President Ernest Bai Koroma who is noted as the main brain behind the political tolerance enjoyed in Sierra Leone currently, has taken key opposition SLPP leaders in persons of Chairman Alex Bonapha of Kailahun District Council and Chairman Saddiq Sillah of Pujehun District Local Council along with him whilst he was on a private visit to say thanks to the British Military Ship, the RAF Argus.
UK Military’s Media Team Lead in Sierra Leone, Major James Horspool in an e-mail to Awareness Times, confirmed the trip was a private one by the President who was invited by UK Task Force and the President chose to attend with his SLPP guests.
In addition, Chairman Saddiq Sillah has confirmed on social media that they received their Invitations from office of the State House Chief of Protocol for them to accompany the President.
This acceptance by Kailahun and Pujehun Councils’ leaders of the invitation by President Koroma to accompany him on a private presidential trip, has disappointed those who had been hopeful that key members of the Opposition will heed calls for H.E. President Koroma and Hon. Vice-President Victor Foh to be shunned by SLPP opposition leaders.
Earlier on March 26th 2015, Saddiq Sillah visited State House alongside section of South-Easterners to publicly endorse the choice of new Vice-President Victor Foh as good for peace and national unity.
Following the endorsement of Vice-President Foh, Chairman Saddiq then boarded a helicopter together with Kailahun Chair Alex Bonapha and President Koroma to fly out from Cockeril to the Argus Ship shortly before it sailed off Sierra Leone.
After the ceremonial thank-you was rendered by President Koroma on board the UK ship, both Alex Bonapha of SLPP Kailahun and Saddiq Sillah of SLPP Pujehun boarded a Naval boat with their President to return back to King Tom Naval Base in Freetown. It was a beautiful show of SLPP-APC collaboration in State matters and many citizens are hopeful that this will continue; no matter what.
Meanwhile, all towns and cities are peaceful and calm. Wild threats of street demonstrations by the opposition SLPP this week have not happened.
Please see below for a report from British Military.
President Koroma Thanks UK Ship after Ebola Service
By British Military Media News
His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma has thanked UK sailors and Royal Marines on the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship RFA Argus on the eve of their departure back to the UK. It follows nearly six months deployed as part of the UK Task Force.
Argus deployed to Sierra Leone from the UK in September to provide vital aviation support and medical capability to the UK led effort against the disease. Her three Merlin helicopters from 820 Naval Air Squadron and detachment of Royal Marines from 1 Assault Group Royal Marines helped deliver equipment, supplies and food packages to remote areas of the country during her time in Sierra Leone.
|President Koroma on board the ship where he took Bonapha & Sillah
During his visit, Sierra Leone’s Head of State who was joined by the CEO of the National Ebola Response Centre and District Chairmen from the Pujehun and Kailahun districts thanked all on board for their sacrifice.
His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma said:
“I am here this evening to say thank you and goodbye. Thank you to you the Royal Navy. Thank you to the British Government, and thank you to the British people for providing us with the support at this very difficult moment of our country’s history.”
“As you are leaving with our appreciation, we know a good number of your colleagues are still with us, and they are here because we have not yet completed the fight. We are now on the road to zero. Until we get to zero and stay zero for forty two days we will still be within a situation of Ebola. But I am sure with what we have learned, with the continued support that you are providing we will get out of it.”
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.