By Cyril Barnes
“Leadership is taking the front row as someone prepared to overturn the odds.”
I can still recollect the first time I met with the Rtd Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, his magnanimity enveloped with his mettle, winsome smile, grandeur, calm, composure, charisma and charm, softness of speech and “goal-orientedness” all added value to his presidential capacity. Once a statesman, he is a personality rectitude of sagacity and perspicacity.
He is disciplined and forthright; and his image projects a beaming radiance in our political silhouette because his greatest strength is the love he enjoys with his people. To him, “leadership is not a right but a privilege given by all Sierra Leoneans.”
If we are to go by the John F Kennedy’s aphorism, “Ask not what your country has done for you, but rather ask what you have done for your country,” Bio’s commitment and loyalty to his beloved nation Sierra Leone is second to none.
He fulfils all the words inscribed on the National Pledge: *”He has pledged his love and loyalty to this nation by defending her in battles and risking his life to embark on a nationwide Ebola sensitization campaign in order that he provided safety and precautionary directives to his people to extirpate the Ebola scourge; he has served her faithfully by sacrificing his leadership for the peace and tranquility of all Sierra Leoneans; he has also defended her honour and good name and has always worked for her unity, peace, freedom and prosperity by handing over power to a civilian government for the development of this nation. He has put her interest above all else by having her as the only country he has ever served, for Bio has never given up his citizenship for Western opportunities—no oath of loyalty to another country (dual citizenship).”*
*WHY BIO FOR PRESIDENT?*
I support Bio not because I am SLPP or because I’m a Southerner, but rather because I believe in his leadership dexterities. Without controversy, Bio is all about us…in our mysterious past he encompassed our broken governance system and fixed it with his life.
If we are enjoying peace and democracy today, that peace was contained in him as he broke military protocols and sacrificed his life for the good of us all. Bio touches our past and prepares our future, and the best this nation will ever experience is stashed in his NEW DIRECTION POLICY .
*FROM THE PAST*…a young citizen who chose to answer to the call of defending his nation by forsaking everything and pledging his unwavering love, loyalty and service to his beloved nation.
As a mighty man of valour, he fought gallantly to rescue the citizens of this nation and protected Sierra Leone’s territorial integrity.
He, together with his young military fellows who believed that Sierra Leone deserved better, risked their precious lives to save Sierra Leone from the venom of the APC’S dark, illiterate, corrupt, tribal and dictatorial method of leadership.
When he thought that the NPRC was straying from its mandate, he defied military orders and overthrew Captain Valentine Strasser to uphold the ideals of unity, freedom and justice.
Furthermore, he initiated the peace process by striking a cease fire negotiation with FodaySankoh. Finally, he presided over the first multi-party elections in Sierra Leone and in peaceful transition; he handed over power to a civilian government.
*IN THE PRESENT*…He challenges us (voters) to entrust our votes to him because he knows much about our leadership dynamics and our sufferings than anyone other presidential aspirants.
Together with all Sierra Leoneans, he can fix up our broken country through his well crafted political manual, THE NEW DIRECTION. The NEW DIRECTION is the best political party policy I have ever set eyes on.
It has a rich content that will catapult the country from mediocrity to the height that it deserves to be.
The policy document, when carefully implemented, will give Sierra Leone a facelift as it prioritises equality education for all especially the girl child.
Bio believes that everything we ever need to make this nation a glory is deposited in us. He believes this election has the propensity of making or breaking this nation forever, and he has confidence that we will make the best decision which is voting him as our next presidential representative. He prioritises education because education forms the backbone to national development.
A free education for all pupils will boost our nation’s literacy capacity and that will be a stepping stone to improve all sectors. Education is not only the top on his priority list but also health, economy, agriculture, minerals etc are part of the package.
He will provide wide range opportunities for the private sector to thrive with less government interference. He will construct more business centres and keep its operations booming.
Being a gentleman who stands by his word, he has firmly promised lecturers and students that he will not interfere with the activities of the University of Sierra Leone.
Never in history will our presidents become chancellors of the university, for the university heads will choose from among them a credible and reputable personality who will be able to lead the university, lobby for funds, conduct researches and community services reasonably and responsibly.
*IN THE FUTURE*…the implementation of the New Direction will give Sierra Leone a development overhaul in which quality education, better medical facilities, viable economy, food sufficiency and large scale youth employment and empowerment will be catered for.
*The NEW DIRECTION IS THE ONLY DIRECTION SIERRA LEONE SHOULD FOLLOW. IT IS THE ONLY WAY THROUGH AND ONLY WAY OUT.*
Bio’s presidential aspiration resuscitates our despaired hope in leadership and signals a brighter future for Mama Salone.
He has come a long; he has fought many battles and he embodies scars that remind him that he has battled to conquer.
Sierra Leone is blessed to have a personality like him because he worth his weight in gold.
He has been the most feared political opponent of the APC and nothing keeps them on their toes save the name Bio.
All he needs is five years to prove to his critics that he is not what they are painting him, but rather his flaring personality stands on firmer horizon.
He will not destroy the peace and democracy that he sacrificed his life to build; he will reinforce it because without peace there is no such thing as sustainable development.
All said and done, let me establish with confidence that *BIO IS THE MOST POPULAR AND BATTLE TESTED POLITICIAN IN PRESENT DAY SIERRA LEONE.*
I will be waiting with bated breath to celebrate Bio’s presidential victory.