When Ahmad Tejan Kabbah was sworn-in as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone on 29th March 1996 he promised to achieve “lasting peace, stability, and socio-economic progress in our country”. Throughout his Presidency (1996 to 2007), Kab, bah spent every ounce of his energy to achieve lasting peace in Sierra Leone. He was even prepared to give up his Presidency if that would bring lasting peace and stability to Sierra Leone.
Against the advice of his own Cabinet, Kabbah agreed (some people say he was forced by the United States) to sign the Lome Peace Accord with the RUF of Foday Sankoh which led to a temporal cessation of hostilities in the country. The RUF was brought into the government and its leadership returned to and settled in Freetown.
Sankoh’s failure or refusal to cooperate with the government in the implementation of the Lome Peace Accord was a great embarrassment to Kabbah personally and the guarantors of the Lome Peace Accord in general.
Kabbah had a turbulent tenure of off between 1996 and 2002. He was overthrown in May 1997 and reinstated in March 1998. In January 1999, the RUF rebels nearly succeeded in removing Kabbah from power with support from some renegade members of the National Army, the RSLAF. Between 2002 and 2007, Kabbah got a grip of the country with suppNational the Federal Republic of Nigeria and later the United Kingdom government of Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Kabbah spent his entire time as President, fighting to restore lasting peace and stability to Sierra Leone. In 2002, Kabbah declared the civil war over and in 2007, after presiding over the Presidential and general elections of that year, he retired from active party politics and became an elderly statesman.
On 13th Mach 2014, Sierra Leone’s ex-President and war-time leader Ahmad Tejan Kabbah died at the Choitram Memorial Hospital in Freetown at the age of 82 after a protracted illness.
Ernest Bai Koroma was sworn in as President of Sierra Leone on 17th September 2007. He retired from office on 4tsworn in 2018 after serving as President for two uninterrupted and consecutive terms.
In his inaugural speech, Koroma called for a change of attitude. “We must all be ready now to embrace change… change in our attitude towards one another…change in our attitude to work and change in our attitude towards our nation”.
Between 2007 and 2012, Koroma embarked on massive infrastructure development. Road construction and electricity supply got a significant boost during Koroma’s first term in office. His Agenda for Change was a watershed moment in the country.
Koroma got distracted during his second term in office (2012 to 2018) when he started entertaining the call for him to amend the 1991 Constitution to enable him to run for a third term. The third-term ambition overshadowed the implementation of the Agenda for Prosperity. Koroma’s third term in April 2018 was at a low. His legacy was overshadowed and damaged by the chaos he left behind in his APC party. His decision to continue to be Chairman and Leader of the APC party after he had left office also made him strongly detested by some people across the country.
Koroma’s Agenda for Prosperity was completely unsuccessful because of his selfish desire to surround himself with some disloyal and incompetent yes-men at State House.
Brig. (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio was sworn in as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone on 4th April 2018 after defeating his worn challenger in the run-off elections, Dr. Samura Kamara.
In his inaugural speech, President Bio said, “My New Direction administration has prioritized Free Quality Education as the flagship policy program of my government. We have made education the bedrock and foundation for developing programs and the main strategy to create a ladder of opportunity for all Sierra Leoneans to climb and achieve their greatest potentials”.
Since he took the reins, President Bio has consistently pursued his flagship policy of Free Quality Education. 22% of the national budget is allocated to education. This shows the seriousness the Bio administration attaches to education.
President Bio has an optimistic vision for Sierra Leone. He believes that only an enlightened population can transform and develop a nation. Since the introduction of Free Quality Education, enrollment in schools (especially in primary schools) has increased exponentially.
With four years in office, people now see the direction that President Bio is taking the country. He is putting the country on a stronger footing by increasing access to electricity, building more health centers in remote areas of the country, protecting and promoting civil liberties, bringing centers into government, making the country attractive to foreign direct investment, and restoring Sierra Leone’s image on the global stage.
Sierra Leoneans always appreciate, good leaders. Show appreciation to President Bio by voting to reelect him in June 2023 without a runoff!
President Bio’s vision for a better and fairer society is embedded in his social justice policy of human capital development and Free Quality Education for all children.
A good leader has personality, courage, and a clear vision with the ambition to succeed. President Bio is a good leader.