Sierra Leone Telegraph: 29 October 2023:
Elected APC mayors and local ward councillors have commenced taking their oath of office to mark their official return to governance in Sierra Leone, after a three-month boycott, following the announcement of the June 24, 2023 elections which the main opposition APC says were rigged by the national electoral commission and the ruling SLPP in favour of President Bio.
After an intense period of weeks, if not months of negotiation by the Commonwealth Secretariat, ECOWS and the African Union to get the opposition APC and the ruling SLPP to end the political crisis, a peace deal was signed by both parties last week, which includes an agreement by the APC elected officials to return to national governance.
Writing on Friday 27 October to the Sierra Leone Telegraph, elected Freetown Mayor – Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr said that: “Further to the recently signed Agreement for National Unity, and the end of the APC non-participation in governance, I took the oath of office yesterday, and I am pleased and humbled to serve for a second term as the Mayor of Freetown.
“The swearing-in ceremony was overseen by the Minister of Local Government and the event was also attended by the Deputy Mayor and APC Councillors. It was great to be accompanied by some of our MPs and supporters as we went on to the APC Party Office and then to Freetown City Council.
“Later this evening I spent time with my parents, sister, other family members and friends. I am thankful to God and grateful to my family and all who have supported me on this journey. May God bless Freetown and bless my service to our city in this second term. #TransformFreetown #5MoreToDoMore”.
The U.S Embassy in Freetown on Thursday congratulated the opposition APC leadership for taking the bold step towards peace and national cohesion.
“Congratulations to the elected APC councillors from Freetown and Western Area who took their oaths of office yesterday and to those from the Northern and Northwestern regions who will do so today and tomorrow.
“This critical step on the path towards implementation of the Agreement for National Unity helps ensure representation of all Sierra Leoneans in local government bodies and lays the groundwork for more inclusive and responsive policies and service delivery.
“We applaud leaders from both government and the APC whose collective efforts have created the conditions to make this victory for democracy possible, and we look forward to continued partnership as remaining commitments under the Agreement move forward,” a statement from the Embassy reads.
You can click below to watch Mayor Aki-Sawyerr speaking to local radio reporters here about her return to the council office: