Sierra Leone Telegraph: 15 September 2022:
Sierra Leone’s former President Ernest Bai Koroma yesterday visited the residence of the British High Commissioner in Freetown, where he signed a book of condolence in memory of the late Queen Elizabeth II.
The former president drove from his hometown of Makeni to pay his last respects to what he calls the illustrious era of a Sovereign who taught the world the true meaning of leading with humility, grace and dignity.
“An illustrious era has come to an end, but it ushers in yet another with great prospects. So, as we mourn her passing, we celebrate the extraordinary life of a Queen who taught the world the true meaning of leading with humility, grace and dignity,” former President Koroma said.
The statesman further notes that the late Queen “inspired, influenced and moulded millions not because of the power she wielded, but because of her thoughtfulness, diligence and dedication to duty.”
Recalling his personal interactions with the Queen, Sierra Leone’s former president said: “In my interaction with her, I was astounded by how down-to-earth she was, struck by the depth of her knowledge about world affairs, and inspired by how much she cared for political leaders to do well in serving their people.”
President Koroma shared these poignant parting words: “She was not just a Queen, she was a caring mother-figure who wanted the best for everyone. The world, the Commonwealth, the United Kingdom, and her dear family will miss a great sovereign and an extraordinary matriarch. I extend my profound condolences to her family, the government and people of the United Kingdom. May the Lord receive her soul in the heavens.”
And on his way back to Makeni, Koroma made a whistle stop at the Embassy of the United States of America and the offices of the European Union Delegation in Sierra Leone.
Since leaving office in 2018 after losing the elections, the former president has maintained a strong cordial relationship with the diplomatic community both in Sierra Leone, and in countries where he has led African Union and ECOWAS elections observation missions.
He said that visiting Ambassador Reiner of the United States and Ambassador Muller of the EU Delegation, demonstrates his appreciation for their continued support for Sierra Leone’s peace and development aspirations.
Speaking to the BBC about the late Queen Elizabeth, this is what former president Koroma said: