His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio has said that his government will set up a national commission on peace and national cohesion. He made this statement on Wednesday, May 16th while addressing representatives of the Eminent Women Sierra Leone from the Women’s Situation Room at State House in Freetown.
President Bio said that the motive behind the formation of the commission will be to reduce the ethnic and regional divide in the country as well as to strengthen peace and national inclusion into all spheres of society. He stated that as a nation we must put all efforts in living together as a united force adding that his government will continue to take the lead in that direction.
His Excellency thanked the women for their patriotic efforts displayed during the just concluded elections. He said that the presence of the women was highly instrumental in getting a credible and violence free elections and therefore encouraged them to continue working independently in the best interest of the nation. President Bio, who is very passionate about women’s welfare, also added that his government will provide support for the women in carrying out their activities.
Delivering a position paper on behalf of the group, Chairperson Ambassador Haja Alair Cole congratulated President Bio on his inauguration and wished him the best in his new administration. She commended President Bio for the level of inclusion he has so far manifested in his administration especially in the area of appointment stating that such a direction will help to unite the country. She again mentioned that the country is already deeply polarized and divided through regional and ethnic lines but expressed her optimism that the country will once again be united taking into consideration the level of inclusion already shown by President Bio.
Madam Cole also acknowledged the fact that President Bio is inheriting a country that is facing a lot of challenges ranging from youth unemployment, environmental vulnerability to disaster, increase in drugs intake, poverty among citizens as well as violence against women among other things. She, however, said that with collective efforts and strong political will the nation will surmount those challenges. Madam Cole ended by appreciating President Bio for appointing women into his cabinet and urged him to bring more women into positions of trust.