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22nd July 2018

Stadium Stampede Marred Inauguration as Ernest Speechless and Strasser Honoured! 

By Abu Shaw in London (13/05/18)

The stampede outside the Stadium yesterday was horrible as people lay on the ground clearly unconscious during the Inauguration in Freetown.


Eyewitnesses say the horror scene was caused because the police failed to control the surging crowds and by blocking the entrance to the Siaka Stevens Stadium, ultimately aggravated the terrible situation. (Stadium yesterday when the stampede erupted).

Ordinary people were seen trying to help the victims but the wailing, shouting, the commotion and the total lack of coordinated first aid response only exacerbated the bad situation as the conditions of the fainted victims worsened.

It was very visible that Health and Safety measures were not adequately put in place to control the jam-packed stadium as the fainted young men and women lying unconscious on the ground under the hot burning sun could not get the first aid help needed at that moment. (Photo below: Bio receives the Staff from Ernest).

Even the Inauguration MC in the Stadium was making intermittent announcements about the security situation in some stands and had many times called on security officers to man the gates to prevent overcrowding, yet all the advice and appeals for help did not pay dividend thus, the stampede materialised that eventually left many people wounded and unconscious and traumatised.

Reports were also circulating in Sierra Leone that some of the victims in the stampede had lost their lives but these reports could not be independently confirmed.

Away from the gruesome scenes, the Inaugural address given by President Julius Maada Bio was full of hope as he disclosed his SLPP government's determination to usher discipline, fight corruption and to alleviate poverty in Sierra Leone. Bio's speech was very short and to the point and many observers expressed admiration that President Bio went further to touch on national unity and inclusive governnance.

President Bio expressed warm appreciation to his colleague presidents who graced the occasion such as President George Weah of Liberia, Professor Alpha Conde of Guinea and further pledged to promote the Mano River Union which constitutes these three neighbouring countries. The President also thanked the Togolese President Faure Eyadema and ECOWAS and the African Union and the United Nations and the Commonwealth and promised to work with all other international stakeholders.

President Bio Receives the Presidential Staff from Former President Ernest Koroma But SLPP Supporter Blasts!

First time in the history of Sierra Leone for an outgoing president handing over power without making a speech. President Koroma, to the surprise of millions of Sierra Leoneans and international partners, handed over the mantle of power to President Bio and left immediately without making any speech.

This clearly nullifies the many lies APC supporters have been saying in social media that the APC government left X,Y,Z amount of money in the banks.

SLPP President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah handed over power in 2007 to Ernest Koroma and gave a speech in which he clearly mentioned the amount of money he left, the projects pending in road constructions and electricity and was even acknowledged by the incoming President Ernest Koroma.

Yesterday's situation has clearly shown to us that most of the road constructions and electricity done by Ernest was the hand work of late President Kabbah of the SLPP.

I have now believed that indeed no money was left by the APC government that could have served as a starting point for the incoming SLPP government of President Bio. Initially, I didn't believe the SLPP was saying the truth as I thought it was a political gameplay. But not anymore.

The fact that former President Koroma failed to give a handing over speech as had been the case before, shows that the APC has nothing tangible to handover. Thank God SLPP has again come to save us. Talk back nor! Propagandists.

APC Supporter Cries Foul and Unhappy How Ernest was Treated!

However, APC supporters believe it was the SLPP government that prevented Ernest Koroma from making the speech yesterday. "The deliberate act for not allowing former president to do a hanging over speech is unprecedented," the APC party believes.

The APC supporters say this is the first time in our country's history that, a former president is not allowed to give a hanging over speech at such ceremony. Something is wrong somewhere. What are they hiding? Thank God, however, for our former president for being so intelligent by printing 10,000 copies that will be made available to Sierra Leoneans. (Photo above: Paramount Chiefs pour libation to our forefathers' blessings at the Stadium yesterday).

How Former President Strasser was Honoured at the Inauguration!

Observers were visibly touched yesterday when President Maada Bio moved towards his former boss Valentine Strasser of the NPRC junta regime and asked him to sit closer to him in yesterday's inauguration. It was a moving scene worth seeing as the now emaciated skinny Strasser took his seat closer to the Gambian First Lady in honour and style.

Reports say it was the Chief of Protocol Mrs Rasie Kargbo who realised that former President Valentine Melvin Strasser was not in his correct seat. So she went to collect him and move him to his place long before Maada Bio arrived and moved directly to his seat.

Protocol could not have permitted him to do the function being claimed. But other critics say nothing will change Strasser's deplorable now unless government steps in to provide for him and maintain the respectability that the presidency deserves. (Photo above: Valentine Strasser sitting closer to the Gambian First Lady yesterday).

"Imagine how his poverty status had affected him and his family life. He was flown out of the country without a dime when Maada overthrew Strasser him in 1996. All successive governments had abandoned Strasser who in recent years had turned to a drunkard. Hopefully future governments will put things in place to respects former leaders," concerned Sierra Leoneans hope.
Courtesy: Salone Reflection Forum


1958 -1980


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