I like Yvonne Aki-Sawyer – but I cannot get past Red John

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Yvonne Aki-Sawyer’s campaign for the Freetown Mayoralty is the only serious APC campaign that is happening right now.  You will not find any reference to the APC’s campaign slogan “Tolongbo”. Aki-Sawyer has sought to distance her campaign from the drab and dull campaign of Samura Kamara. The party’s apparatchiks and Young Turks are sidelined, with a team of media savvy operators spearheading her very polished campaign.

Truly, she has captured the hearts and minds of many Freetonians.  However, in her short political career, Aki-Sawyer has acquired some of the APC’s bad habits, which is why many people would struggle to cast their vote for her in the Freetown Mayoral race on March 7th.

This was most evident when she resorted to the courts, to compel the National Electoral Commission to change her registration from Regent to Lumley on her nomination day, in order to make her eligible to contest the elections.

Aki-Sawyer mobilised the APC hierarchy, and was accompanied by Osman Yansanneh to obtain a court order compelling NEC, to re-register her from Regent to Lumley.

Was this what Aki-Sawyer meant in her campaign Facebook page, when she wrote about Osman Yansanneh, as someone with whom she has a shared vision?

That comment about Yansanneh, was troubling, and it remains like an immovable barracuda bone, wedged inside my throat, which no amount of water or fufu could move.

This tension between supporting someone who is seemingly progressive, and casting a vote that effectively rewards the APC, has left many Freetonians, in a quandary.

However you cut it, a vote for Aki-Sawyer, maybe a vote “foh wi community, foh wi progress, foh wi Fritong”, but it is a vote that rewards the APC for their spectacular and consistent failure of governance not just in Freetown, but in Sierra Leone as a whole.

To reward the APC, after they have imposed the Wellington to Masiaka Toll Road on Freetonians, an action which has had a significant impact on the cost of living, is unacceptable to Freetown brothers and sisters who are in abject poverty.  To reward the APC, which has presided over the Regent Mudslide and which has not being transparent about the $25m of funds donated in the aftermath of the disaster, would be unacceptable to the victims of this and other disasters.

To reward the APC, who oversee the issuing of permits for constructing homes, which has blighted the Freetown landscape, the main cause of flooding, would be unacceptable to all Freetonians. Red John, the Serial Killer has become Aki-Sawyer’s Achilles heel.

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