Sierra Leone Telegraph: 21 August 2020:
The much anticipated second audio has been released by Dr. Blyden as promised, in what she refers to as her ongoing series of audio messages to the people of Sierra Leone and the international community, about the direction she would like Sierra Leone’s democracy to take.
In her latest recording – dubbed Audio 002, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden expresses happiness with the various reactions to her first audio released yesterday, including those attacking her. She says that she respects everyone’s opinions and choice of language including those she referred to as “cowards hiding behind small boys to pass their opinions”.
She apologises to former president Ernest Bai Koroma and others named in yesterday’s audio, “if they feel bad over Audio 001” but insists she is not going to stop, and that “there will be up to Audio 099 and beyond – even one hundred audios”.
She strongly challenges anyone to produce any signed or name-authored APC press release issued by Ernest Koroma’s APC leadership when she was detained. She said if anyone can produce such a publicly published document signed with a name, she will instantly swallow her words.
Dr. Blyden admonishes her APC comrades attacking her, that “ungratefulness is a very bad sin” and says people should stop provoking her as she was deeply hurt by the betrayal of the APC leadership when she needed them the most.
She dismisses what she said “is nonsense” talk about her once being an SLPP member, and says the photo being floated on social media is of her as a journalist monitoring elections on Elections Day in 2007.
Dr. Blyden then quotes a parable “about a man who is deep in slumber on his bed dreaming a lovely dream and fire blazes inside the bedroom but the man is fast asleep enjoying his dream”. She says if someone sees the fire, bursts into the room and quickly wakes up the sleeping man, “the sleeping man will initially get annoyed from being woken up from his lovely dream.”
“It is only when his sleepy eyes open up and sees the fire that he will start to appreciate the person who woke him up”. Using this metaphor, Dr. Blyden says she is alerting her APC Comrades that are fast asleep amid serious legal and constitutional problem that is raging around them which needs technical handling to sort it out.
She then said that she suspects the reason why the Ernest Bai Koroma leadership did not issue any legitimate, signed press statement or make much effort to push against her detention was because they (the EBK leadership) seemed to have preferred for her to be locked away, so the members of the APC party’s highest organ – the National Advisory Committee (NAC) “can carry out certain NAC-based acts/decisions” in her absence which she may have been able to help guide the NAC membership from acting on.
To back up her claim, she said that even on her release from detention for which she is innocent, the APC Leadership has since called four meetings of NAC secretly without informing and inviting her to attend.
She explains how a NAC Resolution was passed last year to ensure her attendance at NAC Meetings, and how attempts to engage the leadership on the non-invitation to recent NAC meetings have not yielded fruit.
Blyden spoke about the need for Democracy, Peace and Stability in Sierra Leone, which she said “can only be won collectively and never singularly”. She compares Sierra Leone to what is happening in other democratic African countries like South Africa, Nigeria, and Ghana.
In a clearly emotional tone, she spoke about the remains of four Muslim youths of Makeni lying at the mortuary still unburied in contravention of Islamic dictates.
She says it is “a collective national indictment on us all that we can allow that to happen but yet still, with those our youths yet unburied, some are calling for more youths to come out when democratic institutions and democratic tools are right there to be effectively used but are not being utilized.”
Dr. Sylvia Blyden closes with an assurance that she is not speaking out of vexation or anger and that her recorded audios will continue to be released; and she asks all to expect Audio 003 shortly with a proclamation that: “SIERRA LEONE DEMOCRACY MUST SUCCEED”.
You can listen to her recorded audio here:
Source Credit: Office of Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden OOR.