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Saturday, July 20, 2024

SECURITY EXPERT DEMANDS INVESTIGATION INTO EPS OFFICERS DONNING RULING CDC PARAPHERNALIA DURING WEAH’S NOMINATION RALLY

Date:

LIBERIA – A senior security expert in Liberia has expressed serious concerns over the future of the Executive Protection Service (EPS) and the safety and security of the country’s VIPs. The expert, who has asked for anonymity, has called for a proper investigation to restore the agency’s professional image.

The call for an investigation comes after a recent incident involving some officers of the Executive Protection Service dressed in the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change paraphernalia during the party’s “One Million Men Rally” for the nomination of President George M. Weah for a second term bid held on Saturday, February 4.

The EPS officers’ actions caused a public uproar.

The Military or Paramilitary Code Of Conducts of the Republic of Liberia states: Military or Paramilitary engage in political activity while on duty, in a state facility, wearing a uniform or official insignia of a political party while on state or official duties, owned or leased vehicle, e.g: may not wear political buttons / T-shirts/ signs. May not display/distribute campaign materials. May not perform campaign-related chores…

However, The government has confirmed that the armed men were indeed EPS officers, but failed to address the ongoing investigation or plan for future action.

According to the senior security expert, the implications of the incident are much bigger than just condemnation. The expert suggests that the government should be investigating to ensure that partisan officers are weeded out of the agency and that proper protocols are put in place to prevent such incidents from happening again.

The expert also expressed disappointment in the government’s response, which he believed was only intended to interrupt the concerns raised by the citizens and divert their attention from asking the difficult questions.

The expert went on to argue that the EPS, which is gradually becoming a subsidiary of the ruling party, was once a professional agency. During the previous administration and with the help of international donors, millions of dollars were spent to revamp the EPS, including training agents outside of Liberia and restructuring the institution, which was previously called Special Security Services (SSS).

The expert believes that these efforts are now being frustrated by the ruling party and current EPS Boss, Trokon Nathaniel Roberts.

The expert also highlighted that an agent who is assigned to the inner layer of the President’s security detail should be well scrutinized before taking on the assignment. The expert questioned how the officers wearing party t-shirts were assigned to the President’s team without the knowledge of the EPS authority.

This, the expert argues, suggests that the agency is driving itself and this he said undermines the safety and security of the VIPs.

The expert concluded by expressing worry over the future of the agency if another regime takes power. If the EPS sees itself as a subsidiary of the ruling party, the expert believes that future VIPs might not work with the current security personnel, which would be a waste of financial and human resources. Credit: William Lloyd

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