ABC Secretariat Executives
Military officers at the 5th Infantry Brigade in Gondamah and Fire Force Brigade in Bo on Friday benefited from sensitization by the Attitudinal and Behavioural Change (ABC) secretariat on the importance of positive attitudes and behaviours toward national development.
Addressing the soldiers, the Executive Director, Dr. Ivan Ajibola Thomas stated that the Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) is a vital institution in governance, noting that their role borders around protecting the territorial integrity of the country.
This constitutional obligation, Dr. Thomas observed was ignored by certain officers by allowing politicians to influence them.
This unfortunate situation the Executive Director said, caused the civil populace to perceive RSLAF as perpetrators of violence and war rather than their protectors.
According to Dr. Thomas, this public perception demoralized the image of the military in diverse ways and that although with the assistance of IMATT and other partners it has rebranded itself more has to be done for it to attain best standards.
He urged the officers to be nationalistic, patriotic and apolitical at all times.
Dr. Thomas cautioned them to be defenders of democracy because the days of coups, counter coups and dictatorships are over, and called on them to avoid involving themselves in civil squabbles since this reduces their neutrality and morale.
The military officers whom he described are performing a respectful national duty should respect their code of conduct and value the national flag more than tribes, political allegiance and regional affiliations, and concluded by commending RSALF for maintaining a reputable recognition in regional and international peacekeeping missions.
The National Coordinator, Ms. Nanette Thomas warned the soldiers against the effects of putting on negative attitudes and behaviors while discharging their duties.
Madam Thomas called on them to be God fearing while serving their nation.
She pressured the soldiers to hastily think beyond their current mind-set and called on the officers to exercise common understanding among themselves so that they will live as a unit in marshalling national security.
Madam Thomas educated the officers that positive attitude is the power behind happiness and success.
On the other hand, she pointed out that negative attitudes are not just self destructive but competent of destroying institutions and consequently the country.
She admonished each and every other officer to dream big and think big, and stressed that officers must continue the quest and realize that we must also get a new attitude, a new perspective, a way of looking at Mama Salone and a new mind set.
She admonished them that the use of the military influences to harass defenseless civilians, disregard for traffic rules, misuse of government resources and interference in the smooth governance of the country are negative attitudes and behaviors, and called on them to take a retrospect and evaluate the impacts these uncalled for happenings have affected the Army’s status and try to advance solutions to amend these problems.
Madam Thomas proffered a possible solution would be working on the five pillars of attraction which she mentioned consist of finances, relationships, environments, spiritualities, and health. She ended by registering her respect for the RSLAF’s leading role in the campaign against HIV/AIDS.
In his response, the Infantry Brigade Commander, Major Yirrah Mansaray termed the ABC secretariat sensitization as most welcomed among the rank and file of officers attached to his brigade.
The RSLAF, which he said is in a move to promote professionalism, loyalty and patriotism welcomes partnering with the ABC secretariat.
Captain John Kainessie called on his colleagues to take the ABC secretariat’s message wholeheartedly because it delves on pertinent issues that have been debarring the Army’s progress. With the ABC secretariat’s intervention, he said there is full optimism that RSLAF will become a force ready to serve the nation at all cost and at all times.
Thanking the ABC secretariat, RSM Sheku Swarray described the sensitization as worthwhile because according to him the Army is full of soldiers who are addicted to bad attitudes and behaviors.
In another development, the Senior Executive of the ABC secretariat called on the Bo Fire Brigade to inject more love for their profession as it deals with saving lives and properties.
The National Coordinator encouraged them to respect their working timetables as fire accidents have the potential happening at anytime without prior notice, and urged them to concentrate on sensitizing the Bo community on means of preventing the occurrence and coiling down fire accidents.
Responding the Fire Prevention Officer, Alimamy Conteh informed his guests that their sensitization will help in promoting the deliverance of their services within the community.
He complained that public perceptions are adversely affecting their operations. Alimamy Conteh revealed that in spite of the risks involved in fighting fire, the members of the public are fond of violently distracting them while on operations.
Against this back drop, he pleaded with the ABC secretariat to call on the Sierra Leone Police to be providing them with optimum security whenever needed.
The ABC secretariat concluded their sensitization by paying a courtesy call on the Bo Prison Department where tributes were given to the late commander of Bo prisons, Mr. Saidu Bangura 228 who passed away on Monday October 17th, 2011.
In her tribute Madam Thomas described the late Prisoner Officer as a partner in the Agenda for Change.
According to her at the last Senior Staff meeting at the Prisons Headquarters in Freetown less than two weeks the late man pledged his support for the ABC secretariat’s concept.
She enticed other prison officers to emulate the good attributes of the Late Saidu Bangura who sacrificed himself for maintaining the rule of law.