By Alhaji Haruna Sani
It could be quite significant to highlight events that happened these days because we are fast running into the June 2023 multitier elections.
What are the things that happened in March?
1. Remilitarization of Yenga: One of the most disturbing events that happened in the early month of March was the forceful remilitarization of Yenga, as Sierra Leonean soldiers watched helplessly while Guinean soldiers built a fresh demarcation with the inscription “since 1808” on pillars they mounted.
Yenga is a disputed border village in Kissi Teng Chiefdom, Kailahun District in the Eastern Provence of Sierra Leone. In 1998, the border dispute between Sierra Leone and Guinea emerged into prominence. But what happened last month has never taken place since 1998.
2. Celebration of International Women’s Day: Also on March 8, International Women’s Day, the British Foreign Secretary, Rtd. Hon. James Cleverly received a thrilling welcome in Bo, second capital city of the country.
The senior Conservative Party member is the first British MP with Sierra Leonean background.
3. Unveiling the new Freetown International Airport Terminal and Facility: OnFriday 3 March 2023,President Bio officially unveiled the new Freetown International Airport Terminal and Facility.
The $270 million terminal has the capacity for over one million passengers annually and five times the airport’s current capacity. The airport was constructed through a build, operate and transfer agreement between the government and the global construction company, Summa Group of Companies from Turkey.
The new Freetown International Airport was on Saturday 25 March 2023officially opened to the public for commercial use.
4. Key reports on President Bio’s Governance: In March of 2023, there wereseveral reports which were damming for the government of President Bio. Firstly, it was the World Happiest Country Report, where Sierra Leone was ranked as the 3rd most unhappy country in the world and 1st in Africa, then the Amnesty International report, the European Parliament report on human rights and then the 2022 US State Department Country Reports on human rights practices by President Bio Government.
All of the above reports catalogued series of gross human rights abuses including police brutality, suppression of opposition, unlawful and arbitrary killings, degrading treatment by government or on behalf of government, harsh or life-threatening prison condition, government corruption and substantial interference with the freedom of peaceful assembly among others.
5. Gruesome Killing of a school teacher and sentencing of LAJ:
On Saturday, March 11, teacher of the Providence International High School Grillis Ola Edwin Johnson was gruesomely murdered allegedly by an SSS 3 school pupil he was teaching, Mohamed Arun Conteh at the teacher’s 54 Victoria Street Resident in Freetown.
After spending nine months on remand, popular rap-star, Amadu Bah dubbed as Boss LAJ was on Friday March 17 sentence to nine years imprisonment for robbery and assault.
And what‘s more:
The death of a 2-year-old toddler in a ‘Bondo Bush’, Extension of the use of old Leones, police disrupting Unity Party’s National Delegate’s Conference, sacking of the Bank Governor, who was blame for plunging the nation’s economy into mess, Samura Kaara, main opposition presidential aspirant’s announcing Chericoco as his running mate for the 2023 election, proposed ban on street rallies by Political Parties Regulations Commission among others and fatal road accidents in Waterloo among others.
What Next?:As elections draw closer, with barely two months to pools, we speculate more interesting events to happen in this month. Therefore, we shall be also refreshing readers’ minds with some other crucial events that will happen this month.