Sierra Leone Telegraph: 5 June 2023:
President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone on Tuesday 30 May 2023 made a symbolic visit to the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation Centre in Abuja, Nigeria. State House report from Freetown says that the visit is in furtherance of President Bio’s commitment to advancing shared values and exploring partnerships for the promotion of purposeful leadership and Pan-Africanism.
President Bio was in Abuja where he attended the inauguration of President Elect Tinubu.
The Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre was established by friends, associates and members of the Yar’Adua family to “honour the legacy of one of Nigeria’s foremost contemporary leaders and inspire future generations with his life of service.”
President Bio was received at the Centre by the Vice Chairman of the Board, Mr Akin Kekere-Ekun and led on the tour of the expansive facility that has served as a Centre for research as well as a platform for furthering the ideals of Shehu Yar’Adua; his commitment to national unity, good governance and to building a just and democratic society for all Nigerians.
Also present were David Francis – Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sidie Muhammed Tunis – Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Mr A.B. Mahmoud – member of the board of the Centre. Mallam Murtala Yar’Adua – Son of the late Yar’Adua and Board Member, Mr Babatunde Ajala – Senior Economic and Political Officer at the Embassy of Switzerland.
According to report from State House in Freetown, President Bio’s visit to the Centre was inspired by his vision to build lasting legacies of purposeful leadership and draw lessons from the life and services of Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, who was instrumental in the promotion of democracy in Nigeria and Africa at large.
With this visit, President Bio joins a growing list of global leaders that have been hosted by the Centre, including the former President of South Africa – Nelson Mandela, President of Ghana – Nana Akufo-Addo, former President of Tanzania – Jakaya Kikwete.
During his visit, President Julius Maada Bio signed the Book of Reflection, participated in a ceremonial tree planting at the memorial garden. He also exchanged ideas with the Centre’s leadership on finding common ground and forging partnerships that could benefit Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
“The legacies of Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, a retired Military General, ties-in very neatly with President Julius Maada Bio’s legacy of selfless leadership, deepening democracy, nationalism and Pan-Africanism. This visit showcases his vision, leadership, and commitment to progress, attracting admiration and respect from leaders worldwide. With this visit, President Bio has once more showcased his desire to build a lasting and enduring legacy for young leaders in Sierra Leone and across the continent. The visit also signifies President Bio’s interest in exchanging ideas with leaders from all walks of life to build a peaceful, prosperous, united Sierra Leone and Africa,” State House report concludes.