Salone News

Sierra Leone: Chief Minister says 23 went to UNGA

15 October 2018 at 03:33 | 2765 views

By Emmanuel I. Kamara

The Chief Minister of Sierra Leone, Professor David John Francis (photo) has on Thursday 4th October, 2018, told journalists that President Julius Maada Bio traveled with a twenty-three (23) man delegation on his maiden trip to New York, United States of America to attend the 73rd United Nations General Assembly.

Professor David Francis made this disclosure while addressing journalists’ questions posed to him at the weekly government press briefing, held at the Ministry of Information and Communications, Youyi Building in Freetown.

He said that President Bio did not take a large delegation to the UN General Assembly.

He said President Bio’s government is very determined to ensure that they spend state resources rationally. He recalled that when President Bio travelled to London to attend the Commonwealth Summit, he took with him nine delegates and said he was then Foreign Minister designate.

Francis said at the same summit, Kenya travelled with more than 40 and Nigeria with more than 70 delegates.. Noting that since that time global leaders noted that President Bio meant what he said, namely, that he will stop reckless spending.

He stated that global leaders will look at your large delegation and know that you are not serious, while a small delegation signifies you are very much serious in running your country.

The Chief Minister further maintained that President Bio has also taken with him twenty- man delegation to the attend the Forum on the China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit in China and he was part of that delegation.

He cautioned and urged Sierra Leoneans to move away from the habit of lazy and wicked characterization of the country. He said “President Bio has said it time without number that he does not want a large delegation.”

The Chief Minister promised that at anytime you see a delegation of 30-40 people; he will not be in that delegation and will quickly resign as he did not want to be party to such.

Professor Francis was also reacting on some social media statements that president Bio travelled with a delegation of 91 and that the other says the Chief Minister is heading a delegation of 60 people to the UNGA because the Vice President is engaged with other activities. He cautioned all and sundry to be grown up and stop pettiness and push for the development of Sierra Leone.

The press briefing was attended by the Minister of Information and Communications, Hon. Mohamed Rado Swaray, the Minister of Health and Sanitation, Hon. Dr. Alpha Tejan Wurie, the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Hon. Kabineh Kallon,the Deputy Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr. Patricia Lavely,the Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Hon. Solomon Jamiru, the Chief Executive Officer of SLEPA, Mr. Sheku L. Koroma,the Chief Innovation Director, Dr. David Paul Sengeh and a host of other government officials.

Editor’s Note: Here is Professor Francis making remarks at the presentation of a Transition Report on the former government of Ernest Bai Koroma to President Bio earlier this year.