However, this second closed door meeting came amid tensions between the government and the main opposition APC party headed by the former president. AYV gathered that present at the meeting were the Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, Chief Minister David Francis, APC Secretary General Ambassador Foday Yansaneh, APC Deputy Chairman and Leader Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray, Hon. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, State House staff among several others.
The meeting between the two has been long overdue following calls from citizens and activists. It came at a time that political tensions were becoming more conspicuous in the country especially between the ruling SLPP and the main opposition APC.
Political tolerance, peace and national cohesion are the issues which many observers say they expect to have formed part of their discussions; especially when the former president and his party did not participate at the Bintumani III National Peace and Cohesion Conference earlier this year.
After the meeting AYV spoke with the APC Deputy Organizing Secretary, Karamoh Kabba about whether the APC is aware of the issues discussed. He stated among other things that Sierra Leone belongs to all Sierra Leoneans and that as APC they are glad that the meeting between the current and the former presidents is taking place although a bit late. He added that governance is about continuity and that when one government comes in and makes progress and another comes in, that government will continue working on the progress made by its successor.
Press Secretary and Presidential Spokeman, Keketoma Sandi also spoke to AYV about the significance of the meeting between President Bio and former President Koroma. “It is very refreshing. President Bio is unwaning when it comes to commitment to national peace and cohesion. We had the Binitumani III Conference where all stakeholders made their various contributions and recommendations. But President Bio does not believe in just holding conferences; and so this meeting is just a step to many other steps he would make to see progress,” Mr. Sandi said.
However, after all the political tensions since the conclusion of the 2018 general elections, most people will be wondering whether this public display of unity and statesmanship will bring an almost divided nation together.