Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio arrived in New York today to address the United Nations General Assembly. He safely arrived with an entourage of over 175 (one hundred and seventy five) people.
It is embarassing to report that the president of the small West African nation was accorded an ordinary entry status while other Heads of State were accorded VIP treatments.
President Bio who was elected in a controversial election, was not allowed to use the VIP section of the airport unlike other Heads of State. He had to go through the normal immigration service procedures, and walk a long way as any other ordinary US Visitor.
It could be recalled that Mr. Bio was deported from the US for domestic violence, fraud and human rights abuses. In 1992, he led the extrajudicial killings of 29 people including a pregnant woman. When asked why he authorised the torture and murder of the 29 Sierra Leonens, he said, “it was better to finish off with them because it was impossible for them to live ” after they had been tortured by his soldiers whom he had ordered to torture them.
In 1996, through the power of ordinary citizens who had had enough of Mr. Bio’s violence, Sierra Leone returned to democratic rule, amidst violent attacks, amputations, raping of women by Mr. Bio’s military junta rebel soldiers who were not in support of demoractic governance.
Against this background, Mr. Bio was deported and blacklisted not to ever enter the United States of America. He made several failed attempts to enter the United States through Canada and Mexico.
As president of Sierra Leone, elected in a controversial election many say he clearly lost to the then ruling APC party, President Bio finally got his chance to enter the USA today — but as an ordinary visitor to the United Nations. He was not accorded the usual VIP treatment a president gets.
In a related development, supporters of ruling SLPP have allegedly printed banners and t-shirts purporting same was done by the main opposition APC party.
They claim that the APC North American Branch supports President Bio for various reasons. They forgot that the main opposition party has an APC-USA Branch, not a North American Branch.
Several years ago, the APC had the APC-NORTH American branch because the US and Canada were considered as one branch. Now the main opposition party has the APC-USA branch and the APC Canada Branch.
Pundits say the human rights record of Sierra Leone’s president is so terrible that no amount of propaganda can change the position of the Blessed United States of America. The cover up propaganda of the ruling party has backfired just today.