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Sierra Leone News: Western Area Chair,Councilors, take oath of office

The Minister of Local Government has administered the oath of office to 75 Councilors and one Chair, from both the Western Area Rural and Urban Councils at the Miatta Conference Center on Tuesday 15 May 2018.
The Chair-elect for Western Area Rural (WARDC), Kasho J. Holland-Cole was the first to be administered the oath of office before Councilors of both districts.
In his keynote address, the Vice President, Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, commended the Councilors for participating and winning in the just concluded election. He implored them to carry out their functions as stipulated in the Local Government Act 20014. The SLPP he went on to say introduced decentralization system as a way of opening up the political space, improve participation and inclusion to conform to the trends of modern day governance.
In other words, the Vice President said, as a government they want to take governance and decision making to the doorstep of ordinary citizens, so that we can strengthen accountability and service delivery at the local level.
“Government will continue to create the supportive policy or regulatory environment for decentralization so that we can manage the relationship between local council and chiefdom council. This will enable you to effectively utilize local resources and strengthen local revenue generation, to support your work so that decentralization can be a reality in this country,” he said.
He reminded them of the enormous responsibility they as elected officials have been entrusted with. “The electorate of your respective localities have elected you to represent their interest and aspirations, which is an indication of their confidence and trust to lead and bring them out of poverty. That will enable them to enjoy the social services that legal authorities are supposed to deliver.”
The Councilors, he said, should know that the local population requires policy support to effectively realize the development aspirations of the government. “I want to encourage you to work very hard to represent the majority of young women who stood by you and voted for you.”
He concluded by saying that they have a big task to deliver. “I know you are very close to the people, you are elected by the people and you should serve the interest of the people. We will support you to carry out your mandate.”
In his statement, the Local Government Minister, Anthony Brewah, told the Councilors that the responsibility though herculean, it is the determination of his ministry to effectively work with all relevant stakeholders, to advance the decentralization process which he said will surely put it’s into proper perspective.
“Your political leadership is crucial to ensure that the resources disbursed to your council is effectively utilized to the benefit to the local people.”
Giving the vote of thanks, the Mayor, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, thanked the Vice President for his open invitation to discuss policy and to ensure that the decentralization is deepened and strengthened. “We are confident that he will actually go through with his statement to become a reality.”
ZJ/15/5/18
By Zainab Iyamide Joaque
Wednesday May 16, 2018.

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