Abraham Lincoln once said "nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."
Captain Valentine Strasser is the youngest Head of State in West Africa. The military man came into power through coup de'tat in 1992, at the age of 25, he was overthrown in 1996.
To say his story is sad would be an understatement. Stasser's story truly defines the phrase, from grace to grass.
25-year-old Strasser had seized power in Sierra Leone as Head of State. He overthrew the previous president, Joseph Momoh, who was his boss. Strasser, at that young age not only had wealth, but also had the power to do anything he desired.
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However, the young man gave himself up to the seduction of power, and became unpopular among his people. He engaged in reckless extravagance and wasted resources that were supposed to be utilized for the good of the people.
Strasser was accused of mismanagement and when people began to disagree with his regime, he allegedly ordered their assassination. Many of his soldiers defected to the rebel army that had gained more influence when his regime began to fail.
In the end, Strasser was overthrown in a coup by his deputy, Julius Maada Bio, in 1996. In an attempt to start his life anew, the former head of state fled to London penniless.
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According to Flawlessview, he tried to study law at Warwick University on a scholarship, but even that had failed, due to constant harassment from the daughter of one of his victims, and the fact that he had no money or accommodation.
The Sierra Leone government later granted him amnesty and he returned to the country where he lived with his mother. He struggled to live daily, jobless and penniless.
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It was recently reported by the Sierra Leone Telegraph that the former head of state is now sick, and was admitted at the Aspen Medical Hospital in Freetown. He was diagnosed with peripheral artery disease which affects his left leg.
Bio who had left the office as the Head of State in 1996, and came back to power as the 5th President of Sierra Leone in 2018, came to his former boss' rescue.
President Bio had reportedly granted an executive clearance that arranged for medical evacuation for Strasser.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier published an article celebrating Nigeria's old and new presidents and the great women behind them. Rare photos of the presidents and their first ladies were also posted in the article.
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