President Bio condemns military takeovers at ECOWAS meeting as crisis deepens in Mali

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 31 May 2021:

Yesterday in Accra, Ghana, where leaders of ECOWAS held an Extraordinary meeting on the political situation in Mali, chaired by President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, Sierra Leone’s President Dr Julius Maada Bio called for consultations and wider communications with stakeholders in Mali, following a military takeover in the country.

“This meeting underscores the urgency of maintaining peace and stability in Mali, which we all agree, has critical implications for the stability of the entire ECOWAS region. Indeed, given the multidimensionality of the situation in Mali, the authority is not dealing with an exclusive Malian problem. This is an ECOWAS problem. This is an international problem,” president Bio said.

Speaking about key decisions of the last ECOWAS Summit, President Bio reminded his fellow leaders that the Government of Sierra Leone had called for respect for the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Good Governance and Democracy – condemning unconstitutional political change.

“Military take-overs violate ECOWAS, AU, and UN Resolutions. Sierra Leone, therefore, stands in solidarity with ECOWAS and calls for the restoration of constitutional order through inclusive, credible, and transparent elections in accordance with the provisions of prior resolutions on this matter.

“To that end, I urge the Authority of Heads of State and Government to intensify consultations and communications with all stakeholders at all levels. Mediation and conflict prevention are possible and should be pursued,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo expressed his appreciation to his colleagues for answering the clarion call to attend to urgent matters of peace and stability affecting the region.

“Your commitment and our collective determination have been the hallmark of our enviable success as a regional organisation. I salute your steadfastness and determination. The current political impasse in Mali has again raised anxiety and shaken the hope of successful transition and political stability of the country,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo also briefed his colleagues and delegates on the events and actions by the 15-member regional group, with a mandate of promoting economic integration in all fields of activity of the constituting countries, since the Transitional Government in Mali was installed on 18 August 2020.

He commended Mr. Goodluck Jonathan, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and ECOWAS mediator to the Malian crisis.

This is the full statement delivered by President at the ECOWAS meeting yesterday:

“Your Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO, Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, President of the Republic of Ghana; Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS; Your Excellency, the Representative of the UN Secretary General; Your Excellency, President of the African Union Commission; The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Members of the Diplomatic and consular corps, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Let me, from the outset, express my sincere gratitude to Your Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President of the Republic of Ghana, for the fraternal reception and the usual warm Ghanaian hospitality he has accorded me and my delegation since our arrival. I extend warm greetings from the Government and People of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

I wish to extend my sincere appreciation to the ECOWAS Commission and to the mediation team led by His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I thank him for his engagement with the Transitional Government of Mali and all stakeholders on behalf of our community.

I also wish to thank Your Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, for convening this Extraordinary Session on Mali. This meeting underscores the urgency of maintaining peace and stability in Mali, which we all agree, has critical implications for the stability of the entire ECOWAS region.

Indeed, given the multidimensionality of the situation in Mali, the authority is not dealing with an exclusive Malian problem. This is an ECOWAS problem. This is an international problem.

While recalling the decisions of the last Summit, the Government of Sierra Leone calls for respect for the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Good Governance and Democracy that condemns unconstitutional political change.

Military take-overs violate ECOWAS, AU, and UN Resolutions. Sierra Leone therefore stands in solidarity with ECOWAS and calls for the restoration of constitutional order through inclusive, credible, and transparent elections in accordance with the provisions of prior resolutions on this matter.

To that end, I urge the Authority of Heads of State and Government to intensify consultations and communications with all stakeholders at all levels. Mediation and conflict prevention are possible and should be pursued.

Whilst sanctions are rushed in Protocols for such breaches, I urge restraint especially given the complex humanitarian, COVID-19, security, and the economic situation of the Republic of Mali.

Sierra Leone is committed to supporting a peaceful resolution in Mali and strongly encourages the leaders of the transitional authority to adhere to the transitional period and the roadmap to democratic civilian rule. Your Excellency the Chair; Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government; Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen, I urge The Authority to attend to how sustainable peace and stability can be maintained in Mali beyond elections and the return to constitutional order and democratic governance.

The holding of democratic elections alone will not address the complex issues at the heart of the Malian crisis. The concerns of all stakeholders should therefore be fully addressed. For sustainable peace, we must ensure that the military of the Republic of Mali stays cohesive and must be fully supported to discharge its constitutional mandate to the Republic.

Let me end by conveying that Sierra Leone stands in solidarity with the friendly People of the Republic of Mali, and in concord with concrete actions and decisions to ensure a peaceful resolution of the political entanglement in Mali. I thank you for your kind attention.” (END).

