This is the kind of photo that the detractors of President Ernest Bai Koroma would not want you to see. It is a picture of President Koroma arriving at the September 21 Luncheon staged by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon for world leaders attending the recent UN General Assembly in New York and being received by U.S. President Barak OBama ,who had requested earlier for President Koroma to sit by him at the lunch. The body language of the two Presidents show mutual respect for each other and President OBama even accorded great respect to President Koroma by standing up to greet him, replicating the profound respect the President Koroma has for him.
PRESIDENTS KOROMA AND OBAMA GREET EACH OTHER EFFABLY AND WITH MUTUAL RESPECT
There is no need fr propaganda as the facts are very clear . When I went to the UN and U.S. State Department last Thursday to request the photos, I assured the officials that provided them that the photos were not for propaganda use but just for information purposes for the people of Sierra Leone. This assurance was necessary because while my request was being grante, the U.S. Federal authorities told me that the photos were not yet in the public realm but that my request will be granted because I am a representative of one of the countries that participated in the lunch . COCORIOKO published only two of the photos with minimal comments. We did not see the need for propaganda because the photos speak for themselves. However, the pictures are now in the public realm and have been published in the White House website , and now journalists can comment on their significance not only to the age-old very strong traditional ties between the United States and Sierra Leone but their implications for the respect with which our President ,Ernest Bai Koroma, is held in the world.
Since I started representing my country in the UN in 2009 , the first thing I noticed was that the international community, stakeholders and international organizations , including the UN , fully appreciated the peace and tranquility that reigns in Sierra Leone, with the attendant promotion of fundamental human rights , freedom of association, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the Rule of Law as well the socio-economic and political developments taking place in the country under President Koroma. This was information I thought was worthwhile to be shared with Sierra Leoneans because I though every Sierra Leonean would be ecstatic and overjoyed to hear it , considering the ramifications it has for the rebranding of our country, which has been a victim of negative publicity and unsavoury stigma due to our past political instability and the war. I took my time to publish well-researched articles depicting how much perceptions about Sierra Leone were dramatically changing in the international sphere and how President Koroma as now one of the most respected leaders in the world. The reports were acclaimed and appreciated by a good number of Sierra Leoneans, but oh ya, we have an opposition party whose supporters in the country and abroad want to hear nothing good about our copuntry , once their SLPP is not in power. To them, GOOD THINGS SHOULD ONLY COME TO SIERRA LEONE UNDER THE SLPP’S WATCH . If the SLPP is not in power, the international community and organizations as well as world leaders should ditch Sierra Leone.That is SLPP patriotism for you. You cannot image how much this writer was defamed, maligned and verbally abused for reporting the truth. Even the mentally inbalanced former BBC Reporter-cum-SLPP fanatic , Victor Sylver, when he recovers from the hangovers of his drunken and drug-sniffing binges and stupor, always finds time to malign your humble servant for these reports, in addition because of an ancient grudge he has for him for a perceived relationship he believes this publisher once had with his wife, Margaret Will , that dates back to 1976 ( As he once reported in his website , which he deleted later ) . What all these people fail to realize is that some of us have no reason to try to fool the reading public.
Before President Koroma came for the UN General Assembly, these apostles of untruth, distortion and unpatriotim were at it again, claiming in their newspapers and tabloids that President Koroma was coming to face rejection and condemnation from the UN and President OBama what what they regarded as bad governance (When there was none ) and violence in Sierra Leone (Which they know the President abhors ). These are the kinds of things they always want to see or hear about Sierra Leone . Shame on them, because it was all lies and concoction of stories. We have now seen that instead of rejection, President Koroma was invited by President OBama to sit by him at the Secretary General’s Lunch and both leaders chatted amicably as they enjoyed the food, as reported by the Associated Press and the Washington Post. Not only that , President Koroma was given awards by reputable international organizations in three different states.
What these misguided SLPP fanatics fail to know is that the U.S. has always stood by Sierra Leone and will never abandon us. They did not abandon us when we were suffering from bad governance, political instability and war. The U.S. has always been a worthy and strategic development partner of our country and played a commendable role in helping our country end war and rebuild and reconstruct. The U.S. has committed lots of resources in Sierra Leone . Those wishing for the U.S.to abandon Sierra Leone because President Koroma is not an SLPP Leader must be smoking something illegal .It will never happen as the U.S. is very faithful to her traditional allies. Similarly , Sierra Leone cherishes and respects her ancient familial and bilateral ties with the U.S. and the relationship between the two countries will only get better , especially now that we have a good President and we are practising multi-party democracy, prudent financial management and respect for human rights and the rule of law.
President OBama is a principled World leader and he does not mince his words. Only recently, he announced that any leader found wanting in the respect for human rights will not be allowed to enter the U.S. For him to request that President Koroma sit by him at the UN Secretary General’s lunch is a clear manifestation of the fact that he is impressed with President Koroma’s outstanding leadership and the developments going on in Sierra Leone.We have not arrived yet and there are still challenges and much room for improvement but President Koroma’s valiant efforts to surmount these challenges and build a stronger and prosperous Sierra Leone have not gone unnoticed by the world, especially the most powerful man in the world , the leader of the free world and President of the only superpower. A picture is worth a thousand words . If the photos we and some worthy newspapers like NEWSTIME AFRICA, STANDARD TIMES and AWARENESS TIMES have displayed over the past week have not re-educated SLPP fanatics and zealots , nothing ever will.
You can see from the photo above that Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma has really crossed marvellous frontiers and is now one of the gems of world leadership -and that counts a lot for the rebranding of our beloved nation and our onward march to socio-economic and political prosperity.