The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) secretariate says it will issue a statement to clarify a confusion over the reported appointment of Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio as chairperson of the African Union’s self-assessment agency.
The presidency in Freetown on Sunday announced the appointment of President Bio through Presidential Spokesman Yusuf Keketoma Sandi.
“Sierra Leone’s President, His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio has been endorsed by the 35th African Union Summit of Heads of State and Government as the New Chairperson of the AU-African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), in recognition of the “excellent progress” made by Sierra Leone to promote Democracy, Rule of Law and Good Governance,” Mr Sandi wrote on his personal facebook page.
He added on a separate post two hours later: “H.E President Bio now doubles as Chairman of the African Union C-10 and Chairperson AU-African Peer Review Mechanism.”
A press release under the letterhead of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation also appeared on social media, quoting Foreign Minister Prof. David Francis confirming the appointment of President Bio which he attributed to international recognition of gains made by his leadership in promoting democracy, rule of law and good governance.
But it turned out that the official twitter page of the APRM had referred to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari as new chair.
In a tweet earlier on Friday, February 4th, the agency wrote: “APRM family welcomes Nigeria as the new chair of the APRM Forum of heads and government.”
Sandi didn’t respond to a request by ManoReporters for clarification.
When contact via twitter, the APRM wrote back to say: “We will issue an official statement shortly to clarify the issue.”
The APRM is a specialised agency of the AU which serves as a platform for sharing of experiences and reinforcing best practices towards political stability, accelerated economic growth and regional and continental integration.
The APRM Forum is the highest decision-making organ of the agency and it is headed by one of the heads of the member state of the APRM for a two-year term mandate.
The new chairperson will succeed South African President Cyril Ramaphosa who held the one-term chairmanship position from 2020 to 2022.