26 Comments

  1. Mr Jalloh, I agree with most of your comments. But for us to achieve all your yearnings for our dear country, we should kill emotions and help bury them , just to make sure they are truly gone. Being critical of your own does not take love out of the relationship. At election time you can still go out and vote for your favourite party, but don’t view it as predominantly infallible – this only breeds complacency. The offspring of complacency is defeat. Such a defeat could come from the most unlikely source. By the middle of the 1970s APC were sure of their perpetuity in power, and then ……….,,,, Not being used to be in opposition is largely responsible for the disunity and infighting which has gripped APC, not to mention the lack of democracy within the party.

    Bio’s everyday prayer now is for APC to sink deeper into their civil war to give him a chance at a second term. He is nervous and afraid. His fright may make him sell us to the Chinese in contracts which will lay the foundation of a war of liberation in the future. APC and SLPP have never had any progressive plans for Sierra Leone, and that’s why I hope, with the help of the Almighty, we can give them a break from their criminality of destroying the nation in 2023.

  2. Thanks Mr Sorie. To be honest I bear no ill feelings against any of my fellow countrymen and women. The people I am angry with, are our educated Sierra Leonean brothers and sisters – politicians that so far have not found it within themselves to use our God given natural resources to develop our country. I certainly don’t think anyone of us that makes any contribution on this forum, wants to see our country in the desperate economic situation we found ourselves sixty years after independence. My anger and fire is directed at those politicians that have spearheaded under-development in our country. Mr Stargazer is just someone I have high respect for, in his mastery of the poetic English language. To the point, a year ago he took a break from posting his rich poetic language on this forum, which I missed. I was one of few people that welcomed him back on this forum when he resurfaced.

    Mr Stargazer could be our own Sierra Leone Shakespeare. He could do well, if he can publish his own book for educational purposes for Sierra Leonean children. For me the issue of Sierra Leone is very close to my heart. So I assumed for all of us. We want to see developments in our country. We want to see good roads, investment opportunities for our country. New start up business, opportunities for the youths, families up and down the country. We want to live in a country, where infant mortality rate is not in their thousands, or women dying whilst trying to give birth. We want good hospitals, education for all – the only way out of poverty. Electricity for every home in the country. Good housing. But all this will be impossible is we as oppressed Sierra Leoneans are fighting among ourselves. Unless you are a full time paid up member of Bio’s government that wants to create choas and confusion among us. We need to get away from the personal, and highlight the issues affecting Sierra Leonean citizens. Crikets in the same frying pan should learn to respect each other, not to kick each other.

  3. Abraham Amadu Jalloh, I plead with you not to make any attempt to placate or assuage the feelings of anyone in this forum. It is a free-for-all forum for which we are indebted to Mr A R Thomas. If you say something – fact or fiction – which somebody is opposed to ,or doesn’t like, allow it to be riddle that puzzles them. What you have written are historical irrefutable historical facts, and time is firmly on your side.

    Anyone who can read and write is educated. Even when it comes to what we generally refer to as an educated person, this does not imply that such a person is literate in all the countless fields currently known. As an example, the literary giant, the Nigerian Wole Soyinka, who is a laureate for literature, revealed in his memoirs how little he knew about finance. Now this is somebody who ,even at his advance age, universities all over the world are chasing him for him to become a member of their faculty. When he staged a play at the Kennedy Centre, he brought the building down. State the facts Mr Jalloh and inflict incurable hypertension on those who would love to break your back with their bare hands.

    Personally I would continue to maintain till my dying day that had the military boys not staked their lives in 1992, there was no way APC would have allowed themselves to be defeated in any election. It was when people poured onto the streets to welcome them that His Excellency, Dr, Major-general Joseph Saudi Momoh, Fountain of Honour, made a run for the Guinean Capital, Conakry, and into the arms of Lansana Conte’. It was probably then that he realised that Sheki had handed him a poisoned gift.

  4. Mr ” Pragmatic ” Yillah – Your candid insights, and truthful discerning observations can only be matched by a handful of men and women I have met in our beloved Sierra Leone and in other countries across the globe. The truth of the matter being discussed has highlighted to me that regardless of how evasive some men try to be when confronted with the facts they always end up scurrying away in humiliation and defeat – I have to admit that the pinpoint accuracy of your words are like a snipers rifle that have never missed a single target in over 20 years.

    Again,the issue being discussed is not about the history of a Political party or an individual – Honorable Thomas was able to understand that our differences were about the legitimacy of using a self-centered Coup d’etat to overthrow legitimate authority and power and so also did you – Great and shrewd minds have always been known to observe and perceive things alike. Mr Yillah this is how the sad tragedy of killing innocent people all begins – Firstly, someone obsessed with power finds a heinous, devious method of validating a lawless, ruthless, undemocratic agenda, then he gets some gullible people to buy his lies, and next thing you know he is out there a mad man frothing furiously at the mouth barking orders, seizing power, brandishing a gun, slaughtering innocent citizens like Maada Bio, Strasser, JJ Rawlings, Blaise Campore, Idi Amin, Samuel K Doe, Buharri, Babangida and countless other hopeless, worthless, thoughtless men..(lol)

    • Mr Stargazer, I am not going to go into a slinging match with you in this forum or any where else. I highly respect your poetic commentary and the contribution you make on this noble forum. Nevertheless, to try and throw disrespectful comments on my person is nothing to do with the development in our country. I am not a part of any government. If you want to know our problems look no further. The idea that only your political beliefs Matter, anyone else’s opinion doesn’t matter is the very definition of Bio’s intolerance of opposition in Sierra Leone.

      We have to move away from personal issues, and concentrate on the real issues affecting our country. Like I pointed out to you, you are highly educated, and can debate well. Lets debate about the issues affecting our country, and may be we will be able to help this president see the light of day. Please lets agree to disagree. That doesn’t make me more important than anyone else tbat send their comments on this forum.

  5. Abraham Amadu Jalloh, you know your history. Please make sure you pass it to your children and grandchildren in the same objectivity. This is not about party colours, it’s about our history, we should do everything not to distort it. If we distort it for emotional reasons, we shall continue to make the same mistakes which have manifested themselves in our current grief, be it under “NEW DIRECTION “or “l AM GOING TO RUN THE COUNTRY LIKE A BUSINESS”. Your personal family story is also noteworthy.

    • Thanks Mr Santhkie Sorie. You have to know your past to know what is influencing the present.This are by no means the fault of ordinary Sierra Leoneans. We have to learn to celebrate the good, the bad, the ugly, and the things that we will rather forget to make us a better nation. For the record I think we don’t celebrate enough of our rich and unique history. Sierra-Leone’s History is special in the African continent. Just like former Apartheid South Africa holding the torch of how to overcome discrimination, oppression, and subjugation because of the colour of their skin,where a white minority regime ensured the black majority remained oppressed Since 1949 to 1994. We need to know our history. I don’t think our political leadership, recognised the important role Sierra Leone, played to end the barbaric slave trade. Our country never asked for compensation on behalf of the krio Community that suffered the human indignities in the hands of American, and British slave owners. After the abolition of the slave trade, Slave oweners were conpensated for their loss of their human property. All the while those that were held in bond age were never paid for their work in the cotton plantations in the deep South of the United States.

      We cannot talk about a Sierra Leone, with talking about the historical facts of the salvr Trade. If anything that’s why our country is what it is today. For Sierra Leone, the year zero started with the Slave trade. As a nation, until we recognised that, we will never move on. Can you imagine working for free and the only appreciation from your Boss is to beat you, rape your wife and Children. And in some cases lynched you. And at the end of it, ask you to say YES MASTER. We Sierra Leoneans have to leran our history. And what makes this country unique in the African continent. Otherwise, we are like walking with a blindfold, trying to navigate our way out of the Congo rain forest . Which brings me back to Sierra Leone. The issues of party politics in Sierra Leone, should never be confused with who we are as one country, and one people, or in extreme cases act as a vehicle to divide us Whether you are Fulani or a Krio supporting the APC, and a Temene or Madingo, supporting Bio’s SLPP government. We are one people, and with a good solid international reputation.

      To his credit, in later years, after president Stevens published his book entitled, “WHAT LIFE HAS TAUGHT ME”. He was asked privately, what was greatest reget during his presidency. He conceded ordering the excecution of Brigadia John A Bangura will be top of the list of regrets. It was too late for Mr Bangura, and his family,but at least they will take comfort to know he regreted his actions. The issues of intellectual intolerance, is the one that defines our country’s character, and its political classes. One man thinks he knows it all. No decenting views are tolerated. And for the life of me, I don’t think any Sierra Leonean can claim to have all the answers to our problems. That includes our present president Bio.

  6. It is good to know what Siaka Masssaquoi thought of the NPRC. It is his sacred right to hold that opinion, and if need be I will defend that right to death. What I will not do though is to put his opinion on a pedestal, say a prayer or two to it, and then uncritically proclaim that it sums up the feelings and thoughts of ‘most Sierra Leoneans at the time’. This is because to do so is to erase from history the thoughts and feelings and indeed the real, visceral experiences of a countless number of Sierra Leoneans, who overnight found themselves at the wrong end of NPRC’s violent and murderous intrusion into the political arena. As regards some of those people who rejoiced and jubilated when the coupists struck, did they really have any choice at all? Could they have challenged armed men barehanded, ordering them back to their barracks? Well, as the saying goes, if you cannot beat them, join them. Brewah and those other SLPP parliamentarians who crossed over to the APC in 1967 did so, I presume, as responsible adults, that is, out of their own volition.

