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.