Sierra Leone Telegraph: 5 January 2021:
President Dr Julius Maada Bio has today granted Sierra Leonean citizenship to 22 African Americans who traced their origin to Sierra Leone through DNA results, most of them with roots to Bo and Tonkolili districts.
Handing over Sierra Leone’s passports to the newly pronounced citizens of Sierra Leone, the President welcomed them home, noting that their coming was not just for sightseeing or experiencing another culture for culture’s sake, but that they are also about to fulfil their curiosity and satisfy some long-held dream of making a spiritual pilgrimage to Sierra Leone.
”So, while others may invent history for the purpose of marketing tourism, you have lived your own history through over 400 years. This is the land of our mutual ancestors who were to later work rice fields and plantations that sustained the economies of the 13 British Colonies in the Americas.
“This is the land of Sengbeh Pieh of the Amistad revolt. This is the land of the rice coast, of the Gullahs, of folktales about the trickster, of handicraft, of foodways, of seeking rituals, and the call and response of African-American song and dance. This is Sierra Leone,” he noted.
He said that Sierra Leone as a country has come a very long way from slavery and colonialism, through repressive dictatorships, bad governance, corruption, epidemics and natural disasters and civil wars, adding that his government has worked hard to restore the dignity of the country.
He recalled that the 2020 Global Peace Index ranked the country as the 46th most peaceful country in the world and 5th most peaceful country in Africa.
“The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention rates us as Tier 1 low risk. We have under 3% case fatality ratio and only 76 recorded deaths. We are rated with a significantly lower violent crime rate. We have a free press, a free society, decongesting prisons, and working hard to build resilience in every facet of our nation,” he said.
President Bio further disclosed that his government is creating an enabling environment for the private sector to flourish, protect investments and support the establishment of businesses and organisations that would touch lives either through direct employment or social capital impact.
One of the beneficiaries of the citizenship, Dynast Abete Adewale Amir, expressed gratitude to President Bio for officially receiving them as citizens of Sierra Leone. He described today’s event as an emotional moment for them, adding that they are already pleased with the love they enjoyed from the President and citizens of the country.
Dynast Abete concluded by stating that they are looking forward to making good use of their citizenship by adding meaningful contributions to the development and goodwill of Sierra Leone.
You can Read the President’s full statement here:
Remarks by President Bio at the Ceremony Granting Citizenship and Presenting Passports to African Americans
Hypocrisy of the highest order. The Creoles of Sierra Leone, who were the first to make this journey, are the most discriminated class in Sierra Leone. We are hated by the S.L.P.P and tolerated by the A.P.C. Can it be, that African-Americans are only accepted when their roots are in Bonthe or the South?
Sorry, Mr Adewale the history of the African Americans or the slave trade is a stain on the African continent. I wasn’t upset with you personally. What upsets me is the way we Africans never tend to acknowledge the effects of the slave trade on the African American community and the African continent and the people it impacted directly like the descendants of this barbaric trade. If our African countries were richer and less corrupt, I am pretty sure African Americans or Brazilian Africans will command a great deal of respect in those countries, where for some of them the discrimination and denial of proper housing, education and job opportunities is not their fault, but is designed by those in authorities to keep them down.
Lets imagine Sierra Leone is rich like South Korea, I wonder if people like Trump will be making derogatory remarks about African countries. Closer to home look at the way Bio is going after the Krio Community in Freetown peninsula and taking their lands. More than any country in Africa, Sierra Leone has unique history and role to play in trying to right the wrongs we inflicted on our fellow African. Especially the descendants of that barbaric trade. I think Sierra Leone should lead the charge in demanding compensation.
While we should all be pleased that our African-American brothers and sisters are coming home to take up citizenship, I want to know how much they have paid the government for their citizenship and passport.
This government is not transparent. How much revenue has the government generated from the sale of our citizenship and passport? We want to know. There are rumours that each person has paid $100,000. We want president Bio to come clean on this. And we want the Anti-Corruption Commission to validate the sums involved.
SLPP supporters blasted the former APC government for selling our citizenship and passport, and for not declaring how much revenue was generated. President Bio, please tell us how much money you have made from this sale?
Thank you my brother. This is my point. They should not pay a single Leone. We owe them the red-carpet treatment and apologise for the treatment our forefathers inflicted on their forefathers. Can you imagine a white man selling his fellow white man to the black man to be enslaved? There is a movement in the Caribbean Islands seeking compensation from all big named companies that benefited from the slave trade. When the slave trade ended they compensated the Slave owners to buy the freedom of the slaves. We need someone like president Bio to lead the charge in the United Nations demanding compensation just like the Jews demanded compensation from the German government for Hitler’s crimes against them.
The same with South Koreans demanding compensation from Japan for the treatment of Korean women during the second World war. Now when it comes to Africa or crimes committed against Africans, the big Western powers tell us to set up truth and reconciliation commission. Apartheid South Africa. As for African Americans they tell us to keep quiet. America has redeemed themselves by electing the first African American president Obama and we should be happy with that gesture. Congress don’t want to hear. But if Bio and African leaders make it a cause on international settings, I am pretty sure western powers that made money from the slave trade will be forced to sit up and acknowledge a barbaric crime was committed.
At least this government will do the decent thing and fund more black projects in American society. And if they want to relocate to Sierra Leone or any African country, help them with relocation and give them funds to start up business in Africa.
Amadu no one is trying to accuse you wrongfully, so please dont start getting annoyed; you are well respected here. lol. This is what you said, as a reminder:
“One day I spoke to a friend of mine from the Caribbean. We spoke about the Train Atlantic slave trade, and the injustices her ancestor suffered in the cotton plantations in the hands of the slave masters. If fact our conversation started with – why do some black men like to leave their children with the women? She said its historical.”
You did ask the question in your comment, did you not? So please read the above again and advise yourself before losing your rag. God bless you. I am not going to respond to you on this matter again sir. lets leave it at that. Pheeeew!
Now this:” Let me ask you Amadu – do White men not leave their children with the women?” Hahahaha this reminds me of ramshackle mobile homes in Mississippi and Kentucky I once saw that were overcrowded with barefooted neglected white children roaming their neighborhoods without supervision trying to fend for themselves in the unrivaled United States with no parent in sight.(lol)Its not a white,brown or black thing – Irresponsible,immature,inconsiderate people can be found in every race and ethnicity upon the face of the beautiful earth.lol.
“Why do some black men like to leave their children with the women? She said its historical,” Amadu is asking. Let me ask – do white men not leave their children with the women? Why do you think that such behaviour is typical of black men and white men do not behave the same way if not worse? Black men are no worse than white men my dear brother. Even male species in the wild leave their offspring with the females, if they have to. That’s nature.
Lets stop putting down our black men who suffered so much at the hands of the white slave owners; and till this day continue to suffer abominable racial hatred, violence and discrimination.
Well Mr Adewale, no one is trying to put down Black men. If anything the American government have always try to put down the black man. Why do we have the BLACKLIVES MATTER MOVEMENTS IN AMERICA? Because of police brutality against African American men and Women. Actually Obama made the same comments during his campaign for the presidency. Now coming back to your question is not me trying to put down the black man. What I noticed with you, you never read the piece and understand the context before you pick out the sound bite. African Americans through out history has been oppressed. The Jim Crow laws that denied the blacks the vote, up till now some states are doing voter suppression of African Americans in some former slave owing southern states.
If you are a black and commit the same crime like a white you will get a higher prison tariffs, you are more likely to be stop if you are a young black man driving in the united states, there are more young black men in American prisons than Universities. Back in the 50s in some southern States if you are seen with a white girl friend you will be lynch. So is not me discriminating against black men. It annoys me to hear some western media says some black men don’t look after their offspring. What they don’t say how the system is set up against them.
The laws that are set to punish a young black man for a minor offence not only denied his freedom but denies him to be a father to his children. The same principle the slave owners use back in those days. Those laws are made and tailored against the black man my brother. Please next time try and read American history and the journey of the black man before you post your comments.
While it’s a welcoming development for our nation to integrate back our black brothers and sisters who happen to be descendants of the American slaves, these gullible individuals who have nothing but good intentions will be surprised to discover that, the rosy picture of Sierra Leone being the envy of the world according to the president speech, is all lies and deceptions. Hell no, are we enjoying free press or free speech. Hell no, are our prisons decongested. Hell no, are we free from tyrannical governance and dictatorship. Yes, our nation has been ranking one of the most peaceful republics consistently for over decade now, except of course since the current regime came into power, the volatility has increased drastically.
Now, what about our economy, investment climate, and stagnated development conditions? Why do delusional PAOPA supporters continue to point at frivolous events such as CDC indicating Sierra Leone being a low risk nation for Covid-19 or having a lower death rate? Hello, are people not aware that 90% of the African continent having a low death rate, what is so special about this?
Now what about the pettiness in trumpeting about a Sierra Leone judge being appointed to the ICC/ICJ for the first time or some delusional member of the POAPA partaking in some ECOWAS functions? Does any of these events add any economic value or advancement to our nation? It’s a shame to hear these political buffoons bragging about trivialities, that in many respects does not have any meaningful impact to the average citizen.
Once again Sierra Leone is marching back to the history, to reclaim what is hers. The only difference this time is the children of the ancestors, our ancestors sold to the white man across the other side of the Atlantic ocean, the so-called New World have come back to reclaim their ancestral heritage. Welcome home brothers and sisters. This is your home and your country. One day I spoke to a friend of mine from the Caribbean. We spoke about the Train Atlantic slave trade, and the injustices her ancestor suffered in the cotton plantations in the hands of the slave masters. If fact our conversation started with – why do some black men like to leave their children with the women? She said its historical.
In the days of the slavery, men and women were forcibly separated. Anything you see happening in the black communities in the west has a historical context. She said if I ask you where you come from? I will say Sierra Leone. Your ethnic origin. Fulani. There is the difference. You ask me the same question, I will say Jamaica and it’s end there. For her the loss of identity is the most hurtful thing any human being can endure. Better late than never. Bunce Island was the main slave port. We have so many high profile African Americans that trace their ancestry to Sierra Leone, I wonder why it took us so long to reclaim our people.
I stand to be a be corrected, even Michelle Obama, and the only Black in the US supreme court Justice Clarence Thomas have traced their roots to Sierra Leone. These African Americans are following in the footsteps of the Creole community that have contributed greatly to the rich and diverse communities of Sierra Leone. The only thing that makes me cringe is when I hear a Nigerian murder our krio language.