    I wouldn’t dare infantilise them and say they were lured and swayed over by a suave, honey-tongued Siaka Stevens. For that would be tantamount to saying that they were incapable of thinking for themselves and therefore unfit to be in Parliament. And I find quite astonishing the wholesale demonisation of both the SLPP and the APC to make the case that the NGC and its current Parliamentary leader are a welcome, credible and necessary alternative. For the demonisation itself is a partisan position! It is as emotionally charged as say the position of a supporter of any other political party. What is more, it is a position that seems to blissfully forget that not so long ago, leading figures in the NGC were themselves active and influential members of what now appears to be a stridently hated SLPP! For sure, our country has for the past sixty years been disastrously failed by those who have governed it – its civilian and military rulers alike.

    However, the difference and I cannot emphasise the point enough, is that while the civilian rulers have had their mandates validated by one form of democratic process or another, the military ones have always brazenly thrown those processes under the bus, arrogating to themselves the power as in the case of the NPRC, to rob the country blind, kill its citizens summarily, not to say extra judicially. Referenda and elections are not without their problems, in Sierra Leone, across Africa and elsewhere. Nevertheless, those problems pale into insignificance beside the ills inherent in raw, vulgar, violent acts of constitutional change; change heralded and sustained by the frightening clatter of AK-47s, the relentless and thunderous roar of machine guns and the deafening bang of RPGs. Finally, as regards ECOWAS, its use of double standards in its dealing with its smaller and weaker member states as opposed to the bigger and stronger ones is proof that the organisation is as yet not fit for purpose. The ‘agreed protocols’ as they are called are a handy excuse for inaction when it is faced by challenges it cannot or does not have the stomach to handle. After all, were recent democratic impasses in the Gambia and Guinea not at bottom all internal matters?

  7. Mr A R Thomas, thank you for always being swift off the mark to remind and teach some of us about what free speech and democracy are all about. Mr STARGAGER always misunderstand me, which is the source of our clashes. I think he should run for Parliament. They are always trading punches there when frustration sets in.

    • Mr Stargazer maybe you are a young man, but some of us live through the Stevens and Momoh presidency. Many people were excecuted during their era. MO Bash Taqi, Dr Jim Forna, Francis Minah. The NPC executions of the 1990 is a culmination of all the seeds of bad blood that have been there since the 1970s.My father is an APC card carrying member. The original ones that joined the APC party in the sixties when it wasn’t fashionable to join the Stevens party. But that doesn’t stop the commander of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed forces Brigedia MS Talawali to pick a fight with my father over his farm in my village. He hired Justice Tola Thompson as his lawyer to take my father to court for his cattle destroying his plam trees in his farm. At one piint he send two land rovers full of soldiers to guard his farm against the encroachment by my father’s cattle. In turb my father threatened to shoot at any soldier that shot at his cattle.

      My father approached the vice president SI Koroma a good friend of his, and the deputy head of tbe Republic of Sierra Leone Armed forces, Brigedia Toronka for help. As children we used to come back from school, and straight to the bush, to try and shepherded my Father’s cattle away from his farm. Now in my grown up age, I realised this was a clear abuse of authority by Brigedia MS Talawali. Having said that, I still have no ill feelings towards the old APC government. Because vice president SI koroma was very kind to my father. He tried to help. So for me I will take no lectures from any one how life was under the old APC government.

      The political execution that happened starting in the 70s, Brigedia John Amadu Bangura, the man that overthrow a the military junta, and handed power to president Stevens, because he felt he was tbe rightful winner of the 1967 election results, was unfortunate. The reality there are injustices perpetuated by all side. The origin of the RUF wars, has its roots traced back to the 70s.

  8. Here we go – Its now clear to me that Mr Sorie cannot grasp the intrinsic meaning of Liberty and Freedom. Now let me simplify. It is only a pack of wolves that will have the audacity to attack a harmless porcupine because of its prickly quills, and those who have been known to trace, hunt down and kill raccoons because of their offensive smell are the same as Coup potters and their supporters who think it is alright to overthrow a legitimate government because they disagree with the policies of the man in charge, residing in State House. All the empty rhetoric about bringing the untested NGC to power do not mean “Diddly Squat” if you are a myopic minded coup plotter that doesn’t believe in the depths of his soul that the ways of Democracy that emphasizes the need for tolerance, and mutual respect is the most admirable form of governance.

    You still don’t get it huh? Well, let me clearly reiterate myself – You cannot and should not ever try to use the Barrel of the Gun and impose your self conceited ideas on millions of people who do not share your views and then falsely claim that you are seeking their interests – THAT’S A BIG FAT LIE.(lol) All those gullible people who supported the overthrow of Joseph Momoh are traitors – Strasser, Maada Bio, their thugs and supporters – ALL TRAITORS that should leave Sierra Leone and reside somewhere very far away from our sober minded people. If you supported Strasser and Maada Bio think not your hands are clean – far from it – Your hands are soaked and dripping with the blood of the weak and innocent they slaughtered just like their hands.

