Paul Musa Lamin and Tamba James: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 29 august 2021:
Popular female politician Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden OOR (aka Sia Kissi), was on Friday August 27th 2021, disqualified from contesting as one of the 5 elected delegates from Constituency 002 for September 2021 APC National Delegates Conference, even though she is a fully paid up APC member for the past 9 continuous years.
As Pa Francis Jimmy Fayia, the Chairman of APC Veterans here in Kissi Teng, who also doubles as the oldest APC member in Kailahun, stood up to nominate Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, a phone call from Freetown, ostensibly with the voice of Alhaji Osman Foday Yansaneh clearly heard on the line, called the 21-Man Committee representative Zainu Othman and the Presiding Officer Aloysius Tamba Jimmy. This then resulted in quite dramatic scenes in Kailahun’s Constituency 002.
After the phone call and instructions from Pa Osman Foday Yansaneh from Freetown, the decision was shocking and left the APC Veterans’ Chairman, Pa Francis Jimmy Fayia in tears saying he cannot understand why the APC National Executive should send Orders to ban Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden aka Sia Kissi from contesting.
Despite the Constituency 002 Executive acknowledging that they know Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden as an Active Party member in the Constituency with fully paid up membership until January 2022, the Orders received from Freetown, according to Zainu Othman, is that Alhaji Osman Foday Yansaneh has informed them that the records of his APC National Secretariat show Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden aka Sia Kissi, as being registered in Cockle Bay, Western Urban District – Freetown, and not registered in Kailahun District.
Alhaji Osman Foday Yansaneh says the decision of the Ernest Bai Koroma led APC National Executive is that Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden should not be allowed to contest and be voted for in Kailahun. At this, Dr. Sylvia Blyden aka Sia Kissi, publicly corrected that she has NEVER been registered with APC in Western Urban District but with APC in Regent Village, in the Rural District. She produced all her original registration documents as well as a correspondence informing, she was now asking for her address to be updated to Kailahun District.
However, with the clear indication from the gathered residents that their well-beloved, Sia Kissi (Sylvia Blyden) was set to sweep the votes in Constituency 002, the embattled Ernest Bai Koroma APC leadership has ordered that she should not be allowed to contest in Kailahun.
This led to rather chaotic scenes of protest at which point Dr. Sylvia Blyden stood up, calmed the crowd and shouted OSAI OWAI, OSAI OWAI… UNA LEH WE ACCEPT. APC NA PARTY WAY BELIEVE IN THE LAW. NO VIOLENCE. NO ARGUMENT.
The show of matured leadership from Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden in the face of such tremendous and unfair denial of her bonafide right to contest as a delegate, has won her even more fans than before.
You can watch the video here (Video Credit: Tamba James):
Also denied the right to contest was Former Honourable Sahr Patrick Tengbeh, who won the 2012 Parliamentary Elections for the APC in that Kissi Teng area. Although he has never resigned from the APC party, he had contested as an Independent Candidate in 2018. For this reason of once contesting as an independent candidate, even though he never resigned from APC and produced his APC membership card, he was denied the right to contest.
Interesting, this same man produced evidence of being an official APC Polling Agent for the two recent Bye Elections held in Kailahun this very year of 2021. If the APC recognised him as a member to an extent of making him Polling Agent, why is he no longer a member? In answer, Zainu Othman of the 21-Man Committee said Alhaji Osman Yansaneh has ordered that Hon. Tengbeh is not a member to be allowed to contest.
Noteworthy is that both Dr Sylvia Olayinka Blyden and Hon. Sahr Patrick Tengbeh were openly endorsed as APC Constituency 002 Party Members by all the senior stakeholders in the Constituency. But they were both denied their right to contest and be voted for.
Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden OOR aka Sia Kissi has assured that there will be no court challenge on her part over the refusal of the embattled Ernest Bai Koroma leadership to allow Blyden exercise her rights to contest for election to become a delegate from Constituency 002 at the upcoming APC National Delegates Conference.
“The APC party has already let our Kissi people down in so many ways. It is now time to unify around a common purpose and at any rate, a clear message was sent out of Kissi Teng chiefdom yesterday that I am warmly welcomed to contest there at all times,” Sia Kissi stated.
Blyden pointed out that under Sierra Leone law, your residence is precisely where you have chosen, and nobody can dictate otherwise to you after you have stated where you consider as your residence for particular purposes. She said for people with multiple residences, it is like the case of persons with Dual Nationality. Each of those residence is recognised as theirs so they are Dual Residents or in her case where she has multiple residences across Sierra Leone, she is not only a Dual Resident but also a Multiple Resident. She cited the case of Ernest Bai Koroma registering in Goderich but living in Makeni for now.
She reminded of how, under Sierra Leone law, Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray within a few months period contested to be Member of Parliament in three different locations as far flung as Lunsar, Makeni and another constituency, though he never had been registered in those places where he contested.
