The outgoing Mayor of Freetown, Yvonne Akie-Sawyerr has said “it would be an honour” to serve as the running mate of Dr. Samura Mathew Wilson Kamara, the flagbearer of the main opposition party, All Peoples Congress (APC).
“I would be humbled. I have been humbled in this seat, and I have been humbled to serve as the mayor. I consider it a huge privilege, and I have experienced a lot of learning and growth.
So, if the flagbearer invited me to serve, of course, I would be honoured to accept that invitation” said Akie-Sawyerr, who was sending her farewell message to the city council staff and members of the press on March 1, 2023.
Her party, the APC, recently held their National Delegate Conference and overwhelmingly voted for Kamara to lead them in the rematch for the presidency with Julius Maada Bio, who defeated him by a simple majority in the 2018 run-off elections.
After settling the flagbearer race which was met with interceptions by a couple of court injunctions which prompted the European Union in Sierra Leone to intervene, the party is now faced with an impasse as its leadership faces the conundrum of whether to line up Kamara with Hon. Chernor Maju Bah whom he partnered with in 2018, Yvonne Akie-Sawyerr, or a not-so-familiar individual in the person of Sheik Mohamed Kamara, popularly known as Jagaban.
Whilst Akie-Sawyerr would cherish the opportunity, she recognizes that it is not a position that is open to contention. She said she is still interested in running for the city’s mayoral office, which she left a few days ago, in compliance with an order from the Ministry of Local Government which dissolved the offices of all mayors, chairpersons, and councillors.
In one interview, she said she looks up to working for Freetonians after the elections. In what capacity she will have to do so would be determined by Sierra Leoneans at the polls. She maintains her optimism despite her many encounters with the central government, she puts it that she looks forward to a “peaceful year”.
She would be banking on her past experiences in office, as well as what she was able to achieve in her five-year term. “I have gained experience administratively within the public sector, dealing not just with government at the central and local levels, but also dealing with communities,” she said.
She added that since she was elected to office in 2018, she has served the city, establishing a robust sanitation value chain, working on climate resilience through tree planting, providing jobs for the young and a lot more.