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NEWS : Politics  

Sierra Leone President Ernest Koroma gets Red Carpet Welcome & says he Stands by his Decision
By Sylvia Blyden, Kabbs Kanu & Pasco Temple
Apr 14, 2015, 17:14
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Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma has affirmed that he stands by his decision to relieve Mr. Alhaji Samuel Sam Sumana, erstwhile vice president, of duties Sumana had purported to be doing after his VP office fell vacant.


Speaking to journalists soon after his arrival at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington DC, USA on Monday April 13, 2015, President Ernest Bai Koroma said “I take responsibility and stand by any decision I take - so long as, it is in the interest of Sierra Leone.”

 

President receiving his bouquet of flowers on arrival at Willard


The President also briefed a cross section of the North America Branch of the All Peoples Congress (APC) party whose expulsion of Sumana left the former VP without a key requirement to continue as Vice-President. He re-affirmed the key messages and reasons that had already been given to APC faithful by the Minister of the East Maya Kaikai and Minister of Transport Leonard Balogun Koroma; both currently in United States of America. The President was reassured by APC members that they understood the unanimous decision of the APC to expel Mr. Sumana and they, as party members, were resolved to back and support the President and the APC to the fullest hilt.

 

Speaking on the Ebola Outbreak, President Ernest Bai Koroma said since he announced a State of Emergency over the outbreak of Ebola, it was his personal decision to decline all invitations to travel out of Sierra Leone because he wanted to concentrate all his leadership attention on combating the Ebola virus.

 

Sierra Leoneans lined the street to welcome President to Washington DC

 

He said he only decided to start honouring Invitations to travel out now because the Ebola virus disease is on the decline, and he needs to go out and advocate for the people of Sierra Leone. This is what has taken him to European Union last month and again this is what has brought him to America this week.

 

Speaking further, President Koroma also revealed that in addition to his attendance of high-level meeting on the Ebola crisis during the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings in Washington DC, he and his other two counterparts from Guinea and Liberia will be having a meeting soon with President Barack Obama of the United States.

President with a cross-section of the Welcoming Committee

 

The Head of State used the chance of his chat with the media to wave off rumours that he was in poor health.

 

“I am well and strong,” he said as he dismissed his detractors by saying he recognises that every society consist of some people who always harbour negative thoughts.

 

President Ernest Bai Koroma arrived at the Dulles Washington International Airport at 12:30 Eastern time on Monday April 13, and after going through diplomatic courtesies, he splendidly walked through the airport’s V.I.P. Walkway for Presidents to his waiting limousine provided by the United States Government. He was driven to his Hotel in a motorcade of eight vehicles with sirens. The motorcade consisted U.S. government officials and security apparatus.

A Smiling & Relaxed President inside his Hotel Suite

 

On his arrival at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, APC party executives gave President Ernest Bai Koroma a rousing red carpet welcome, whilst the Willard authorities presented a bouquet of flowers to President Koroma.

 

At his presidential suite which is well secured by U.S. Presidential Secret Service professionals, the President in a very relaxed and happy mood, thanked the APC North America executives led by Mr. Ibrahim S. Kamara and the APC Washington Metro chapter President Madam Beatrice Conteh and all those who have been working hard for the APC led government to succeed.


President Koroma all in smiles with Ambassador Ibrahim Conteh on his arrival at Dulles International Airport

 

Earlier, President Ernest Bai Koroma was received at the Airport by Ambassador Ibrahim S. Conteh, Mrs. Isatu Sillah, Hon. Balogun Leonard Koroma Minister of Transport and Aviation and Hon. Maya Moiwo Kaikai Minister of State East, Mr. Edward Kawa and Mr. Pasco Gerald Temple.

 

Other government officials who received the President at the Hotel included Ambassador Amadu Koroma of New York Mission to United Nations, Ms. Fatmata Dao and Captain Spain of Civil Aviation Authority in Sierra Leone.

 

President shakes hands with Unisa Thorlu Conteh aka APC PIKIN

 

Earlier, State House had reported that President Ernest Bai Koroma and his delegation, left Freetown Sunday April 12th 2015 on his way to attend a high-level meeting on the Ebola crisis during the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings in Washington DC, United States of America. The objective of those meetings are to hold fruitful and action-oriented discussion on how to help the Mano River Union (MRU) get to and sustain zero Ebola cases, advance recovery efforts, and build greater resilience.

 

The events will gather the Presidents of Guinea and Liberia, as well as the International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka, and a select number of ministers from partner countries and heads of development partner organizations.

 

President Koroma is also expected to deliver a call to action at the first Global Citizen 2015 Earth day ceremony. This event, co-sponsored by the World Bank Group, will bring together world leaders, celebrities, high-caliber musicians, artists, and thousands of citizens on the National Mall.

 

According to the World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, their aim in Washington DC right now is “to raise awareness and inspire action on critical sustainable development challenges” facing the world today.

 

 

Yesterday, the first day of the President’s visit has ended on a very high and positive note. This newspaper will continue to keep you informed on the ongoing trip as our Publisher Dr. Sylvia Blyden travelled alongside the President in her independent capacity.


Dynamic Female President of Washington DC Branch of APC, Madam Beatrice Conteh with other APC Women pose with President Koroma at the Willard Hotel

 

 


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