Fatima Bio: I Am Not an Aristocrat First Lady

So, let’s look back a bit into last week’s saga between the Mayor of Freetown City Council (FCC), Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr and the First Lady, Fatima Bio, where the latter said she is not an aristocrat First Lady in response to the Mayor.

It all began during what seems like an accountability interview with Mayor Aki-Sawyerr on AYV’s ‘Hot Seat’ program, regarding the over One Hundred and Eighty Million (old) Leones CASH Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) recovered from FCC in August. The recovered monies were monies the 2019 Audit Report flagged as inappropriately paid from FCC’s funds by the Council, to the Head of the Mayor’s Delivery Unit.

As a way to untangle herself from questions posed during the interview, Mayor Aki-Sawyerr intimated that the same issue raised against her office in the Audit Report, was also raised on page 434 in respect to the Office of the First Lady, suggesting that if ACC could go after her, then the Commission should also go after the Office of the First Lady which has similar allegation raised against it.

In a short video posted on her Facebook page, First Lady hit back in defense of the Mayor’s reference. She denied doing the same thing.

Everything I do in this country, I know I am under an institution called the Office of the President. I will never do anything without an approval from the Office of the President. Even when I want to travel, I make sure that I seek approval from them,” Madam Bio said. She also accused the Mayor of insubordination to her supervisory Ministry (Minis6try of Local Government).

Madam Fatima said she has not done anything different from what other First Ladies before her did not do, recalling: “Other first Ladies before me were travelling; they were getting funding from the Government for their projects.”

“The only thing I have done new is that I deliver. Everything I have put my mind and heart into, I make sure I deliver it…I did not make myself an aristocrat first Lady. No. I’m down with my people. That is what I have done differently.”

This was the First Lady reacting to FCC Mayor’s statement. Looking at the sentence of not being an aristocrat First Lady, It is not clear what was she was trying to depict here.

But Madam Fatima Bio is perhaps, unarguably, the most interactive First Lady who has championed successful girls and women protection campaigns in Sierra Leone. She can interact and quarrel even with the commonest folks. If that is what not being an aristocrat First Lady means, then that is she.

However, Madam Bio is serving as a First Lady in a largely unequal society where some portion of the society feel excluded, maybe as a result of political alignments.

And it is hard to deny that democratic governance in Sierra Leone in the last two to three decades has been a governance feature akin to aristocracy, a rule by few individuals.

Watch video below:

MORE ABOUT: Fatima Bio

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