Somerset, New Jersey : Sunday May 14, 2022. Today was another defining moment in the politics of our motherland when the ever- vibrant APC New Jersey hosted the Mayor of Freetown, Mrs. Yvonne Aki-Sawyer in a patriotic open-field town hall-like meeting at Somerset, New Jersey. The Mayor is in the U.S. to attend meetings at the United Nations.
The Mayor, who is a very popular and iconic figure among Sierra Leoneans in the U.S, eloquently gave New Jerseyans a mouthful of all her achievements , which drew a lot of applause from the crowd ; and enumerated her troubles with the ruling SLPP government for doing her job and warned very strongly that Sierra Leone is sliding into a dangerous and full -scale dictatorship and quagmire worse than the rebel war under the totalitarian and politically -abusive leadership of President Maada Bio.
She advised Sierra Leoneans to get together and report the excesses of President Bio and his government to the U.S. Congress and the international community for the love of their nation, before it is too late.
Among her achievements were the planting of trees in the Municipality to mitigate environmental damage and disaster. Since she was elected Mayor, hundreds of trees have been planted in areas facing environmental disasters.
Also, since she was elected in 2018, she has been able to significantly increase REVENUE -COLLECTION through the payment of property rates . Before she became Mayor, most property owners were not paying rates. To maximize the system, she introduced a digital system and was able to increase payment of property rates by 70%. There were only 37, 000 properties in the data base, but through diligent work she increased it to 120,000 properties , thereby increasing the City’s revenue potentials ten times. The SLPP Government, displeased by her achievements, told the city residents to stop paying property rates. However, she said that when something is good, it is good and cannot be disrupted. The World Bank now wants the same system rolled out in other cities in the country.
Mayor Aki-Sawyer also stated that she has been able to build a nursery at Congo Water Market for children of market women and traders who used to be huddled under the stalls .She has also been able to enroll the children’s mothers in literacy programs so that they too would learn along with their children. She would be starting the same programs at the Krootown Road Market. ” It is what the APC stands for–concern for people at the bottom and lifting them up ” .
APC MEMBERS HEARTILY SINGING THE PARTY’S VICTORY SONG
The Mayor gave a comprehensive presentation of how much she has moved things in a positive direction in the Freetown municipality
The Mayor received a plaque of appreciation from President Alimamy Turay on behalf of APC New Jersey.
But the Mayor also took her time to complain about what she described as a most significant part of the country’s history that is worse than the rebel war—The closure of democracy in Sierra Leone, under President Bio. She narrated detailed instances of the assault on freedom 0f Speech and association and the violation of human rights by the Bio Government, which have resulted in extrajudicial political killings, the recent unlawful arrests of a mad man and a stroke victim and the continued detention of Mr. Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray , the leader of the Alliance Democratic Party ( ADP ). The Mayor warned that if people do not rise up and raise their voices, Sierra Leone would slide into full-scale dictatorship that would lead to outcomes worse than the rebel war. I am ready to stand anywhere to say that the journey we are on now will lead to full-scale dictatorship, if we do not stand up and voice our concerns . There is an existential threat of Sierra Leone slipping into full-scale dictatorship. ”
The Mayor said that her office has been able to bring U.S $4 MILLION of investment to the municipality but she is ironically being investigated for $14,000 of travel expenses , the same traveling which brought about the investment—Which , to her, is just a dirty political ploy by the SLPP Government to indict her and get rid of her, so that they would impose their own person as Mayor of Freetown.
The Mayor also outlined all the subterranean schemes President Bio is presently employing to deter the functioning of an opposition party in Sierra Leone , thwart any hope the APC ever has of returning to power in Sierra Leone and even impose on the APC his own choice of flagbearer and candidates for the elections. In the circumstances, the Mayor called on the APC to close ranks and unite . “We in the APC must concentrate on the enemies without, rather than those within, ” she warned. She warned also that the SLPP was trying to rig the forthcoming elections. Look at the time set for registration of voters : 3rd of September to 3rd of October. There are 7.5 million people. The time is too short to register everybody, she stated. She has heard people bragging about protecting the APC votes this time, but to her, APC NEEDS TO GET THE VOTES FIRST. She therefore advised that the party get its people to register to vote. “We must make sure that we provide vehicles for our people to go out and register and also vote. ”
She warned repeatedly that the U.S authorities and the international community need to know what is going on in the national interest. “Our response needs to become open. Your officials, your mayors , the U.S. Congress and the international community need to know. We need to amplify our voices. We need to make noise . We need to tell the world . ”
Rumours abound in the U.S. that the Mayor will be arrested on her return to Sierra Leone.