On Friday 26th July 2019, His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio has been conferred as one of the highest honors in Liberia by His Excellency President George M. Weah Sr. during the official commemoration of his country’s 172nd Independence Anniversary, at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex, Montserrado County, Monrovia.
Reading the citation for the conferment of the honour, the Chief of Protocol of the Republic of Liberia, Jervis A. Witherspoon paid glowing tribute to His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio for his democratic credential as the former military Head of State who laid the foundation for peace and the return of multi-party democracy in Sierra Leone in the late nineties.
“His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio presided over the conduct of the first democratic elections in Sierra Leone in nearly three decades. He voluntarily handed-over power to the democratically elected Government of the late President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah and initiated the Sierra Leone Civil War Peace Settlement. He is also the first former military Head of State to be democratically elected as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone,” the citation stated.
The Chief of Protocol also spoke about His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio’s efforts in peacekeeping in Liberia as part of the Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG). His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio’s peacekeeping mission in the early nineties in Liberia through ECOMOG demonstrated the love and commitment he has for the country and people of Liberia.
Mr. Witherspoon also catalogued His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio’s humanitarian efforts in Sierra Leone through the Maada and Fatima Bio Foundation. He singled out the Foundation’s work during the Ebola outbreak in supporting victims. Over the years, the Foundation has also supported victims and families affected by natural disasters such as the flooding and mudslide.
During the citation, His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio was also praised for his tremendous achievements over the last one year in championing human capital development, demonstrating political will in the fight against corruption, restoring fiscal credibility to Sierra Leone among others. He has also shown great leadership at the African Union as Chairman of the Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government for the reform of the United Nations.
After reading the citation by the Chief of Protocol, His Excellency President George M. Weah, Sr. conferred on His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio the honour of Knight Grand Cordon, Most Venerable Order of the Pioneers (KGC – MVOP). Amidst the ovation from Liberians at the Sports Complex, His Excellency President George M. Weah decorated his colleague and brother, His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio with the insignia of the honour as he was flanked by his wife, Her Excellency the First Lady, Madam Fatima Bio.
His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio, the First Lady and other members of his entourage returned to Sierra Leone after the official commemoration of 172nd Independence Anniversary.
Five Heads of State from Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria graced the 172nd Independence Anniversary celebration in Monrovia.
In separate engagements, His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio held private meetings with his host colleague, His Excellency President George M. Weah, Sr. and the President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina.
As a President who uses every travel abroad to attract investors to Sierra Leone, His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio also held a private meeting with a Qatari investment group which expressed interest to invest in Sierra Leone.
The streets of Monrovia were decorated with the Liberian flags and pictures of the visiting Heads of State ahead of the official commemoration of 172nd Independence Anniversary celebration on Friday, 26th July 2019.
His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio and Her Excellency Fatima Bio were accompanied to Monrovia by a delegation including the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Hon. Dr Priscilla Schwartz, State Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Fatmata Edna Kargbo and Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesman, Yusuf Keketoma Sandi.