By Bennett Oghifo
Former Speaker of the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS Parliament, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has congratulated the government and people of Sierra Leone on the successful conclusion of the countryâ€™s presidential election.
He also congratulated the newly elected President, Julius Maada Bio on his election as the countryâ€™s incoming President.
Reacting to the development, Ekweremadu, who is also the Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, said the peaceful conclusion of the presidential election as well as the victory secured by the opposition was further confirmation that democracy was taking deeper roots in Africa.
He said: â€œI congratulate the people of Sierra Leone for making Africa proud, once again. The successful conduct of the parliamentary elections and peaceful conclusion of the presidential election surely compensate for the sacrifices made by the people of the sub-region and indeed the international community to restore peace and democracy in Sierra Leone.
â€œThis is another giant stride for democracy, especially in West Africa. Successive victories by the opposition in Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, in recent years are clear indications that democracy is taking deeper roots in the sub-region.
â€œI commend President Julius Maada Bio and the Sierra Leone Peopleâ€™s Party for their sense of patriotism as shown by their post-victory statements giving every Sierra Leonean a sense of belonging and rallying all towards building a country of their dreams, irrespective of tribe, religion, and political affiliation.
â€œI also salute the patriotism and courage of former President Ernest Bai Koroma in upholding the sanctity of the ballot box. He has no doubt secured for himself a place as a true statesmanâ€.