An open letter to the father of Sierra Leone – president Julius Maada Bio

Femi Claudius Cole: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 12 May 2020:

We waited with anticipation for your address to the nation, as we hoped you would somehow make us feel better and hopeful as we all struggle with the Corona virus pandemic. You spoke to us and we are grateful, but we did not feel your fatherly embrace.

You spoke of Covid-19 but said nothing to health workers on the frontline who are endangering themselves and their families, who in some cases are ostracized from their communities. They are scared but still working, taking care of patients. Nothing to the sick who are too scared to go to hospital. They are afraid they will be “arrested” and taken into quarantine centers where living conditions are poor, food is inadequate, and where the risk of catching Covid is high.

You, Sir, could have allayed their fears reassuring them that quarantine is for the safety of us all. Nothing to those whose loved ones die and cannot be buried with all their loved ones and family and friends present. We acknowledge it is a pandemic, but words of sympathy would have been comforting to hear.

Nothing of thanks to mortuary staff and burial teams as they handle dead bodies. You could have cautioned them to handle all cases with compassion, and not use the distress and desperation of families for monetary gain.

Nothing to the traders whose produce are rotting as they are unable to get them to the markets due in some cases to delay and corruption at check points. This then impacts prices of commodities for us all.

Nothing to the school and college children whose education is being interrupted?  No words of advice to them, their parents and their teachers encouraging them to study at home, to listen to the learning programs on the radio? Nothing on the status of their upcoming exams, BECE and WASCE? Nothing to the young girls and boys on sexual and intimate partner violence, rape and teenage pregnancy?

Nothing to the hundreds that have been laid off, house helps, nannies, drivers, shop workers and many others.

Nothing to business owners whose businesses are closed in fear of spreading the virus?

Nothing of thanks to our men and women in uniform as they strive to maintain law and order?

Nothing of sympathy to the families left grieving when they die in carrying out their duties? Nothing to remind them that they are a “FORCE FOR GOOD” and to be fair and empathetic as they discharge their duties? Nothing to the families of the guilty and to the innocent?

Nothing to the transporters as they see their income shrink due to passenger no restrictions. Nothing to the hundreds of commuters struggling for transportation at the end of the day, trying to get home in time for curfew? Nothing to those unscrupulous market /shop traders who hike prices as soon as a lockdown is announced?

Nothing to those who feel they should not comply with wearing a mask in public and wear it properly. No advise to them sir??

Nothing to our young people who are jobless, hopeless and see no future for themselves?  No words of chastisement, encouragement and advice to stay away from drugs and cheap and easily available alcohol, and to avoid being used by desperate politicians, and to be protectors not destroyers of their community?

Nothing of thanks to those in the EOC who are working tirelessly to get Covid under control with so many challenges; no cautioning them to spend our tax Leones with transparency and accountability?

Nothing to all the Banks, associations, companies and private individuals who are donating in big and small ways to assist the government in the fight against Covid 19?

We know Covid-19 is a global problem. We can only fight and win, if we fight together. Casting political blame is not the way to go Mr. President, our enemy is just too vicious, it has no respect for anything and anyone, and “WE” are all at risk.

We must all play our part, it will be uncomfortable and painful but we have to “bia”. We MUST and we WILL defeat Covid-19.

We need our first couple to give us hope and inspiration as we navigate the effects of this pandemic.

The possibility remains that more lockdowns may be inevitable. As our infection rate increases so does the possibility that people may have to self-isolated in their own homes. Therefore, we must prepare the population to ensure compliance and cooperation.

Embrace us Mr. President –“SOFT WORDS SOFTENS ANGER”. This is not the time for a war cry. You are our duly elected President we must respect – not fear you.

About the author

Femi Claudius Cole is the Chairman and  Leader of the opposition Unity Party in Sierra Leone.


  1. Femi Claudius Cole should be given a prominent role in this COVID19 fight. She knows what the problems are and how they can be tackled. Well done for spelling out what we expected from our dear president.

    I read that a medical doctor Dr Samuel Seisay passed away yesterday due to Coronavirus. May his soul rest in peace. Now that medical doctors have started dying, you know that this is a very serious danger already in the country.

    I hear traders are crossing the border into Guinea to buy goods and then cross back into Sierra Leone straight to the markets. Why are the borders still so fluid? I also notice that citizens at least in Freetown are aware of the use of face masks, but it is worn underneath the chin!!! What nonsense. The face mask is not a fashion statement. It has a very protective purpose and needs to be worn properly and responsibly, covering the nose and mouth, all the time, whenever out of the house.

    I saw a video of a funeral sometime last week. It was so full, people so close jowl to cheek. There was no social distancing. The Bio government should be firm and enforce the guidelines they had set – which is maximum 20 people at funerals and weddings. If this is not done, then the battle against COVID19 will be difficult to win.

