By Amin Kef (Ranger)
In a surprising turn of events, Mayor-Elect Yvonne Aki-Sawyer (YAS) has found herself in hot water once again, sparking controversy over an international agreement and prompting a swift response from the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs.
Prominent public figure, Andrew Keili, raised the alarm, indicating that what many had hoped would be a period of respite between the former Mayor and Mayor-Elect, Yvonne Aki-Sawyer (YAS), has now given way to renewed tensions. This time, the source of the dispute centers around an accord signed by YAS with the Mayor of New Haven, Connecticut in the USA, reaffirming a previous agreement between the two cities. Critics argue that YAS’s actions were ill-timed and question the source of her funding for her recent travels.
The Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs wasted no time in issuing a Press Release, condemning the agreement as “null and void,” citing YAS’s lack of authority to sign any agreement while not officially seated as Mayor. The release also called upon the Sierra Leone Ambassador to the USA to inform the Mayor of New Haven about the situation and hinted at a potential investigation into the funding of this international engagement.
Detractors are now raising questions about the possibility of misconduct, such as the misappropriation of Government or FCC funds for YAS’s travels. The Ministry emphasized that Sierra Leone is a sovereign nation governed by the rule of law, and interference in its affairs is unwelcomed.
In response to the controversy, Andrew Keili pointed out some typographical errors in the Ministry’s Press Release, humorously suggesting that the typist might have been influenced by religious references. He also highlighted an email from the Mayor of New Haven, indicating that the agreement was non-binding and symbolic.
However, Keili questioned the wisdom of YAS’s decision to engage in international activities while the political situation remained unresolved. He also called on the Ministry to conduct a thorough investigation before passing judgment.
In a separate development, the Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, Professor Kelfala Kallon, addressed rumors circulating on social media that he had gone into self-exile due to his political advice to President Bio. Kallon refuted these claims, asserting that he had been attending various functions and had not disappeared. He emphasized his commitment to keeping politics out of the bank’s operations and vice versa.
Addressing those behind the false rumors and audios, Governor Kallon warned against cowardly behavior and urged them to find productive work to support the economy. He hinted at upcoming economic policies that could create employment opportunities.
While the controversy surrounding YAS’s international agreement continues to simmer, questions about the Governor’s leave period persist. Sierra Leoneans eagerly await further statements from both YAS and the Governor as these developments unfold.