    You have been and forever will remain accomplices to the heinous, wicked crimes they committed; Cheerleaders on the sidelines you have all been in a bloody sport, that erased the lives of our fragile, timid people from the Great Master of Creation’s Book Of Life.(lol)

    • Stargazer please – Sorie has every right to express his opinion without being subjected to any form of condescending response from fellow forumites. You can by all means agree to disagree with his views about coups but please let us continue to be respectful to each other here. Thank you.

  9. “The APC’s red sun shone for 24 years. For most of the period it emitted intense heat on our soil, a heat so scorching that it turned a paradise into a desert land. This sun must set” ( Siaka Massssquoi, APC TRAGEDY, 1967 – 1975). Siaka Massaquoi wrote this in the aftermath of the overthrow of Momoh. He wrote as a patriot; he summoned up the feelings of most Sierra Leoneans at the time. Among other things Massaquoi went on to say “we should not also forget to thank the NPRC which overthrew the APC whatever views we hold about them today. For as the proverbial saying goes, it was they who had the nerve “to bell the cat”. I am not APC or SLPP. I detest both of them for what they have done to the country for sixty years. If KKY cannot make it to State House the nation should try the devil himself. The only free and fair elections which APC participated in before recent times were the 1967 elections, they were in opposition then, and had no choice.

    Siaka Stevens assumed the leadership of the country after charming L. A. M. Brewah and others to support him and abandon their Mende brother, Sir Albert Margai, whom they had accused of having dictatorial tendencies. They did it for the good of the country, or so they thought. Upon taking power, Siaka Stevens systematically and methodically went on to destroy the very institutions upon which he rode to wrest power from SLPP. By the beginning of the 1970s all opponents had either been silenced or forced into exile, including Sir Albert, John Karefa-Smart and Salia Jusu-Sheriff. Those who chose to stay politically active within the country were persecuted and eventually executed, as happened to Dr Forna and 14 others in 1975. Since the execution of Dr Fornah and others information has been trickling in about how witnesses were made to sign pre-fabricated statements and forced to memorise them for court proceedings. Siaka Stevens shoved a one-party state down the throat of the nation. Now I need a more brilliant mind to tell me how an election or referendum can be declared free and fair with violence hanging over the voters. A republic had earlier been declared without the consent of the governed, again under threat of violence.

    ECOWAS is a relatively young transnational organisation which has to operate on a limited budget. Nonetheless it has been doing a remarkable job, while being careful not to contravene agreed protocols or newly formed consensus. When the military boys floored Momoh in 1992 he did ask for the intervention of ECOWAS but was firmly told by Ibrahim Babanginda of Nigeria that since it was not an outside invasion this was contrary to protocol. The same response came from Lansana Conte’ of Guinea. Each case has to be dealt with on merit. Apparently there could be exceptional circumstances where ECOWAS heads can collectively decide to intervene in a member state as they did in Gambia. Even the UN has its shortcomings. We must stop seeing things through the lenses of either APC or SLPP. Only then can we see our way. Emotions deny us objectivity.

  10. Whenever Mr Yillah enters this noble forum, all you will hear are deafening thunderous noises resembling a stampede of wild Buffalos trying to save themselves from the barrel of his long range African ‘Patriot’ precision truth rifle;(lol) Its always a delight to read the informative and thoughtful, truthful words of the pragmatic Mr Dauda Yillah. Absolutely….well said Sir.

  11. Mr Thomas – I apologise unreservedly for going over the word limit and thank you in the same breath for taking the trouble to publish the comment. Please rest assured that in my future submissions I will adhere very strictly to the prescribed line and paragraph counts.

  12. To say that unlike the NPRC, which came to power by the force of arms, the APC rule up to 1992 was based in principle if not in practice on democratic governance is by no means to toy with the idea of democracy, that is, stretching its meaning as some people have suggested, to suit one’s party-political beliefs and orientations. Far from it. Indeed, as far as I am concerned, saying so does not equate to me being a card-carrying supporter of the APC. My position is a non-partisan one – that of a Sierra Leonean patriot none the less, who like all forumites, be they supporters of APC, SLPP, NGC, C4C and other political parties, big and small, want the very best for our beloved homeland. What is clear to me though is a marked and qualitative difference between coming to power and holding onto it by the barrel of the gun on the one hand and coming to power by way of elections or referenda on the other.

