14th December 2018
President Maada Bio's Daughter Toys with the Presidential Staff as a Birthday Present!
By Abu Shaw in London (09/09/18)
Sierra Leoneans are still shocked that the country's sacred Presidential Staff was given to President Julius Maada Bio's daughter as a birthday gift.
Shock remains an understatement as Sierra Leoneans woke up seeing President Bio's three year old daughter Amina Lumbeh Bio innocently displaying the country's Presidential Staff on social media. It is reportedly believed to have been given to her as a birthday present by her own biological mother Mrs. Fatima Bio, who is incidentally the First Lady of Sierra Leone. (Photo: Amina Lumbeh Maada Bio holding the Presidential Staff as a Birthday Gift).
The Presidential Staff is a sacred gold plated symbol of power meant only for the constitutionally elected President of the Republic of Sierra Leone to handle. It is the symbol of power that all Sierra Leone Presidents must selfishly guard, handle and protect under lock and key away from any underserving hands. No exception!
So for any presidency to stoop so low as to give out the Presidential Staff to an innocent child as birthday gift is not only tantamount to desecrating the prestige of the sacrosanct Presidential Staff, it also highlights a flagrant violation of the country's Constitution.
What is even more tasteless about this whole episode is the that fact that little Amina was showing off the Presidential Staff in Freetown at a time when President Bio and the First Lady and the SLPP government delegation were in far away China attending the Africa/China multi-lateral conference. (Photo below: President Bio displaying the sacred Staff shortly after former President Ernest Koroma, right, handed it over during the 2018 Inauguration).
Reports say the grand old ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party SLPP party is well noted for desecrating the country's Presidential Staff. "Only the SLPP can do that," a fierce critic sounded shortly after the Amina/Presidential Staff incident.
Here is a verbatim social media post by Mrs Fatima Bio: "My baby, our startime and starline Amina Lumbeh Maada Bio turns three today. Hmm my heart beats with joy for you have made us complete. Saying we love you is an understatement. Happy birthday to the true Princess of Sogbini Chiefdom. We wish you all the best in life, yours is not a normal life but a special one. Please guys help me scream for our Princess by wishing her Happy Birthday. Happy Birthday from Daddy, Mummy, Big Brothers and Big Sisters. We love you dearly."
History has also confirmed that the SLPP government was and is still the only political party that had and continue to demean and lessen the power of the sacred Presidential Staff. It first happened under the late President Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah's SLPP government from 1997 to 2007.
Reports intimate that President Kabbah's wayward son one Junior Kabbah shocked the nation when he publicly displayed the Presidential Staff during his dad's presidency in Sierra Leone. SLPP supporters however still feel it is normal to use the Presidential Staff as a play toy.
No wonder many Sierra Leoneans continue to unleash full blast cynicism on the issue. Here is the Salone Reflections Forum, Sierra Leone's most accurate media chatroom minutes after little Amina displayed the Presidential Staff on social media:
SLPP critic blitzed: "The First Lady need to know her limit and stop to ridiculing our Presidency. She must now that her private life is no longer the one she was freely enjoying before her husband became a President. The picture according to my investigation was posted by The First Lady although she did it with good intention to celebrate her daughter's birthday but given a sacred staff to the kid and putting all these social media propaganda on the little child is wrong and I hope she will understand the limit and be the mother who can protect her child from public insult."
Other cynics did not mince their words: "Bio's beloved daughter holding our country's presidential staff as her birthday toy! Unconstitutional!! The presidential staff is not a toy for children to play with!!!"
Supporters of the SLPP government popularly called PAOPA reacted however: "I genuinely think we should learn some decency and stop drawing in children of politicians/public servants into political nonsense. For heaven sake, she’s just a baby and no law says it is forbidden for her to hold it. Politics have really made us lost our sense of decency. Sad!" (Photo below: President Bio, Fatima and daughter Amina jointly holding the Staff during the Inauguration).
"Time to move our country Sierra Leone forward. We attached too much value to our country's Presidential Staff. Let us leave the poor child out of our pilitics; Leave the child alone! You guys disagreements with her dad in no way promote you lots to target her or start sharing her picture. You lots learn some decency," another PAOPA retorted.
"I guess you are a parent, would you be happy for someone to target your child like that or share their picture with an intention to spark negative discussion? Let us be rational and take politics off this!," another SLPP fan blasted.
As we go to press, no press release from the SLPP government has come out to justify or not the reason or reasons surrounding the Amina and the Presidential Staff story.