Sierra Leone appreciates Nigeria, others for peacekeeping efforts

Cyril Okonkwo

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The government of Sierra Leone has expressed gratitude to Nigeria and some other West African countries for their interventions that have brought peace and developments to the country.

As the country marked its 60th Independence Anniversary in a series of events in the country’s capital, Freetown, President Julius Maada Bio stated how Nigeria and other countries in the region have helped in the course of the peace and development of his country.

President Bio spoke before several West African leaders, including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, at the event marking the country’s independence anniversary.

“Historically, both Nigeria and Sierra Leone have shared cherished and cordial relations at least right from colonial times,” spokesman to the Nigerian vice president, Laolu Akande said in a release on Wednesday.

“The relationship has continued and evidenced in the socio-economic, technical, and security cooperation over the years, including the deployment of Nigerian troops in Sierra Leone to uphold the peace and preserve democracy.”

President Bio honoured Nigeria and the other countries that, he said, have stood with Sierra Leone, a nation that survived an 11-year civil conflict from 1991 to 2002.

On behalf of their countries, Bio, at the celebrations in Freetown, decorated a number of West African leaders through their leaders that attended the celebration.

Besides the Nigerian Vice President, others decorated with Sierra Leone’s insignia of honour and dressy tokens were the Presidents of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo; Guinea, Alpha Conde; Liberia, George Weah and Gambia, Adama Barrow.

Prime Minister Nuno Gomes Nabiam of Guinea Bissau and a Special Envoy of the President of Ivory Coast were also in attendance at the event.

Speaking with the press in Freetown after the 60th Independence Anniversary event, Prof. Osinbajo said it was a worthwhile celebration, “Especially considering all of what Sierra Leone has been through in the 11 years of Civil War and they have emerged from that terrible experience, much stronger, a united country and developing everyday economically and socially.”

According to the VP It is a very happy event and we are all extremely proud of what the Sierra Leoneans have been able to do.

“We were very warmly hosted by President Bio and all the members of his cabinet and the good people of Sierra Leone. It has been a very exciting, warm, and joyful event.”

On arrival on Tuesday morning at the Lungi Airport in Freetown, Vice President Osinbajo was received by his Sierra Leonean counterpart, the VP, Dr Mohamed Jalloh. Prof. Osinbajo returned to Abuja last night.


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