President Bio exudes statesmanship in Abu Dhabi as political sparks fly at home

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 16 January 2020:

Why is it that whenever there is political violence in Freetown, the president of Sierra Leone – Julius Maada Bio is out of the country?

Does this mean that those left behind to hold the reins of power are clueless about leadership and governance, or do they simply take advantage of the president’s absence to implement their divisive political agenda, causing chaos and anarchy in the country?

These are questions that the president ought to be reflecting upon, as he proudly presents himself as a model champion of good governance and strong leadership in Africa at the Abu Dhabi Summit today.

If those upon whom power is entrusted by president Bio to run the country in his absence are unable to do so, then the least they could do, is to help maintain the hard won peace which successive governments have painstakingly managed to build, after the country’s devastating civil war.

If they cannot do this, then it is time for president Bio to make hard decisions about the future of his deputies and senior officials, including the minister of internal affairs, the Inspector General of Police – who ‘technically’ will shortly be going into retirement.

On the very day of the bloody violence outside the opposition APC party office in Freetown, president Bio was making grand speeches to fellow Heads of State in Abu Dhabi, about his commitment and efforts in consolidating peace in Sierra Leone. What an irony. Hypocrisy, many would accuse the president.

President Bio was speaking about his government’s commitment to establish a Commission for Peace and National Cohesion, whilst back home in Freetown – supporters of his SLPP party were on the streets engaging in a senseless, bloody and dangerous running battle with opposition party supporters.

The international community will not be moved in providing funding for the establishment of a Commission for Peace and National Cohesion, simply because political leaders choose to invoke violence. They can only be moved by the efforts they could see on the ground, being made by politicians and stakeholders, in building and sustaining the peace, which can be achieved without spending millions of dollars on a Peace Commission. That money should be used to tackle poverty, provide skills training and create jobs for the young people that are being used by politicians to foment chaos and violence..

Speaking in Abu Dhabi as the rioting was taking place in Freetown, president Bio reiterated his commitment to achieving Sustainable Development Goals. But how is he going to achieve this, with the country in constant heightened political tension, and households suffering serious economic hardship?

The President spoke about the progress his government has made in increasing access to education through the Free Quality Education Programme, which he says is benefitting over two million children. But all of this could be unravelled, if urgent attention is not directed at easing political tension in the country. Without peace and stability, there is no development.

He was speaking about the importance of investment in education, and calling on young people to take advantage of quality education so that they could become part of the country’s development process. But these are the same young people that are being used by rogue politicians to instigate political violence and chaos on the streets. (Photo: Deputy Internal affairs minister at the scene of the violence, Watch the video below with his supporters). 

President Bio was also speaking about investment opportunities in Sierra Leone, especially in the energy sector; and advised other African governments to prioritise the use of science, technology and innovation in governance.

But the president must know that foreign investors will keep staying away from Sierra Leone, for as long as there is political tension and instability in the country, and bloody violence on the streets.

Sadly, what other African governments will see today, is not the attempts being made by his government in prioritising the use of science, technology and innovation in governance, but a weak and indecisive president, lacking leadership and the ability to sustain Sierra Leone’s hard won peace. Time to prove them wrong Mr President.

Mr President – it is time for change.

Watch this video Mr President:

18 Comments

  1. In 2009 president Koroma left the country in the hands of his vice president Samsumana who was so useless. Sam could not manage the anarchy and violence that was being perpetrated by the APC when its supportres attacked the SLPP office and raped several women. SLPP office was set alight and many of its supporters were mercilessly beaten by APC thugs. In the aftermath Sam ordered the closing down of the SLPP community radio station.

    When the female US ambassador criticised what was happening, some APC hoodlum threatened her with rape. That was disgusting. The UN representative – Schulenburg had to intervene by bringing both APC and SLPP leaders into a room and knocked their heads together to sign a peace communique.

    Eleven years down the line, the two parties – APC and SLPP are still drawing blood trying to kill each other. I don’t have the answers, but this is embarrassing for us Sierra Leoneans. Always in the news for all the wrong reasons. When is this going to stop?

    Watch this video I found on the YouTube feed of the Sierra Leone Telegraph editor, as a reminder of APC brutality; and you will see why the likes of Lawrence Leema and JJ (Blood) Saffa who virtually grew up and cut their teeth of violence along with their supporters (used to be called the Benghazi boys) at their SLPP party office, are today seeking revenge against APC. This is very sad. Retributive justice will get us no where – but continuous underdevelopment. Like it or not, Sierra Leone is still a failed state.

    https://youtu.be/sEyl_C7QQnc

    • Wow – watching that video and reading your comment Mr John, really want to make me cry for my country. Thank you. What is happening to this country? Are we preparing for another civil war because of power, greed, intolerance and party politics?

