Sierra Leone Telegraph: 28 April 2021:
President Julius Maada Bio yesterday commemorated Sierra Leone’s 60th Independence Anniversary, not with his fellow seven million citizens of Sierra Leone – many of whom had to stay indoors unable to come out into the streets, due to heavily armed security forces patrolling the capital, but with his four cronies – Heads of State from the sub-region, with whom he said he shares common interests, in terms of threats they face in the sub-region.
The president decorated his fellow West African leaders with expensive, mouth-watering 24 Carat gold-plated collar chains and breast jewels, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars at a lavish award ceremony held at State House to commemorate the country’s 60 years of independence from British rule.
Critics say that rather than spending the millions of dollars it had cost the government to stage yesterday’s ill-afford, palacious back-patting dinner and golden awards lavished on his visitors, aimed at bribing his fellow regional leaders in anticipation of influencing the forthcoming 2023 general elections, such funds should have been spent on propping up the country’s ailing health sector where poor hardworking cleaners have gone for over a year without pay.
President Bio has recenlty faced a barrage of allegations and accusations of rampant corruption and sleeze, involving public funds, running into tens of millions of dollars since coming to office in 2018.
Sierra Leone is classed as one of the poorest nations in the world, with average adult mortality rate at just 50 years. The country is heavily depedent on international aid and donor funds.
Receiving their golden chain insignia and breast jewels, were President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana, who is also Chairman of ECOWAS; Alpha Conde of Guinea; President George Manneh Weah of Liberia; President Adama Barrow of The Gambia; Nuno Gomes Nabiam, the Prime Minister of Guinea Bissau; and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Your presence here, even as the world is battling the COVID-19 pandemic, is a demonstration of profound solidarity. For that and more you have consistently demonstrated, we are immensely grateful for your kindness,” president Bio told his regional friends, adding that countries in the sub-region are tied together by geography, a common history, shared values, shared interests and a common future.
“We face similar peace and security threats, and we must stay collectively vigilant in protecting our common homestead. We share other common threats – climate change and fragile ecosystems threaten biodiversity and food security in the sub-region. A burgeoning youth population is a threat insofar as irregular migration, crime, drug trafficking, and threats of a restive and marginalised population are concerned,” he said.
President Bio said that Sierra Leone regards a growing youth population as an opportunity, hence his government’s investment in human capital development – quality education and skills development, quality healthcare services, and food security, adding that Sierra Leone identifies with the inclusive and sustainable development focus of ECOWAS’ Vision 2050.
After receiving their golden chains and jewels, responding on behalf of his fellow regional leaders, President Akufo-Addo expressed appreciation to the government and people of Sierra Leone for the generosity shown to them by president Bio, saying that they are indeed honoured to grace the country’s 60th Independence Anniversary.
Akufo-Addo (Photo: Speaking above) said that in the face of human challenges, no West African country has shown resilience like Sierra Leone, in terms of overcoming the civil war, dealing with Ebola, mudslide and managing the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
“On this 60th Independence Anniversary of Sierra Leone, I wish all of you can come together to build a new Sierra Leone,” he urged – conscious of the deep political and tribal divisions in the country, as he called on the people of Sierra Leone to work hard toward peace, progress and development of the country.
Did president Bio hear that call for unity from the Ghanain President? If so, will he act accordingly and promptly in order to build and promote national cohesion?
Hey chief Fallay, good to hear that you made it safely to the motherland. With all sincerity, I wish you a good stay and safe return back to the diaspora. However, since you asserted that Sierra Leone is now a paradise than ever before, please do us a favor, now that you are on the ground. Take note of and share with us the major accomplishment your PAOPA team has done over the past 3 years, that has transformed Sierra Leone into a paradise. I mean real, physical things, noticeable, that you can point to, and were non-existence 3 years ago. We are counting on you sir. Again, have a blessed stay sir!!
I personally believe that the Hands of the Almighty is covering our beloved country ”MAMA SALONE”. While most countries are in lockdown due to the pandemic, President Bio is sending a strong message to the world about the resilience of Sierra Leoneans in the face of adversity. I was shocked during my transit at one of the busiest airport in the world (Brussels Airport) which was a “ghost town”.
But arriving in Freetown for our 60th independence Anniversary was a proud moment to be a Sierra Leonean based on the fact that the mood of our citizens was very positive. We always believe in counting our blessings rather than our losses. Finally May the almighty continue to bless President Bio and the citizens; and despite all the challenges, I’m now convinced that Sierra Leone is a paradise on earth.
And the ludicrous excuses never seem to end. Its a frivolous, ridiculous superficial attempt by a President that doesn’t know ‘Diddly Squat’ about building credible relationships with his African leaders who are in control of robust evolving, progressive economies. For those of you who don’t know how to think critically for yourselves, here’s a piece of advice that will serve you well – Never belittle yourself in the eyes of rich people by giving them what they can easily afford as precious gifts.
Will you take a jug of water to the boundless majestic oceans and offer it as a gesture of goodwill to ANAKSUNAMA the ancient mythical Sea turtle crawling in its abysmal depths? So why should this delusional, irrational, impulsive President ignore the blind, poor beggar in the streets of Freetown and do such a silly thing? Hey! You wanna be your brother’s keeper? Then take care of those who cannot fend for themselves.
As coordinator of the African Union of Ten Heads of State and Government, my president,your president our president Dr. Julius Maada Bio has demonstrated Love to his colleagues heads of states and millions of Africans; extended goodwill gesture to colleague Africans through their leaders; trying to breakthrough the barriers that existed between Anglophone and Francophone African countries and demonstrating leadership skills to show the world over that if Africa truly want to succeed in achieving their objectives, Africans must first learn to share love and care to their compatriots. African Union Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government (C-10) is a committee setup by the African Union (AU) with mandate to advocate and canvass the African common position known as Ezulwini consensus and Sirte declaration on United Nation Security Council (UNSC) reform. This came about in 1999 – 2005. Members of the C-10 include the Heads of State and Government of Senegal, Uganda, Algeria, DR Congo, Libya, Namibia and Equatorial Guinea. H.E former President of Sierra Leone, Dr.Ernest Bai Koroma was a coordinator of the C-10.
With the leadership skills demonstrated as he sit as the coordinator of c-10, H.E Dr. Julius Maada Bio has demonstrated true love, kindness and friendship to his colleagues African leaders which others in the other regional blocs should learn to emulate. I want to congratulate him and all those African leaders that graced the occasion. This should be seen as a sign of a new beginning and an era of peace and security in Africa. Sir, kindly extend your invitation to other heads of state members of the c-10 committee in any subsequent anniversary. We must use the material things, yes, and not abandon them, but we must do so without attachment. We may love the good things of life, but we ought not to have be in bondage to this love. In this case, it is not the medal or gesture extended to the invited heads of states of Africa that bind us nor wealth, but our craving for the calling on all African Union member states to speak with one voice on the common African position and for them to include the issue of the security council reform among foreign policy priorities in their engagement with others and non-African partners. Let’s be our brothers’ keepers.
Research shows that Sierra Leone is not among the top ten African countries in the world with natural resources. Tanzania, Guinea, Mozambique, South Africa,Ghana, Zambia, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria and DR Congo are the top ten African countries with natural resources. What our president did to present medals to his colleagues compatriots was just a widow’s might. Ghana happened to be the largest producer of Gold in Africa and around the world. Ghana’s president was present for Sierra Leone 60th Anniversary too. I wish all Sierra Leoneans happy independence. Long live Sierra Leone, long live the people of Sierra Leone !!!.
The wealth of the wicked is gathered up for the righteous; that is what the scripture says,and it is fulfilling in our eyes these days. Those presidents that were decorated have done tremendously well in their respective countries, while our president was, and is still busy starving, killing his own people in Sierra Leone. Goerge Weah took power the same year as Julius Bio; but today, George Weah has changed Liberia within three years and he is well prepared to do more. When a president thinks he is smarter that God, he will sneeze and bow down his head in shame on that day he is betraying Sierra Leoneans.
If you check the national anthems of these nations that were represented here on this 60th anniversary,and compare ours with theirs,you will understand why they are so blessed by God and even by wicked leaders. Let me leave with this crafty leader a word from God in Job 5:12; “He disappoints the craftiness of the crafty,so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise.”
I personally do not see anything wrong in celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Republic. I also do not see anything wrong in giving GIFTS to his visiting partners,after all, one of Sierra Leone’s mineral resources is GOLD & GENEROSITY is part of SierraLeone’s many VIRTUES. So it might NOT have cost more to give a gift like gold to show hospitality and kindness as a celebrant host who needs his partners. That is how friendship works. It is NOT a one way street. Even in our poor homes, when people travel to our homes,they are served kolanuts and given food and jewelry like beads, skillfully arted as gifts to take back.
I do not SEE NOTHING WRONG with the celebration. Now on the FLIP side, if there are people who have NOT been paid for a year, then President Bio needs to look in to it ASAP, because those people cannot live on ‘SUCK AIR.’ Hosting those dignitaries has a lot of benefits and pluses, as opposed to the vices or minusces of what you are insinuating. The delegations coming to the shore of the country on boosted small businesses like city cabs, food industry, large business like hotels, food businesses etc, but above all, it further and fosters a lasting helpful relationships that can BOOSTER MAMA SALONE, and I hope many Sierra Leoneans were able to share in the JOY AND JUBILATION OF MAMA SALONE 60th anniversary and GOD’S BLESSINGS!
And which sustainable relationships has this incompetent government been able to create since they assumed the reins of power? Please put your pinky finger on one of them for me because I somehow just cannot recall anything at all. A poor nation with streets overcrowded with beggars in rags desperately looking for a measly bowl of soup has no business whatsoever buying expensive gifts for rich people. Who is it that has not seen a vulture remove the fresh,warm entrails of a dead antelope and carry it away towards the peaks of mountains where its chicks are eagerly waiting for their days meal instead of leaving it behind for scavenging stray dogs to feast upon? Why is this criminal giving what belongs to the poor masses so recklessly away? Since when did Kola nuts and precious gold become things of equal value? The facts still remain lucid and crystal-clear, this President doesn’t care about the plight of ordinary poor people.
He is a total sell out, a shoddy used car salesman with hands tainted by rampant thefts.Geez!I cannot help but laugh; A fraudster trying to buy the admiration and affection of African leaders with expensive gifts and superficial smiles like a New York City pimp trying to coerce a loud stubborn harlot into accepting his half-assed ideas. (lol) As long as the lame beggar continues to languish without a home and the blind man continues to roam and suffer and moan in hunger and desperation on the streets of Freetown without help,be rest assured,there will be hell to pay.Enough is enough – from this day onward no government will be spared that ignores the plight of the most vulnerable citizens in our midst; I am dead serious – Its time to change the game.
Hey Madam Jabbie, are you by any chance aware of the lavish O.A.U summit hosted by late president Siaka Stevens that many of his critics believe was the downfall of our nation’s economy? Also, in your own personal life, while your kids, loved ones, and relatives are struggling to obtain a square meal a day, is it normal for you to host lavish parties, inviting friends near and afar, decorating them with expensive gifts, just to prove that you are a GENEROUS person? What happens with the cliche ‘charity begins at home’? While your own people are starving to death, why portray a different lifestyle to outsiders? Ponder my thoughts!!
Do you truly meant what you wrote. Tell us the essence of that celebration when there is nothing formidable since independence. The city of Freetown is barricaded by two very big rivers, the Rokel and the Scarcies with the Jung not very far either. So why is Freetown still reeling in boreholes oversupply. This ingenuity of doing nothing good is alarming. The only convincing reason for the celebration was to lay hands on the foreign currency – something the first lady’s scandal has stymied in recent months. With such a big gala, what else Bio cant do with the withdrawals. You check the bill, and tell me what’s going on.
Bio you feel that you are smart trying to fool Sierra Leoneans, you fooling yourself and one day God will disgrace you. If God agrees you will pay for your evil attitude.