The period of one year, it seems runs at a different pace and rate for Sierra Leone when compared to the rest of the World
Worldwide, people have contempt at best and hatred at worst for their political leaders. Like the Indian yearning for a near perfect “Rama Rajya“, the only loved political masters seem to be the dead ones!
Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone seems to be the one leader who has bucked this almost ubiquitous trend. He is Fifty Five years old and is the current leader of that country for barely a year. He is also living proof that there ARE human beings, even political ones, who can keep their election campaign promises to a very great extent.
Sierra Leone was famous for its blood diamonds, the illegal but lucrative trade of this precious stone, which ensured that money was plentiful in the hands of vested people. War and violence was part of the landscape. The appearance of the Ebola virus was yet another unattractive quality of this tiny nation.
This was the political inheritance of Julius Maada Bio. He was a Brigadier in the army who had lost a couple of elections till his 2018 victory with Sierra Leone’ s People’s Party. He, like other would-be leaders, promised to clean up corruption in the country, a stale conjuring trick that never fails to con even intelligent electorates, the world over. There was one essential difference. Julius Bio actually set out to do what he promised he would do if elected to power. The miraculous pre/post-election personality switch was not happening!
He has given a general amnesty to those who have stashed away illegal money. Estimated at a One Billion US Dollars, this was no small sum for a country that has financial turnovers of Three Million US Dollars! Even though dubbed vindictive by some, Bio has understood the value of cleansing a rank political system. There cannot be a declared and actual stand on corruption. How many politicians, worldwide, would win a second term, if corruption was an issue is a moot point.
Bio’s stand on corruption exceeds the merely financial aspect of things. He has come out as a rare person who honours his word! A citizen of Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria, supposedly funded by the UK are part of the committee set up to deal with financial misdemeanours.
This canny leader has understood the value of Education for the future of his country. He is seeing to it that the backlog of salaries for teachers is being quickly cleared up. Respect, both financial and societal for teachers have got quality educators, enthused. A mere decade later, the world is going to be flooded with qualified, competent Sierra Leonese who is going to carry their country into the International markets and workplaces with gusto! No country which does not respect and encourage the very people who mould their children has already lost its stake in the future.
Married to Fatima Bio, a filmmaker, actress, and a devout Muslim, Julius Maada Bio, himself a Roman Catholic, is living the adage of Unity in Diversity.
In this age of Cynicism and political apathy, Bio is a refreshing example of a leader whose actions go beyond mere rhetoric. He is earning the love and respect of his people, a reaction that has become extinct worldwide, in the tsunami of adulation other leaders seem to prefer.
The period of one year, it seems runs at a different pace and rate for Sierra Leone when compared to the rest of the World.
- A Year in Sierra Leone - April 29, 2019
- Dakshina – respect for the pundits spiritual expertise - July 19, 2018