“If I want to challenge the denial of my rights in Court, I have a very solid case but I will not go to Court on this particular point,” Dr. Blyden assured.
Meanwhile, the video accompanying this write-up shows Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden (aka Sia Kissi) after she was requested by Mr. Zainu Othman and other members of the APC Elections Team to please go and help them to sooth and assuage the gathering “in the spirit of the APC”. They appealed to her after it was clear that she enjoyed massive popularity amongst APC residents inside Kissi Bendu.
“As you can see from the video, the last thing I want is for my Kissi people to go back to their villages and towns in despair, confused and sad. I love them too much to do that to them. My Kissi people deserve better from us especially after going through so much heartaches including losing so many precious lives during the Ebola Outbreak. For the sake of Emmanuel Sakilla, American Foryoh, Yawa Korfeh, Finda Nyuma and all the other countless numbers of precious souls lost, it is my duty to be taking smiles to the Kissi people and not to bring court cases. So when they see their darling Sylvia, their darling Sia Kissi smiling, dancing and telling them all is well, they know and trust that all is well because we are all one in the APC,” Sylvia Blyden aka Sia Kissi told this writer at her Family compound in Koindu Town.
“A display of Courage and giving of Hope during times of disappointments is amongst the Hallmarks of great leadership and so I believe all is well. She has courageously assured them and they know there will be no court case over that particular denial of her rights by the Ernest Bai Koroma led APC party executive,” said Madam Finda Baio, one of Dr. Blyden’s friends who had gathered at her family’s residence inside Koindu Town.
In this instance, one would speculate that Sylvia Blyden is dreaming and Yansaneh is more realistic. Contesting elections as a Creole in the heart of Kailahun is tantamount to having a death wish. She is playing with fire. I am sure that there are suitable constituencies in Freetown.
To be honest, this is what you get when you elect a party national executive leadership that can’t see beyond their noses.Any thing beyond their noses is full of vendettas, egotism name calling,backstabbing, and character assassinations for their own selfish ends.Never in the country, and communities intrest. The long term effects of such behaviour is hidden in plain sight.More tribal and regional differences. You just ask yourself why our country is not develop sixty years on after independence?Becsuse people like Yansenah are at the helm. By now you should have able to work that one out . The likes of Bio, Dr Abbass Bundu and Alhaji Yansenah, Hon Abu Abu, are the four amigos that are holding our country’s future developments as hostage. There behaviour have created a culture where by the country’s interest is kicked into the long grass .
If we just consider this two major political parties APC /SLPP, as the vehicle for which politicians use as the stepping stone to gain political power and influence matters that affects all of us, it is incumbent on those individuals that aspires to be the sole representative of the peoples interest in the national Parliament are there to represent the peoples intrest not their intrest.They took an oath to do so. There integrity should be beyond reproach. Already, this action against Dr Blyden and the people of Kaliahun District she wants to represent is far out of the edge of reasoning turbocharged to the old galaxies of uncertainty, and laced with suspicious and frankly tribalistic and regional undertones. How can the APC party allowed someone that is already out on his limb, and doing under the table deals with the first lady Mrs Bio, and placed their turst on him to deliver the most important vote for the APC party that wants to win , the presidential and Parliamentary elections of 2023? Alhaji Yansenah’s behaviour against Dr Blyden is a text book self help guide entitled how to help your political opponents win an election.
Mr Yansenah is now once again caught red-handed reading out loud chapter to bemused APC party members that wants to elect Dr Blyden, but denied that that rigth. The APC is clearly in a state of flux. Any successful out come enjoyed by the SLPP party, they have to count their lucky stars of having Alhaji Yansenah as one of the old guards at the pyramid of decision making process of the APC party. The APC party have been infiltrated by agents of the SLPP, and the rest of the party members are just tugging alongside, destinations, on the current party status unknown. This self destructive route that the party have managed to follow will only lead them in the wilderness of opposition for many years to come. Dr Blyden is the sort of politicians we need in Sierra Leone. And we just need few more politicians like her that not only practice what she preach but look at her record of speaking out against violence and demonstrating her commitments by putting her name forward to represent constituent in Kaliahun District, unless you are tribalistic individual and are in tbe vanguard in maintaining the status quo. That is creating more division not diversity in Sierra Leone.
“Already, this action against Dr Blyden and the people of Kaliahun District she wants to represent is far out of the edge of ……reasoning turbocharged to the old galaxies of uncertainty, and laced with suspicious and frankly tribalistic and regional undertones”-Abraham amadu Jalloh
Whilst I am not in any way attempting to impugn your take on this article, I believe that the current APC hierarchy took the right decision in this matter. Kissy Teng where Dr. Blyden wants to contest is currently represented by the SLPP. The majority in this constituency are Kissies and diehard APC supporters who had from the time of Tamba Juana shifted their support to the APC. However, there are also some considerable SLPP followers in that constituency. To win over that constituency come 2023, the APC has to put up a candidate that can go tit for tat with the SLPP candidate. That person has to be their own son or daughter who does not need an interpreter to talk to people in all the big and small villages and towns within the constituency.
