The newly elected Ward Councilor for Ward 089 in Constituency 028, Bombali district has resigned his position with the pretext to maintain his political career and the people’s defence.
Councilor Abu Bakarr Dolphin Kamara has not only been the General Secretary, but the brain behind the transformation of the Bombali Petty Traders Association, to the Bombali Traders Union, sometimes in 2002.
He said he resigned from the Bombali Traders Union in order to maintain a very clean political record, give others the chance to grow, and more especially to avoid what he called ‘conflict of interest’, insofar he is now a politician.
Amidst contention by a few executive members who insist that the councilor must resign his position, his adherence to quit the union is becoming a serious tussle between the membership of the union and some other organisations in Makeni .
More than half of the union membership is not willing to loose the councilor, insisting that he has worked diligently and fervently for the Traders Union in that part of the country. They also strongly argue that both the National and their Union Constitutions do not indicate for the resignation of an individual who intends to involve into politics as ward councilor.
A group of disturbed female traders in the northern city said this is the time they need the councilor most.
The vacant position requires the conduct of a bye election within the shortest possible time.
But the Chairman of the Bombali Traders Union, Mohamed Zandra Sankoh said the union is currently financially unfit to conduct a bye election.
In his view he said : “I am suggesting that we fill in the position by appointing the new General Secretary instead of going into an election”, a statement that creates a widespread suspicion of his political gimmick.
Councilor Dolphin will be inaugurated by the end of May, to officially become the Ward Councilor for Ward 89 following a landslide victory of 75% of the total votes cast in the April 29th 2017 bye election in Makeni, where he replaces the deceased female Councilor-Memuna Jestina Smart.
Rights activists and a cross section of newsmen in Bombali have lauded the bold step of the councilor to resign his position in order to maintain his political career. “This is very strange, and it is the kind of decent politics we want to see our politicians emulate”, a rights activists quipped.
The controversy continues as cross sections of the membership of the union of traders insist that the councilor must not resign from the union.
In full support and resistance against the councilor’s resignation are several organisations in the northern city including the General Motor Drivers Union, the Makeni Union of Youth Groups, Bike Riders Union etc.
After several meetings held, executive heads and members of the different organisations have pinpointed it was through their endorsement that the councilor was awarded the All People’s Congress Party symbol for the just concluded bye election that took place April 29th 2017.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.