Sierra Leone Telegraph: 16 July 2019:
Sierra Leone’s media – both news and social, are awash with rumours and innuendos. concerning the whereabout of president Julius Maada Bio, who has not been seen in public or heard from, for several days.
The president whose staff at State House are normally quick to issue a statement informing the public about the president’s itinerary – especially his travel plans, are this time however, keeping tight-lipped.
Despite several days of speculation about president Bio’s escapade, ranging from poor health which many say is failing, to the president taking what his supporters say is a well-earned holiday in a five-star hotel in London, State House remains quiet.
No one would begrudge the president of a holiday, which he deserves after twelve months of hard work, trying to reshape the economy as well as taking the fight to the country’s main opposition APC party in his battle to assert and consolidate his grip on power.
But what the opposition political parties and critics are pointing out about the president’s disappearance is that, by failing to make public, details of his whereabout, smacks of contempt for the people he governs.
“The people have a right to know about the plight of their president,” many Sierra Leoneans are saying today.
They also point out that when former president Koroma was in power, his media team at State House made it a habit of issuing statements about his travel plans, even when the former president was going abroad for healthcare – for which he frequently was lambasted and accused of health tourism.
Some supporters of president Bio are on the offensive, accusing the opposition of wishing ill-will on the president. But this has further fuelled speculations about the health of president Bio.
The editor of the Sierra Leone Telegraph – Abdul Rashid Thomas, yesterday contacted a senior official in the Bio government to find out about the whereabout of the president. Quite simply, he doesn’t know either.
Speaking under anonymity, he told the editor: “I don’t know where he is, but I think he is well, perhaps in London resting”.
A senior government minister – a close confidante of the president, told the editor in confidence, that: “the president has taken time out to sort out some family issues,” but did not say where, nor did he divulge any further details.
But if he is in London, what is the country’s High Commission saying about the president’s whereabout?
Last night, in a bid to quell speculations about the president’s health, the deputy High Commissioner in the UK, issued a statement saying: “President Julius Maada Bio is well and hearty. He is only relaxing and enjoying a little break from his very hectic schedule in London”.
But what the president’s schedule is, no one in his government is allowed to say, which does very little, if any, to put an end to what has become an unnecessary and mysterious cycle of speculations and rumours about the president’s health and whereabout.
“The president is very well and fit and there is nothing to worry about,” the High Commission in London said last night to allay fears and end speculation.
Those who wish ill-will on others will reap what they sow. No one is immuned to sickness and death. So, let’s not behave like bunch of fools for political expediency by propagating falsehoods about the whereabouts or the health condition of President Bio. Are you sick when you and your family take a much needed vacation? True vacation is when you leave all work behind and try to reconnect with family and closest allies.
While on vacation, you also try to rejuvenate your whole body through relaxation and various exercises to reduce the level of toxins in your body. While on vacation, the President could be quietly hard at work trying to unravel the mess he inherited from the previous corrupt and inept administration of Ernest Koroma.
The country is indeed sick as it was left in a comatose condition with the lowest economic index since Independence. You should not decry the current administration’s efforts to improve conditions for all Sierra Leoneans. Bio has achieved more in a year compared with the 10 years of disastrous economic mismanagement of the previous administration. The record speaks for itself. Look at it. God bless Sierra leone and God bless President Bio. VIVA SIERRA LEONE!
President Bio defended his PhD successfully at UK university and today proceeded to Kenya, where he is vacationing.
I can understand that some of you wanted to hear negative news about the President. This is not the first time. After assuming office, there were rumors going around saying he’s paralyzed. Now be advised that nothing is wrong with Bio… Ok. Thanks.
My comment of our president is that he is in the right place at the right time. But some of us are failing to tell him the hard fact that he uses people for his benefit, and he is not a team player like the late Captain SAJ Musa. And also he is using feminism to eliminate his rivals and opponents.
I remember in 1992 when I was student doing my upper sixth form at the Sierra Leone Grammar school and all the the students in secondary and tertiary institutions where at the National Stadium to render our solidarity to the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) MILITARY JUNTA, then Lt Julius Maada Bio was the only senior military ruling member with two female body guards among his colleagues.
And we saw the difference in that administration when the late Captain SAJ Musa was disposed as vice chairman of the NPRC party in 1993/94. And when Brigadier Bio was made the vice chairman/vice president, the rebels started gaining territories and grounds and the NPRC led military government had to hire South African mercenaries to gain back the territories lost to the rebel. We had to pay them in hard currencies (US Dollars) just for our safety. And they had to mortgage the diamond mines as collateral security just to keep the mercenary fighting for the government.
