Sierra Leone Telegraph: 21 August 2022:
Last Friday, 19th August 2022, Mayor of Freetown – Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, had an engaging and inspiring encounter with hundreds of youths from across the country, who gathered at the National Youth Leadership Summit in Freetow where she delivered a powerful keynote address, calling on the young people of Sierra Leone to be peaceful and development focussed.
“I shared experiences from my youth days, recognized the many challenges that the youth face today; and I elaborated on the more than 2,000 sanitation and tree planting jobs created for young people in the capital, through the City Council’s TransformFreetown programme. I concluded that peace is the foundation for development and encouraged all the Youth Ambassadors to keep promoting peace,” she told the Sierra Leone Telegraph yesterday.
This summit comes in the wake of the Bloody Wednesday protests which took place in several districts of Sierra Leone two weeks ago, in reaction to the rising costs of living, and what many of the protesters described as rampant corruption in the government, abuse of State power, and the curtailing of civil liberty.
The protests saw scores of protesters killed and injured, along with at least four members of the security forces. There are calls for the president and his ministers to stop the political rhetoric and the increasing use of extra-juducial powers, retributive punishment and killing of opposition supporters suspected of taking part in the demonstrations.
Mayor Aki-Sawyerr’s engagement with youth leaders at the national summit last Friday is certainly a welcome development, and will go a long way in promoting peace and dialogue in the country at this difficult time, as ruling party operatives go on the offensive with deadly consequences.
You can watch Mayor Aki- Sawyerr speaking here:
I have heard enough of the word “hardship” with reference to Sierra Leone. Most of the commentators are making references to the high cost of living in the country. If you are writing from home ie Sierra Leone, do you have any knowledge of the rising cost of living in the rest of the world since the pandemic struck? And those of you commentators living in the diaspora, I do not need to ask you such question because I know you are experiencing the rising cost of living wherever you are abroad.
Still talking about hardship, Sierra Leoneans are routinely blaming the president of hardship in the country instead of getting on board with the president to help build our country. For all those years ago prior to President Bio’s rule, please tell me what has Sierra Leone produced or manufactured. Nearly most of every commodities in Sierra Leone are imported from abroad. Rice which is our staple food, is mainly imported instead of us getting our hands dirty by growing more rice, for the a good of the country to be self sufficient in rice. Most youths of today do not want to get their hands dirty by doing farming. They want expensive mobile phones, dressed in expensive clothing like westerns and patrolling the streets talking politics. They should be encouraged to do something progressive with their lives instead of being idlers waiting for the President to put food on their tables.
Most rich Sierra Leoneans are not helping to create jobs for the people. They should get onboard as they are bigger players to help solve unemployment in Sierra Leone not only the president. To those “Ayampis” with the peoples’ monies, get your stolen wealth from your foreign accounts banked overseas and use then on the people in the country, you are depriving the populace of their monies you stole.
This is what leadership is all about . For Some it comes naturally to them, and they are the altruistic role models that exhumed torelarnce and understanding of others feelings and hardship . Which Mayor Akin Sawyer is all about .The best President, Sierra leone never had .And for others they adopte this role , even though it doesn’t suites their characters and runs against their DNA make up.No one embodies that more than Bio .His lack of understanding of the issues and what others are going through in the country he heads is a clear manifestation Bio for all his “Talk an Do” bolster is not the right leader that our country needs right now as we navigate the choppy waters of economic hardship , political pollarisaion and social upheavals that have gripped our nation . Bio has become the wrecking ball in our nation building efforts .The Mayor’ s answer to the riots is the right way and more suited to the prevaling mood ,circumstances and conditions given what is at stake .
The very security of Sierra leone is hanging on the balance .And if one listen to Bio’s and his ilk rhetoric blaming all our ills on the Mayor , their shadowey financial supporters ,and some in the daispora like Adebayo , tells you everything you need to know about our country . Adebayo might comes accoss as an illitrate with little formal education which he feerly admitted .But for the “misguided youths ” Bio’a words not mine ,that are listening to his audios which Bio claimed is some of the root causes of the violence , is in itself an admission of failure by Bio and his hand-picked packed PHD holders cabinet that are entrusted with the powers of the state to come up with solutions to the problems facing our country and guide us through this difficult times ..How could a single individual hold the country to ransom,?The ability to inspire and empathize with individual groups that felt marginalized, ostasied , either their local communities or the state is what comes our naturally from the Mayor ..”
The ability to inspire is one of the simple most important leadership skills that separate great leaders from average ones .Infusing energy , passion and connection into others and behaviors , couple with a clear vision , mission and commitment to integrity that guides them in everything they do to make the world a better place. ” Mayor Akin Sawyer has done it all. Her place in the dynamics of our politics as a bridge builder is assured . “When you’re an inspiration leaders , you’re able to tell people and explain to them what it is that you are doing and where you are going , and it makes them want to come with you”. Bio lacks all of the above . He is a massive failure.