President Ernest Koroma begins a second-term journey following his inauguration in Seirra leone February 22
| By Maureen Chigbo | Mar. 11, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT
ECONOMIC Community of West African States will continue to support Sierra Leone on its march to deepen the democratic culture both in the country and the entire region. Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo, president of the ECOWAS Commission, gave that assurance at the inauguration of President Ernest Bai Koroma for a second term in Freetown, February 22. Ouédraogo congratulated Sierra Leoneans for their commitment to democracy as demonstrated by their first post-war peaceful, transparent and credible elections that resulted in the re-election of President Koroma. By their peaceful and commendable conduct during the November 2012 polls, conducted by Sierra Leoneans themselves after a decade of devastating civil war, the citizens had shown a strong determination to ensure that democracy is entrenched in their country, said Ouédraogo.
ECOWAS monitored the November 2012 polls in Sierra Leone. Describing Koroma’s re-election as a renewal of confidence in him by his compatriots, Ouédraogo wished the country and the President well, and enjoined them to build on the political success to intensify efforts on national reconstruction and socio-economic development in line with the ECOWAS objectives to make West Africa a region of peace and economic prosperity.
The colourful ceremony at the Freetown National Stadium, was attended by a number of ECOWAS leaders including President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, the Prime Ministers of Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea and Senegal as well as Ghana’s Vice-President. Other member states sent high-level official representations. David Mark, Senate President, led the official federal government delegation to the ceremony. Patience Jonathan represented her husband President Goodluck Jonathan. Also in attendance was Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, former Sierra Leonean president.
The inauguration ceremony featured military band performance and display, as well as a military parade, and a march past by military, para-military and uniformed services including the police as well as school children. There was also the pouring of libation by paramount chiefs giving the ceremony a traditional flavor after Chief Justice Madam Umu Hawa Tejan-Jalloh had administered the oath of office on President Koroma, for another five-year mandate following his first election as president in 2007. A resplendent Koroma dressed in a flowing white gown with a cap to match, pledged to consolidate the gains achieved by his administration for the progress and development of the country.
Earlier, Ouédraogo, who was welcomed on arrival by Samura Kamara, Sierra Leone’s foreign minister, was received in audience by Koroma. The ECOWAS high-powered delegation to the inauguration included the commissioners for administration and finance and political affairs, peace and security, Khadi Saccoh and Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman, respectively.