      These two parties need to wake up and see the destruction they are causing.

  2. “Do people remember what Chief Sam Sumana did to avert chaos sometime ago whilst former Mr. Ernest Bai Koroma was out of the country? Things always went smoothly each time former President Ernest Bai Koroma was out of the country”.-Sahr Matturi

    I, and I am sure many here do not remember what your brother did when he was left in charge of the country. Can you please take us to that memory lane? What I did remember was that after its defeat in 2007, the SLPP did not use every opportunity to attack or provoke the APC to flare up tension in a bid to make it look as if the country was in chaos. I also remember that Sam Sumana was in charged when the SLPP office was attacked for the second time and seven ladies or more were raped, someone was killed in the building and the building gutted in fire.

    This prompted the then female US Ambassador to visit the SLPP party office. What did the governing APC do, they wrote to the USA asking for the Ambassador to be withdrawn. That is all I do remember. You can help us to remember what your “strong” brother who was accused by his own party as a crook, and academic fraudster did.

    I know your ilk. You want Bio to have problems with Juldeh and thus anger Juldeh’s supporters eh? Nope it is not going to be. ‘After Bio nar Juldeh – seriously’.

  3. The problem our father of the nation has is this – it is very difficult for Soja to become a politician. The presidency is not a training on the job profession. If you get it and have irresponsible and reckless henchmen as advisers, this is what happens. The father of the nation must dismiss all of the trouble makers now and get things back on track.

    You can see from the pictures how unhappy the father of the nation was. He was present in those meetings physically but, his mind was at the front of the doorsteps of the APC party office, figuring what went wrong. Can you imagine? It’s like a driver driving a car on the “s s” Kabala curve road at a speed of 2023 km per hour looking at the rear mirror inside the car. End game will be a nasty disaster. What a disappointed father of the nation he was in those meetings.

    Secondly, who was inside that SUV pointing a gun. The SUV’s number plate will help the police with their investigation. Father of the nation please act now. This is a disgrace to your country. The investors are saying goodbye by the minute.
    God help the father of the nation to act now. God bless Sierra Leone.

  4. Not surprised at all – the reins of power is just too hot for this President to handle.He naively thought governance was about popping champagne,wining,and fine dining.(lol)Sad isn’t it? – the man figured it out all wrong! Seriously,he thought it was a piece of cake that could be sliced,chewed,and easily swallowed – sadly mistaken. Governance is about shouldering heavy burdens,about being pragmatic,focused,firmly resolved,and decisive.

    The New Direction has sailed,and strayed off course,and is headed over a cliff – Ahoy there! Captain Maada Bio,over the cliff we go (lol). Two years,of nothing but tears,and fears for the good people of Sierra Leone.Two years hungering,and waiting for results,that never came from a corrupt government that doesn’t even care,that your little ones are asleep in the dark,naked in the cold,without clothes,or shoes to wear. Two solid years of thefts,inadequacy,mediocrity,dishonesty,lack of transparency,and they are still trying to figure out what to do, “Should we do this,or that?”

    The armchair Professors keep on ceaselessly asking themselves,as endless unproductive days,turn to countless profitless nights,causing ordinary domestic chickens to begin nervously,crowing frantically,over and over, saying; “Holy moly! Docs there’s no time,just do something,quit procrastinating, people are starving.Do something,anything is better than nothing” (lol) Indeed,anything is better than nothing,and while the President is on another wild goose chase for investors,his house he left behind,is crumbling,because it was left in disarray,and not in order….Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

  5. To me what I saw in this video is a continuation of two previous clips. This video is just showing the piece/part where the SUV alledged to be that of deputy Minister. This is an old Story which is being retold. To me it is all boring. This Incident already came on the News in Sierra Leone, the Sec.Gen. of APC said that the SECURITY OF THE DEP. MIN. fired Shots during this riot. Did anyone of you see that?

    It appeares to me that the bulk of the People here are only interested in negative news about Sierra Leone, they just hate the present Govt. How did you expect the SLPP supporters to have comported themselves, when they were attached during a procession? Do you think they were happy singing war songs when they were on the street? No it was a Funeral-Procession! I saw no fighting in this clip, did anyone see a fight?

    • No fight or bloodshed occurred S.J Koroma. That is the alternate universe that you live in, far from facts and reality. Again from your world, the video shows a peaceful atmosphere full of celebrations. No one was shown displaying lawlessness and using invectives towards other citizens, it was all a normal scene S.J Koroma.

