Sierra Leone on Tuesday honoured Nigeria and four other West African countries for standing solidly behind it during the 11-year civil war that ravaged the country between 1991 and 2002.

The other appreciated countries are Ghana, Guinea, Liberia and Gambia.

Spokesman of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, in a release on Wednesday, said apart from Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who was decorated by Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio with insignia of honour and dressy tokens, Presidents of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo; Guinea, Alpha Conde; Liberia, George Weah and Gambia, Adama Barrow, were also decorated.

President Bio, at a ceremony to mark the 60th Independence anniversary of Sierra Leone in Freetown, mentioned how Nigeria and other countries in the subregion had been helpful in the course of the peace and development of his country.

In a show of appreciation and gratitude, President Bio honored Nigeria and the other countries that he said had stood with Sierra Leone, a nation that survived an 11-year civil conflict from 1991 to 2002.

Bio, decorated a number of West African leaders through their leaders that attended the celebration while Prime Minister Nuno Gomes Nabiam of Guinea Bissau and a Special Envoy of the President of Ivory Coast were also in attendance at the event.

Speaking with news in Freetown after the event, Osinbajo described the celebration as a worthwhile one “especially considering all of what Sierra Leone has been through in the 11 years of Civil War and they have emerged from that terrible experience, much stronger, a united country and developing everyday economically and socially.”

According to him, “it is a very happy event and we are all extremely proud of what the Sierra Leoneans have been able to do.
He said: “We were very warmly hosted by President Bio and all the members of his cabinet and the good people of Sierra Leone. It has been a very exciting, warm, and joyful event.”
Historically, both Nigeria and Sierra Leone have shared cherished and cordial relations at least right from colonial times. The relationship has continued and evidenced in the socio-economic, technical, and security cooperation over the years, including the deployment of Nigerian troops in Sierra Leone to uphold the peace and preserve democracy.

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