Salone News

Prince Charles Visits Sierra Leone

27 November 2006 at 23:32 | 772 views

By Abu B. Shaw, Vanguard London Bureau Chief

‘Welcome to Hell’ is the front page story of the EXCLUSIVE, a Sierra Leone newspaper dated November 27 welcoming the future king of England, Prince Charles, to the Sierra Leonean capital Freetown.

Prince Charles and his entourage landed at Lungi International Airport amidst heightened security on Monday on his first leg four-day official tour of West Africa. The Royal Highness is scheduled to visit Nigeria Tuesday November 28, reports confirmed.

In Freetown, Prince Charles is expected to meet government officials to stress the need for the promotion of regional stability and national reconciliation. His message for the region will be the sustainability of economic growth.

Prince Charles is also scheduled to visit three schools in Freetown: the Prince of Wales (named after his grand father), Methodist Boys High School and Boys High School.

Reports also say that Prince Charles is expected to pay homage to the amputee council to gain first hand information about how they are coping with their disabilities in such hardship. The amputee football team is slated to thrill the Prince with their soccer skills.

Journalist Abdul Rahman Swarray confirmed from Freetown that on the agenda is an exhibition which will take place at the Lumley Freetown Golf Club to entertain Prince Charles with some of Sierra Leone’s finest cultural displays.

A massive street-cleaning exercise took place throughout the areas where Prince Charles is expected to tour. Soldiers of the Sierra Leone Military were ordered to carry out this cleaning exercise to help uplift the tarnished image of the country.

Residents of Freetown were overwhelmed by the security measures put in place recently for this visit. United Nations helicopters were seen hovering intermittently over Freetown particularly the areas designated for Prince Charles’s visit. The noisy helicopters, residents say, are reminiscent of the heydays of the 10-year-old senseless war in Sierra Leone, when ECOMOG and rebel forces were at each other’s throats.

A very reliable source in London told the Vanguard that about three million pounds sterling was allocated to rehabilitate the dilapidated Lungi International Airport for this visit.

In its editorial, the Exclusive noted that ‘Sierra Leone is hell transferred to earth.’

Photo: Prince Charles, left, and his wife Camilla.