  6. Young4na, yes indeed I personally put my country first above all but you have to understand that also nobody is above the law including the Head of State. If you’re talking about someone who’s always publicly supporting a single party and one individual bragging, praising and wishing him even to become president of Sierra Leone today, is our young fellow brother Sahr Matturi. If you really trying to attack someone by his character, why don’t you go after this guy thats bringing Sam Sumana’s name all the times?

    Yes of course indeed SLPP came to power in many instances as you said, but do not forget to remember what happened to the then candidate and current President Bio in 2012 brother/ Which party was in power? We are not here to remind one another about the past. If so, in 2016, the former defence chief of staff, Lieutenant General Samuel Omar Williams was shot dead by unknown gunmen at his home in Freetown, in the early hours of the morning Mr. Young4na. Where was the security at the time? Since then what kind of investigation did the APC gov’t conduct?

    I am personally not in support of APC or SLPP gov’t. What I want is someoine who can lead properly and is trustworthy. It is the fact that everyone should be held accountable if he/she messes with the law. I can understand that some APC supporters are igniting violence all around the corners to make it seem like SLPP is incapable of governing. Nobody is forcing you to like Bio or else, but he has one reputation – that he is the father of democracy.

    I have never meet with Bio ever in my life time. He doesn’t even know me folks, unlike Mr. Matturi who has met with Chief Sam Sumana many times I can’t recall. We all knew that leaders are not Gods, but one thing also you have to realize, they’re created, choosen and sent by God to represent their people. Hope thats clear to you Young4na.

    Don’t try to ignite violence. Saying that the sitting Vice president is weak will set up chaos, and if he turns around to excersice his power, you the same guys will organize a street violence calling him all sorts of names. Let’s stop that. If you think that a politician or a particular party is violent, then wait for the ballot box and vote him/her out. May God bless our country Sierra Leone.

    • Mr. Brima Sesay, my comments were never intended to attack your character but rather to question the sincerity you profess for love of our nation. With all things being equal, naturally if you love something, you will do everything possible to maintain its dignity or serenity. In other words, whosoever claimed to love mama Salone must be ready to stand by her no matter how the wind blows. We have today in our nation 2 major political parties with leaders on neither side serving the interest of the nation but their families and cronies.

      In disguise to fool the masses, they hide behind tribes and regions, invoking raw emotions from you and I to do the hard work and dirty tricks so they can get their hands into the nation’s coffers. This happens every election cycle, which beg the question, what will it take for Sierra Leoneans to learn and take ownership of their future? Believe you me, most of these so called leaders are not special or better than you and I. In fact many of them lack the technical know how or leadership skills. They managed to get where they are mostly due to the same tribal and regional sentiments along with loyalty to party instead of nation. So I personally do not subscribe to the idea that, leaders are appointed by God, this is largely a fallacy.

      If we indeed love mama Salone, we must hold these leaders accountable regardless of which political party they happen to belong. The fact is, leaders on both political parties use our uneducated youths to perpetrate violence for personal gains. None of the political parties are free from lawlessness and thuggish behavior; in fact, there have been many instance where internal vandalism occurred. So it makes no sense for anyone in this platform to keeping pretending violence is only associated with this or that party. Keeping this status quo of blaming the other with no one taking responsibility will never take us anywhere as a nation.

      Sierra Leone will only develop and attract foreign investment when the rule of law is observed. Whenever a crime or incident occurs, the law enforcement officers must arrest all parties involved and charge them to court. It should not matter whether you are APC or SLPP supporter. Arrest everyone and charge them to court. This is the one and only way to minimize these thuggish and criminal behaviors. To be continue..

    • Thanks for blessing our country Mr. Brima Sesay. When you bless your country and others, God will bless you. Former President Ernest Bai Koroma also blessed everyone at the end of that powerful and inspirational speech. God will surely continue to bless him always. I am still waiting for someone to bless his country or countrymen after making any speech. Don’t ask me who.
      You see, we have become friends because, we are using the same terms to end our comments. Is that not good Mr. Brima Sesay? Thanks Mr. Brima Sesay and God bless you.

  7. Always this kind of dispute between supporters of the established parties APC and SLPP. It’s like America – between the democrats and the republicans. It’s boring. Are there no new, fresh political movements in the country?

    • There are, however, in terms of ideology, as in what it would take to move the country forward, the new and/or the old parties are all one in the same. This fact can be corroborated by simply understanding that globalism, which all African rulers rely on for economic gains – is an utterly unequal system that seems to have indelibly accepted that it is okay for black Africa to be at a heightening disadvantage in it when comparing the continent with the rest of its contemporaries. Indeed, it is certain that all of the political parties in the country can be sized to fit in one can, when it comes to their thinking.