  2. Madam Cole said it all, the absolute truth. President Bio’s bad governance approach is killing Sierra Leone slowly. The last time immediately when he took over, he talked on BBC that Sierra Leone’s economy is zero, failing to understand that no business team would take their cash to a country where there is no money. Another time, Bio said Sierra Leone is a rape country; that there were rampant rape cases in Sierra Leone to the extent that he had to naively declare the country a rape State of Emergencymergency.

    Since then you would all remember, no investors have ventured into the country. The few ones that were there folded business quickly and ran away. Now again he has branded Sierra Leoneans as terrorists. So investors will just keep running away from such a country. As there is no export done, when will the economy stop going down? Even Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia who is 20 years younger than Bio would not make such appalling speeches because he has common sense and uses it well.

    His predecessors never won a Nobel Prize, but Abiy Ahmed has won it due to his good leadership when he took over governance.
    When will Bio qualify to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize when he has no clue on how to build peace in the nation he leads?

  3. Mr. Fatorma Gabba, I personally welcome you to this glorious forum where according to the rules and guidelines- You have the right to express your opinion freely and respectfully. So please don’t feel intimidated by some of our diehard APC supporters.

  4. Mr. Young4na, I’m going to take the high road by answering your questions respectfully, because during this trying time, the lockdown can affect people mentally so I give you the benefit of the doubt. First don’t misquote me, my statement started with “ Some Sierra Leoneans . Secondly, please listen to the video clip of the presidential address one more time and direct that question to your lifetime leader of your APC party because the burden of proof is upon him. Please ask him to admit or deny these accusations.
    I hope you are having a good day.

    • How ludicrous can someone else be? The characteristics of a typical propagandist on full display here? Making up countless unsubstantiated claims, faced with the facts, and demands answers, all we get is deflection and dodging. Please Mr. Fallay, don’t ask me to ask EBK for answers. You known darn well he didn’t fabricate those claims. You and your demigods did. So you either validate them or cease to propagate such falsehood. Seriously, it portrays you in a bad light, you can do better.

  5. One day the truth will be revealed on the things that are hiding. For men will render an account for every careless word you uttered. For by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned.God will bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or it be evil (Eccl 12:14). He or she who is righteous let him or her remain righteous. And the filthy, let them remain filthy. But one is sure, the wicked will NOT go unpunished.

  6. I think we should try to talk on issues like Sierra Leoneans not as Politicians. So lets keep and preach the peace, and stop the blame game. Thanks

  7. Alusine Fallay says — “Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad are now creating terror by inciting our youths to destroy lives and properties including health center in our country. As Father of the Nation, he simply came out to speak the TRUTH, based on the initial evidence received from the national security agency that the lifetime leader of the APC and some his officials are responsible”. With all due respect Mr. Fallay, could you elaborate exactly what you meant by the above statement which you deem is the TRUTH? What substantive evidence do you or any other PAOPA supporter have to validate your claims?

    Are you saying that it was the APC/EBK who gave command to the Tombo security forces to STOP the starving fishermen from going out to fish after the 3 days lockdown? Are you saying that it was APC/EBK who gave command to the Lunsar police to arrest Bulgur (the vocal youth) who criticized the paramount chief? Are you saying that it was APC/EBK who instructed the prison guards at Pademba road not to open the prisoners cells on the day of riot so they can empty their waste despite Leema, Fatmata Sawanneh, and other hierarchy SLPP officials being present at the scene at odd hours of the night?

    Please do us a favor and answer these few questions sir; else just cut it off. I an expecting you to put on your thinking hat, instead of feeding off from political talking points and by extension being a propagandist. You can do better sir.

  8. It is said that genuine respect,and honor are two main human attributes that should be earned through hard work,toil,and sweat.The leader of the Unity Party has cautiously used her brilliance,to expose the inadequacies of our President,and his twisted,rigid,upside-down government.Her article resembles a unique,priceless,impressionist work of modern art – oil on canvas,painted with a gentle mastery,intricately designed by the most discerning hands,promoting soothing,delightful colors,that come from the soft gentle,patient strokes of an experienced painters brush.In every paragraph of her article,she was like an incomparable tutor,taking the President through an endless series of lessons he needed to learn urgently about the critical ways of governance.

    Her emphasis on the need for the President to stay closely connected with his people,and show appreciation where it is highly deserved,and needed should trigger the loudest,endless applause possible,nationwide.State House has now been properly schooled,and sensitized on the need to spread empathy,care,and brotherliness…We thank you lady,for kindly showing them,that they were vulnerable,and completely naked,without stripping off their shabby-looking clothes.

  9. Madam Cole, one thing at a time under the sun. Besides, that’s his own style of admin. Wait for your own turn, Mum

    • Indeed. Multiple problems under the damp and mould palm tree, with many serious, troubling and disastrous political problems all the time. We need the sun to dry out the damp and mould to heal the people under the palm tree and the environment from the “CVirus epidemic” in “PAOPA CITY”. God bless Mr. John Julius Edwin Kallon for his contribution on this glorious platform. Welcome to the debate Mr. Kallon.

