Samuel Valcarel disclosed that four members of the Krio Community have already expressed their intentions and they are Jamesina Rogers-Wright, Lawyer by profession, Winston Ojukutu Macauley Jnr, Journalist and Editor of WE YONE newspaper, the official mouthpiece of the Ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) political party, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Economist and Chartered Accountant, and Madina Rahman, Deputy Minister (1) Ministry of Health and Sanitation, who took the Podium to address the gathering.
Samuel Valcarcel informed this Writer that the current Mayor of Freetown Franklyn Bode Gibson was invited to the meeting, but was conspicuously absent. It is not known whether his absence is in keeping with the declaration he made at the beginning of his current four-year tenure of Office as Mayor when he stated that he was a "one-term Mayor" of the Freetown Municipality.
Statements were made by Honourable Dr. Mitchel Sho-Sawyerr who gave a background of the Krio Community, Mr. Alpha Alghali Chairman of the Political Affairs Committee of the Krio Community who spoke about the Creoles and politics in Sierra Leone.
The Creole attendance at the meeting was" not bad but impressive" as it was the first time in several decades that the Creoles have expressed their interest in local politics and according to the President Samuel Valcacel, "the Krio Community will soon be holding its Annual General Meeting during the month of October, 2017 when the Community intends to meet and talk with the Flagbearers of the political parties. In December, 2017, the Krio Community will be organising a grand carnival - KRIO FEST at the Saint Edwards School grounds, at Kingtom in Freetown during which they will be displaying Krio Culture and Traditions."
The Guest Speaker for last Saturday's get - together was Mr. Emile Carr, a wellknown Chartered Accountant who spoke on the topic "Corruption and Tribalism". He said "corruption has eaten into every fabric of our Society and has taken us behind,"
On Tribalism, Mr. Carr said "Sierra Leone has about 17 (seventeen) tribes which have to be managed and embraced. Let us not leave other tribes behind. Let us go along with them."
He cited "late President Kwame Nkruma of Ghana and Julius Nyere of Tanzania who were able to bridge the gap between tribes." and noted that "in unity there is strength. If we leave these other people behind there can be no unity in this country."
Taking the podium Jamesina Rogers- Wright, who has the ambition to be Mayor of Freetown, observed that "Krio is a culture and tradition" and noted, as she put it "Freetown is so dirty and smelling. This is not the City that we used to know. There are houses with no toilets . The health of the people is in great jeopardy. Put the monies collected on the right things. People take monies before they work. This is corruption. Freetown has gone down. It is what we will do when we become Mayor or hold the position that should matter. I have investors to bring into the City ; plans to clean Freetown which is so dirty. I have plans for good markets with decent toilet facilities; plans on how to contain the market women and provide them with decent markets to sell in; plans to teach them how to live decently and plans for low income houses."
Jamesina Rogers-Wright said "Government should not allow people to live in the Bomeh areas."
She appealed to voters to choose someone as Mayor who will change the current situation in the capital City of Freetown."
Next to take the podium was Winston Ojukutu Macauley Jnr, who first spoke about the market project under construction at the Sewa Grounds for traders which he said will address the issue of street trading in the City and will be completed shortly to accommodate hundreds of traders. He added "there is also a car park which is in progress next to the Sewa Grounds to accommodate about four thousand vehicles. These particular projects are being undertaken on the instruction of President Ernest Bai Koroma with funds sourced by Winston Ojukutu Macauley, who put together the designing and construction team for the entire project."
The issue of street trading, Ojukutu Macauley explained, is "not just to remove traders from selling in the streets, but there is the history and circumstance that brought this about.- trading in its worst form in Freetown. We have to address the history and circumstance and one way to do this is what is currently going on at the Sewa Grounds".
Ojukutu also spoke about the issue of what he called "social housing". He said "the topography of Freetown makes it almost impossible to build massive social housing facilities in Freetown as we know it today. So we need to expand the City like in neighbouring Guinea/Conakry in the 1970's and 80's which led to the creation of Conakry 1 & 2."
Ojukutu Macauley disclosed that over the past few years, he has been "studying the management and effectiveness of the structures of works to be carried out by the Freetown City Council and has come to the conclusion that these could be done by way of Parliament revisiting the Local Government Act to put the Freetown City Council under the Office of the President."
Madina Rahman supported Winston Ojukutu Macauley by stating that "as long as the Freetown City Council is under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Freetown would not be able to make the progress and changes the City needs, and unless this is done, Freetown will continue to be in a dormant position." She disclosed to this Writer afterwards that she has not yet declared her intention and is waiting on the APC party to decide. "All I am interested in is for the Party to win the election" for the position of Mayor of Freetown. " Freetown needs a City Mother now not a City Father,"she declared.
Yvonne Aki Sawyerr, Economist and Chartered Accountan, said "Freetown has challenges and three key areas need to be addressed and one of them is the implementation of laws" . She also supported the idea that the functions of the Freetown City Council under the Local Government Act needs to be revisited.'" She said there is need to improve on education and investing in teachers, community health workers and sanitation in the city. She shared her vision with her audience for solution of waste management, markets, improving on affordable housing, and the beautification of the city.