February 9, 2016 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
The Nigerian High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Her Excellency Mrs. Gladys Modupeola Quist-Adebiyi last Friday (5 February) bade farewell to Mrs. Ebun Strasser-King, Sierra Leone’s new Ambassador to the Republic of Senegal.
Mrs. Strasser-King, who until recently was the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, was re-assigned to serve as Sierra Leone’s ambassador to Senegal last year by President Ernest Bai Koroma.
Speaking at a farewell dinner at Lagonda, Aberdeen in Freetown, the Nigerian envoy said Mrs. Strasser-King had been a sister to her since she arrived in Freetown to sever as Nigeria’s High Commissioner.
She said the newly appointed Sierra Leonean envoy to Senegal had left an indelible mark in the sands of time at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
She described Mrs. Strasser-King as “a very amiable, kind and endearingly special person” who encouraged and supported her to settle down easier than she had anticipated, adding that “she is a friend” both to her and the diplomatic community at large.
“Yes we are saying farewell to you tonight my dear friend and sister, but we are happy, knowing that you are going to Senegal to serve your country in another capacity. I and majority of the diplomatic community agree that your unprecedented hard work, personal commitment, integrity and disposition to your official calling is highly appreciated,” said Madam Quist-Adebiyi, adding that Mrs. Strasser-King’s favourable disposition gave an important verve to the Nigeria-Sierra Leone bilateral relationship, which has a long history of being warm.
In her statement, Mrs. Strasser-King said special thanks to the Nigeria High Commissioner and team for organising a farewell dinner in her honour, noting that her appointment as an ambassador was a position she had always desired and that her detour into the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation as Deputy Minister was perhaps a path created for her to achieve that feat.
She said five years as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs had indeed given her great experience in the diplomatic world, especially in meeting with key players in the international diplomacy.
“We all know that Sierra Leone and Nigeria have enjoyed great diplomatic relations as far back as we can remember, but my sisterly relationship with the High Commissioner has effectively enhanced the bilateral relations between us. The dinner is not goodbye between us but is just to say later,” she said.
Family members, friends, workmates at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spoke gloriously about the new envoy, with the general view being that they believed the newly appointed ambassador would represent Sierra Leone and deliver on behalf of her country.