Monrovia, Liberia, Friday 26 July 2019 – His Excellency President George Weah has conferred on His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio one of Liberia’s highest honours during the official commemoration of the country’s 172nd Independence Anniversary in Monrovia.
The Grand Order of the Most Venerable Order of the Knighthood of the Pioneers of the Republic of Liberia (KGC – MVOP) is bestowed for outstanding and distinguished service in international affairs, government, religion, art, science or commerce, also for singular acts of philanthropy and deeds of heroism and valour.
Reading the citation for the conferment of the honour at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex, Montserrado County, the Chief of Protocol of the Republic of Liberia, Jervis Witherspoon paid glowing tribute to President Bio for his democratic credentials and as the former military Head of State who laid the foundation for peace and the return of multi-party democracy in Sierra Leone in the late 90s.
“His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio presided over the conduct of the first democratic elections in Sierra Leone in nearly three decades. He voluntarily handed over power to the democratically elected Government of the late President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah and initiated the Sierra Leone Civil War Peace Settlement. He is also the first former military Head of State to be democratically elected as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone,” the citation stated.
The Chief of Protocol also spoke about President Bio’s efforts at peacekeeping in Liberia as part of the Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG). He added that President Bio’s peacekeeping mission, then as a military in the early 90s in Liberia through ECOMOG, demonstrated the love and commitment he had for the country and people of Liberia.
Mr. Witherspoon also catalogued the President’s humanitarian efforts in Sierra Leone through the Maada and Fatima Bio Foundation. He singled out the Foundation’s work during the Ebola outbreak in supporting victims. Over the years, he noted, the Foundation also supported victims and families affected by natural disasters such as the flooding and mudslide.
President Bio was also praised for his tremendous achievements over the last one year in championing human capital development, demonstrating political will in the fight against corruption, restoring fiscal credibility to Sierra Leone among others. He was also recognised showing great leadership at the African Union as Chairman of the Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government for the reform of the United Nations Security Council.
The Sierra Leone delegation returned on Friday 26 July.
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