The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was decorated with the highest national award of Sierra Leone — the Grand Commander of the Republic of Sierra Leone — at an event in Freetown, the capital, last Tuesday.
The event formed part of the 60th Independence Day celebration of Sierra Leone. It was on the theme: “Building a new Sierra Leone together”.
President Akufo-Addo attended the ceremony in his capacity as the President of Ghana and also Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The President of Guinea, Professor Alpha Conde; the President of Liberia, George Manneh Weah, and the President of The Gambia, Adama Barrow, were also decorated with similar honours for the various roles they played in helping Sierra Leone in its times of distress.
Apart from the four West African Presidents who attended the event and received their honours in person, the Prime Minister of Guinea Bissau, Nuno Gomes Nabiam, and the Vice-President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, were also in attendance.
It was a colourful celebration, with performances by Sierra Leone’s security agencies, interspersed with cultural displays.
A minute’s silence was observed in honour of the late President of Chad, Idriss Deby Itno, who died recently.
The Sierra Leonean President, Mr Julius Maada Bio, said the honour was in recognition of President Akufo-Addo’s selfless contribution to “deepening democracy and the rule of law in Ghana and heightening and providing leadership for regional integration and co-operation in Africa”.
He said it was also to acknowledge President Akufo-Addo’s “outstanding career of public service”, citing several landmark constitutional cases he undertook which had protected the independence of the Judiciary and guaranteed the rights of Ghanaian citizens.