A ruling All People’s Congress (APC) party Member of Parliament (MP) has criticized the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) over current anti-fuel smuggling operation as ‘foolish’ and officials in the Ministry of Information and Communication (Cornelius Deveaux and his team) and the Office of the Government Spokesman (Ajibu Jalloh and his team) for not reverencing political leadership in the constituency that they visited early this week.
Hon. Henneh Radder, representing APC, Kambia District constituency 041 made this off-handed statement to this press when he was approached (just after Thursday 20th October 2016 plenary sitting of Parliament) for information on why he was not at the his constituency (comprising Gbalamuya and part of Pamalap) when the Government delegation lead by the Deputy Minister of Information and Communication, government spokesman, head of police media and journalists from print and electronic media on Tuesday 19th October 2016 and his impression on the spate of fuel and other smuggling activities observed to be happening under his watch.
Speaking in a rather nonchalant and sarcastic tone, Hon. Radder said that the police ongoing anti fuel smuggling operation is “foolish” having claimed that they have arrested many gallons of fuel in the area but were unable to present no evidence to the public or the court, and argued that this could have been the reason why the learned magistrate decided to grant bail to the accused persons in the said matter.
The APC Parliamentarian went on to slam his government officials for what he said their ‘failure to notice him before making the field trip to his constituency.’
He damned and insinuated that the police, customs department and other security apparatus have not been proactive in ensuring that smuggling is stopped and argued that he is not aware of any other smuggling activity apart of the one on fuel smuggling claimed to be carried out by the police.
When charged that it could be that senior citizens might include politicians like his very self, the MP fumed; “I have committed no crime, my duty is not to chase smugglers, what do they want the MP to do, there are people responsible for providing security, what have they been doing all these while,” he asked and expressed rage over the fact that the AIG North West, FUK Daboh had embroiled senior citizens of involving in the fuel smuggling ring.
He said: “if they say that senior citizens are involved, then why have they not indicted and prosecuted them.” Hon. Radder added that he himself has intercepted a lot of smuggling activities along the bypasses identified by the delegation, but when asked to name names of persons caught, he said his politics is different from so many other politicians and does not destroy people.
“My duty is not to chase smugglers, I have not committed any crime” he iterated, reechoing that it is illegal for such a trip to have been taking to his constituency without his consent. However, it seems evident that if the MP had nothing to hide, then he would not be damning the efforts by the very government which he represents in parliament over an issue he claimed to be innocent about.
As it is written, the guilty is always afraid, with no doubt, the comments of the MP send mix feelings as to how serious is the APC Government in the fight against smuggling in the country.