By: Winstanley R Bankole Johnson
I was just about penning a piece of advice to Dr. Samura Matthew Wilson Kamara for him to seek a Court Injunction specifically against Police Inspector General Ambrose Michael Sovula for Politically Stalking him when news of the Police Inspector General’s (IG) sacking hit the media. So you’re free to judge me as having perceived ideas against the former IG right from here.
In my personal estimation, Police Inspector General (IG) Ambrose Michael Sovula was for the better part of his office tenure a huge embarrassment – both to HE President Bio in particular at whose wish and pleasure he was appointed – and to the Nation State of Sierra Leone in general.
How and why Sovula ever got catapulted to that sublime post is still baffling to many. And catapulted is the right word because Police insider information has confirmed to me that he was on the verge of being grudgingly promoted from Superintendent to the substantive rank of a Chief Superintendent when many of his superiors were suddenly sidestepped to make way for his ascendancy to the IG position. The inference there is that the eligibility criteria had to be significantly lowered to accommodate Sovula, hence the very unprofessional manner he conducted himself in the line of duty.
Ambrose Michael struck me as an officer that was crude in appearance, unmannerly in culture, despotic and daft in demeanour with a consistent penchant to satisfy his handlers with the zeal of a zombie. If he wasn’t exhibiting highhandedness against mainly opposition politicians, he would be lying with unbridled arrogance to distort facts and evidence to ensure that his/their victims of police brutality become deeply incriminated.
Some or all of those incidents of his notoriety became evident from the manner he explained away the Belgium Traders riots and fire disaster, and other riots occasioning loss of valuable lives, properties and alleged disappearances of an uncountable number of youths in Makeni, Pademba Road Prisons, Lunsar, Tombo, Mile-91, Thonko Limba, Constituency No.56 riots and many other unreported instances of political upheavals to name just a few.
In the Belgium riot incidents in particular Sovula doctored material evidence by inserting pictures of stone-throwing rioting youths in Senegal into pictures of the rioting Belgium Sellers’ to aggravate their culpability.
Though Sovula’s exit was as spectacular as his ascendancy into the office of Police IG, it wasn’t unexpected. In life, there are times when our zeal to please our employers could either end up spiting ourselves or as an embarrassment for them.
In Sovula’s case, he would on occasions stooped the integrity and dignity of the office of the Police IG soooooooo low – as low as either ostensibly acting as the “Official Atakun” (Guide) for the President (even with the presence of hundreds of official bodyguards), or as he was seen squatting on a chair to supervise a simple police operation like at the recent unstuffing of the alleged frozen Cocaine Chicken and Sausages Reefer Container at King Tom. A whole Police IG with command and control over in excess of fifteen thousand (15,000) personnel was caught on camera as if in the front row in a cinema hall supervising the unstuffing of frozen chicken, but without a Popcorn packet in hand.
And how could anyone forget to mention his occasional distasteful public gyrations at social functions and during which the only way his men and officers demonstrated their loyalty to him was by spraying him with wads of new Bank Notes as he danced his responsibilities away.
In the view of many in addition to his basking in the acquisition of a fake University Doctorate Degree, Sovula’s embarrassment to the establishment was climaxed by his public altercation with Rado Swarray, the Minister of Information whose innocuous recommendation for the IG to be courteous was dismissed by the latter with a wave of a hand and the pointing of accusing fingers at the Minister. When one considers the many alleged government-sponsored investigations and political persecutions that IG Sovula had botched, that public confrontation with the Minister of Information at King Tom Police Depot could have been the proverbial last straw that broke the Camel’s back.
So when people get tired of helping people …….whether or not they are “pilum”, or “reversing backwards” until they “meet up and bang”……Or whether or not they had stolen from other people as counterparts to the “palava”…….the only solution should be people’s instant dismissal to avoid them ever developing the guts to want to challenge the government. I hope you all understand my drift.
So like Boxer in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, off goes IG Sovula – With the wind – after the government has exploited his usefulness to the full!! And good riddance too if you please!!
No point dilating on the others exited from the Police or as appointed by the same State House Presser, except for a closing statement on Mr. Alpha Bakarr Sahid Kanu (Alpha Khan) later in this piece. Suffice it to say however that how Mr Sovula relates to “Civvy Streets” will depend on how he related to us “Bloody Civilians” whilst he was in uniform. In other words as our people would say-: “How e bin make ihm beyd: Na so e go laydom dae” ( His decent sleeps depends on how decently he laid out his bed). But knowing the person we’re discussing it’s very unlikely he will ever enjoy a peaceful retirement life because he’d stepped on too many toes.
Many accuse him of popularizing unofficial Police Death Squads at an “unofficial Death Camp” called “Benghazi” and also of lying to the public about the a Police Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that allows for involuntary shaving off of hairs of suspects under investigations, despite our country’s membership and signature to several international humanitarian treaties and obligations guaranteeing varius human and constitutional rights.
The authority Sovula wielded that once gave him an aura of invincibility has dissipated overnight, leaving him forlorn – lonely – and possibly ruminating like Cardinal Wosley a long time influential adviser to Henry V111 who after his dismissal from the King’s Court ruminated as paraphrased to read-:
“O President Bio……President Bio, had I served my Almighty God with half as much zeal as I served you, you would not have sacked me so disgracefully and left me so naked amongst mine enemies. My hope now dwells in heaven”.
But IG Sovula’s disgraceful exit should be a steep learning curve for those now in authority who uncannily continue to believe that power lasts forever, as well as to those in the fringes of authority that indulge in breathing fire and brimstone on the entire leadership and membership of the main opposition APC Party, that indeed nothing lasts forever.
So as I read the Presser on Sovula’s disgraceful exit, my mind pitifully veered off to the somber atmosphere that could have befallen his household. It’s less than two years ago that Sovula wedded a damsel, with the kind of complexion that makes opulence (luxuriousness and regular freebies from foreign investors in their home) obligatory in their home, or for her spouse to always be in gainful employment if that marriage is not to be irretrievably broken down. At close of business on 27th July 2022 former IG Sovula was opened to neither of those options. . Hmmmmmm!!!
In the glorious days of APC, Security Chief’s were not only retired with dignity but they were also migrated into dignified retirement lives. So I hope President Bio has something in mind for Mr. Sovula that is more respectable than the rumoured position of Chief Container Surveillance Officer at the Quay.
I promised to close with a statement on Mr. Alpha Bakarr Sahid Kanu. He deserves our congratulations as the very first person in the entire universe to have been appointed as Presidential Spokesperson by two successive Heads of State in the same country under two different but successive political dispensations (APC/SLPP). It’s a remarkable feat and for which he deserves our commendation. So hearty congratulations to Mr. Alpha Bakarr Said Kanu and family. We anxiously await to hear which performance superlatives (If any left in you) you will be treating us to in the coming days as you strive to buoy up a failing administration, after all the hype you had accorded former President Ernest Bai Koroma as World Best.
But we live to learn indeed. So help us God!!