stable and citizens safe and secured.
With this consciousness, the ministry has developed a new policy geared towards bringing these agencies under its direct supervision not only for proper coordination between them but to ensure that they are empowered and strengthened so that internal security is sustained.
This new innovation was lacking if not lost over the years.
One of the notable and commendable developments the ministry has embarked on is the familiarization visit to these agencies it supervises as an oversight functions. The minister and his permanent secretary and other senior officials of the ministry have covered almost the entire country visiting these departments to abreast themselves with their activities and the challenges they are facing so that they can be strengthened for effective and efficient performance.
Having taken note of all the challenges of these agencies, ranging from lack of office space and shortage of personnel especially for police and Immigration department in the border areas to lack of fire engines for the National Fire Force, the minister has assured to tailor them into the final policy to make it a comprehensive national document. This is largely part of the transformation in the ministry which many people including inmates in various correctional centers across the country have commended the minister and his team for, describing it as “novelty,” insisting this is the very first time in the history of the ministry for a minister to embark on such important move and called on him to continue the good work. Kudos!