ABUJA, Nigeria, February 25, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo has congratulated Sierra Leoneans for their commitment to democracy as demonstrated by the first post-war elections which was peaceful, transparent and credible elections and resulted in the re-election of President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.
Speaking to journalists in Freetown at the official inauguration of President Koroma in Freetown on Friday 22nd February 2013, President Ouédraogo said that by their peaceful and commendable conducts during the November 2012 polls conducted by Sierra Leoneans themselves after a decade of devastating civil war, the citizens had showed a strong determination to ensure that democracy is entrenched in their country.
He also congratulated President Koroma describing his re-election as a renewal of confidence in him by his compatriots.
The ECOWAS chief noted that ECOWAS monitored the November 2012 polls in Sierra Leone and will continue to support the country on its march to deepen the democratic culture both in the country and the entire region.
He wished the country and the President well, and enjoined them to build on the political success as well as intensify efforts on national reconstruction and socio-economic development in line with the ECOWAS objectives to make West Africa a region of peace and economic prosperity.
The colourful ceremony at the Freetown National Stadium was attended by a number of ECOWAS leaders including President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, the Prime Ministers of Cote d?Ivoire, Guinea and Senegal and Ghana?s Vice-President, while other Member States sent high-level official representations. Also in attendance was former Sierra Leonean President Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah.
The inauguration ceremony featured a performance by a military band and displays, a military parade, and march past by military, para-military and uniformed services including the police as well as school children.
There was also the pouring of Libation by paramount chiefs giving the ceremony a traditional flavor after Chief Justice Madam Umu Hawa Tejan-Jalloh had administered the oath of office on President Koroma, for another five year mandate following his first election as president in 2007 to succeed President Kabbah.
A resplendent President Koroma dressed in a flowing white gown with a cap to match, pledged to consolidate the gains achieved by his administration for the progress and development of the country.
Earlier, President Ouédraogo, who was welcomed on arrival by Sierra Leone?s Foreign Minister, Dr. Samura Kamara was received in audience by President Koroma.
The ECOWAS high-powered delegation to the inauguration included the Commissioners for Administration and Finance Mrs. Khadi Saccoh, and Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs. Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman.