August 23, 2017 By Joseph S. Margai
Mayor of Freetown City Council (FCC), Franklyn Baba Bode Gibson, will on 30th August, 2017, lead an eight-man delegation to Hull City in the United Kingdom to participate in a cultural affair, where the delegation is expected to showcase Sierra Leone’s culture.
This revelation was made to pressmen by the FCC Mayor, yesterday 22nd August, 2017, at the council’s conference room on Wallace Johnson Street in Freetown.
Mayor Gibson said FCC and Hull City Council have been twined for thirty-seven (37) years now and that both councils have benefited immensely from that relationship.
He revealed that the reason for the partnership was that one of the philanthropists, a member of the British Parliament, who advocated for the abolition of the slave trade, William Wilberforce, was from Hull City, adding that when the slaves were freed and settled in Freetown, they named a place after William Wilberforce.
“During this partnership, we established the Freetown Society in Hull and Hull Society in Freetown. We also have a street in Hull which is called Freetown Highway and we also have the Lumley Beach Road named after Hull,” he disclosed.
He also disclosed that in 2005, FCC benefited from garbage trucks and fire engines from Hull City, noting that the garbage trucks worked well for some months, while the fire engines never worked.
The Freetown City father said they have done a five -minute film titled: “The city belongs to us and is now in Hull City”, disclosing that when the Princess from England visited Sierra Leone four months ago, the film was shown to her.
Among the eight-man delegation, he said, they will have one of Freetown’s finest comedians called Ernest Brewah popularly called Vamboi, four councilors, an Anglican Reverend, among others.
He said the trip is funded by Hull City Council and it will last for six days-from 31st August-6th September, 2017.
“In my speech, I will talk about the mudslide and flooding that occurred in Freetown on 14th August, 2017 and whatever assistance we will get in that regard, the public will have to know through the media,” he said.
Quizzed why he is leaving the municipality at a time it has been hit by one of the worst disasters in the country’s history, Mayor Gibson said he has cried so much that he would no longer cry as someone without hope.
“I cried during the incident because there is proximity between the place of the incident and that of my house but that should not stop me from going and explaining about it to people in Hull City. I believe we would attract help and that help would directly benefit survivors,” he said.
During the press briefing, a group called Fundme Foundation/National Opinion Poll, through its executive members, headed by Alfred Paul Sandy, donated five cartoons of Saba soap, two hundred (200) bundles of pure drinking water, and a bundle of used clothing to support survivors of both the mudslide and flooding that took place on 14th August, 2017.
Receiving the donation, Mayor Gibson expressed appreciation to the group’s executives and said the little gift that the group has presented to humanity was also done to Christ in the Holy Bible.
He assured them of council’s continued support at all times and called on them to use their organisation to sensitise people against the habit of disposing garbage on the streets or gutters.