    • All of what Cole said in her open letter could have been said by the president, within the span of his 18 minute speech.

  10. When I listened to Tunis yesterday on both radio and TV, tears almost run my eyes, he speaks like a leader not like a ruler. Sierra Leone is presently in need of a decisive and unifying leader to resonate and consolidate the broken peace and hearts of many Sierra Leoneans! May Allah continue to guide and protect us all…Ameen Ya Alieu .

    Fellow Sierra Leoneans, coronavirus is real and deadly therefore, let’s accept and follow all the prescribed precautionary measures set by government and medical practitioners to save our lives. Stay home and stay safe. Trust no one but love all!
    I love you all! Thank you!

  11. In my personal opinion, I believe that the reason why Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad were anticipating to hear from the Father of our Nation was to address the deteriorating security situation due to lawlessness that was taking a toll on the lives and properties of our citizens. The president does not need any lecture about this dreadful disease that is rapidly destroying innocent lives and economies around the world because his entire family was under threat from the Coronavirus which was right at his door step , and policies are already in place to address most of these problems.

    While the whole world is focused on building emergency hospitals to save lives , including nations that has been classified as terrorist nation or nations that are struggling with civil war, some Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad are now creating terror by inciting our youths to destroy lives and properties including health center in our country. As Father of the Nation, he simply came out to speak the TRUTH, based on the initial evidence received from the national security agency that the lifetime leader of the APC and some his officials are responsible. Krio man says-“ If case long, na wae den nor talk true.”

  12. YEAH. A bold, honest and straight talk, which only the trouble makers and the terrorists on the “Ober side” will disagree. Many thanks to the Chairman and Leader of the Unity Party Femi Claudius Cole for her brilliant article. Only people like Iron Lady Femi Claudius Cole will make such bold moves, to make public, such truthful and honest suggestions, for every peace loving Sierra Leonean to read and do what is right. Again, thank you very much for saying what my president and the President of many other Sierra Leoneans could have thought. I hope they don’t come and arrest the Chairman and Leader of the Unity Party Femi Claudius Cole in the middle of the night and charge her to court in BO, Moyamba or Bonthe, for exercising her rights to free speech.

    To you Mr. Fatorma Gabba. I don’t get what Mr. Fatorma Gabba is trying to tell me and the more than 26000 people, who read this globally respected online Newspaper daily. There is no meat on the bone of what he is trying to say to me. Just see how Mr. Fatorma Gabba, thousands of miles away is from this very brilliant article. Did Mr. Fatorma Gabba actually read this article before commenting? Instead of Mr. Fatorma Gabba telling me about this very brilliant article, he goes on ridiculously and outrageously telling me and the numerous readers about what and what did not happen with the then Presidential Candidate Mr. Maada Bio in 2012. Awfully, he went on talking about Late Sir Milton and late Siaka Stevens politicking. Can you imagine?

    Could Mr Fatorma Gabba just concentrate on the article and tell me something that will make sense, instead of creating posting jams at the textbox of this glorious platform? God bless the Chairman and Leader of the Unity Party Femi Claudius Cole for her bold and straight talk.

  13. This heartfelt and peaceful speech of Mrs Cole is far from a vendetta remarks Mr Gabba. Only recognising and agreeing to the truth can help one and another to unite, work together and lead their country to success. Mrs Cole has shown here that she could be the greatest Learder and Mother for Sierra Leone. God bless her!

  14. “You don’t have to take it!” indeed. What Mr. Fatorma Gabba did not tell me, is what President Bio, then in opposition said on camera that he would make governing impossible for the APC. Will Mr. Fatorma Gabba please explain to me why he did not tell me?. Till he explains to me why, then all what he is telling me about President Bio, then in the opposition, will fall on deaf ears. God bless Me. Fatorma Gabba.

  15. Majority of PEACE loving patriotic Sierra Leoneans of all political stripes and labels felt embraced by the President long awaited august speech. In 2012 , then-presidential candidate Maada Bio was a victim of political violence in Bo city which could have cost him his life. Thanks to the Ghanian Government healthcare system. In April 1961,the late Sir Milton was foresighted to have locked up Siaka Stevens and his political bandits during Independent Eve to avoid mayhem.

    As a Political party, if peace, security and protection of property do not matter to you, then you will hardly get a single seat to represent your vision in Parliament. I give H E President Maada Bio a high mark for his inclusive speech. You don’t have to take it!

    • It appears we just have in our midst a new propaganda machinery in the likes of Fatorma Gabba who thinks this platform is full of villagers. Let me ask you this Gabba. Can you actually read and comprehend? You mentioned the word MAJORITY of Sierra Leoneans felt embraced, just qualifies you as nothing but a propagandist. As a reminder, this platform is intolerant to FAKE NEWS peddling, you will be exposed at all levels.

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