By Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden OOR
Few months ago, I was in Senegal and one particular weekend, a friend of mine said Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio had just landed in the country on a plane to visit Sédhiou which is a Senegalese town in Casamance area where a famous African spiritualist (Juju-man) lives. I checked home and there was no official report indicating the President had left Sierra Leone. So that was that. I told my friend I cannot confirm her claim.
However, what is indisputable about this President is that he has a penchant for flying out un-announced. Once, he was partying in Nigeria and his party photos got shared by Nigerians on social media. Only then Sierra Leoneans knew H.E. Bio was out of the country and attending a party in Nigeria.
Recently, the president again flew out of the country without informing the citizens. This has led to speculations about his health.
Our Constitution is clear that a president needs to be in good frame of mind and physical health to lead us – so speculations of Bio’s ill-health are not good.
During his tenure, whenever President Koroma was leaving Sierra Leone to go to Europe for his annual medical check-ups or on short vacations, he would dutifully inform the citizens. That is how a respectful Leader behaves. This is another of the numerous areas that President Bio could consider to emulate his predecessor’s respect for Sierra Leone citizens.
Citizens employ the president. He should communicate with his employers when he is going out of the country. Until then, we wish Mr. President well.