His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma on Friday, 4th January 2013, called on Sierra Leoneans from across the board to inculcate and develop the culture of self-discipline, if the country was to move forward.
The President made the declaration while addressing representatives of petty traders and market women as well as civil society and youth groups during the commitment ceremony for operation Waste Disposal and Management, Improved Road Safety and Decongestion of City Streets (WID) at the forecourt of State House, Freetown.
Acknowledging the fact that lawlessness was a cause for concern in the country, President Koroma pledged to take the bull by the horns through robust action and vigilance, saying, "although lawlessness was on the rise, if the law enforcement agencies enforce the laws in Sierra Leone it will take the country a long way. Because even the developed nations of the world are disciplined and law abiding".
He described the issue of lawlessness as a huge challenge to the country, warning that the moment to straighten the "rough edges" has finally come.
"Lawlessness has to stop this year because it is right for us to be law abiding. We all should turn a new page as the honeymoon is over. A society which is set for development must allow the law to reign supreme", he maintained.
The Head of State further encouraged all citizens of this great nation to develop the culture of personal restraint not for political consideration, but it should be part of us as a nation. He also described the occasion as a great moment for the country's business community.
President Koroma however declared that the time for "orders from above" was over as no one was above the law, irrespective of political, social or economic status. "No "orders from above" should be given to police officers while executing their constitutional duties as law enforcement agents", he warned.
The Mayor of Freetown City Council, Franklyn Bode Gibson said that this is the first time a government was demonstrating the political will to address the issue of indiscipline in the country.
He warned against the disposal of garbage on the streets, and that people should stop using public places as dustbins. Mayor Gibson also frowned at the reckless manner in which motorists and cyclists are using the roads, saying that there should be high regard for road safety.
"We are going to decongest the roads so that people should stop using the roads as garages and the operation is bound to succeed and be sustained", he vowed.
The Inspector General of Police Francis Alieu Munu said that operation WID will help the flow of traffic and will also facilitate emergency situations. He said the Sierra Leone Police will commit every available resource to ensure that the operation succeeds.
Sierra Leone Roads Transport Authority's Dr. Sarah Bendu said the Ministry of Transport and Aviation was more than ready for the implementation and full enforcement of the operation.
Commitments toward the implementation and full enforcement of the operation were also made by the Director General of the Sierra Leone Roads Authority, Munda Rogers, Gibril Turay of the Traders Union, Alphonso Manley of Youth Coalition, Madam Marie Bob Kandeh of the Market Women, representative of Heath Alert, David Sesay of National Biker Riders Union, etc.