Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden OOR: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 9 October 2020:
I have nothing but commendation for the manner in which the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) led by Ambrose Sovula and the Anti Corruption Commission led by Francis Ben Kaifala, conducted themselves yesterday October 8th 2020 in Makeni, when the ACC faced a challenge in their bid to interview the amiable former president over allegations of corruption.
I also have nothing but sympathy for those ordinary residents of Makeni who spontaneously and with clearly, no pre-planned organization, decided to drive away the Anti-Riot Police crew back. Ordinary Makeni residents met the police halfway across the road leading to the former president’s compound and drove them away.
I sympathise with Makeni people because they are still traumatized from the killings of their youths few weeks ago; Scenes of anti-riot police brings back bad memories of a massacre that is yet to be conclusively investigated.
Makeni residents are suffering from what we call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD) which clearly manifested itself. From all indications, residents of Makeni reacted devoid of any influence of the former president who was unaware of what spontaneously developed.
Tomorrow, Saturday 10th October 2020 is World Mental Health Day. Indeed, a lot of Sierra Leoneans have mental health issues.
Makeni people are traumatized and to quote the Bombali District Human Rights group, “the people of Makeni need counselling and a show of loving care from the rest of Sierra Leone”.
I congratulate the SLP and ACC for recognizing that need for counselling and care. Their decision to withdraw peacefully with no bloodshed was itself a show of care.
I also congratulate our former president for his continued willingness to be interviewed by the ACC; an institution which he himself strengthened for the good of us all.
May Peace and Democracy continue to survive in Sierra Leone. Amen.