Councillors of the Freetown City Council yesterday elected an acting mayor and deputy to run the affairs of the council.
The councillors took the resolution that since the outgoing mayor, Winstansley Rutherford Bankole Johnson, was not around councillor Herbert Ekiyemi George Williams be elected to act.
The motion was moved and he was nominated by councillor John Tucker seconded by Foday Mahmoud Sesay.
The acting Mayor was first elected in accordance with section 14 of the Local Government Act 2004, to elect a deputy where as in the case of the Freetown City Council they lost the substantive deputy Mayor Foday Kalokoh some time last year.
Councillor Rashid Fumi Davies moved the motion that the elected deputy mayor took over.
The well determined councillors, who reports say do not want to see the return of Winstansley Bankole Johnson, unanimously endorsed councillor Herbert Williams as acting mayor and an election of Mohamed Bobson Kamara replacing the late Foday Kalokoh.
Mayor Winstansley Bankole Johnson was not present. He has written a letter of request to the Internal Affairs Minister to be allowed to proceed on a month’s leave on medical grounds.
The councillors reacted strongly to that letter that it had been the normal routine for him to leave the council without the notice and authorization of councillors.
“The mayor has left this council on four different occasions without council’s authorization. It is an affront to the dignity of us and that is why we are kicking him out. We have been telling him that whenever he wants to travel he should inform us,” councillor Rashid Fumi Davies charged.
Another councillor John Tucker remarked, “Let us not discuss the mayor since we know that he is going and will not come back and since he has taken a month’s leave, it is to our advantage.”
With barely six months left for the Local Government elections, the elected acting mayor said this to his councillors: “I thank you very much for this opportunity and as we have gone through this process smoothly, let us deny that message which was sent wrongly by Winstanley to the public that he was the only competent person in the council”
The acting mayor cautioned councillors to be steadfast and work towards their target 100 days.
He called on them to identify projects within their communities for implementation reminding them that “the integrity of this council is at stake.”