Former Sierra Leone Ambassador to the U.S. John Ernest Leigh sets the record straight on President Bio’s ugly public record


My criticisms of your erroneous pro-Bio claims above cannot be construed as anger and/or hatred for retired junta brigadier Bio in any civilized society, Col Bashsiru Conteh. My criticisms are truthful and many of your pro-Bio claims are untrue. And I am restating a few of my criticisms below:

1. Bio did not conduct the 1996 elections at all. INEC under the Chairmanship of Dr. James Jonah conducted those elections. At the time, Bio was busy pulling the strings behind the scenes for his new party – the National Unity Party. Dr. John Karimu was the NUP’s presidential candidate. Ramadan Dumbuya was his running mate. In addition, John Benjamin, Charles Margai and several others Southeasterners were with NUP. The Bio’s NPRC2 junta was reported at the time as using SLG’s resources to fund the NUP. The NUP lost.

2. INEC are the initials for Interim National Electoral Commission.

3. Every NPRC 1 & 2 member – including Valentine Strasser of NPRC 1 and Julius Bio of NPsRC 1&2, was compelled to leave Sierra Leone and stay away for at least four years in order to allow the reinstated 1991 Multi-Party Constitution to take hold, pursuant to the Amnesty Agreement that saved the junta members from prosecution for Treason, etc.

4. Dame Margret Chalker, the then UK Minister for Overseas Development, and the then US Ambassador negotiated the Amnesty Agreement and the terms for conducting the 1996 elections on behalf of the people of SL.

5. Every NPRC junta boy was given an identical benefit package to vamoose SL for four full years without exception. The terms for each included money for junta batomen, money ($50,000) for each junta member, UK or US student visa, 4-year college scholarship because none of the junta boys had no university education, some only up to the HSC level, living expenses, etc.

6. Bio studied in Washington DC when I was Ambassador there. Bio supported Dr. Abass Bundu when Bundu was the Ambassador of the AFRC-RUF junta that overthrew the elected Slpp government of Tejan Kabbah. In Washington, Bundu sought to have the US transfer it’s diplomatic recognition from The elected Slpp Administration of Tejan Kabbah to Johnny Paul Koroma. The SL Embassy in the US defeated then and the USs refused to recognized the AFRC-RUF junta of Johnny Paul Koroma and Foday Sankoh.

7. I personally caught Bio sometime in 1997 making babu yey at me in public forum for my diplomatic work
On behalf Of the overthrown SLpp elected SLG and for seeking US help for Sierra Leone refugees suffering under harsh conditions in refugee camps in various ECOWAS countries.

8. For our highly effective work in fighting for the reinstatement of the 1991 Multi-Party Constitution, the eviction of the brutal AFRC-RUF junta, the reinstatement of the overthrown Slpp Admin of Tejan Kabbah and securing assistance for our refugees, 3 Freetonians were publicly sentenced to death.

9. Sentenced to death were the then Chief Justice, Desmond Luke; Dr. James Jonah and me. A large billboard offering a huge reward for our arrest was mounted behind the old Paramount Hotel at the nearby Soldier Street junction.

10. Tejan Kabbah was never my friend. We were merely political associates. Mrs. Patricia Kabbah was far more of a friend than President Kabbah.

11. I hereby challenge you, Col Bashiru Conteh to set forth the reasons that you believe led to Tejan Kabbah reorganizing me out of his 2nd Admin after the peace was won. I will be delighted to respond point-for-to whatever you may deem to be the correct reasons.

12. It is my suspicion, Col. Bashiru Conteh, that your above post plus the notorious unsubstantiated GTT allegations are going to be part of the textbooks to be printed for Bio’s elected SLG’s Free Education project. Please correct me if my suspicions are unfounded.

Image may contain: John Leigh, smiling, sitting

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