The Liberian leader, President George Manneh Weah on Liberia’s 172nd National Independence Day bestowed on Sierra Leanean President Julius Maada Bio one of Liberia’s highest honours at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex , Montserrado County.
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 president 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.
“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,” he said about Bio.
The Chief of Protocol also spoke about Bio’s efforts in peacekeeping in Liberia as part of the Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG).
President 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, he said.
Mr. Witherspoon also catalogued president 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 he said has also supported victims and families affected by natural disasters such as the flooding and mudslide.
President Bio was also praised for what was regarded as 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 said that Bio 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 the reading of the citation, President George Weah, conferred the honour of Knight Grand Cordon, Most Venerable Order of the Pioneers (KGC – MVOP) on president Bio.