April 12, 2018 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The Office of the President yesterday announced that the inauguration ceremony for President Julius Maada Bio will be held on Saturday, May 12.
The former military leader was declared winner of the March 31 presidential run-off election by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) on Wednesday, April 5.
He secured 1, 319, 406 of the total valid votes cast, representing 51.81%, whilst his challenger, Dr.
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Samura Mathew Wilson Kamara of the All People’s Congress (APC) polled 1,227,171 or 48.19%.
Soon after he was announced as the winner, Retired Brigadier Bio took the oath of office at the Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel in Freetown in front of members of the diplomatic corps and other dignitaries.
There had been speculation that the inauguration ceremony will be held on the country’s Independence Day anniversary – 27 April – or after the holy month of Ramadan in June.
However, a press release from State House yesterday disclosed that the inauguration of President Bio will be staged at the National Stadium in Freetown on May 12, with further details about the programme expected in due course.
President Bio first came to prominence in 1992 when he and other young commissioned officers overthrew the 24-year one-party dictatorship of the then ruling APC. He went on to head the junta for three months before handing over to a civilian regime in 1996.
His assumption of office is historic in that he is the first ex-military leader to be elected president, while having the enviable record of twice removing the APC from power.