Just hours after he was declared winner of Sierra Leone’s run-off presidential election, former military leader, Julius Maada Bio, was Wednesday night sworn in as president.
He succeeds Ernest Bai Koroma who had been in office for 10 and half years.
Bio of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) polled 51.81 percent of votes, in an election that led to a disagreement between the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) and former Ghanaian leader and head of the ECOWAS Election Monitoring Group, Mr. John Mahama.
The ruling party accused Mahama of supporting Bio to win the election, a charge Mahama vehemently denied.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Bio on his victory.
In a statement from his office, the President commended the people of Sierra Leone on the successful conduct of the presidential election run-off as well as the parliamentary and local council elections held on March 7, 2018.
The statement adds, “With the elections concluded and following the trend of recently held peaceful elections in West Africa, President Buhari urges all stakeholders in Sierra Leone to work together for the peace, security and development of the country.
“He enjoins all those with grievances over the outcome of the elections to seek constitutional means of resolving them, stressing that nothing should be done to endanger the peace and stability of the country in particular and the sub-region in general.
“The Nigerian leader salutes the resilient spirit of Sierra Leoneans, who have clearly demonstrated their ability to manage their own affairs and consolidate on the country’s progress after a post-conflict era.
“The President also commends the immediate past president, Ernest Bai Koroma, for his commitment to a credible electoral process and spirited efforts at bringing stability and positive changes to the nation during his presidency.
“President Buhari looks forward to working with President Bio for the growth, prosperity and stability of their nations, and West Africa.”