President Julius Maada Bio has made history by deciding that all former Sierra Leone presidents are to get gratuity and pension entitlements. His decision was borne out of the urgent need to include the depraved and sickly former head of state Valentine Strasser who is presently getting treatment in Ghana, thanks to the SLPP government.
The decision by government to pay his gratuity and pension has been welcomed by many concerned Sierra Leoneans who believe that it is long overdue. Valentine Strasser, according to reports, is currently receiving pension as a retired military officer and not as a former head of state.
The Strategic Information Officer in the Ministry of Information and Communications, Abu Bakarr Joe Sesay disclosed that President Bio is currently in talks with all the necessary stakeholders in government to ensure that the former head of State gets the pension package accorded to former heads of state or presidents as stipulated by the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.
This, according to Abu Bakarr Joe Sesay, will help restore the respect of the former head of state, adding that President Bio has decided to include Strasser into the pension package because of his patriotism and respect for Sierra Leone.
It could be recalled that Strasser was flown to Accra, Ghana recently onboard a chartered air ambulance following an executive clearance for a surgical operation on his leg, after a long drawn-out battle with his left leg and other undisclosed health complications.
In Ghana, a nine-hour long surgery to his left leg was successful and he is said to be currently responding positively to treatment at a private home after he was discharged from the Eurocare-Advanced Diagnostic and Heart Centre in Accra.
Strasser sustained gunshot and shrapnel wounds while fighting against the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels in the 90s.
Meanwhile, Sierra Leone High Commissioner to Ghana, Francess Anderson has visited Strasser with a bouquet of fresh sun and hibiscus flowers.