November 29, 2017 By Alusine Sesay
Erstwhile Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Oluniyi Robin-Coker, who is now vying for the Freetown Mayoral seat under the ticket of the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC), has emphasised the need for the Freetown City Council (FCC) to use community-driven approach in effecting development within the municipality.
Using a Krio slogan ‘Grap en tinap’ (get up and stand up), he said communities within Freetown should rise up to their development challenges and move their areas forward, with support from the FCC.
“What I would introduce is that I would involve the community in my development agenda. For any development to be sustainable there is need to involve the community at the lowest level. When the community set their agenda and mobilise themselves for their own development priority, then the development would be sustainable,” he said.
He observed that council could work together with communities within the Freetown municipality to undertake sustainable development projects, noting that they alone cannot do it all.
“We need development at the community level. You cannot be out there and make all the decision for people because it would never work. You have to interact with the community to know their problem. The Freetown City Council should be the bridge between the community and the central government,” he reiterated.
The APC aspiring mayor last week visited slums within the municipality to interact with inhabitants and get first-hand knowledge about challenges that bedevil those communities.
Robin-Coker further emphasised the need to put proper mechanisms in place to ensure that garbage collection within the municipality is properly done, emphasising community participation.
He was part of the President Recovery Priorities and one of the brains behind the newly designed Operation Clean Freetown, a community-driven initiative that is currently being used to collect garbage in the city.
With a wealth of knowledge as a specialist in private sector development, Robin –Coker hopes to make judicious use of his expertise to effect development in the Freetown municipality, if awarded the symbol to contest and subsequently wins the mayoral election in March 2018.
Asked whether he would use his expertise to develop communities within Freetown should he not be awarded the symbol to contest, Robin-Coker said: “I am public servant and a selfless patriot and there is no way I should not be involved in the development of the country. Nation-building requires sacrifice. Whether I have the symbol or not I would always work for the nation.”