‘Intimidation and Brutality’ were the descriptions attributed to the President Bio’s Administration by former Freetown Mayor, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr and Unity Party’s Leader, Femi Claudius-Cole.

The pair spoke to News Concern about how the Government has failed to create the necessary space needed for female politicians to thrive in the political sphere of the West African nation.

The two women have been at loggerheads with the Government since its came to power in 2018 in several occasions.

The Unity Party leader was known to have been arrested and brought to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Sierra Leone for allegations bordering on incitement after she agreed to host some women wanting to demonstrate hardship in July last year.

Claudius-Cole said that armed police men surrounded her house and was escorted to the CID where she had her passport confiscated. She described the atmosphere at the time to be traumatising and discouraging for female politicians in the country.

The former Mayor, Aki-Sawyerr also blamed the government of suppressing the voices of women in politics in the country. She described the entire situation to be “suffocating”.

Aki-Sawyerr has her house also surrounded after many locals took to the street on the 10th of August calling on the President to step-down. The protest led the death of over 25 people including six security personnel in the capital, Freetown and other parts of the country. The people were protesting principally against the rising cost of living.

Almost a month after police were at the former Mayor’s home, she was arrested in September last year for intimidation and obstructing the police after she intervened in the arrest of one of her councillors at Lungi Airport.

The matter is still ongoing as the country edge towards elections in June this year.

These criticisms by Claudius-Cole and Aki-Sawyerr surfaced months after the West African nation passed a landmark bill in Parliament giving more support to women.

The law accords women with a 30 percent quota for employment and political appointments.

Presently, less than 15 percent of women are in parliament and Bio’s cabinet.

Although some believe that the law is only fine on paper as legal experts draw criticism from the wordings.

However, many believe that it is a step in marathon race for women in Sierra Leone.