By Raphael Oni
African Heads of States and Government, particularly those from the ECOWAS sub region joined His Excellency Julius Maada Bio, the President of Sierra Leone to celebrate 60th Independence Day of Sierra Leone in Freetown, the Capital of Sierra Leone
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo represented President Muhammadu Buhari. In a release made available to journalists in Abuja from the office, Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Media and Publicity to the Vice President, said Osinbajo was accompanied by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada and others.
The Sierra Leone leader appreciates all the neighboring country for being good friend of his country over the past years. In his words,
“At several points in our country’s sixty-year journey, each of you has been a good neighbour when our very existence as a nation was threatened. Sierra Leone benefitted from the ECOWAS security infrastructure and Sierra Leone is most grateful for the extreme sacrifice made by our neighbours in contributing troops, hosting our displaced citizens, and brokering and supporting peace in Sierra Leone.”
President Maada Bio praises the effort of the heroes who fought in the past to hand over freedom to Sierra Leoneans. In his words, “Our freedom fighters went through countless suffering to give us our freedom. 27th April is a day of remembrance and honor to our heroes,” He added that over the past 60 years, the Sierra Leonean people have learned to live together as a nation. Furthermore, he said “We have felt the pain, learned the lessons, used the lessons as opportunities to learn, and drawn strength from those opportunities to become a better nation,”.
The president said the country is investing heavily to increase the quality of education and healthcare, develop agriculture and promote food security as “the people of Sierra Leone are the most valuable resource.”
In the same vein, the High Commission of Sierra Leone in Abuja organized a reception to commemorate the 60th Independence Day in Abuja. It was indeed an evening full of fun as friends of Sierra Leone were thrilled by the performance of the Sierra Leonean cultural troupe.
Historically, both Nigeria and Sierra Leone have shared cordial relations almost right from colonial times. The relationship is evidenced in the socio-economic, technical, and security cooperation over the years.