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Checkout The Full Biography & Age Of The Newly Elected Sierra Leone President, Julius Maada

Brigadier Julius Maada Wonie Bio
Brigadier Julius Maada Wonie Bio

Elections has come and gone in Sierra Leone and former military officer, Brigadier Julius Maada Wonie Bio won and have become the Sierra Leonean 5th and current president since April 4, 2018. He was born on May 12, 1964. Aged 53.

Brigadier Bio is a retired Brigadier in the Sierra Leone Military. He was the military Head of State of Sierra Leone from January 16, 1996 to March 29, 1996 under the National Provisional Ruling Council. Bio was the SLPP presidential candidate in the 2012 presidential election, having won the nomination at the July 31, 2011 SLPP national convention held at the Miatta Conference Hall in Freetown.

Bio led a military coup in Sierra Leone on January 16, 1996, ousting his close friend and the leader of the NPRC junta government, Captain Valentine Strasser, following a division within senior members of the NPRC junta. In his first public speech after the coup, Bio justified his actions as a means to return Sierra Leone to a democratically elected civilian government and end the Sierra Leone civil war.

Bio fulfilled his promise to return Sierra Leone to democracy; and he handed power to Ahmad Tejan Kabbah of the SLPP following the latter's victory in the 1996 presidential election. After retiring from the military in 1996, Bio moved to the United States, where he earned a Masters Degree in International Affairs from American University in Washington, D.C. He also served as the president of International Systems Science Corporation, a consulting and investment management firm based in the United States.

Bio is an ethnic Sherbro and a native of Bonthe District in Southern Sierra Leone. Bio is a practicing Roman Catholic Christian. His wife Fatima is a practicing Muslim and an ethnic Mandingo from Koidu, Kono District in eastern Serra Leon.

Military Life

After graduating from secondary school, Bio applied for admission into Fourah Bay College in Freetown in 1985 at age 21. However, Bio ultimately enrolled in the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces military academy at Benguema, just outside the capital city of Freetown. He trained as a cadet officer under the command of Major Fallah Sewa, the head of cadet training at the military academy.

Bio graduated from the Military academy as a Second Lieutenant in the Sierra Leone Army in October 1987 at age 23. His first post as a commissioned officer was at the Lungi Garrison in Port Loko District in 1987. Bio was later posted to Kambia District as part of the Economic Emergency Unit, created by President Joseph Saidu Momoh to combat smuggling and other crimes along the Guinean border. In 1988, Bio was again re-posted at Lungi and trained by United Nations forces in aviation security. After the training, Bio was transferred to Benguema as a platoon commander.

In 1990, the Sierra Leone Government contributed military personnel to the West African Peacekeeping Force, ECOMOG, which was mandated to keep the peace in the Liberian civil war. Bio and several other Sierra Leonean soldiers, including Captain (OF-2)|Captain Valentine Strasser, and Lt Solomon Musa were deployed to Liberia as part of Sierra Leone’s contingent to ECOMOG. At the time, thousands of Liberians were fleeing to Sierra Leone weekly, exposing the country’s fragile security and adding to the economic hardship.

After a year in Liberia as an ECOMOG soldier, the Sierra Leone Government ordered Bio and several members of Sierra Leonean soldiers serving in Liberia to immediately return to Sierra Leone and report to the Military baracks|army barracks in Daru, Kailahun District to populate newly formed 600 man battalion of soldiers set up by President Momoh to repel the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels who had attacked villages on the border between Sierrra Leone and Liberia, in March 1991. The soldiers included future NPRC members Lieutenant Solomon Musa, Captain Valentine Strasser, Lieutenant Sahr Sandy and Lieutenant Tom Nyuma.

Participation in 1992 military coup

On April 29, 1992, Bio was one of a group of young Sierra Leonean soldiers including Captain Valentine Strasser, Lieutenant Sahr Sandy, Lieutenant Solomon Musa, Lieutenant Tom Nyuma and Captain Komba Mondeh that toppled president Joseph Saidu Momohs All People's Congress (APC) government in a bloodless military coup. The young soldiers formed the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) with Strasser as their leader and Head of State of Sierra Leone.

Bio's first appointment following the formation of the NPRC was as the Secretary of State South, stationed in the country's second capital Bo. He was later moved to Freetown to serve as Secretary of State in charge of Information and Broadcasting. At this point, he was promoted to Captain alongside other junior lieutenants. As a leading member of the coup that kicked out the APC government, Bio served as Supreme Council of State member throughout the NPRC's stay in power and when Strasser's deputy, captain S.A.J. Musa, was sacked and exiled to the UK, Bio was appointed to the position of Deputy Chairman of the NPRC.

1996 military coup

On January 16, 1996, Bio led a military coup, ousting captain Valentine Strasser following a dispute within the governing Supreme Council of State (SCS) over whether to seek peace with the RUF before multi-party elections, planned for March 1996, or go ahead with the election notwithstanding the ongoing war in the country, and the conditions for participation (or disqualification) of junta members in the elections.

The coup was backed by many high ranking NPRC soldiers including Colonel Tom Nyuma, Lt Colonel Komba Mondeh, Lt Colonel Reginald Glover, Lt Colonel Idriss Kamara, and Lt Colonel Karefa-Kargbo. Captain Valentine Strasser then the leader of the NPRC and the military Head of State of Sierra Leone was handcuffed at gunpoint by his own military bodyguards who were supposed to protect him and was immediately flown into exile in a military helicopter to Conakry.

Political career

Bio officially became a member of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) in 2005. That same year, Bio sought the leadership of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) at its national convention in Makeni on September 3–4, 2005; he took third place, with 33 votes, behind Vice President Solomon Berewa , who received 291 votes, and Charles Margai, who won 34 votes.

In the Sierra Leonean press, Bio was quoted in 2007 as saying he would overthrow a new APC government if the APC won the 2007 election . According to Bio, this was taken out of context, and he said that if the "appalling" conditions that existed in 1992 were to return, he would seize power.

On the night of 31 July 2011, Julius Maada Bio won the election to become the SLPP's 2012 presidential candidate at the SLPP convention, which was held at the Youyi Building in the heart of Freetown . He faced off with President Ernest Bai Koroma of the ruling APC and was defeated, winning 37% of the vote, but established the SLPP as the only viable opposition party in Sierra Leone.

Julius Maada Bio was elected President of Sierra Leone in a run-off election held March 31, 2018. He scored 52 percent of the votes according to official results from Sierra Leone's National Elections Commission. He succeeded Ernest Bai Koroma of the APC who has been President since 2007.

Editor's Note:

The questions is, has Sierra Leone made a good choice in electing former military coup planner and executer their current president? Or have they made the wrong choice? Yes he is young, which is commendable but this same Brigadier Maada has been accused of insolence and violence and many other things in the past, (which he is guilty of) and now he is the president.

Most people will argue that his main purpose to plan and execute the coup was to return the government to a democratic rule, which he did, but one needs to exercise caution when dealing with this kind. However, click HERE to read a damaging testimony inditing the Brigadier Maabo as a grossly corrupt entity who uses violence to achieve his objectives.

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