      As a matter of fact, we can make a case that the space that our rulers have to assert their political prowess where and when it really matters is quite meagre. For the only people whose opinions seem to really matter in that area are the ones who are and totting any investment bill that happens to make it into the country. Moreover, my understanding is that none of those men have yet subscribed to any political party in Sierra Leone. This is true Mr/Mrs. Wiecha.

      However, If you think that I’m merely telling you fables then tell my why is it that every time we turnaround we notice that the incumbent ruler of our beloved country, Sierra Leone, is always on the go – on the go exploring some unknown land? I would answer this question for you, but for the sake of respecting your mental faculty, I’ll pass and let you figure it out yourself.

      Nonetheless, the moral of the story is that no matter what party that we have ruling the country at whatever period in time, the party itself will ultimately become a one trick pony – a party that chases a dream of building a nation that is really not there.

  8. Chief Sam Sumana yes of course did avert chaos at that time folks, but on the other hand if he was good enough and did the right thing at the time, he could not have been dismissed in disgrace. Let’s be realistic APC is doing everything they could to disrupt peace. How can a peaceful man utter an indecent message like this, saying “a weak Vice President”?. I don’t think this kind of person has a real love for this country.

    H.E.DR.RET.BREG.J.M.B. is out in ABU DHABI for the benefit of the entire Sierra Leone. May God bless Sierra Leone

    • Brima Sesay, if you indeed put Salone first rather than political parties or individuals, you will call for justice and the rule of law to prevail. Time without number, political violence has erupted since the SLPP came into power. In many instances, there are video evidences clearly showing vandalism and thuggish behavior being perpetrated by unlawful citizens, happening right in front of the security forces. So if you truly love Salone Brima Sesay, don’t you think these individuals should be arrested regardless of which political party they belong?

      When it comes to the rule of law, distinction should never be incorporated. Whether you are black, white, red, or green, when you break the law, you need to be held accountable. By all indications, you are going around pointing fingers at others for not loving salone and not respecting the president; however, your blind support for party and leadership is quite the opposite of what we need for our nation. Leaders are human beings Mr. Sesay, they are not Gods as you dearly seem to perceive, so we must always hold them accountable when they fail to perform their expected duties.

    • Thank you very much Mr. Brima Sesay for being so candid in praising the efforts made by Chief Sam Sumana to avert chaos and anarchy at that time. This is how a strong Vice President should do his/her job whilst the President is away. Can you imagine how he showed true leadership then? OH BOY! This noble Chief is a born leader and has all the qualities a leader should have. Let them deny.

      This is why you should join me in making sure that, he becomes the next leader of the APC, later becomes President of The Republic of Sierra Leone and carry out the new order program to “get SALONE sorted”. You are a STAR Mr. Brima Sesay and God bless you for being very positive and candid about Chief Sam Sumana’s leadership qualities. Keep the trust in his leadership qualities rolling. May God help you join the APC with a President Sam Sumana in charge. You’ll be glad you did.
      God bless my friend Mr. Brima Sesay.

  9. Wow, the video speaks for itself. Gangs and Thugs have been given a license to operate freely under the PAOPA regime; they carry their acts right in front of the police and in this case in front of the deputy internal affairs minister. They remain untouched. Is this what responsible leadership looks like?

    • They remain untouched, no one can touch these People, pls. note: Le103 Billions unexplained wealth after 11 Years diligent Service to the Nation. Pres. EBK (former) Assets declaration stated in 2007: Cash = Le5 Millions; Had Le8,7 Millions at Commercial Bank, Le5,4 Millions at Eco Bank and £12.000 (Thousands) Foreign Account. I do not think someone can touch him!

  10. This is what happens when you have a weak Vice President and lawless henchmen. There is always trouble and chaos in the country each time the President is away. This has become routine since this President took office. What an irresponsible and reckless governance. Some people must be sacked.

    Do people remember what Chief Sam Sumana did to avert chaos sometime ago whilst former Mr. Ernest Bai Koroma was out of the country? Things always went smoothly each time former President Ernest Bai Koroma was out of the country. Why not with this President? That is why, from the best Vice President ever, now let us make Chief Sam Sumana in 2023 to be the best president ever. Do the skeptics agree with me? Talking to myself.

    Time for change indeed. This irresponsible and reckless attitudes of the henchmen of the President left behind to take care of the country, just blew up his efforts in wooing investors in the air. How will this government succeed in wooing investors with such barbarity back home? Even the U.S. embassy was scared of its citizens by giving serious notice of their movements in the Brookfields area. What a disgrace! This really stinks. Some servants living on the tax payers must go because of this embarrassing, irresponsible and reckless governance. God bless the US Ambassador and it’s citizens in Freetown. God bless the United States of America.

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