By Uzman Unis Bah
A high-level delegation from the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) has honoured His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio, during a meeting at State House, as an Ambassador for Peace who has contributed to promoting and consolidating peace in Sierra Leone.
The UPF is a non-governmental organisation with a special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Secretary General of the UFP, Rev. Braima Maduka Sartie, said that the UPF believed in the leadership of President Bio in guiding Sierra Leone towards human development and peace.
He also mentioned that the UPF Chapter in Sierra Leone recognised the sacrifices made by President Bio to defend the nation during the time of war and his contribution to start peaceful negotiation with former rebel leader, Foday Sankoh, which eventually brought the war to an end. He said they were pleased that within the shortest time, the President had delivered free-quality education to every Sierra Leonean child.
“Your Excellency, within the shortest time of your presidency, you have made rapid economic recoveries, with Le 8.4 billion in recovered monies from corrupt people. In collaboration with our international headquarter in New York, we have decided to award and appoint you as Peace Ambassador for your life-time work for peace. We hope and pray that Heavens will guide you to do more,” he said.
In his response, President Bio said he was excited to have been acknowledged for his work in peace building and development. He noted that most times people take peace for granted, but that peace was very important in every human endeavour, adding that people go about their daily activities because of peace. He said there was a great nexus between peace and development.
“I am happy that we have a group of Sierra Leoneans who value peace. I have always worked towards building and maintaining peace and I have sought peace with all my heart. Peace is a necessary public good and I am happy we have been able to consolidate ours.
“Even though, I have been labelled differently what I know is that I initiated the peace process and hold the secret to the peace we enjoy today. During the campaigns, I went throughout the country and received good reception everywhere, which shows that during my first time in governance, I served well. Now, I am committed to continue doing good things for the people of this country,” he said.