• September 28, 2023


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While we continue to ponder why top government brass including the presidency went to the 78th secession of the United Nations General Assembly – UNGA 78 with an Exodus population of over 50 man delegation, we should also not lose sense of reasoning why the Mayor-elect of the Freetown City Council, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, should be questioned for impersonating the FCC at the UN in New York.

Though they were all there in the name of representing Sierra Leone and not themselves, yet a non-governmental personality like the FCC Mayor-elect, shouldn’t  have be at the UNGA, if only she had not wanted to embarrass herself and the APC party that earned her the ticket for the mayoral seat.

Knowing very well that the UNGA only invites heads of governments and other organisations, they work in diverse areas in governance, and not for individuals, the Freetown Mayor-elect should not have just jumped on a plane to New York on the pretext of representing the Freetown City Council-FCC against the laws of the country. Considering that she didn’t subscribe to the oath of office, which would have legitimised her status.

As by law, any public function performed by Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr as Mayor of Freetown outside the oath of office is illegal. And her participation in events at the UNGA and meetings with municipality managers like the Mayor of New Haven (Connecticut) on behalf of the FCC have been termed by the central government through line ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, as illegal.

What a shame on the APC party’s boycott stance and even supporters of Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr’s.

She is no different from the likes of Hon Mohamed Bangura and Hon Alfred Thompson who have long defied the party’s stance. Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr has proven to the world that there are more of their mock-ups in the APC party than one would imagine. So, heads up emerging APC leaders, and shine your eyes well.

Showing up in New York for participation in the 78th UNGA is not a crime, though the actual capacity in which government functionaries attend such events, programmes and activities for and on behalf of the state, should be made clearly specific in the best interest of democratic transparency and accountability.

That Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr’s visit to Manhattan remains much controversial, doubtful and questionable by a large section of the public, serves as a matter of concern, especially now that it is clearly known that she skipped the swearing-in ceremony of local council officials, and didn’t subscribe to the oath of office, which should have granted her the much desired legitimacy as the Mayor of Freetown.

In what appears as if Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr missed her seat at the FCC, she actually needs to be encouraged to subscribe to the oath of office, take up her seat, stop impersonating the Freetown City Council, and continue with the party’s boycott stance, if at all she can.

If not then one of the lead public administrators therein at the FCC should be well placed to start representing the municipality management of Freetown rather than someone who has nothing to do with the council but to keep serving as an impersonator elsewhere. That Aki-Sawyerr is on protest and in solidarity with her APC party does not mean that files and correspondences she signed during her last term should not be followed as and when the need arises.

The office of the Mayor is not on protest but Aki-Sawyerr, which should not stop works at the council, as a public office.

Certain people must be seen serving in specific capacities where necessary until there is a mayor in his/her seat.

In the case of Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, who initially supported the APC boycott stance, she was not expected to betray the cause of the party for her personal gains and selfish desires by surreptitiously showing up at the UNGA in New York.

Critical minds are seeking explanations from her on why she went to the UNGA and went further to engage the New Haven mayor on what can be referred to as a move to consolidate ties between the two cities.

Is Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr the real mayor of Freetown outside the oath of office?

We shall continue to ask to ascertain her current official status relating to the FCC within and outside the country. Other concerns continue to be raised by APC partisans and the public are that; was the leadership of the party consulted before Aki-Sawyerr jumped on the plane to New York?

If yes! Then who and which agency did she represented when she remained illegitimate? Or was she just an impersonator that was placed where she was just to cause further disgrace and embarrass for the APC?

Something needs to be done in correcting such political blunders. And no matter how big a shrew is, she must be tamed by the APC to avoid such problems in future, especially when the party had spoken loud and made their position clear on state governance. All must therefore be seen adhering to and complying with the position of their party as others are doing now in their continuing non-participation in governance with the governing Sierra Leone People’s Party.

Lessons must be therefore be learnt from the defiance of Mohamed Bangura, Alfred Thompson and Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr so that others will surely take caution, as in the words of Ola Rotimi in his play, “The Gods Are Not to Blame”.

Aki-Sawyerr by law is not a government official until she subscribes to the oath of office and takes her seat as Mayor of Freetown. Besides, her involvement and participation in any government function for and on behalf of the Freetown City Council should be reasoned and considered under the laws of Sierra Leone as illegal.

Stop it, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr!

Save your hard earned reputation from unwarranted controversies with the proclivity to drag your face to the mud. And by a way of rumours, tender a public apology to the people of Freetown, the municipality management of the Freetown City Council and the nation as a whole, if not your party whose ticket earned you the opportunity to serve as Mayor-elect.

A word to the wise is quite sufficient.

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