Peace, unity, national security and respect for Sierra Leone’s  judiciary

Dr. Sylvia O Blyden: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 18 June 2020:

Fellow Sierra Leoneans know me as someone who cannot be forced to say what she does not believe in. So my current circumstances should not dilute the strength of my message today.

It is not made under duress but is done very freely to ensure I distance myself from certain nefarious activities, state my position on National Security and apologise to all those in and out of the Judiciary who have been offended by abusive words thrown at them by persons alleging to be my followers, admirers or supposedly claiming they were writing in defence of me.

As a leader, I am choosing to apologise on behalf of my followers in order to show my distaste for such actions and to condemn those who are not my followers but are seeking to inflame situations.

The public will recall last month of May 2020 when an unidentified voice issued a dangerous audio purportedly in support of me. I immediately had my Office put out a statement to dis-associate my person from that social media audio making threats to national security as part of supposed protests against my detention. My Office made it clear that I don’t subscribe to such threats.

The public will also recall that few days ago in this month of June 2020, I also had my Office put out a release to debunk a suggestion published on social media that I was frustrated with the country’s legal systems.

Although I never heard or saw these two materials first-hand, as soon as they were drawn to my attention, I immediately debunked them and distanced myself from them. I have never and I will never encourage any threat to the Security, Peace and Stability of my beloved country, Sierra Leone.

Throughout the nineties into the turn of the century, I worked very hard for Sierra Leone to enjoy the peace, stability and democracy that we enjoy today. I will never be a part to destabilise this country.

Now, I have been kept completely incommunicado from social media and also prevented from accessing local newspapers since June 3rd 2020 when I was re-arrested until today June 17th 2020 so I had not seen any published content on any media.

However, I am now informed by a very credible, impeccable source that there are persons using the media to throw very abusive language against officers of the Sierra Leone Judiciary especially the learned magistrate, Her Worship Hannah Bonnie who is presiding over my current matter. These persons are either using my name directly and so, are impersonating me or they claim to be abusing the Judiciary as some form of protest in my ostensible favour.

By way of this statement, I wish to dis-associate myself from any abusive words thrown at the Judiciary. Any such abuse done in my name is a fraudulent misrepresentation. I have authorised no such activity.

I have also not authorised abuse of the Honourable Attorney General. My issue with the Attorney General has been to differ from her on points of Law and never have I spoken any abusive words of her. I have known her since 1993 when I was in Medical School, and she was in Law School. I consider her to be a Sierra Leone sister. When she was in London, I regularly published of her academic achievements including when she became the first Sierra Leone woman to get a PhD in Law.

I hold no malice against Dr. Priscilla Schwartz as Attorney General and Minister of Justice. My grandfather, Professor S.A.J. Pratt (R.I.P), one of the most brilliant Sierra Leone lawyers, was the very first Cabinet Minister to serve as Attorney General when Sierra Leone attained Republic status in 1971. I have respect for that office.

Similarly, I am patriotic enough to put national interests above limited parochial or partisan interests. This is why I publicly and very strongly defended the Attorney General on social media few weeks ago that she was absolutely correct to say the regulations for any State of Emergency (SOE) declaration do not need to be mandatorily tabled in Parliament for swift approval as there was a 90-days constitutional leeway given to the President.

Section 29 of the Constitution cannot be subject to Section 170(7) as subsection 170(7)(c) places a mandatory maturity timeframe of 21 days that negates the very essence of an Emergency. In furtherance of my defense of the Attorney General, I also cited the proviso of the very important Parliamentary Standing Order known as SO(18)(8) which eloquently speaks in favour of the Attorney General’s opinion.

I am proudly a very senior member of the opposition APC party but I did not hesitate to defend a governing SLPP state official as it was extremely important to help clarify to our people that the Attorney General did not breach the constitution with the assumed ‘delay’ to table the regulations in such a politically charged atmosphere.

So clearly, I have no malice for Dr. Priscilla Schwartz. Even as I seriously detest the legal charges against me, I possess a strong personality that is big enough to appreciate she is doing her job. I defend State authorities because I am patriotic enough to put the national interest above limited parochial or partisan interests.

My patriotism and love for a united and stable country is why I called on Sierra Leoneans to fully support the President’s proclamation for a SOE to enable us combat the threat of the Covid-19 coronavirus. Many politicians did not want me to support the proclamation but the scenes of dead bodies piled up in Italy, America, UK, etc. etc. drove me to make the call as a patriot. Thankfully, those scenes did not replicate in Africa. However, at that moment, the love for my people is why I acted patriotically. My criticisms of some aspects of how the coronavirus outbreak is being handled, is borne of the same wider public interests.

