By Millicent Kargbo
One of the country’s key security bodies, the Office of National Security has identified
lawlessness and indiscipline among youth as a security threat. Considering its
implication on national security, the ONS recently engaged young people in the Western
Area to discuss causes and possible solutions.
The engagement came in the form of a workshop on addressing the “Deteriorating
Youth Situation in Terms of Lawlessness and Indiscipline and Their Implications for
Speaking at the session at the Senior Officers Mess at Kingtom, Freetown, on Thursday
23th August, Mr. Francis Langumba Keili, Director of Planning and Inter-Agency
Relations at the ONS said “lawlessness and indiscipline are becoming insurmountable
and rank within the first and second security threats for the past five years.”
The session, to be replicated in the other three regions, he said, will develop a National
Strategy for sustained engagement on indiscipline and lawlessness. The strategy, he
was hopeful, will be rolled out on a multi-sectoral basis to get different stakeholders
involved in the process.
Mr. Sampha Billo Kamara is the Director of the Correctional Services. Youths, he
disclosed, form the bulk of 4,445 inmates’ countrywide. The formation of cliques, gang
groups and related offences, he said, account for the incarceration of these youths.
Parents and guardians, the prison chief was convinced, are also partly to blame for the
actions of their children due to their failure to discipline them.
lawlessness and indiscipline are becoming insurmountable
and rank within the first and second security threats for the past five years – Mr. Francis Langumba Keili, Director of Planning and Inter-Agency Relations at the ONS
Mr. Kamara recommended, that the government develops a robust National Drug Policy
whilst universities undertake specific research on the causes of indiscipline and
Mr. Ngolo Katta is the country’s Commissioner for National Youth Commission. He said
the Commission will own up to its mandate of building the potentials, creativity and skills of young people. If young people are skilled, he said, they will contribute meaningfully to the development of the country.
Mr. Katta disclosed, that he has developed a schedule to visit ghettos and hangouts of
young people so that he can understand their issues. With this, he was of the view, that
the Commission can develop programmes around specific needs of youths.
Moses Morgan sees himself as a reformed youth. From the ghetto called Black Street,
he is now a trained welder under the National Youth Commission’s Sexual Reproductive
Health Programme. He was amongst a pilot of ghetto youths that were trained in
various skills. Life in the ghetto, he said, includes taking alcohol, drug abuse, lawlessness among others, noting, youths in ghetto need such trainings on indiscipline and lawlessness as well as similar training skills like the one he benefitted from by the Commission.
He said they have now served as ambassadors for change within their ghettos and he is
currently hosting two teenagers who are apprentice learning welding.