April 19, 2017 By Mohamed Massaquoi
President Ernest Bai Koroma was conspicuously absent over the weekend at the Old Bo Boys Association (OBBA) celebration in the southern district town of Bo, where thousands of people gathered to grace the Speech Day and prize giving ceremony of the school.
It was reported that the executive of OBBA, headed by Dr. Alpha Tejan Wurie, paid a special visit to the president ahead of the occasion and officially invited him.
He allegedly consented to be part of the occasion as the proprietor of all government schools across the country.
Also, it was expected that the president would have been inducted as an associate member of the school, especially when past presidents had gone through the same process.
According to the Director of Communication at State House, Jara Kawusu Conteh, there was no reason advanced for the absence of the president for that special occasion.
Some political analysts speculated that the president failed to attend because a good number of OBBA executives are members of the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), and that they would have used the occasion as a serious political advantage.
However, the cerebration went on with little or no major rancor within the township of Bo.
The First Lady, Madam Sia Nyama Koroma, who graced the occasion, said it was an extraordinary honour for her as the first female to serve as Guest Speaker of the school.
She said Bo school has made history not only in Sierra Leone but also in countless places throughout the world, as it was established as the first government school in Sierra Leone.
‘’In the early 1940s, the school assumed a formal secondary school status and it doors became opened to all Sierra Leoneans, not only to the sons and nominees of chiefs but others as well. Indeed, even my husband, HE the president, had asked me to tell you that he is here in spirit with you and the great institution and prays that the great Bo School continues to thrive and contribute meaningfully to the development of Mama Salone,” she said.
“I feel a sense of belonging to this wonderful place. It gives me the greatest pleasure to inform this august gathering that the government of Sierra Leone has authorised the payment of salaries to unapproved teachers from 2014 to date. Similarly, arrangements have been made for the provision of solar lights on campus, and connecting the campus with the entire township in order for there to be a constant supply of water to the school.”