I want to see a Sierra Leone where citizens, especially those in leadership or with large number of followers, emulate me and put Sierra Leone first above all partisan interests.

To all Sierra Leoneans who believe in me, if you do believe in me, then you must believe in my ideology and refrain from engaging in any form of activities that threaten national security.

Peace, Unity and Love are amongst what the forefathers of my APC party stood for when they split from the SLPP to form the APC. The APC ideology does not believe in revenge nor does it promote de-stabilisation of Sierra Leone. The historical records are clear on this; Very, very clear. Let all Sierra Leoneans strive to emulate the peaceful APC ideology of our Founding Fathers in this our multi-party, democratic dispensation.

I hold no bitterness for anyone; even those who have connived and contrived against me. I know revenge is odious so I have already forgiven them. My destiny cannot be stopped by them.

To those, especially supporters of the SLPP and SLPP-led Government who abuse me daily on social media with nobody cautioning them to stop, I have already forgiven you. May God be the Judge.

I know that at the end of the day, only the truth will reveal at the Judiciary and I will walk away innocent of all charges. Please do not abuse the Judiciary on my behalf. Please respect the Judiciary. There are many ways to seek redress through Judiciary channels if one is displeased with a decision taken at any level – all the way to the Supreme Court. Those who are reporting on my case in court, should please do so without abusive language or prejudice.

Please do not make any threats of vengeance on my behalf against any one in authority. That is not my way. I completely condemn such behaviour.

If you believe in me, then please believe in God Almighty. Rest assured that any divinely ordained destiny cannot be stopped by man. No human being can stop my destiny. The struggles are challenging but we shall overcome and there will be Victory for us. Let us trust God Almighty and collectively work towards a stable, peaceful and united Sierra Leone with full respect for the Judiciary.

Keep your hearts free of Hate and Malice. Love is the answer. Long live the Republic of Sierra Leone.

Signed:

SYLVIA OLAYINKA BLYDEN OOR, Aspirant for the Presidency of Sierra Leone, Pademba Road Prisons Jail. 17th June 2020.

19 Comments

  1. Today Sylvia Blyden was released, bail restored. That is a good news. The cocorioko today reports that this article here is a fraud not signed by Sylvia Blyden. Who is the author? This unknown author wanted to destroy her reputation?

    • Reinhard Wiecha, you dont mean the author of the article, but the author of the press statement published in that article by the Sierra Leone Telegraph. Just to clarify: The Sierra Leone Telegraph did not receive the statement purported to have been written by Dr Blyden from Dr Blyden herself, but from someone claiming to be her agent – circulating the statement to the media on behalf of Dr Blyden. We have no means of verifying whether the statement came from Pademaba Road Prison or any other prison location. I hope this clarification helps your understanding. Thank you.

  2. Gentlemen – “A Census Taker once tried to test me, I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti” (lol) (Legendary Words of ‘Dr Hannibal the Cannibal Lecter’ from the award-winning movie – the Silence of the Lambs) Be careful! Folks, among the many heartfelt things that are considered completely sacred to me; Loyalty in all its diverse forms ranks very high on that exemplary list. Loyalty – to ones family, friends, country, employer, in my view, is all truly sacred, blessed, and sanctified.

    Perhaps if you are an unreliable, flip floppy individual like Dr Blyden who it seems, doesn’t genuinely cherish relationships; if you are someone who uses and abuses people like tools to achieve a desired purpose, then maybe double-dealing, fickleness and betrayal is a tolerable and acceptable way of life to you, irrespective of how totally repugnant and appalling that may appear to be in the eyes of others.

    Young4na, Dr Blyden’s statement is not a scientific thesis that needs meticulous interpretation; even itsy-bitsy kindergarten kids will be able to read,comprehend fully,and tell you she was trying to save her own skin at the expense of unyielding, die-hard APC supporters who risked their livelihoods, relationships and well-being for her. Answer this – Why didn’t Dr Blyden write such a statement when she was first released on bail? Aha! And why was she rearrested? What exactly did she do man? How many inmates in Pademba have been provided access to the internet, so that they can explain their political stances and positions?

    Answer – was Paolo Conteh, Mr Williams, Mrs Conteh and others offered that same opportunity given to Dr Blyden from that disgusting, filthy Pademba road prison? The answer is a resounding NO!!

    • My brother Mr. Stargazer, in considering the special media access privilege granted to Dr. Blyden to publish her jail written piece, skepticism towards the authenticity/sincerity of its content is definitely legitimate. Nonetheless, unlike the house arrest of her female counterpart – Aung San Suu Kyi, in Myanmar, we must take into account the inhumane conditions and emotional trauma she is being subjected to in a filthy jail cell, lacking basic running water for almost 2 months now. So whatever the case may be, I sincerely won’t take issues with her approach, because those who fight and runaway, will surely live to fight another day.

  3. I am not sure if it’s just me, however, it appears some forumites are misreading the context of Dr. Blyden’s piece. I personally don’t deduce any appearance of bashing or excoriating her APC supporters and other patriotic Sierra Leoneans who are advocating for justice to prevail under her current predicament. On the contrary, she is basically appealing for civil engagement as opposed to the extremist approach being taken by a selected few of her supporters, hence, negating the regime’s trumped up assumptions and bogus charges of incitement against her person.

    An underlying message throughout her entire piece is the notion of APC being a party that respects the rule of law, and peaceful coexistence of all Sierra Leoneans. So I clearly don’t understand why any one should take offense to such a patriotic stance coming from one of our strong women. The politics of tit for tat is clearly not helping in an impoverished nation such as ours, so why not choose a different approach?

  4. It’s really unfortunate for people to even mention the name of Nelson Mandela in this situation.
    I recently watched a YouTube video clip that Sierra Leoneans are the most intelligent people in Africa or have the Highest IQ, so we need to do better than this. I hope all APC supporters will respect the wishes of Dr. Sylvia Blyden and not resort to the usual “ Mammy cuss” of her sweet and innocent mother.

  5. Someone here is as confused as a deer standing in the middle of an express highway, blinded by the overpowering,dazzling headlights of a speeding oncoming vehicle. Clearly, it appears Mr Jalloh is trying too hard to make an admirable impression here on this noble forum, and that’s okay. But for him to deliberately and consistently continue spewing out red herrings and outright misinformation is totally unacceptable here. Firstly, he boldly proclaimed that Dr Adesina was once a Finance minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria – totally false! Then came his eye-opening utterance that ‘Country Boys’ should step aside and let the krios assume the reins of power because they are more trustworthy.

    Inferiority complex syndrome? Damn right it is! And to make matters worse he proceeds to declare, unabashedly that the inept President Bio is one of the most highly educated leaders in Africa (lol). Now that’s exactly what a totally distorted and clouded sense of judgement looks like. And it didn’t end there folks, again he rises and waves those deceptive banners of disinformation, distorting the facts about Mandela’s’Olive Branch’ gestures to his adversaries when he was alive. The facts of those events still remain lucid and clear.

    Nelson Mandela never wrote anything against his supporters condemning their actions while he was still in prison, neither did he offer any kind of gestures of forgiveness and goodwill until he was RELEASED from prison. True! If Mandela had done what Dr Blyden has disgracefully done to save her own skin, and Jomo Kenyatta likewise, they would never have become leaders of their respective countries at all. And once again, many thanks to the illustrious Alimamy Turay for reminding me of Winnie madikazela Mandela. Now that’s warrior that truly knows how to dig deeper and deeper in the heat of battle, into trenches of warfare, unshaken, unfazed and gallantly holding the line.

  6. Here we go – a typical, delusional SLPP supporter calling square pegs in round holes, talented women…Bwahahahaha. Two years and counting and they have done nothing of substance and of great value, except to follow sheepishly, in the impish footsteps of a failing President and his criminal cabal. Allow me, just a minute to devise an aptitude test to assess their potentials, innovative and creative abilities, and I guarantee you they will all fail miserably. Giving women advantages they don’t deserve because of their gender status is totally wrong, pathetic, unacceptable and sickening.

    SLPP dullards, anxious to satisfy their lust for women, ignoring experience and merit, just to spoon feed voluptuous undeserving women opportunities.(lol) Now rotate those archaic, blurry lenses of yours and take a good look at Mayor Sawyer, and then raise banners of commendation and praises if you want to, and you will not hear me. No doubt, she is indeed a perfect fit for the position she is currently holding.

  7. In 2009 when President Koroma and his then press secretary went after Sylvia Blyden, she was quick to change her tune and stand against President Koroma. The next thing we saw was a Koromaist. A year later she declared for the APC calling it the party of her grandparents and parents. The latter is true. I do not expect Sylvia Blyden to ever join the SLPP, a party that at one time curry her to join them. I hope that the state would not be foolish enough to nolle the case against her, just because of her apparently mischievous apology. It might be a bait.