    The NPRC regime owed its mandate – if mandate it was – to the gun. No one was consulted nor called upon to decide whether the gun should be the instrument of regime change. NO ONE VOTED FOR THE GUN. By contrast, the APC had at least won the 1977 parliamentary election – imperfect and controversial though that victory was. It had a democratic mandate of sorts. Being the dominant party in Parliament, it took advantage of that position to change the constitution, went on to organise a referendum resulting in the introduction in 1978 of the one-party state system as the new mode of governing the country – a mode of governance, it must be said, quite widespread in Africa from the 1960s through to the 1980s.

    As constitutions are by their very nature man-made politico-legal instruments, they are subject to modifications, total or partial. They are never perfect or cast in stone; they evolve in the same way as the societies in which they are made evolve and are precisely the handiwork of people whom those societies elect to make their laws and run their affairs. This reality is what lends legitimacy to Momoh and his administration, installed via a confirmatory nation-wide presidential plebiscite in1985; an administration that the gun totting NPRC then swept away unceremoniously in 1992. To sum up, Momoh was heir to a political dispensation than won the general election in 1977, which dispensation then remodelled our constitution as it then saw fit for governance purposes for the years that followed. The trigger-happy NPRC regime was a violent, unmandated disruption of that dispensation.

    I will take with a pinch of salt claims of ECOWAS’s organisational strength and effectiveness in overseeing proper adherence to democratic rule by political regimes in all the countries across our subregion. The Gambia and Yahya Jammeh may come across as a success story. However, is the Gambia Mali in terms of land size, military capability, not to mention the frighteningly complex and complicated political and military situations currently at play in Mali? The Gambia physically speaking, is basically a tiny enclave within Senegal and while the latter and its war planes were able to strike fear into Jammeh, would such a scenario be within the realm of possibility were our West African giant Nigeria to go rogue once gain by reverting to its old habits of military dictatorship? In other words, ECOWAS may have grown new, robust teeth, but can it really bite more than it can chew?

    The sub-regional organisation remained silent, indeed was acquiescent when Guinea did its own thing recently, allowing Alpha Condé to manoeuvre his way into a third term presidency. Condé organised a referendum to undo the very constitutional arrangements that brought him to power in the first place; arrangements that had written into law a maximum of two-term presidency. If that was right in the eyes of ECOWAS, why should we deny the validity of the referendum – questionable though it was in many ways – that brought Momoh to power? We need change and have always needed it since we gained independence sixty years ago. However, guns have never been and can never be the answer. Naturally, having a leader, who was once a Sobel and a Two-Time Coupist, makes my hair stand on end.

    • Mr Yillah – for educational purpose I have taken the liberty to approve this comment though it is in breach of forum wordage rule. Can you please ensure you can keep to the word limit going forward. Thank you.

  13. Gentlemen – Anyone in Sierra Leone that has been involved in a Coup d’etat or has been known to provide support that facilitates the violent, brutal overthrow of any legitimate government is an anarchist through and through; Such men must be brushed off, waved aside and ignored – they are the real Enemies of Progress. No matter how slow a government performs its duties, it deserves to be given the benefit of the doubt and allowed to continue governing in Peace. Now, someone answer me – What are the justifications for a chilling, appalling blood spilling coup and on whose orders and interest is it implemented and for what heartfelt nationalistic and flag-waving reasons has it now become admirable for men to use the barrel of the gun to seize power from those they do not agree with. A shrewd President like Old Siaka Stevens did not act on a whim, but cautious, prudent and decisive in all his dealings.

    No true patriot of this country can justify the overthrow of a gentle soul Joseph Saidu Momoh; The doors of Hell were open against us when Strasser and Julious Bio for their own selfish reasons decided to obey vagrant thoughts and desires that kept on beckoning them astray, illusions that eventually caused them to become derelict of their duties to our country. I may disagree with the President but as a Pan African and Patriot of Sierra Leone I will never ever support his overthrow by any group of people in Sierra Leone, the only place I am proud to call my home.

    It is impossible to argue with an embittered anarchist who is stuck in the stone age and glued to regressive ideas of right and wrong, while at the same time whining and complaining. So what did Strasser and Maada Bio accomplish that separated them completely from J.S Momoh? What? Absolutely nothing. On this glorious forum there are men whose ideas are just like tiny trembling flickers of light and there are others whose brightness resembles the blazing Rising Sun.(lol) Which one are you buddy?

  14. It’s quite impressive how Democracy gets defined variously to tie-in perfectly with some people’s position or inclination. Momoh was not democratically elected, he was selected by Siaka Stevens and imposed on the nation. Sheki needed somebody he could trust to cover his back once he turned it on State House for the last time. The simulation of a presidential election which formally heralded the Momoh era was exactly that – a simulation. There was no opponent or opposition. The one-party state reigned supreme. Nobody dared to cough for fear of joining Dr M.S Forna, Ibrahim Taqui, Brigadier John Bangura, Brigadier David Lansana, Bai Makari Nsalk and a host of others to an early grave. The killing of political opponents, or perceived political opponents, spans the entire spectrum of the political scene of Sierra Leone, whether it’s a military or civilian government that’s in power; it’s the surest way of silencing opponents forever. APC has a trail of human blood. SLPP has a trail of human blood. NPRC has a trail of human blood. The hereafter will be quite interesting.

    The current ECOWAS is not the same as the ECOWAS of the 1990s; it has grown some teeth and claws. Gambia’s Yahyah Jammeh knows all about it and so do the military officers in Mali. It’s just that diplomacy is painfully slow. When the military in Mali find out that they have become outlaws not only in West Africa but in the continent as a whole, they will come to their senses.

    Bio knows in his marrow that any attempt to hold on to power unconstitutionally if he is defeated in 2023 will lead to his complete demise. As I recall, when Jammeh tried it in Gambia, ECOWAS blockaded the sea route to his country, and Senegalese jets started flying low over where he lived to alert him to the fact that his physical life was in danger. I have repeatedly maintained that the only way forward for our dear country is to rudely kick out APC and SLPP for a little while, they have corrupted everything in our society, including the minds of a large segment of the people. I still hold that the coup of 1992, despite all its ugly dimensions was needed by the nation. Even with the introduction of a multi-party system, there was no way APC would have lost a presidential election. Their 99 tactics would have ensured that. We need NGC and KKY.

  15. ECOWAS is an organisation that promotes double standards in my view. What did ECOWAS do when the NPRC overthrew the APC and The present President of the Republic of Sierra Leone overthrew his boss? Nonsense! If what happened in Sierra Leone has happened in Mali, why cry foul? what is wrong in giving them four years as it happened in Sierra Leone to prepare Mali for a General Election. ECOWAS needs reform to work effectively and be fair. God bless, guide and protect African democracies. Yeah.

  16. I strongly believe that if something looks like a coup, talks like a coup and walks like a coup, it must be a coup – therefore illegal, democratically indefensible. The APC rule prior to its overthrow in 1992 was in practice certainly no paragon of democratic governance but was in place based on the principles underpinning such governance. The NPRC coup and its subsequent internally orchestrated countercoup had no such basis and should in principle be seen as such.

    Some may be thanking and perhaps justifiably so, the late Tom Nyuma and others for the democratic dispensation we now have in place. However, was this outcome their true intention when they seized power? It seems to me that had it not been for the huge pressure, both national and international, that was brought to bear on them, the coupists would not have given up power so readily. And what about the various human rights violations that characterised their reign – the summary execution of many an innocent civilian, not to speak of the wholesale robbery of our war-torn nation’s meagre resources.

    And now that a key architect of that coup is back in power even though donning civilian, democratic robes this time, has that robbery stopped? And perhaps it is too early to say that the era of coups in our country is well and truly over. The economic fundamentals of generalised poverty coupled with the state capture of our resources are well entrenched. Party politics and the odious ethno-regional divisions and biases on which it thrives speak for themselves. I am always wary when a seasoned coupist appears to cherish and adore democratic governance. His voice does not sound right given its all too obvious hollowness. What if the results of the elections in 2023 do not go his way? Can we be sure that he will bow out gracefully? As they say, once bitten, twice shy. Or, to put it another way, never say never when it comes to predicting the behaviour of a man who once seized power through the barrel of the gun.

    • I don’t give a damn if he does not bow out gracefully and quit if we defeat him at the ballot box in 2023. If he does not leave peacefully and there is chaos and anarchy, then we will speed the judicial handing over process for Den Haag. Nobody will stay in power in 2023 if he or she (the defacto president) is defeated mercilessly, which I believe is going to happen, because of this government’s failed policies. If they are defeated, then, they have to pack their reckless political portfolios and bags that did little to improve the lives of the ordinary Sierra Leonean. Have they started packing their suitcases to “get SALONE sorted”? I hope they do. God bless Mr Dauda Yillah for his insight. Its time for them to pack their bags, retire peacefully if they care and go. Wait a minute! Who cares if they care? Talking to myself, because this is serious stuff.

  17. So far Mali has witnessed two military coups in the space of nine months. This coup is called a coup within a coup. Because, Colonel Assimi Goita, the man behind the latest coup, to declare himself as transitional junta president, is his second time to instigate a coup against the transitional civil government, for which he was part of. That was until the slated presidential elections of 27th February 2022. His reasons given, though he and his colleagues, were part of the mix bag of civilian and military government, the civilian president Bah Ndaw, and his prime minister Moctar Ouane, were placed under arrest, at Soundiata Keita Military camp. The charges against them were, they didn’t consult with him in their latest reshuffle, in which the military command felt blindsided, or left out in the cold. Under international pressure, both men were later released after they were forced to resign their positions.

