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Attack on FCC Mayor attracts wide condemnation

May 25, 2018 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara

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Mayor Aki-Sawyerr being consoled by an aged woman

In an apparent physical and verbal attack on the Mayor of the Freetown City Council, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr- on Wednesday, 23rd May, by irate youth, citizens from all walks of life have condemned the act and called on the police to speedily investigate the issue and bring perpetrators to book.

The mayor was reportedly attacked on Wednesday by some irate youth around the Sierra Leone Book Shop on Lightfoot Boston Street after a hectic and fruitful meeting with security apparatus, government ministers, officials of the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party and other stakeholders.

In a press release issued yesterday, the leading women’s group, 50/50 Group, utterly condemned what they described as cowardly act and demanded speedy investigations by the police.

‘The 50/50 Group condemns the cowardly attack on the Mayor of Freetown, Her Worship, Yvonne Aki-Sawyer. The Group sees this as a gross act of intimidation and bullying on someone voted in to represent ALL Freetonians, regardless of their sex, creed or political party affiliations. We call on President Bio, the Inspector-General of the Sierra Leone Police, and all relevant government officials to take ALL steps to bring the perpetrators to book,’ the release states.

The women’s group stated that, ‘We believe that there should be zero tolerance to any form of threat, violence and intimidation to Sierra Leoneans, especially women and children. We hope that investigations will be speedy and conclusive so that perpetrators are punished to the full extent of the law. This will send a strong message that President Bio’s call for a war on lawlessness and indiscipline is being taken seriously.’

Another vibrant women’s group, Women in the Media, condemned the attack outright, noting that, ‘the ugly incident has created serious concerns regarding the safety and protection of women leaders in Sierra Leone. Women continue to face violations in the country and our Female Leaders are no exception. We therefore urge the police to continue with the investigations and bring the culprits to book.”

Also, Publicity Secretary of the main opposition All Peoples Congress party, Cornelius Deveaux, accused the SLPP youth of being behind the cowardly attack on the mayor and condemned it in its entirety.

“The APC condemns this act in its entirety and wishes to draw the attention of the SLPP government and party that such acts, if not contained immediately, has the propensity to undermine the peace and stability which this nation has enjoyed since 2002,” the release states.

The APC party also reminded the SLPP government of its constitutional obligation to ensure that peace and stability prevails and that they coexist as one nation.

However, the SLPP in a press release issued yesterday ‘unequivocally condemns the attack on our Mayor of the Municipality of Freetown and calls on the Sierra Leone Police to effectively and speedily investigate the matter and bring the perpetrators to book. The SLPP wishes to inform the general public that violence is not part and has never been part of the conduct of members of our party. The SLPP also wishes to inform the General Public that our members do not have anything to do with the said attack. We shall never be a party to any ploy to derail the effective operations of the office of the Mayor of Freetown, or any other person of authority.’

While the attack on the mayor was further punctuated with huge criticisms on social media from citizens in the country, the victim-Aki-Sawyerr, yesterday appealed to Freetonians to keep the peace and expressed confident in the Sierra Leone Police for the independent investigation of the matter.

“Unfortunately, I was verbally and physically assaulted yesterday by a few people who perhaps do not understand that I am the Mayor of all Freetonians and not some Freetonians. I strongly condemn all acts of violence and appeal to Freetonians to keep the peace at all times. Yesterday’s attack is being investigated by the Sierra Leone Police. Let me use this opportunity to thank the leadership of the Sierra Leone Police and the Minister of Internal Affairs for their support and interventions,” she said.

Meanwhile, the mayor has requested for an additional security to protect her.

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