    As for those calling her presidential candidate, everyone is a potential presidential candidate but until she makes known her intentions, it is just the imagination of her admirer like Sahr Matturi. But until she does, it is myopic of those calling her so.

  8. Certainly agree with you, Mr Stargazer. Dr Sylvia Olayinka Blyden has traded off her aspirations to become the first female APC president of the country, for a time away from that filthy Pademba Road prisons. Even her grandfather Professor S A J Pratt, would be crying in his grave for her decision to succumb to writing this cowardly and terrible piece. But, on the other hand, who can blame her; when it is alleged that there is not even access to pipe-borne water in that notorious place; where the life of an inmate is equivalent to that of a mouse under the Bio-SLPP regime?

    As you implied ‘true leaders don’t buckle under pressure’. Winnie Mandela didn’t – and she lived and died with that legacy. Frankly, I used to admire Dr Sylvia Blyden a lot. She is very educated, charismatic, and somewhat courageous. However, she eventually lost the APC spirit of ‘non violence and resilience’. It is a very SAD episode – what a pity. But as I said before, this PAOPA Bio-SLPP administration is determined to rebrand Sierra Leone from the once ‘Athens of Africa’ to the ‘BONGAs of Africa’.

    Who is going to vote for her now for the flagbearership of the APC for the 2023 elections? And, would she ever be attractive to the populace again? It seems the choice for the APC flagbearer is narrowing down to Dr Samura Kamara or Chief Sam Sumana. Of course, not forgetting the political wild card, in Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara (JFK). For the benefit of Sierra Leoneans, and Sierra Leone as a whole, that insecure, dangerous and tribalistic midget presently residing at State House, would have to go – paopa, come 2023 elections.

  9. My support for Chief Sam Sumana has not changed Mr. Brima Sesay. As I always say, there are champions in every political party in Sierra Leone whom I admire. I love champions. That is why I support them. Personalities like Dr Kandeh Yumkella, Dr Francis Kai Kai, Mayor Yvonne Aki Sawyer, Dr Sylvia Blyden, the gallant Rtd Major Paolo Conteh, former High Commissioner to the UK Mr Tamba Lamina, to name a few, are champions with huge political capabilities, influence and inexhaustible political power in my view. However, Chief Sam Sumana is my choice, if he becomes LEADER of the APC to contest the Presidency. That I can assure you.
    Let us wait till the APC decides. Politics these days in Sierra Leone is to wait and see, because political parties have never been democratic and honest. That is the case all over the world. Thank you very much Mr Brima Sesay for your observation and may God bless you.

  10. It is unbelievable how prison can soften folks. Dr. Sylvia Blyden’s conciliatory mood strikes the right note. May be if she had only been this cooperative with the justice system earlier she would not have been fighting for her freedom now.

    Denouncing the mammy cussers of the useless APC party is the right thing to do. Dr. Blyden should go a step further by dumping the APC. What has she achieved with a bunch of tribalists and northern hegemonists all these years? Dr. Priscilla Schwartz, Dr. Memunatu Pratt, Mrs. Nabeela Tunis, etc, are all relatively new in the SLPP. Yet they are holding senior positions in president Julius Bio’s government. Do we need to ask which of the two parties respects talented women?

  11. The headline on this opinion piece, by Dr Sylvia Blyden says it all. At the end of the day, peace, security and the respect of the rule of law, is what everyone one of us wants in Sierra Leone. Some people are born with leadership traits, others learn about it and some people adopt it, but it never works for them. What Dr. Blyden has displayed is the first trait. That is the one, I like to call the “Mandela Doctrine. “Unlench your fist, and extend your hand of friendship to your enemies, and those that seek to destroy you”. If you want to define her character read no further. Her words spoke for themselves. The first step Mandela took in coming out of imprisonment, was to invite the white prison guard that use to turn the keys to his prison cell room door and invite him to his family home.

    You could imagine how that officer reacted to the invitation by his former prisoner. Then in 1995 Mandela went further and wore the Springbok jersey of the mostly white Ruby team of South Africa, during the Ruby World Cup hosted by South Africa. Those two gestures alone were enough to reassure white south Africans, that after all they have a future under a majority black government in their country. In other words what Dr Blyden and to be fair to President Bio, what he also did in reaching out to Paolo Conteh is commendable. Leadership is what it is all about. What Dr. Blyden has done is not about her, but for the interest of all peace loving Sierra Leoneans. I only hope we have more politicians and supporters, like that in our country.

