By Musa Ronsho
Toward the middle of last week, news began filtering into social media about another trip President Bio has taken. This was following his previous hectic crisscrossing of West and East Africa. Precisely, he was in Nigeria, then to Uganda, before ending up in Rwanda. One thing for certain by now, Julius Maada Bio loves the camera. Those around him like portraying him as being on working visits, rebranding Sierra Leone wherever he goes. Before last week, it was already apparent that Bio travels too much. In truth, this is not just about politics or his opponents trying to score cheap political points. It is a reality and a very unhealthy one at that. The older we get, the more susceptible we become to different things. While we may think in our minds that we are still youthful and can handle anything, the body clock tells a different story. It says slowdown or else there will be a breakdown.
While it is uncertain what happened to President Bio, it is obvious that all is not well with him. Something is wrong somewhere and no, he is not just taking a much-needed vacation in the UK, Germany, or elsewhere. Something is not right and those who have indicated that his health is the “likely suspect” have a stronger case. There are times for propaganda, but this is not one of them. This is a time for a very sober thinking. Why was his entire family flown out of Sierra Leone with him immediately overnight? Why has there been no picture of neither him nor Fatima Bio over the past few days as rumors of his unfailing health keeps mounting? The fact is African politics always have moments of speculation over the health and physical well-being of the leaders. During the days of Ernest Bai Koroma, there was a time when he too was rumored to have sought urgent medical care in Germany and India. So, what is wrong with Julius Maada Bio?
It is certain that as of now, democracy is a concrete reality in Sierra Leone. Therefore, either away from home or at home, President Bio remains the elected Head of State of the Republic Sierra Leone. Building stronger institutions over the years ensures that the nation would survive and avoid destabilization under tough circumstances. But the truth is, certain things cannot be kept in secret for a long time especially surrounding a leader that presents himself as being in a show business with something to prove to his people. During the later half of the first decade of this new millennium, the Nigerian authorities vigorously denied rumors about the failing health of Umaru Yar’Adua. In the end, those reports were proven to be true. Even with President Buhari in recent years, there was a season when he became absent from the public’s view for some time. Although, he has never been a hefty kind of guy, he came back a skinnier and leaner man.
Whatever the speculations are, it is noticeable all is not well with President Julius Maada Bio, Sierra Leone’s Commander-in-Chief. His absence from the limelight is conspicuous and further fueled by reports of his ill-health. We could only wish for the best to happen in this case. And when he reemerges, that he’ll listen to his body clock telling him to slowdown. Going through different time zones, living in different latitudes, longitude, altitudes, eating different foods, lack of sleep, dealing with a nation’s gazillion problems, and not allowing the body to recoup, is unwholesome for anyone including Julius Maada Bio. We may give him all types of title and think he is superhuman, but he is not. So, what does it profit him to travel the whole world and end up sick? The SLPP government can try to suppress the facts from reaching the public. But in today’s world with flies on every wall, the truth of what is wrong will eventually be made known. Until then, we can only wish him the best.