New FCC Mayor promises to transform city
May 16, 2018 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara
The newly elected Mayor of the Freetown City Council has told a mammoth crowd at the Miatta Conference Hall that her administration was determined to transform the municipality, as highlighted in her manifesto.
Her Worship Yvonne Aki-Sawyer was speaking yesterday during the swearing in ceremony of over 50 newly elected councilors in both the Western Area Rural and Urban Districts.
The ceremony, which was graced by the Honourable Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Anthony Y. Brewah, and Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swaray, also attracted hundreds of the opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) members in attendance.
The swearing in ceremony was dominated by people in red and those in attendance chanted the APC victory song, while a tiny group of the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) shouted ‘Juldeh Bioooo, Juldeh Bioooo.’
In his address, the keynote speaker, who doubles as Vice President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, encouraged the elected councilors to carry out their functions diligently as prescribed in the Local Councils Act of 2004.
He recalled that it was the SLPP that reintroduced the decentralisation programme in 2004 to open up the political space, participation and inclusion in governance that would conform to the trends of modern day governance.
“As a government, we want to take governance and decision making to the door steps of ordinary citizens so that we can strengthen accountability, service delivery at the local levels,” he said.
Dr. Jalloh assured the councilors that his government would continue to create supportive policies and regulatory environment for decentralisation in a bid to deftly manage the relationship between local council.
“Under the esteem leadership of President Bio, coupled with my determination as chairman of the inter-ministerial committee on decentralisation, we are going to do all it takes to support you, to support your work so that decentralisation can become a reality in this country,” he reaffirmed.
He noted that the solemnity of the occasion should remind the councilors about the enormity of responsibility that has been entrusted in them.
Dr. Juldeh said “The electorates of your respective localities have elected you to represent their interest and aspiration. This is an indication of confidence and trust they have reposed on you so that you can lead and bring them out of poverty.”
He said the local population requires policy support to effectively realise the development aspiration.
“You have a big task to deliver. I know you will deliver. I know you are very close to the people. You were elected by the people and you should serve the interest of the people,” he said.
The vice president reassured the councilors of the total support of the central government so that they could deliver on their campaign promises.
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Anthony Y. Brewah, said it was a unique honour and privilege for him to be called upon to head the coordination of issues relating to the advancement of the fundamental institution of governance and service delivery in Sierra Leone.
He said the current government inherited a decentralised programme that requires substantial strengthening.
“I have a firm conviction that my ministry would effectively work with all relevant stakeholders to advance the decentralisation process. We will surely put decentralisation process in its proper perspective,” the minister assured.
He said the oath taking by elected officials was an important step to enable commence the discharge of their roles and responsibilities.
He noted that political leadership among the councilors was crucial in ensuring that resources disbursed to local councils were effectively utilised for the benefit of their local people, so that they could see themselves as part of the development process.
“Under my leadership, the requisite policies and capability support would be provided to ensure that your local council functions smoothly,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the occasion, Mohamed Rahman Swaray said that the SLPP administration would continue to support local councils as they were the ones that reintroduced it in 2004.