The appearance of Tamaya 1 oil tanker ashore a remote beach in Grand Cape Mount County on may 2, 2016 has sent chill down the spine of citizens of the Western region as well as the across the country. Some citizens are suggesting that this scenario strengthens their belief that Liberian security forces are not prepared to take on the security of the state when the United Nations Missions in Liberia (UNMIL) hands over those responsibilities within few weeks.
But National Security Advisor to President Ellen Johnson-Sirelaf, Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh, is urging Liberians not to panic about the “mysterious” appearance of an abandoned boat on the country’s waters. Addressing over two hundred graduates of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN) in Sinje, Grand Cape Mount County over the weekend, Dr. Fahnbulleh said since the discovery of the abandoned vessel in Cape Mount County, followed by the sighting of another abandoned boat in Bassa there have been wide speculations that Nigeria Boko Haram is deploying in Liberia. The National security advisor said it was too premature for people to jump to conclusions that it was Boko Haram bringing the vessels in Liberia, when national security is investigating the appearance of the vessels on the sea coast of Liberia. He admonished Liberians not to be frightened as relevant security agencies are investigating to establish the owners and crew members of these vessels and also to know their whereabouts. He reiterated the Liberian Government’s commitment of providing maximum security for the country amid UNMIL’s drawdown process which is currently taking place around the country. The National Security Advisor also assured the people of Grand Bassa and Grand Cape Mount Counties that all necessary security preparations have been put in place to combat any unusual situation in the two counties. Also speaking, acting Justice Minister, Cllr. Wheatonia Dixon-Barnes, admonished the new graduates to be more robust at their area of assignments and apply the duties of immigration officers. Cllr. Dixon-Barnes said as UNMIL drawdown comes to an end next month, national security will be the top priority of the government, adding that it requires the active involvement and participation of all security networks including the BIN. BIN Commissioner Col. Lemuel Reeves said men and women of the BIN remain firm in patrolling all borders to arrest any situation, but called for more support to augment the strength of the border patrol teams. The BIN boss averred that while the BIN enforces its presence at all borders in the country, government should ensure that border support becomes paramount in the absence of UNMIL.