Abuja, Nigeria - ECOWAS has congratulated Sierra Leoneans for their commitment to democracy as demonstrated by their first post-war peaceful, transparent and credible elections that resulted in the re-election of President Ernest Bai Koroma.
An ECOWAS press statement, received by PANA here Sunday, said the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo, conveyed ECOWAS' commendation while speaking to journalists in Freetown, the Sierra Leonean capital, at the official inauguration of President Koroma on Friday.
He 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.
Wishing Sierra Leoneans and their president well, Ouédraogo enjoined them to build on the political success and 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 military band performance and display, as well as 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 flavour 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.
Speaking to the nation, 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.