October 1, 2022

One supreme quality of Brigadier (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio was that he literally lay down his life for his beloved country. He was not only a frontline commander with likelihood of death at any moment but he was also one of the soldiers who ousted the oppressive APC, thereby freeing the people from serfdom.

Not only that. When it became apparent that the NPRC was about to cling to power indefinitely he made short shrift of their intentions by staging a palace coup and returning the country  to civilian rule after a three –month interregnum

Rumours that he was forced to give up power by his subordinates show the mentality of naïve civilians who do not know about the modus operandi of the army. If it were so other coup plotters, like Yayah Jammeh, Sani Abacha or Colonel Ghadaffi, could have been talked out of their coups by their subordinates.

They should be thankful to the retired Brigadier for talking Foday Sankoh out of the bush to negotiate peace. He could have been taken hostage or killed but he braved it out all out of his patriotism. And now beneficiaries of that peace in their comfort zones are blabbing that Bio has taken their money to Ghana. This is disingenuous? What more can a patriot do for his country?

And talking about experience it is the level of experience and not only the length of time that matters. Otherwise office messengers who spend decades at their tasks would take over from ministers who are new at their jobs. Maada Bio used to Chair the cabinet and was also of ministerial rank in the NPRC regime.

Thankfully, former Head of state, Valentine Strasser, has admitted that he was in charge at the time of the execution of military officers thereby absolving Brigadier (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio.

As the auxiliary to his boss, Capt Valentine E.M. Strasser, Maada Bio ensured the smooth running of the governance machinery especially when his boss became lethargic. As the war intensified and the rebels stepped up their advance towards the city, Capt Strasser decided to restructure the hierarchy of the army so that it can effectively take on the marauding rebels. This was how Maada Bio was promoted to the rank of Brigadier and made Chief of Defence Staff of the Armed Forces in order for him to direct all the military operations, which he did perfectly well, as the rebels were stopped in their tracks and pushed all the way back.

The NPRC had pledged to rule the country for only four years during which they set themselves the task of ending the rebel war and returning the country to civilian democratic rule. Even though they were unable to end the war they were however determined to fulfill the second pledge of conducting free and fair elections and handing power to a civilian government.

It later emerged that Strasser wanted to renege on his pledge, which set him on a coalition course with Maada Bio and the other members of the revolution. Relations between them deteriorated rapidly to the point where Strasser was ousted in a palace coup while Maada Bio being the number two man took over.