President Bio heads for Turkey from London as speculation grows

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 10 August 2021:

President Dr Julius Maada Bio has today departed London for “a private visit to Turkey”, where according to State House report, “he is expected to spend two weeks and meet potential private sector investors with business interests in Sierra Leone.”

His two weeks “private visit” to Turkey will bring the total number of weeks of absence from Sierra Leone to one month, as questions are raised back home about his ‘undisclosed itinerary’ and the cost of his overseas trips, at a time critics say – the cost of living in Sierra Leone is rising rapidly.

The pump price of petrol and kerosene was increased yesterday by president Bio to Le10,000 a litre, as his government continues to struggle to manage the economy with declining taxation revenue.

Costs of public transportation has gone up alarmingly, as vehicles queued up at filling stations for fuel.

According to State House report, the President is accompanied by his wife and family to Turkey, whose bilateral trade with Sierra Leone now stands at $55.3 million from $51.5 million in 2017.

In 2019, Turkey’s export to Sierra Leone was $59.6 million, including iron bars ($15.5M), cement ($14.9M), and wheat flour ($6.9M).

In 2019, Sierra Leone’s export to Turkey was $2.67 million, made up mainly of scrap vessels ($1.21 million), titanium ore ($1 million), and gold ($421,000).

Two weeks ago, President Bio left the shores of Sierra Leone to attend a Global Education Summit in London, chaired by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Kenyatta of Kenya. The aim of the summit was to raise $5 billion for the Global Partnership for Education, needed to transform education for millions of the world’s most vulnerable children.

Today, president Bio sets off from London empty handed – heading for Turkey where he said he is hoping to woo private investors. He has in the past been to Turkey to encourage investors without much success. 

Although many in Sierra Leone were expecting president Bio to return home after his London summit, State House now says that the president had decided to “extend his stay in London till 9 August, during which time he engaged in private meetings with British investors and companies as part of his sustained efforts to promote investment opportunities in the resource-rich West African nation.”

13 Comments

  1. Maada Bio is behaving like a defeated soldier, completely routed by the enemy. He is on the retreat and faces the threat of capture and charges of war crime. Left with nothing to live for, our defeated soldier contrives to destroy anything, anyone and everything in his path of retreat. To make matters worse, some kind of mental problem creeps in which makes him see enemies everywhere, including old allies.

    Bio has become a dangerous man to the nation and himself – nothing can explain his erratic behaviour of hiring private jets to become a globe trotter while his country is in the middle of severe economic suffering. People are dying all over the place because of malnutrition while his stomach protrudes like he is nine months pregnant – the result of too much food. His economic team has never had the nerve to let him face reality, that for a poor nation like ours his behaviour is anathema. It’s quite possible that Bio has reconciled himself with the knowledge that he is on his way out of State House. Why not enjoy himself in his final days?

    But let us don’t make the mistake of bringing APC back, they carry empty pockets and stomachs. They are just as dangerous for our country. Remember the Commissions of Inquiry? Let us try NGC next time or the devil if that fails. Having the devil at State House should fill the churches and mosques to capacity in a desperate attempt to get the Almighty Allah/God to have mercy on us for the first time in over sixty years of independence.

  2. First of all. Remember that it’s not easy to be a president. Secondly, yes, Mr. Bio is travelling a lot…!! But hopefully he will come home with a big contract. My biggest concern is that Sierra Leone sold a big part of the protected rainforest and untouched beach to China. That will for sure destroy the local ecosystem and the next generation will have no fish! – We should focus on tourism in that area instead. That will create many new jobs. . We need to stay united in peace, love and harmony. Let’s go Salone.

  3. Perhaps Bio needs to be told that there is something called STAYCATION – a form of vacation that has real world consequences and desirably so when it comes to living within one’s means and managing selflessly and efficiently the resources of a poor, developing nation whose affairs one has the honour and privilege to run.

  4. In other news, the poor workers in the Lumley beach restaurant are languishing in jail because the first lady accused them of murder, yet no inquest was done on the corpse. This is Bio’s Sierra Leone. It is more reminiscent of a village. These people have not evolved. That is why Siaka Stevens kept a lid on them. He knew that the SLPP is a tribalistic
    organisation.

  5. For the president of a poor, struggling nation such as ours to go on holiday at the tax payers’ expense is beyond comprehension. It raises the question whether Bio is a true patriot and has the best interest of the country at heart. Let me state right away that like any public official, Bio is entitled to annual leave, which he can spend wherever he sees fit, so long as that choice is paid for out of legitimately-earned private funds of his. In other words, what Bio is certainly not entitled to is using our country’s limited resources to cover the huge expenses incurred by spending time after time his annual leave overseas. And one must ask: are there no areas within our country good enough for our dear leader to go to and spend time away from what I assume to be a busy and challenging presidential work schedule? Or if he is so keen on chilling out outside our borders, are places such as neighbouring West African countries not suitable and, dare I say, sexy enough? Will spending leave in say the Gambia, Guinea or Ghana not cost him and the state comparatively minimally?

