Deputy Permanent Secretary making sensitizing households at the Gorahun Town, Kenema District

Ministry of Energy, sponsors deepen community engagement on the processes, procedures, and utilization of the small mini-grids solar power that had been connected to households in rural communities across the country.

EmmanuelJulisa, Deputy Permanent Secretary Ministry of Energy informedcommunities that the small mini-grids are operated by private operators investing in the project to sustain it long term sustainability. Adding that, communities are paying for utilizing the electricity through the different agents.

Deputy Permanent Secretary admonished communities’ households not to use heavy electrical appliances on the solar mini-grids because it would consume a lot of electrical power, which in return will cost them more monies to recharge.  

The Rural Renewable Energy Project (RREP) was developed to support the Government of Sierra Leone through support by the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and RREP is implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (NOPS) on behalf of the ministry of energy, Hans OseterlooCeesay, Energy Demand Assessment Associate (UNOPS) said.  

YusifMohai, Town Chief of Moawoma Town Kenema District extremely commended government for the electricity supply that has been reached at their door-step, and the emergence of the solar electrification at Moawoma town is a crystal justification on how it will touch their lives and improve their daily activities and he expressed appreciation to the government, development partners for such transformation and join their town to a modernize system of living.

Lahai Sama of Gorahun Town, Kenema District declared that will comply with the processes and procedures of the project to sustain the facility, adding that for far too long, their community has been one of the most deprived communities in Gorahun Town, many times, neighboring communities in the district had been getting benefits from social amenities, but theirs had been exempted from such assistance. 

Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr Is My Heroine

By Mohamed Sankoh (One Drop)

I’m angry. In fact; I’m angrily angry. I’m angrily angry at all those Sierra Leoneans who have been noiseless about tribalism in all government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) but have suddenly found their voices to criticise the Mayor of the Freetown City Council (FCC), Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, for merely saying the truth which is as truthful as the existence of God!

What Mayor Aki-Sawyerr says in that leaked audio is something that is palpable in most of the seemingly Sir Albert Margai-style appointments made by President Julius Maada Bio since he took over the rudder of state three years ago. As far as I am concerned, Aki-Sawyerr should be commended for commenting on an issue which majority of Sierra Leoneans know exists, under the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), but are afraid to talk about it publicly. For that simple reason, she has become one of my local heroines. 

If Mayor Aki-Sawyerr could be called a “tribal bigot” for simply stating the fact, then I’m just wondering what epithet should be employed for those who have been giving out jobs based on tribal considerations. As Chinua Achebe notes, “one should not be afraid to offend the elders by swallowing your cough.” My Good Lady, Aki-Sawyerr, please don’t hesitate to clear your throat and spew out the phlegm; even if that will make the elders turn their faces in disgust! 

One of the problems with the “True Sierra Leoneans” (our First Lady, Fatima Bio, is alleged to have said that those “who are not SLPP supporters are not true Sierra Leoneans”) is that they are nothing but hypocrites. It is no secret that, under the current SLPP government, things can only happen for some Sierra Leoneans only when they speak the right “mammy or daddy language.” Yet, these hypocrites are now pretending as if what the Freetown Mayor said is not the truth. And for that reason an unknown Tribal Union has materialised from the blue; and they are now calling on their tribesmen (and “women” for the sake of gender parity) “…to resort to civil disobedience…until Mayor Aki Sawyerr resigns…” (According to a press release from them dated Saturday 27 March 2021 with Tengbeh Town as their “secretariat”) My comment to that is this: they can ask their kith and kin to stage a strike action and march from Kailahun District to the Cotton Tree in central Freetown, in a manner that is evocative of that which is portrayed in OusmaneSembène’s novel: “God’s Bits of Wood”; but Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr will never resign for speaking a gospel truth that is as gospel as the Gospel!

And the most interesting thing about this uproar, on the Aki-Sawyerr gaffe if you will, is the press release from the “Renaissance Movement” dated 26 March 2021. In it that “nationalistic Movement”, which is well-known for its seemingly anti-All People’s Congress (APC) stance and the horrid fact that some of its prominent members are now key players in the current SLPP government, has finally found its voice on the issue of tribalism in Sierra Leone. I think I should quote paragraph four, of that press release, for its beautiful restrained mockery: “We note however that these tribal sentiments, and dog whistles that promote a tribal politics are not limited to just this incident. We use this opportunity to call on all other public officials to desist from stoking tribal sentiments and dividing this country- either in private or in public- along tribal lines. We urge every public officer to recommit to promoting our national values of unity, inclusion, freedom, and justice for all….” Such a statement could be likened to the Renaissance Movement playing the Russian roulette. And boom, off goes the revolver in paragraph seven: “…Our leaders must set good example of tolerance and inclusion not just through their words, but also by putting systems in place that ensure diversity, inclusion, and non-discrimination in the administration of public institutions…” Well charity, the cliché goes, begins at home. First, let them tell that to their SLPP and later do a tabulation of all the appointments, made by President Bio in the last three years, and see if the SLPP government has actually ensured “diversity, inclusion, and non-discrimination in the administration of public institutions…” I will bet that the Renaissance Movement will, certainly, feign dislike for the result of such tabulation! Indeed, there has been a “rebirth” in their “movement”!

As I see it, just like how the SLPP Media Kamajors were up in arms calling for either the sacking or resignation of Lara Taylor-Pearce, the Auditor General, to distract attention from the SLPP’s alleged grand corruption; so is the Aki-Sawyerr gaffe if you like. Most well-known SLPP defenders, its social media vigilantes, and its paid-up Civil Society activists want to use the Aki-Sawyerr home truth to divert our attention from the main issues of the day.

And the main issues of the day are the alleged grand corruption now pervading the entire SLPP government and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC)’s several attempts at doing public relations for some prominent SLPP officials. As most ordinary Sierra Leoneans are still unable to afford bread without butter a day (not to think of the “sausage” as espoused by Finance Minister, Jacob JusuSaffa aka JJ Blood); the Africanist Press is still alleging that there have been “missing billions of Leones” in the Offices of the President, the First Lady, and the Chief Minister. And they are also inferring that the current SLPP government is running Sierra Leone like drunken Japanese Kamikaze pilots. Yet, the newfound anti-tribal choristers are still pretending as if they are cockeyed (what my Krio relatives would call “Cross Yai”) whenever it comes to SLPP’s foibles and follies. 

And as if to pour petrol in an inferno, a Hollywood-like building has surfaced on several social media platforms in which it is claimed that the mansion in question was built by a senior SLPP official, in the Bio-led administration, in less than three years after being appointed. This is just one of the examples, of the several examples, of the “unexplained wealth” which the ACC should be concerned about rather than playing the role of Defender-in-Chief for the ruling elite. There are several instances of rags-to-riches stories amongst members of the SLPP but the ACC appears to have been frozen in green, still believing that the colour of corruption is red.And that is exactly why I’m angrily angry at all those Sierra Leoneans who, for the last three years, have been silent on all the negative “isms” perpetrated and perpetuated by the SLPP administration but have suddenly found their voices to criticise Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, one of my local heroines, for merely saying the truth!

It is on that note that I will end today’s One Dropian dropping with a quote from Samuel Johnson, an English writer, which says, “A man had rather have a hundred lies told of him, than one truth which he does not wish should be told.” And that one truth about the status quo expressed by Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, the Mayor of the Freetown City Council, has rattled the entire SLPPdom. But if Rome should have to burn; let it burn, but the truth must always be told unrobed!


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