Dr. Sylvia Blyden can bribe (I do not have any evidence of such and so I am not accusing her) the delegates who are just a handful and many of whom do not represent the views of the ordinary voters and independents or SLPP voters in the constituency. If she is elected by delegates, the SLPP has a campaign edge to tell the Sahrs and Sias in the villages that the APC brought in a stranger to represent them.
As a recent lesson, Solomon Berewa won the SLPP flag bearer race in 2007 thank mostly for the overwhelming delegates votes he won in Tonkolili District and Bombalili districts. When the 2007 elections came, the SLPP got the worst votes in Tonkolili and Bombalili districts in the entire nation. Unfortunately, the northern delegates’ votes were what made Berewa to defeat Charles Margai at the flag bearer race for the SLPP. This is what the current APC hierarchy is trying to avoid. However, your icon, Dr. Blyden is known for looming herself importance even where it is not necessary. She is guarantee of wining any race for the APC in the Western area, and I believe if she makes her intention known the APC would not deny her and yet she is here to disrupt the APC chances in a contested constituency.
Mr Kemoh Brima, I totally understand your reasoning and where you are coming from. I am from the North. And we have MPs that call themselves “Sons of the Soil” Whatever that means. The reality of nothing is ever done once they get elected. In vast majority of cases they will promised us,if you vote for sons or daughters, we know your problems because this is our home . Your problems is not new to us. We’ve experienced it ourselves. Our families have lived here for generations. In 9 out of 10 cases those same candidates, once they get elected, all their promises are swept under the carpet. They will only come back to build a new house for their parents, or grandparents. Sometimes its worth trying an outsider. Outsider like Dr Blyden, who will be under pressure to deliver any promises she made to her new adopted homeland. And Dr Blyden is not a foreigner in the South. If you checked are origin, majority of descendants of the savle trade have traced tbeir routes from the Mende people from the South.
Cory Boooker the former Democrats presidential candidates of the United States, have traced his routes from the Mende people from the South. Isaih Washington have a Sierra Leonean passport. Read Dr Bylden’s family history, you will come to appreciate not enough of our history has been thought in our schools and colleges. And lets just consider the idea that because she is from Freetown, she should not represent the people of Kaliahun. Does that mean Bio from the South should not be Preident of Sierra Leone. Or Enerst Bai Koroma by virtur of being a resident of Makeni should never have been the president? We need to learn to live together. We can’t brake up Sierra Leone in to small vassal states.
I am so sorry as I ain’t strong enough to render a proper advice our dearly sister” Dr. Sylvia Blyden”. Sometimes ago if you can go over to read some of my article here, you will find that I constantly say this to you directly, do not put yourself to self destruction for the name” APC party” don’t like you; for whatever reasons that’s unknown between you and your former Boss, H.E. Ernest Bai Koroma. I am glad that according to this article says(Alhaji Osman Foday Yansaneh says the decision of the Ernest Bai Koroma led APC National Executive is that Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden should not be allowed to contest and be voted for in Kailahun) Uh, interesting to see this clearly. Here is another interesting area to read again saying” the embattled Ernest Bai Koroma APC leadership has ordered that she should not be allowed to contest in Kailahun.”
My sister, Dr. Sylvia O. Blyden, indeed you’re a charismatic beautiful well educated lady in the country, and even with a great career as a successful journalist, can you quit politics for the main time? if not to step aside and forget about APC at this moment until the way is clear? Since after the 2018 presidential was totally closed, up on all the struggles you go through, tell us one single name from the APC party prominent membership that comes out for your rescue. Your life chairman of the APC party won’t allowed you to contest, if this was in hiding now is cleared to you my sister. Go home have some rest watch the movie let it play!
I wish you can keep quiet as the former defense secretary does, Mr. Paolo Conteh, he’s a wise man. Only one man owned the APC party right now, whatever he says; is the final and fact no one can challenge that period. Ernest Bai Koroma is Sierra Leone’s Donald Trump, anyone tells him the truth or challenge him, you are his enemy. Lrt me say it again that, comes 2023 presidential election, RIP tp APC. Salama alaikum.
The people of Valunia chiefdom were hoodwinked by the SLPP in the 60s and 70s to give Sanusi Mustapha symbol to represent them in parliament. As soon as election were over,and he was an MP, his attention and activities were shifted to his home in Fourah Bay. Not even a Chicken pen was built by MS Mustapha in the entire Valunia as appreciation.
Why would Sylvia Blyden leave his native Regent to go contest in an area that is home to many natives that are die hard APcers? What is she afriad of in Regent?