    Must his places of vacation always be London, Beirut, Istanbul or Ankara or God alone knows what other places located thousands of miles away from our country and subregion? Two years or so ago, it was reported that Bio had left the shores of our country, disappearing as it were completely from the radar, thus giving rise to unsettling rumours and speculations about him being in London for health reasons, only for him to resurface several weeks later in Kenya, where, we were then told, he was on vacation. A similar mystery surrounding his whereabouts occurred again just a year afterwards leading to more rumours and speculations with him and his spouse resurfacing later on in Lebanon, where they had ostensibly been honeymooning! There is a pattern here.

    Bio is incurably addicted to foreign travel and luxurious living and seems incapable of drawing the line between personal desires and obsessions on the one hand, and rational thought and behaviour and responsible and effective statesmanship on the other. Those inclined to singing his praises would have us believe that his passion for globe-trotting is indeed a mark of his international stature and statesmanship, evidenced by his recent attendance of the London International Conference on Education. They might further claim that their hero’s current sojourn in Turkey simply confirms his diligent and tireless search for much needed investment opportunities to boost our ailing economy. What these blinkered adulators fail to realise is that Bio’s obsession with foreign travel is a symptom of a gross anomaly: the dysfunctionality and profligacy that are at the at heart of both his lifestyle and style of governing our country.

  6. “The truth which leads a man to liberation from all illusions and enslavement is perceived in the innermost depths of his being”. My president, your president, our president Dr. Brigadier (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio is hopeful to return soon. We want to see him because we love him. His presence in the country makes us feel happy. Please remember he is not a selfish leader. He has allowed his Vice President, Dr. Juldeh Jalloh to exercise his constitutional mandate on several occasions and that has proved to show that he has a competent team.

    Sometimes ago,the issue of the Vice president with that of the establishment of the Chief Minister office became a debate in every corner of the street. I believe that people are now understanding the role of them both. Indeed the effect of convid-19 is ravaging lives and livelihoods all over the world including Sierra Leone. Who is to blame for this problem. Is it our president or China? Where did this convid-19 Corona virus began? People have lost jobs and job opportunities just because of convid-19 virus. So many people have lost opportunities to travel abroad for greener pastures just because of convid-19 virus. Importation of goods and services is streamlined just because of convid-19 virus. People are being chased out in the streets to wear masks just because of convid-19 virus. District Towns and the city has to be locked down to prevent movement of people just because of convid-19 virus. We have to blame China and not our president. With all the tight restrictions imposed because of the convid-19 pandemic, yet my president, your president, our president Dr. Julius Maada Bio is making strides to meet with world leaders to see that he addresses the perennial problems this country has got for over decades.Now, let me ask this question.

    Who shutdown the Torma Bum rice production project? Who sold the Sierra Rutile Company shares? Who sold the OAU villas at hill stations? Where these projects really benefitting Sierra Leone as a country? Since the shutdown of the Torma Bum rice field production, Sierra Leone start realizing hunger in the state. This is because rice is our staple food. You can’t play politics with your own livelihood. My president,your president, our president Dr. Julius Maada Bio believes that for Sierra Leone to come out of hunger, the rice farms which used to feed Sierra Leoneans must be revived. And that he has done. To end my note, I have witnessed the fruitful outcome of the visit of Dr. Brigadier (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio. I want to pray that this visit be a success as we all pray to receive him in Sierra Leone in good health. Amen.

    • This is what Mr Samuel Marconi Kamara a staunch supporter of President Bio said and I quote “So many people have lost opportunities to travel abroad for greener pastures just because of convid-19 virus”. Do you want to tell me that Sierra Leoneans were really fed up with the deteriorating economic hardship and hunger under President Bio’s government, that’s why many were fleeing the country to go out for greener pastures? This tells me that the “gron dry” became so serious under President Bio and the only way out was to flee the country. I will not be pleased about that, Mr Samuel Marconi Kamara. That was my take from your statement. I don’t think President Bio will be happy with your support, because you have just provided his political adversaries including myself with another political armour to hammer my, you, their, hers, his, your and our president in the next presidential campaign.

      Thank you very much Mr Samuel Marconi Kamara for helping me add a very important point in my political campaign armada. I don’t think you helped President Bio in any way whatsoever. Argue/Denny. Remember that you are on this glorious platform, where statements can be digested and make others happy or sad. So be ware. That’s it Mr Samuel Marconi Kamara and may God bless you.

  7. Once again, our visionless man at state house is at again, idling around European nations in disguise of fictitious agenda, put together with the sole purpose of defrauding our cash strap nation. While leaders from other nations who made the trip for the educational conference have long since return to their respective countries, ours is still lingering around London, racking up per diems on a daily basis, besides the $500,000 allege to have been spent to charter a private jet along with the over $1000 daily hotel expenses to accommodate his entourage. With an impoverish nation such as ours, only heartless and selfish leaders like Bio will engage in a such a wasteful spending while millions continues to suffer in abject poverty.

