Introducing the message, Bio used the opportunity to thank the leadership of the Royal Institute of International Affairs for inviting him to Chatham House to share with them his reflections on the challenges and opportunities for democratic consolidation in post-war Sierra Leone.
He said in 1996, he had the difficult task, against the background of an on-going brutal civil war, to organise the first democratic elections in more than 20 years and peacefully handed over political power to the democratically elected government.
After more than 20 years of this historic moment Bio went on, whereby the military supported the re-establishment of democratic governance and constitutional rule in war-torn Sierra Leone, he has had ample time now to reflect on the state of and the future of democracy in Sierra Leone.
The SLPP Chief went on to speak on Sierra Leone and the challenges of democratic consolidation where he outlined some of the key challenges that threaten the consolidation of democracy in Sierra Leone. He said democracy cannot be built on an empty stomach; adding that his experiences in government as Head of State and reflections since handing over power to a democratically elected government have all shown that democracy cannot be built, sustained and consolidated on an empty stomach.
In other words Bio furthered; poverty, illiteracy, underdevelopment and lack of existential necessities of life, that is, food, shelter, clothing and healthcare are a threat to the consolidation of democracy. Turn to page 8 of this edition and read full message.