By Musa Kamara
Many have had their ‘say’ on the Mayor’s leaked audio, even after the Mayor has apologized; on her social media platforms and on AYV television some miscreants are still bent on bringing her down. It is on that alarming note that the main opposition All Peoples Congress Party (APC) through the National Secretary General has on a clean slate taken us through on the Mayor’s political intimidations since she assumed office as the Mayor of Freetown in 2018 under the ticket of the APC.
In a press release signed by Ambassador Dr. Alhaji Osman Foday Yansaneh – National Secretary General of the APC, he plainly highlighted the political intimidations Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr has undergone under the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and cronies, and till date, no actions have been taken.
Amb. Yansaneh recalled that on August 2018, Mayor Aki-Sawyerr was assaulted with what he described as ‘wooden object’ that got the Mayor’s hand fasten on a sling following a hospital treatment. This act, he said was carried out by hooligans from the SLPP Headquarters, and no one was brought to book.
The National Secretary General maintained that on that same month, the Mayor requested for a wall to be built so as to separate the Freetown City Council (FCC) Office from the SLPP office – where threats of rape were made, directed to female officials of the Council.
Additionally, he said on September 2018, the then Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development – Philip Tondoneh, ‘verbally assaulted and publicly harassed’ Mayor Aki-Sawyerr, for refusing to approved payment for national cleaning day vehicles based on what Amb. Yansaneh described as ‘the lack of transparency and accountability in the process.’
He continued that on Thursday 30th January 2020, the Mayor wrote a Letter of Complaint to the Minister of Internal Affairs that has to do with some thugs believed to be SLPP supporters, who pelted stones and threatened to rape female staff and councilors, but to this day, FCC has not received a reply of the letter written to the Minister.
Amb. Yansaneh recounted that in June 2020; FCC was halted for collecting property rates for a period of 8 months by the Government on the claim of ‘guidelines formulation and approval by Parliament.’
“The guidelines, though formulated, have neither been approved by Parliament nor enforced by the Ministry and discriminatory treatment is only against FCC and does not apply to other Councils,” Amb. Yansaneh explicitly mentioned in the press release.
On a recent intimidation dated 26th March 2021, Ambassador Yansaneh said that the Mayor’s personal bodyguard from the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) with over a decade’s experience, was withdrawn from her with no reasons provided by the SLP, but only a replacement who is a recent recruit of the SLP.
Based on such facts of political intimidation centered on bringing the Mayor down, the APC National Secretary General vehemently mentioned that the Party will stand firm with Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr and any other, whose reputation is on the line that has the tendency to obstruct ‘constitutional and statutory functions.’