Nigerian UN officer donates uniforms to Liberian National Police

Nigerian UN officer donates uniforms to Liberian National Police

Examining donated items
In another example of the ongoing personal contributions made by United Nations uniformed personnel to the countries where they are deployed, a Nigerian police officer serving with the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) has provided sets of uniforms and accessories worth $7,000 to the national police there.

Aliyu Abubakar’s donation to the Liberia National Police (LNP) includes 60 sets of police uniform, 60 reflective jackets, 100 pocket notebooks, 110 hand gloves, 50 Fez caps, 60 reflective hand bands and 60 whistles.

It came in fulfillment of a promise he made last year when the LNP launched the programme “Help the Police to Help You” to appeal to the public for assistance, UNMIL said in a news release.

“This is the small way I can assist enhance the capacity of the Liberian police and ensure that UNMIL achieves its mandate,” Mr. Abubakar said in presenting the items.

The Nigerian police officer called for the institution of a monthly motivational package for officers of the Traffic Unit of the LNP, pledging that each month he would personally sew a new police uniform for the three most dedicated officers in the unit.

Receiving the items, LNP Deputy Inspector-General of Police for Administration, Asatu Bah Kenneth praised Mr. Abubakar as a police officer who approaches his duty with humility, love, and commitment.

UN Police Coordinator for Reform and Restructuring, Mohammed Thatha, also hailed Mr. Abubakar for his concern for the public appearance of the LNP traffic officers, saying that with their daily interaction with the public, traffic officers carry the image of the police.

“The image of the police depends largely on the appearance and conduct of the traffic officer,” he pointed out, adding that UNMIL is committed to helping re-build the image of the LNP to regain the trust of the people.

In another development, UNMIL chief Alan Doss on Thursday commissioned the newly rehabilitated Owensgrove Police Station, some 50 kilometres south of the country’s capital Monrovia, which was renovated by the Mission.

The completion of the project brings to 25 the total number of police stations constructed and rehabilitated under the UNMIL Quick Impact Projects programme in eleven counties.

“UNMIL recognizes that without the rule of law and the presence of the police, it would be difficult to stimulate economic recovery,” Mr. Doss said, noting that effective policing could only be done with the active support and involvement of the communities.

Thanking UNMIL, Ms. Asatu Bah Kenneth challenged her fellow LNP officers to demonstrate a high degree of professionalism and responsibility in the discharge of their duties.

“This will ensure that the people of Owensgrove can feel safe and have a sense of security,” said County Superintendent Julia Duncan Cassell.

UNMIL was established in 2003 to support Liberia’s ceasefire and peace process, and currently has over 15,200 uniformed personnel, along with around 500 international civilian personnel, almost 1,000 local staff and 220 UN Volunteers.

Late last month, the Security Council extended UNMIL’s mandate and, citing progress in a number of areas including the re-integration of former fighters, asked the Secretary-General to report on plans to draw down the level of blue helmets in Liberia.

Mr. Doss has assured Liberians that UNMIL would not leave the job half done. “We have a lot of work to do to ensure that those trained are out there to help protect the people of Liberia and that they have the means to do it.”