From last edition
During the 2018 Presidential elections, Strasser’s mother endorsed the candidacy of Dr. Samura Kamara of the ruling APC as against the opposition SLPP main challenger, Brigadier (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio. Strasser was again whisked into Star Telivision show hosted by Abdulraman Kamara, a day to the run off elections. In the interview, Strasser endorsed Dr. Samura Kamara as against his former NPRC colleague, Brigadier (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio of the SLPP in which the latter emerged as the winner and President of Sierra Leone following a tightly contested run-off election. Despite the above, President Bio invited Strasser to his inauguration ceremony and his first State Opening of Parliament thereby recognising the latter as former Head of State of Sierra Leone. In spite of this genuine effort, critics lamented that President Bio was ridiculing Strasser.
When Strasser became seriously ill in January 2019, the New Direction government admitted him at the Aspen Medical Hospital in the capital Freetown where President Julius Bio visited him. President Bio assured the former Head of State that his government will do everything it takes to help Strasser regain his health. The Commanding Officer at the Military Joint Medical Unit â€“ Lt. Col. Dr Stephen Sevalie told President Bio that the former Head of State suffers from â€œPeripheral Artery Disease which is affecting the left legâ€, a Rocket Propelled Grenade fragment (R.P.G) he sustained during the countryâ€™s decade rebel war.
â€œSierra Leone does not have a vascular surgeon and as such the former Head of State will need to be flown out,â€ Lt. Col. Dr Sevalie requested. He said Strasser required surgery by a vascular surgeon to re-establish blood supply.
As â€œtalk and do President, H.E Bio instructed and gave executive clearance for Strasser to be evacuated for medical treatment in Ghana. While he was undergoing treatment and being taken good care of in Accra by the Sierra Leone High Commission in Ghana as directed by His Excellency President Bio, critics were again spreading hate and fake news about Strasser and some even killed him in words. As all this drama was going on, President talk and do Bio was quietly building a new home for his brother at Grafton.
Now that Strasser has recovered from his illness and he was welcomed recently at the Presidential lodge and keys to his new bungalow was handed over to him by President Bio, the critics are again saying it was built for the former by an unknown businessman and others are saying it is Governmentâ€™s resources. My question to those with such views is why is such goodness only happening now to the former Head of State that had been used and dumped and referred to as “from grace to grass?” Why is it that it is only now that Strasser’s dignity has been restored? The answer is simple, itâ€™s the good work of â€œtalk anCd do Bio.â€
In conclusion, it takes a compassionate leader like His Excellency Brigadier (Rtd), Dr Julius Maada Bio, to rescue our former Head of State and restore his once muddled reputation. He deserves to be thanked and commended for such a generous gesture.
Bravo President Bio and congratulations to Captain (Rtd) Valentine E.M Strasser!
The Author: Abubakarr Bah was a prolific Journalist of Cotton Tree News (CTN), Sierra Leone and now serving as Information AttachÃ© of the Sierra Leone Embassy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia