By Elkass Sannoh
-Award winning officer
-Member of West Africa Road Safety
-Master in Peace and Development
-BSc in Economics and Development Studies
The newly appointed Inspector General of Sierra Leone Police, Ambrose M. Sovula, until his appointment was the Assistant Inspector General of Police for Western Region (Regional Commander). Before today’s appointment by President Julius Maada Bio, he was the Local Unit Commander (LUC) of the Adonkia Police Station, Goderich, West End of Freetown, with the rank of Superintendent.
The newly appointed Inspector General is one of Sierra Leone’s award winning police officers and West Africa Road Safety Organisation member who has diligently served the Sierra Leone police for almost 40 years since 1980.
Born to the parents of peasant farmers-Mr. and Mrs. John Dauda Sovula in Bonghor Bumpeh Ngao Chiefdom, Bo District Southern Sierra Leone, IG Sovula revealed that he got his first name after an Irish Catholic Brethren, attached to the Serabu hospital.
He said he grew up with his Aunty-Mamah Nancy Dabor whose husband was a Muslim Scholar. He stayed there from age three to age six until when Brethren Michael asked his parents to call him (Sovula) to continue his primary education in Serabu Town.
He said he officially started his primary education at the age of six years and continued until he sat to the Selective Entrance which promoted him to Secondary School where he took his Ordinary Level Examinations.
In quest of greener pastures, he travelled to Freetown and was staying with friends when enrollment into the Sierra Leone Police force was advertised. In 1980 he was recruited into the force and it coincided with the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) conference hosted by Sierra Leone.
“We were charged with the responsibility to man the conduct of the conference and therefore we became popularly known as OAU Police,” he said. He added that, “Having in mind that it is only education that will empower me to sail through the police ladder, I again attempted to write the West Africa Examination Council Examinations where I passed my subjects to gain admission at the Milton Margai College of Education and Technology.”
At MMCET, he graduated with a Diploma in Peace and Conflict Studies but later proceeded to acquire a Degree in Economics and Development at the IAMTECH. According to the newly appointed IG, the thirst for higher learning is insatiable and therefore he proceeded to acquire his Master in Peace and Development. He informed that his academic achievements capacitated him to be able to fully administer and supervise the different positions he had served.
The new IG was transferred from the head of Traffic (National Traffic Coordinator) to the Local Unit Commander at the Adonkia Police Station, where many people were boasting of having peace, law and order.
He said, “I have diligently served with humility and I will continue to serve with honesty and sincerity to the expectations of the President and the general public.”
IG Sovula said he started his assignment at the Central Police Station as a “Statement Taker” previously known as an Investigator. He worked in the Registry Office at the Police Headquarters, Criminal Investigation Department, NCO in charge of Crime at the Water Loo Police Station, Crime Officer at the Lumley Police Station, Chief Trainer at the Police Training School and later elevated to become the Commandant.
He went further to state that he is one of the certified foundation members at the MIST-Major Incident Support Team.
As Commandant of the Police Training School, IG Sovula said he developed a lot of training strategies for young recruits. “I developed a gender empowerment framework that will cater for young female graduates as new recruits,” adding that this idea was approved by the erstwhile Inspector General of Police-Briama Acha Kamara and ten young female University graduates were recruited into the force that very year.
When asked to do a comparative analysis, he said a lot of reforms have taken place, noting that the gap between the junior officers and senior police officers is intimate and close. He said new Departments/Units such as FSU, Interpol, TOCU and Gender/Human Rights Offices have been created.
He said what has not positively changed is the attitude of the people towards state institutions. Good attitudinal behavior and civic responsibility are lacking as people should not wait and see a police officer before obeying the law. He asserted that the behavioural pattern of every Sierra Leonean should be modified because attitude means everything.
He assured that his leadership will bring in new innovations-from a traditional policing to a community policing. He encouraged Sierra Leoneans to respect the police and help in the development of the force.