    Upon all the gazillion trips this president have taken in the name of wowing investors, absolutely nothing of substance is visible at the economic front at home. Youth unemployments continues to rise along with everything that defines cost of living. Never was i imaging these braggadocio squad of PAOPAs tuning out to be the FAKEST leaders ever our nation will produce. Around the capital, these nincompoops have the audacity to erect 10s of billboards engraving the Bio’s with the captioning ‘ tok n do’.

    I laugh my sides off first time i encountered one of those images at Jui junction. Exactly what have they done in the past 3 years other than defrauding our nation? The estimated 3-5million dollars that would have been squander by Bio and his entourage in a few weeks in their wasteful spending spree could easily built over 50 two to three bedrooms low cost housing for our poor citizens or better yet could be use to improve our educational sector that he claim to care for.

  8. Well air miles shaming, can be clearly associated with our president Bio . This Globe trotting president is contributing more on Global warming due to his love of his new found hobby of clocking air miles since he took office in 2018, than any other president in our nearest vicinity, the MANO River Union .His carbon foot print is the highest by a wide margin. and even more tantalising when one compare his wild travels expedition that cost the Sierra-Leonean tax payer more , with little in return or show for it. Compared to his fellow heads of states or any other Sierra Leonean citizen for that matter, he is miles ahead. Even if one is lucky enough to have a private jet, won’t able to cacth up with Bio. Bio is in a world of his own. Over the past four years managed to create for himself . Here was a man, not long ago was travelling on London Red Buses, maybe with a Free travel Pass, now is hopping from one Airport to the other.

    Seems to me, Bio has a special spot at Lungi International, solely dedicated and Catering for his needs. The only other president in the West African region that seems to clock in more air miles is Mohamed Buhari of Nigeria. And given his advance age, our Young president have no excuse about his travel adventures. If anything, they have drain more of our resources that will better help our under paid Nurses, that are in the front line battling Covid19, and our Teachers that are paid poverty wages but are just happy to get on with the job of educating our future generations .Even closer to home, President George Weah of Liberia and Alpha Conde of the Republic of Guinea, most be wondering why is President Bio always out and about in the middle of a Global pandemic, whilst most countries are still in travel restrictions. There most be something for him.

  9. Honestly, Sierra Leone is not a serious country. Our leaders are useless. Just take a look at the massive trade imbalance between Sierra Leone and Turkey and the things that we export to Turkey – scrap vessels? Since when did we start manufacturing scrap vessels. Shameful!!

    “In 2019, Turkey’s export to Sierra Leone was $59.6 million, including iron bars ($15.5M), cement ($14.9M), and wheat flour ($6.9M). In 2019, Sierra Leone’s export to Turkey was $2.67 million, made up mainly of scrap vessels ($1.21 million), titanium ore ($1 million), and gold ($421,000).”

  10. Well we invest foreign donations an d grants on luxury items for our leaders not on development . Bio is just another Momoh. This is what we should label as ‘New Dereliction’ aka Direction anew.

  11. Telling me Mr David Samura? How many times have we not advised this President to do the right thing? Put the right people in the right place so that you get the intelligence to save you from both internal and external embarrassment. President Bio has become the first victim of Global Britain, in my view. No head of State will ever get help from British taxpayers’ money if you are not doing the right thing for your country and people. The dictators and those who don’t care about human rights, corruption and other political abuses are the ones to suffer most. See what we are witnessing in real-time. Two Presidents went to Great Britain for a virtual meeting. But one returned home with £132M(One Hundred and Thirty Million pounds), Oh Boy, and the other walked sluggishly out of London with nothing.

    Ladies and gentlemen, read this article – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-announces-132m-of-new-investments-in-kenya-and-backs-nairobi-as-an-international-financial-centre#:~:text=The%20UK%20announced%20%C2%A33.7,6%2C000%20families%20in%20rural%20Kenya.

    No need for President Uhuru Kenyatta to travel to Istanbul searching for investors that don’t even know where Kenya is, let alone Nairobi. See how happy and proud President Uhuru Kenyatta looks. The UK’s Foreign Secretary, Mr Dominic Raab, is delighted. From his smiles, you can tell me that the UK government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson is One hundred per cent happy with the work the Kenyan President Mr Uhuru Kenyatta is doing for his people and country.

    Do you expect to get a British taxpayer’s help if your flight expenses for a few people is a little over $500,000(five hundred thousand dollars) or more for two weeks for any overseas visit? Argue or deny! The Brits will never waste such vast sums of money for their officials for two weeks. If you do that, then you will be seen as very rich. So, you leave with nothing. All that people will sing twice is this – “The beggar President!, he leaves with nothing!”. “The beggar President! you leave with nothing!, Ay”. Why not give the money to the Mayor of the City Council of Freetown to build new markets in the entire city. More than enough, Mr President. God bless the British Foreign Secretary Mr Dominic Raab, the British people and President Uhuru Kenyatta. What a successful trip by President Uhuru Kenyatta. See you one day in Kenya. What a lovely picture to watch in that link. Yeah.

Tell us about your views

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