By Unissa Bangura:
One of the primary reasons for the non performance of the country’s National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) over the years has been squarely shifted to lack of cooperation on the part of the Minister of Internal Affairs Honourable Musa Tarawalie. Mr. Sim Turay…Exec. Secretary.
This disclosure was made last Saturday August 11, 2012 by the Executive Director of the Agency Mr. Sim Turay at a Press Conference held at the Institution’s Headquarters on Walpole Street in Freetown in the presence of several media practitioners from various press houses both locally and internationally. Mr. Sim Turay who is not supportive of the unpatriotic action exhibited by the Minister of Internal Affairs pointed out that it is wrong for state institutions like the NDLEA to be crippled by one person, who incidentally happens to be the Political Head of the Ministry. He accused Honourable Musa Tarawalie as the individual deeply involved in playing a pivotal role in the illegal drug trade in the country.
What is more disappointing, the Executive Director said, is over ten months since he took up appointment as Head of NDLEA and to date nothing seems to be working because the Minister considers the Institution a threat, despite the fact that the Executive Secretary has endeavored in his own little way to give the office a facelift and provide furniture and other logistical items the Agency still remains handicapped, because Honourable Musa Tarawalie wants to see it that way.
He told media practitioners that the NDLEA as the Principal Institution with Parliamentary mandate to fight against illegal drug trade in the country is not functional as expected. It has one abandoned vehicle that is parked at the Institution’s Garage at Kingtom and skeletal staff of a dozen. “There are three security personnel, two drivers, six administrative staff and a cleaner” He explained. Mr. Turay said that the concern of every Sierra Leoneans regarding the fight against the drug trade in the country is why the Minister, Hon. Musa Tarawalie has deliberately refused to sign the ‘pet’ forms for the first quarter 2012 financial year that will enable the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to release funds for the proper functioning and operations of the Institution.
The Executive Director in his quest to see that the NDLEA moves from its current poor state of affairs to one that is operational and effective is calling on well meaning Sierra Leoneans, including the Opposition Parties and Government of President Ernest Bai Koroma to get the Ministry of Internal Affairs performs its Constitutional Duty and respect the House of Parliament, where the Drug Act was passed, but more especially the Minister, Hon. Musa Tarawallie to come to the realization that Sierra Leone belongs to all and sundry and the trade of drugs should not be allowed in the country.
This he said is possible when the Minister gives support and signs the necessary documents for the release of funds to make the Institution workable and be the pride of every Sierra Leonean. Both the Minister and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs have been accused by the Executive Secretary of tearing the Advisory Council apart and rendered it ineffective, not to mention the Agency that has already been crippled, thus making it incapable of putting up a fight against the illegal drug trade.
“The refusal of the Minister to sign the ‘pet’ forms clearly demonstrates that he is against the Agency to be operational, stating that apart from not being able to pay its monthly internet subscriptions, the Institution has found it very difficult to pay its land line phone bills, DSTV subscriptions, fax line facility, recharge its NPA meter, and the inability to refurbish its standby Generator” Mr. Turay emphasized. The Director explained that the open defiance of Presidential instructions by Hon. Musa Tarawallie has raised serious questions regarding respect for authority, good governance and the rule of law and added that up to the time he was calling the Press Conference the Agency is handicap and cannot operate in Freetown not to talk about the entire country.