“The New NPRC chairman , JULIUS MAADA BIO, told the UK and the US Ambassadors in terse conversations that he had taken over, that Strasser was safely out of the country, and that elections would take place as scheduled.”
John L. Hirsch , Author –Sierra Leone, Diamonds and the Struggle for Democracy.
The above arrogant statement was uttered immediately after Maada Bio had forcefully handcuffed his Boss Capt. Valentine Strasser in a palace coup out of power, and was almost thrown out of the helicopter while they were crossing the Sierra Leone River en route to Guinea. At the Meeting he held with his Uncle Foday Sankoh in Yamoussoukoro on March 25, 1996, 5 days before the official handing over power to Mr. Tejan Kabbah, Maada Bio made a promise to Foday Sankoh that he would make him deputy Chairman of NPRC if the election was canceled or postponed , or use their influence to assure him the vice presidency of a civilian government. It was apparent Maada Bio was plotting to cancel the election and retain himself in power. But one thing he did not understand in his thick empty skull was that, the people of Sierra Leone ” Bin don Tawa for go ahead with the elections, the Army gree or not ” Therefore, at the Bintumani 11 summit at the Bintumani Hotel in Aberdeen, the army, under instructions by Maada Bio, occupied the Aberdeen Bridge with instructions to disrupt the meeting so there would be a reason for him to cancel or postpone the elections so he could fulfil his desire to hold on to power. Many people were molested and embarrassed, including Mr. Thaimu Bangura, one of the Presidential candidates who was forcefully yanked out of his car and severely assaulted which caused him an emergency retreat to the Hospital.
The civil societies, political parties and the electoral commission were ready to die or let die, but the elections were to be held no matter the consequences.The Chairperson of the Bintumani 11 conference Mrs. Shirley Gbujama played a pivotal role in controlling the conference with transparency, and the electrifying statement of the electoral commissioner Dr. James Jonah that he was prepared to be killed but the forces of democracy would prevail, changed the whole dynamics of the situation. That bold statement gave the participants at the conference extra vigor and zeal to go ahead and voted their hearts off for an election with an overwhelming vote of 58 for and 17 against. Those against were those enemies of democracy who were benefiting from the spoils of war and the NPRC. They were demanding for ” Peace before elections “, but the bulk of the representatives of political parties and civil societies were ready to end the 4 bloody and murderous years of Maada Bio and his notoriously infamous NPRC useless caboodle.
But that flimsy promise he made to the ruthless Foday Sankoh that he, Bio, could not fulfilled, opened up a new dimension of atrocities the world have never seen in contemporary wars. The RUF rebels infiltrated the vulnerable northern region that had no Kamajors, nor government soldiers to protect them and started hacking the limbs of citizens. This was mainly in protestations against Tejan Kabbah’s fraudulent election as President in the past elections, and going up to the run off, they wanted to make sure no body had a hand to vote for Tejan Kabbah whom they percieved was a northerner. All of these problems were caused by the overzealous and incompetent NPRC cabal who thought as rag tag soldiers, they would correct the mistakes of the overthrown One Party APC government of President Joseph Momoh. Please read below a brief chronicle about the uselessness and atrocious behaviors of the most corrupt and incompetent NPRC administration. Therefore, this Mad Maada Bio have a lot of answers to give for his stewardship of the country under the NPRC bloody coup years.