To cut cut long story short when Retired Brigadier Bio was elected as the flag bearer for the SLPP party in 2011/12 presidential candidate instead of selecting Mr Osman B Kamara as running mate or discussed with him as Osman came second in the contest about his choice so as to unify the party for the 2012 presidential and general elections so that we can secure Mr Osman’s supporters in the West of the country, Mr Bio never did. And we saw the enormous margin/gap between between the two main parties at the polls. Mr Osman defected to the APC party and the rest is history.
Due to the wind of change in 2018 any candidate of the main opposition party was likely to win that election. Mr Bio was again elected by the delegates that previously stated that the presidential flagbearership is only for one term loser and I made mention of that when they refused to allow Solo B to re-contest again after losing dubiously the 2007 presidential election.
Due to the hard work of the SLPP technocrats and expatriates who are mostly male, changing the despicable, redundant image of the country to the 3rd hungriest country in the world, the IMF had to withdrew their services from the country, massive external and internal debts. The IMF has returned to the country, investor confidence is booming and the image of the country is once more shinning.
But we are afraid to tell the president of his excessive use of executive powers; and the professional senior ranks of the Sierra Leone military cannot condemn the president for his selection of the first all female recruits of the military force. Mr Bill Clinton did that during his tenure as president of the USA but the senior military establishment and officers had to stand to their feet in defiance and backed by evidence-based practice that the military is for the fit and strong.
I remember the late Major General Maxwell Kobe then head of the military during the previous Ahmed Tejan-Kabbah led SLPP governmenrt. He was going to tertiary institutions telling students that the army is in need of university graduates. His emphasis was on the fit but not the unfit.
Even the late Lt Muammar Gaddafi had female body guards whenever he travelled outside of Libya, but we never heard that he recruited an all female recruit to join his armed forces.
If we don’t give our voices we will soon be hearing about an all female police recruits, Special Security Divisions recruit, Prison services recruits. Let me be bold enough to say that despite the hard work of his current male dominated leadership /executive team that stands a great chance of him to be re-elected for his second and last term, Mr Bio will not be afraid to bye-pass some of his competent male team members for a female presidential flag bearer in 2028. A word to the wise is quite sufficient.
Whether ill or not, the most important thing is the people’s right to know about the plight of their president. But if those who are to inform us failed, lets relax and wait, maybe when things fail them they will reveal the truth. But let me assure them that “a toad cannot run in the day time for nothing” May God continue to bless mama salone.
I called the reception of the ten top hospitals in LONDON to ask the whereabouts of my President but no information. I suspect he might be doing his MEDICAL CHECKUPS at ROYAL BROMPTON HOSPITAL in LONDON. The reason I’m saying this is because, I asked that I want to speak with a patient from Sierra Leone. The receptionist then asked me the name. I replied MAADA. She then told me to wait. Afterwards, she came and said I don’t think so. She did not say yes or no. Can you imagine? He might be at BROMPTON HOSPITAL in London in my view.
I have to make the journey to BROMPTON HOSPITAL with my camera and camp somewhere. I must find my President. Believe me.
Get well soon Mr president Bio.
We need to know the whereabout of the President.
Last night an anxious,bewildered wind rushed through my house,opening,and slamming every door,and window,looking for me yelling; ” Saidu the President is gone,vanished into thin air,nowhere to be found! ” Is it true? I asked. That the President has packed his belongings,and absconded like a frustrated husband,,no longer interested in a bad marriage? Hilarious!
I ask you – Is it morally acceptable,proper,and ethically right for a nations leader,who is like a shepherd over a flock,to leave them unattended,vulnerable,and uncared for? Nothing justifies abruptly leaving the affairs of the state without saying a word to the citizens that elected you into public office. This is an outright show of contempt,and blatant disrespect of the office he is holding.
I said it once before, let me reiterate – the man has chewed far more than he is able to swallow. He is an escapist,whose fragile psyche cannot stand the heat in the political kitchen for too long. And to make matter worse – he lives in a world of fantasy,and not in the real one. True.
The man is totally confused,because now he has no other choice but to think,and solve difficult problems instead of pointing the barrel of a gun. Not surprised at all! Is this President depressed? I think he is!
Avoidance of one’s duties,and running scared,every now,and then in search of tranquility,safe havens,and repose are clear signs,and indicators of chronic depression. And these are the people looking for billion dollars loans to build mammoth projects. Inconsistent, incongruous men! Imagine that just for a second!
These fragile-minded people that cannot even shoulder ordinary, light,feathery burdens,are the ones governing our nation presently. Immaturities have taken over matters of high priority, requiring thoughtful considerations,and due diligence. Now where are the trumpet blowers,and praise singers?
“Missing You” has now become the SLPP’s latest song. Yep,the only songs left for them to sing now,are songs of heartbreak, weariness,and loss…Rising Sun Will Rise Again.
