The Mayor of Freetown, His Worship, Herbert A. George-Williams, has stated that he would “identify” himself with the aims of Youth Arise! in the development of their “Green May 8” concept, and that Youth Arise should consider him one of their “patrons”.
Mayor George-Williams made the pledge when a delegation of Youth Arise executives led by their “Guru”, Oswald Hanciles – and their National Coordinator, Ishmael Abu Kamara (a.k.a, Van Damm), National President, Ahmed Ramadan Jalloh, National Secretary General, M. Sheriff – went to seek his support for their ‘Green May 8’ programme.
Youth Arise’s Green May 8 programme aims to replicate the unprecedented demonstration of over 100,000 people in Freetown on May 8, 2000 to confront the threat of Revolutionary United Front (RUF) leader, late Corporal Foday Sankoh, and prevent him unleashing violence again; and to mobilize the public again to face the threat of environmental degradation in the country especially in Freetown.
The Mayor bemoaned what he termed as the increasingly “scarred mountains” of the Freetown Peninsular, which in some areas “look as if bombs have been dropped on the land”.
A descendant of freed slaves who founded and settled in Freetown in the late 18th Century, the Freetown born and bred George-Williams, reflected on his youthful days in Freetown when “birds would chirp, and insects buzz all over the city by the Hill cut and Regent area, monkeys, deer, and antelopes used to crisscross the road during the day and night now, they are all gone…”