SLPP Information, Media and Communications Committee:
Sierra Leone Telegraph: 8 December 2017:
As the United Kingdom trip of the SLPP Presidential Candidate continues to unfold as a major international diplomatic success for Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, on Tuesday 5th December, the man widely acknowledged to be the next President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, paid a courtesy call on the United Kingdom Minister of State for International Development and Minister of State for Africa at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Rory Stewart OBE MP.
Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio who served as a former Head of State and very experienced in diplomatic relations, used his courtesy call on the Minister to raise various concerns about the forthcoming elections and the threats to the country’s stability.
On the issue of the Electoral Commission, Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio raised concerns relating to the constant intimidation by the APC Government of the Chairman of the National Electoral Commission and NEC staff members; the failure of the APC Government to provide funding for the Electoral Commission; the use of the Anti-Corruption Commission by the Government to intimidate NEC officials among others.
While Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio assured the Minister of his commitment and that of the SLPP to peaceful and non-violent elections, he also raised issues of the recent acts of political violence against the SLPP and its membership.
Bio spoke about the recent killing of his supporter and stabbing of another; the recent attacks on SLPP members and the Party headquarters by the Police and APC supporters; the tearing of his posters as a conflict instigating action among others.
He also told the Minister that as someone who laid the foundation for peace consolidation he will do everything he can to safeguard the peace and stability.
With the recent ruling of the ECOWAS Court, Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio also highlighted the sacking of the elected Vice President, His Excellency Hon. Sam Sumana to underscore the lack of independence of the Judiciary and that there is no confidence in the voters that the judiciary will arbitrate fairly and justly should there be need for legal actions.
Bio recalled his 2012 experience with the Judiciary when his election petition against the rigged election was thrown out by the Supreme Court. Bio stressed that the voters do not have trust in the court to dispense justice on election matters because of political compromise.
The National Secretary General of the SLPP, lawyer Umaru N. Koroma also catalogued many incidents of political violence and intimidation against party members.
In response, the Minister thanked Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio for his visit and noted all the concerns raised. He assured Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio of United Kingdom’s continued commitment to Sierra Leone and assured that the United Kingdom will support free, fair and transparent elections in Sierra Leone. The Minister also informed Bio and his delegation that he will be visiting Sierra Leone in the coming weeks.
The visit by Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio to the Minister of State for International Development and Minister of State for African Affairs in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office underscores Bio’s determination to continue to build on the bilateral relationship between Sierra Leone and United Kingdom as President.
©SLPP Information, Media and Communications Committee
I personally believe that Brigadier Maada Bio does more wagging than barking.
Bio’s trip to the United Kingdom, has been nothing short of an unmitigated PR disaster. First, was his woeful attempt to match Dr Yumkella, by seeking an interview with the BBC World Service’s Focus on Africa programme on Monday 4th December 2017. The BBC team offered them the full monty of studio based interview, facebook live and radio broadcast. Julius Maada Bio showed up and gave the performance of his life.
From start to finish, the interview showed his ineptitude and fundamental lack of understanding of the isses which affect Sierra Leone and how they can be resolved. Vague policy pronouncements and bogus promises were made, like the ludicrous notion of creating 500,000 jobs in the first year of a Bio presidency.
Coming from the mouth of someone, who in twenty one years, has not been able to hold down a job, it was simply laughable. Does he really think that the Sierra Leonean people are idiots, that they would be persuaded by his ridiculous and half-cocked promises. We are far more wiser than that, after the last clown, assured us that he was going to run the country as a business. This election, every vague policy pronouncements and promises, will be fact checked and scrutinised.
Among the host of half-cocked pronouncement, was the promise to provide free education from primary through to university, without any clear idea how such a proposal will be funded. His attempt to explain the policy was woeful and would have had any self-respecting SLPPer with their head in their hands in shame.
He could not work out what the average costs of school fees were, nor could he remember the exchange rate to the dollar / pound and he talked about costing his proposal, based on fee paid and enrollment, but failing to take into account that fees paid does not necessarily reflect the actual cost of education, as government may be subsidising some costs and not all students may be paying fees.
His performance even caused Koroma to quip “no to mechanics” at yesterday’s closing of parliament, a veiled reference to Bio’s pathetic outing at the BBC.
Then he showed up with his entourage of desperados (those ministers in waiting, who have not done much about their careers here in the UK, and are desperate to let themselves loose on the Sierra Leone public purse) at the All Political Parties Group on Anti-Corruption session at the House of Commons in the evening of 4th December 2017.
This had been sold to the Sierra Leone public and press, as Bio meeting with UK Legislators. A press release full of lies, was later released suggesting that he had attended the meeting as a Special Guest and that the Chair of the Anti-Corruption Committee, Rt Hon Rupa Huq MP, had been “assertive” in introducing him as the “next President of Sierra Leone.