I want to believe President Bio is a mere mortal and God’s creation. Any thing created by God is liable to die one day of which President Bio is no exemption to this assertion. My question is this; why Sierra Leoneans are wishing for the death of their own President? This is wickedness and unclean heart.
Friends and Countrymen it is really good to pray for our leaders and have a high respect for their endeavours. The Bible or Quran requires us to pray for our leaders and not to provoke, criticise and disrespect them because we are politically blinded and the reality is hiding from us.
Either Dr. Ahmed Tejan Kabba (RIP), Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and H.E Julius Maada Bio, We need to know that Leadership comes from God. So have trust in God, Respect His appointments and Support your Leaders in good and Bad times. Stop this ill comments and Let us wish good always for our leaders including Our President. He is chosen by God.
As a citizen of Sierra Leone and also a senior citizen, I am asking the minister of information to please tell me the whereabout of my president. It is my constitutional right to know through that ministry. President Bio is the father of our nation and a public figure. I hope all is well with him and may Allah guide and protect him where ever he is. Ameen.
Just a year into his (five/ten-year) presidency and he is off to the UK for medical/rest? Seems like we have landed with a high maintenance President who will be making annual trip to the west for medical/rest with his family in tow.
What is truly remarkable about the president’s absence without notice given to citizens, is the fact that he chose not to be around to visit the Yumkella family at this difficult time for the family. Who does a thing like that? Only a man without a heart would behave like that. Its appalling.
I am SLPP and I am beginning to learn so much about the man I voted for as president of our country. I thought he was better than Koroma. But now he is showing his true colour. God help mama Salone.
Peter Ngebeh, you and I know and God knows that you are not saying the truth. But that is yours between you and your conscience. What is it about the bereavement of the mother of Dr. Yumkella that the President has to attend at all cost and in your opinion his absence despite his party and government extending your condolences is not enough for you. Do you know when Bio lost his mother?
Did Ernest as President at that time pay visit to the Bio’s house to extend his condolences when Bio’s mother died? Bio had had his travel planned long before the demised of Yumkella’s mother. Do you expect him to cancel his trip because of that? Are you privy to any conversation between Bio and the Yumkella’s at this time? Do you know the Minister of Presidential Affairs is a Yumkella? Man you guys play politics at everything.
N/B. I will be surprised to see this comment publish.
Some of you sycophants of the past corrupt regime, can not be even truthful to your own conscience and responsibilities to your country. There is a situation that does concern the national interest and all you do, is spreading negative Vibes.
If our president is sick, may God give him speedy recovery and come back home strong, and continue the good work he has been doing for our beloved mama Salone. No weapon formed against you shall prosper, hope to see back soon Mr president.
Dear Sir/Ma’am, As children of our “Mother Land (Sierra Leone)”, we should know the whereabouts of President, just in case of emergency. No matter what befell him, we should be well notified so that we look/search for possible solutions/cure fast.
Whether ‘The Son of the Soil’ deserves a rest or not, we should be concerned about his sustainable good health and developmental progress he has been making (Visionary President for the next decade or next score of years if possible). Let us put politics aside and focus in developing our small Sierra Leone … the land blessed with natural resources that could improve the country in many ways faster than imagined.
H. E. President Dr. Maada Bio, upon your full recovery from vacation, my suggestion to your economic advisers is to consider diversification or projects that are sustainable: on the sectors of (1) Clean Drinking Water/pipe water Supply, (2) Affordable Electricity or Solar Supply and (3) Agricultural Farming Projects: e.g. Rice, Cassava, Potato, Pepper, Yams, Fish, Livestock/Ruminants, Poultry etc.
My brief profile, I, Dr. Aluscine Kabia, completed medical studies in France and returned to Sierra Leone (but due to the threat of the Civil War, I immigrated into the USA). Then I completed Practical Nursing studies and also completed MS and PhD in Health Science. Finally I invented the machine (ALKAMA) that can produce oil(s) and other food products etc. … Patent of The ALKAMA is registered in Maryland, USA. As such, we all need to return to mother Sierra Leone to contribute to the progress of our Mother Land.
Yours respectfully, Dr. Aluscine Kabia
Perhaps political asylum in England!
Where is our President? Has he been taking hostage because of the benefits he recently paid back to former APC government officials? Until I see my president, I will trust no one on this matter. Resting or vacating in London or not is not enough to convince me that our President is on planet earth. I will revisit this article later. SLPP, just bring our President back. PERIOD!
If the notice from the High Commission stating that president Julius Maada Bio is well and resting does not put the speculations about his whereabouts to rest then I wonder what will. Do Sierra Leoneans have to know the address of the president’s hotel?
In the brief absence of president Bio, the country is in the capable hands of Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, the vice president. Sierra Leoneans must relax . The president, like the rest of us, has a right to some privacy.
May the almighty see him through in his hard work. President Bio is a great man and he deserves to rest.