    That selfish reason tells you everything about the mindset of this new junta leader. They didn’t overthrow the government for economic, security and islamist threat facing the people of Mali. Col. Assimi Goita, and his men in uniform are not economist by any stretch of the imagination. With economic sanctions imposed by ECOWAS looming large, any promises of improving Mali’s economic and security prospects by the military junta is misleading. 60% of landlocked Mali’s trade comes from Senegal. Once again the sanctions will hurt the poor civilian population. And no one knows their final goals. Because there is none. So Malians will find themselves sunk deeper to into poverty.

    Just like Sierra Leone, Mali is blessed with natural resources like, Gold and Gas found in the North of the country. But without security only the corrupt few, and foreigners will benefit from it. And if history were to go by, members of the military are not good at managing the affairs of the state, never mind their own affairs. So far the condemnation and explosion of Mali, by ECOWAS, is seen as a feeble excuse, to once again demonstrate how this West African body is weak, lacks coherent foreign policy, and the will power to do anything, that will make the military coup leadership sit up and take a blind notice of them. Col. Assimi Goita will not lose his sleep over threats made by ECOWAS member states. The body is like a dog with no teeth. It can bark, but it can’t bite. And the people that are left to suffer are Malians.

  18. Let us hope that Maada Bio gave his speech with utter sincerity, given what happens whenever there is a by-election in his country, which is part of the constitutional and transparent process of democracy. Paying lip service to democracy is not enough; his administration has to be reminded of what happened at constituency 110 where “arata “ and others displayed their violent streak with impunity on behalf of SLPP. In the south, a young man recently lost his life for campaigning for an opponent of SLPP. One wonders what awaits the nation in 2023 when Bio is up for re-election.

    The trip to Ghana to address the Mali problem is perhaps the most justified trip Bio has made in recent times where the nation knows where he is, he didn’t just disappear into thin air only to reappear in some distant land with his wife on a repeated honeymoon escapade while his people starve to death. But Bio has unconsciously trapped himself in front of not only ECOWAS but the entire world with his speech, which rests on constitutional order. He would henceforth be called an innate hypocrite if he didn’t allow the fundamentals of democracy to gain roots in his country, particularly free speech and a completely uncompromised judiciary.

    The coup of 1992 which resulted in Bio’s first taste of power, was quite in place according to many Sierra Leoneans because of the stranglehold which the old APC held over the nation lasting decades. It was the beginning of the changes which now accords us some semblance of democracy. For that we thank the military boys, including the intrepid late Tom Nyuma. May the Almighty grant him perpetual peace. But the days of coups are over and Bio should not use his army as an arm of his political tool to suppress dissent.

  19. ‘Military take-overs violate ECOWAS, AU, and UN Resolutions. Sierra Leone, therefore, stands in solidarity with ECOWAS and calls for the restoration of constitutional order through inclusive, credible, and transparent elections in accordance with the provisions of prior resolutions on this matter’. President Julius Maada Bio. This is truly a eureka moment in Sierra Leone’s political history: an erstwhile SOBEL and TWO-TIME COUPIST has finally had POLITICAL REVELATION AND ILLUMINATION come unto HIM! Hallelujah!

    How I wish the revelation and illumination had come three decades earlier to our dear leader, that is, before 29 April 1992 – that fateful day and year in which he and his fellow coupists ignominiously brushed aside the fundamental laws of our land to unceremoniously depose a a democratically elected government! Our country might now be in a better place.

    Put differently, it is easy, far too easy and, in consequence, far too hypocritical for our dear leader to now sound so wise, so enthusiastic and uncompromising about the need for democratic governance in Mali thirty years or so after NPRC’s illegal and violent disruption of constitutional rule in Sierra Leone.

  20. This President is living in utter denial;he is completely shackled by delusions and his evil past deeds yet he wants to toss them away like a pebble into the vast majestic oceans out of sight and out of mind;He wants to forget all the faces of those he has killed that haunt him tirelessly day and night in the most frightening nightmares and strangest dreams. But he is sadly mistaken – No matter how fast you can leap and run no man can outrun their past – It always catches up to us. Indeed, that same wicked old wolf that once raided, robbed and ransacked the farmers barn has now become a vigilant guard dog that protects the ailing frail timid sheep.(lol)

    A Coup plotter that has overthrown legitimate power and authority now thinks it is a very bad idea?Who in their right minds is going to take this old soldier seriously? The officials in Mali should say to the man in State House;” Sir,who made you Judge and ruler over us; Give back what you stole from our people and. let us move forward quickly towards a new era of Hope stability, and Promise in our beloved Africa.”(lol) Join hands with us as we rebuild our nations on the solid unshakeable foundations of democracy that will stand the ultimate test of time.(lol)

Tell us about your views

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.