Both statements were complete falsehoods and this was brutally exposed by the NGC’s Global Communications Team, who wrote to Rt Hon Rupa Huq MP, Transparency International and Global Witness, to challenge the veracity of the claims in the SLPP Press Release.
The NGC Global Communication Team has through the release of the exchange of correspondence with Alan Luke, demonstrated that the SLPP’s Press Release, which was carefully written to deceive the voting public in Sierra Leone, was bogus.
These engagements were followed by the circus at Chatham House, where Bio was meant to give a lecture about consolidating democracy in Sierra Leone. Can you really imagine, Bio and his SLPP Paopa thugs, working positively to promote the Rule of Law, freedom of speech and political tolerance, political accountability, tackling corruption, promoting civic participation, as well as ensuring the principle of free and fair elections, given their track record of brutality towards their opponents in the SLPP and his record of human rights abuses in the NPRC? As was expected, the Bio lecture was a case of “too many chiefs and few Indians”.
The majority of the very small audience, were SLPP Paopas, who had travelled to the airport to collect him over the weekend. The event which was entirely stage managed had no impact whatsoever. All it offered, was more photo opportunity, for ‘no ideas’ Bio to be seen in front of notable London landmarks.
And the photo opportunities continued and Bio, in desperate search of something to shout about, turned up at the Department for International Development, where he met the Rt Hon Rory Stewart, one of the junior ministers in the department and responsible for Africa. Yet again, the SLPP Paopa spin room are desperate to give the impression that this meeting, led to any meaningful discussions with Rory Stewart and the UK Government. It did not. The junior minister met him, merely as a matter of courtesy.
From all accounts, Bio’s UK visit has been nothing short of an unmitigated disaster, but the charade continues with a dinner and dance in honour of their beloved candidate. So they have hastily convened a quick whip round to host the event, with folks being asked to “dig deep” to support their cause, as shown in correspondence below, which was kindly shared by one of their own:
Please contact the Secretary General or Financial Secretary who can collect any drinks from the donor. EVERY LITTLE HELPS!
Deadline for all donations will be December 2, to allow enough time for the organisers to plan for any short fall.
Thank you all for digging deeper still to support our cause.
Lance Keifala – Regional SG
1. Mr. Yongawo —�-2 courvosier ✅
2. Lance—�— 2 Courvoseir✅
3. Atumani —2 Supermalt�✅
4. Ansu—�— 2 Courvosier
5. Sheikh Kabba —�-2 supermalt
6. Philip —2 courvo, 12 wines
7. Tejansie – 2 Supermalt
8. Harold Jr —2 courvosier
9. Mr Dumbuya—2 Courvosier ✅
10. David L. —2 courvosier 1✅
11. Munda —2 courvosier
12. Mr Goba —2 Guinness ✅
13. Gassimu – 2 Supermalt ✅
14. Sawi – 2 courvosier
15. Zainu Deen—1 Courvosier ✅
16. Dr Bayon — 2 Guinness
17. Tamba —�Guinness
18. Haji— 15 Water
19. Mr Macauley —�6 wine, 1 courvo 1 baileys✅
20. Juldeh Bah —2 Supermalt
21. Sheik T —� 2 Supermalt
22. D. Conteh — 2 Courvosier
23. B-Kat—2 Guinness
24. Sao Sannoh— 20 bottles Malt✅
25. Prince Kallon- 1 Guinness
26. Steven Swaray – 2 JDaniels
27. Susan Bockarie – 48 water
28. James Massaquoi – 5 bottles of red wine✅
29. Rebecca Yongawo – 2 Baileys✅
30. Mr Fobie-2 (1664 beer), 3 water/2 soft drinks
31. Beatrice Wusie- 2 bottles of champagne
32. Michael Kamara – 2 cartoon stella
33. Aminata Mansaray – 2 coke cartoons/1 courvesier
34. Kormoh —� 2 courvosier
35. Mr Bah – 2 soft & 2 water
36. Abdulai Braima- 2 Coca-Cola
37. Findieu – 1 courvosier ✅
38. Sia Nyademo- champagne for high table ✅
39. Fatmata Gamanga- 2 boxes soft
40. Ambrose Genda- 2 Johnny Walker✅
41 John jabaty 4 boxes soft
42. Jenny Yavanah. 1 baileys and water
43. Sandra Rogers, 2 Baileys
44. Georgette Jonah – 2 Amarula dream and 1 wine
45. Chris Nyuma 6 Red wines✅
46. Lamin Conteh- assorted drinks ✅
Well at least, Bio and his SLPP Paopa desperados will be able to drown their sorrows in those bottles of couversier.
Interim Publicity Secretary