…Describes inauguration of new President as “celebration of democracy”

Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, at a media chat with journalists after the inauguration of President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone in Freetown, on Saturday said that President Julius Maada Bio’s inauguration was a great celebration of democracy and that the transition which was a peaceful one from one civilian president to another was signals hope for the people of Sierra Leone.

He described President Maada Bio as a consummate technocrat and that “Sierra Leone and Nigeria have a long history.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN with President Julius Maada Bio of Seirra Leone shortly after the inauguration ceremony in Sierra Leone.

Q: The significance of the inauguration of Sierra Leone’s President.

Vice President: First, I think it is a great celebration of democracy, the transition has been a peaceful one from one civilian president to another. Again, it signals hope for the people of Sierra Leone. President Maada Bio is a consummate technocrat. He was the one, if you remember, who handed power to a democratic government as a military leader. He has also proven over time to be someone who has thought over the problems of the country, and listening to him today and having met with him for close to an hour, I think there is great opportunity and hope for the people of Sierra Leone and I think that he is going to do a great job.

Q: On President Maada Bio’s promise to work with other African leaders.

Vice President: One thing is for certain, Sierra Leone and Nigeria have a long history. Most recently, if you recall, Nigerian troops gave their lives here in Sierra Leone defending the territorial integrity of Sierra Leone, the people and the country. President Bio repeated this in my conversation with him, and said how grateful he was. We have maintained a very good relationship, I believe that relationship will continue, he is keen to ensure it continues and we are able to move it into the economic sphere. Very many private sector investors are interested in coming to Sierra Leone. The Nigerian government has a good economic relationship with Sierra Leone. So I think the future is bright for both countries, and the future cooperation is particularly good.

Q: President Muhammadu Buhari’s message to the people and new President of Sierra Leone.

Vice President: The first is congratulations! President Buhari is very excited about the developments in Sierra Leone. He asked me to convey his very best wishes to the new President and government and also to pledge our continued cooperation and collaboration with the government and people of Sierra Leone.

Q: On the issues surrounding the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Vice President: In politics, as you know, there will always be tensions. But the party is strong and the leadership and membership of the party are committed to ensuring that the party remains strong and continues to offer the hope and promise it has always offered and given to the people. I think a lot of the issues will be resolved as we go along. This is the normal order of things; there will be some disagreements, there will be those who may feel that they need certain preferences or certain things which may not have been done earlier on. I don’t think there is any major problem.


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