    At the moment, the scales are in favour of those that hide behind keyboards and want to divide us on tribal lines and throwing insults at their fellow Sierra Leoneans. We know their game. They are bankrupt with ideas, so they reach for their default punch lines. My advice to those people is, the best contribution they can make for our country, is to put a tape around their mouth and leave it to the true sons of the soil that want to see developments in our country. We are fed up with poverty.

    • Wow, Mr. Jalloh, keep the flame of patriotism unquenched sir. Always exhilarating reading your comments. Extremists be warned, patriotism is knocking at your door to change tactics before it is too late. We only have one Mama Salone that belongs to all of us. The politics of slash, burn, conquer and annihilate is becoming too much of a stench to be attractive.

  12. “SYLVIA OLAYINKA BLYDEN OOR, Aspirant for the Presidency of Sierra Leone” – underlined, Aspirant for the Presidency. Did they hear that? God graciously hear Dr Sylvia Blyden and may God bless and protect her. Amen and Amen. Father God. Will everyone please dial down the RHETORIC?

    • Brother I do not really understand why you adamantly like to make mockery and provoking this woman; this is definitely what we called a flip flop. Show to the people in this noble forum, which candidates are you really for. I am in serious doubt and troubled about your action. You used to dance behind Chief Samuel Sam Susana from Tumbodu, campaigning for several Sierra Leoneans I personally do not even call most of them candidates. Brother Sahr M. what are you really up to? It’s actually troubling me bro.

      When it comes to Paolo Conteh’s issue, you are well active and now you are 100% Dr. Sylvia. Haha my goodness. As a Sierra Leonean born and raised in Koidu town, I never voted SLPP, but this time around I wish God spares my life for 2023 presidential election. If ever meet with Bio as do not know him personally, but, I have seen some lights in the country today and I will support him for his re-election. Are you bragging with a disgraced journalist Dr. Sylvia? I personally do not see her as an aspirant as you have claimed. Ssome of my APC friends are laughing at your comments bro! Slow down, this lady was not a presidential candidate and never will she be! APC did not recognize her at all; are you aware of that? Most and foremost, we are here to educate one another not to mislead.

      Today, Sylvia is the one that is preparing to fight the sitting government on behalf of the entire APC; that is good of her. So I want the whole world to come to acknowledge that Dr. Sylvia is not an aspirant. Thanks

  13. I am ready to bet anyone anywhere, anything that she has been coerced into making such a long, superficial statement in exchange for some kind of consolations and relief. This is truly disheartening to see Dr Blyden turn around 360 degrees, to now attack those who risked their well-being, using diverse kinds of methods and strategies vehemently in support and defence of her. Ingratitude! Seriously, I used to believe she was a strong woman, but now she has proven to us all, that she isn’t, what we thought she was. My goodness! It is true that in today’s Africa, the loudest voices are only loud and confident when they are given freedom to roam and frolic, without restraint like agile young impalas;

    Shackle and put them in a cage, where the stench of overpowering filth becomes their constant, mandatory companion and roaring lions overnight become as fragile, docile and as cowardly as feeble squeaking mice. No wonder this continent, never ever moves forward. When push comes to shove, what you thought was iron, cracks and instantly transforms itself into a flimsy, fragile twig.

    Dr Blyden should have made her position clear, before she was arrested. Coming out now and making questionable recantations, when she is inside an iron cage, just will not suffice, to convince some of us that she is truly sincere. Madam, time to get real – a true leader like Mandela, Jomo, Aug San Suu Kyi, never flinches;they always hold the line, come rain or sunshine, hell or high-water,they never compromised their heartfelt beliefs, convictions and stance.

    Who in their right mind is going to vote for you lady, someone that is now known to conveniently change her position, like the colors of leaves in an ever-continuing rotation of seasons? Loyalty is the first rung on the political ladder to greater heights. Madam, people risked their well-being for you, so at least show them some form of gratitude.

  14. This is a very humble and patriotic statement. May the almighty continue to bless Dr. Sylvia Blyden. Amen and Ameen.

  15. Inspiring to see someone whose back has been forced against the wall by state tyrannical impulses, displaying astronomical leadership qualities, reaching out to fans and supporter alike, to tone down their rhetoric in the midst of the insurmountable injustices being perpetrated by state functionaries. Hate Dr. Blyden or not, she remains one of the strong women in our nation, exhibiting a fearless, brave character regardless of who she is dealing with. A superwoman indeed!!

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