Sierra Leone deserve a better opposition that can hold the SLPP government accountable – Op ed

Saikujohn Barrie: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 23 August 2020:

I have attentively listened to Dr. Sylvia Blyden’s audio advising the former President Ernest Bai Koroma who is the Chairman and Leader of the All People Congress (APC) and his executive to give way to younger and energetic party members to take over the daily affairs of the party.

However, since that very salient and logical audio was released, I have heard various responses from many APC supporters attacking and accusing her of being unfair and ungrateful to the APC, while others say Dr. Blyden wants the APC decapitated so that she would take over the party in order to vie for the Presidency of the country.

I strongly believe that if there is anyone who loves the APC, that person is Dr Sylvia Olayinka Blyden. This is because Dr. Blyden has assessed the performance of the party executive since they were voted out of State House, and concluded that the APC as a party is currently not formidable and impressive at all.

As she rightly stated, the ineffectiveness of the party is wholly or partly as a result of corruption and other dubious activities, which almost the entire past government officials were accused of, hence Sierra Leoneans are waiting for the government’s white paper which according to sources will bar many of the APC hierarchy from political activities in the country.

In addition, the allegations that the former President is being blackmailed by the Paopa government seems to be true, if the conduct of Ernest Bai Koroma is taken into consideration. Otherwise, how can a Chairman and Leader of a party remain mute even when many of his party supporters, including former ministers such as Dr. Blyden, were arrested and locked up on flimsy grounds.

Don’t tell me that the APC issued a press release because I think the former president’s voice can go far and louder than a press release.

Sierra Leoneans deserve a better opposition that can hold the government to account. But sadly, how can people who have either repaid stolen public funds back to the Anti-Corruption or are currently under investigation for corruption hold the current government to account?

This is why patriotic citizens such as Dr Sylvia Blyden are calling for a new group of APC politicians to take over the driving seat of the opposition All People’s Congress party.

Forget about telling us that Ernest Bai Koroma has both the financial means and willingness to spend on the APC party. He can still do so after stepping down as party Chairman and Leader.

Ernest Bai Koroma does not need to be Chairman and Leader to continue spending on the party that after all made him a wealthy man.

For those who are saying that Dr. Blyden is positioning herself for the Presidency, well so be it. What is wrong with that. I honestly believe she is one of the most intelligent and stoic female politicians we have in Sierra Leone today.

Besides, I have not heard her name in any corruption scandal yet. She is straight, honest, brave, and focused.

What I like about her most, is that she is bold enough to tell whosoever the truth, if it is about and for the development of democracy in Sierra Leone.

It seems that some APC supporters are quick to forget about the fact that Dr. Blyden had stood up for the APC when most of the party’s beneficiaries’ lips were sealed.

My advice is, for Sierra Leone’s democracy to flourish and blossom, the APC must heed Dr Sylvia Blyden’s advice for the current executive to step down in October 2020, when their term of office comes to an end, and to be replaced by fresh faces.

On that note, I think she is right. I rest my case.

11 Comments

  1. Haters need to back the hell off – EBK is going nowhere;Its not up to SLPP Pinocchios,intruders and sellouts to chart a course for the legendary APC,and plot our directions in this current tumultuous unnavigable sea – we are smart competent and gallant enough to do that for ourselves.Please tell Maada Bio and his new trusted confidant Slyvia Blyden to postpone the celebrations until 2023 when the APC assumes power once again;Geez!Stargazer that’s disappointing news right there;now all that greasy mushy pork and cow entrails Mr President and his criminal cabal savor and relish so much is going to go to waste – what a disaster!(lol)

  2. Where is your demigod when the people of Africa really need someone like him to speak on issues that are affecting the continent on a core level? Why haven’t we heard him voicing his opinion about the heist France has pulled to confiscate the ECO currency that ECOWAS had agreed upon as its regional currency? Why don’t we ever end up with brave leaders like JJ Rawlings to speak on our behalf?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgS8_89wBVo.

    It takes a biracial man to assert the truth about what France has done concerning the ECO currency. What a shame. What happened to the rest of the leaders who have domestically flex their muscles on their people for simply voicing their opinion about the plight in their country? Why are they not speaking out now. What happened to Mr. sir eat a lot? Why isn’t he all of a sudden become silence on this issue? Not too long ago he was picking on defenseless people who only want what’s best for the country. So why isn’t he speaking now? Oh, I get it, he doesn’t want any beef with massa. He is only into pork and cow beef, and people who cannot defend themselves beef.

    Also, what has former President Koroma done that is so special, aside from maintaining a poverty stricken nation for 11 solid yrs, and left it patched up to what it is today? You people think that is special? I think not. Shoot, with petty African bourgeoisie as cabinet members, the average Kemoh can pull that off. So why can’t this guy go? The man can go. He is not God.

  3. OMG! what a bias praising is this towards EBK? If Ernest Koroma should be the best President of Sierra Leone since 1961 then who is worst among the others? I don’t know how the free world people would read some of our articles. Ernest koroma is the worst President Sierra Leone has ever had in history. Even the late Siaka P. Stevens when he abruptly handed over power to J.S.Momoh, he never sought again to be chairman of APC, did he?

    Koroma assessed himself like he’s the only man that can be a leader of APC and to rule Sierra Leone. President kabba brought peace to this county. After he left power, he never made himself a life chairman for the SLPP party. If he wanted, he could. Name one African country today where it’s President left power and became life chairman of the party. Please do it now! As Dr. sylvia says “Koroma is the problem”. May God solve it.

  4. I personally believe that the lifetime leader and chairman of the “ Adebayor People’s Congress ( APC) is trying to be a copycat of the “ Lucifer of Sierra Leone politics” – Late President Siaka Stevens commonly also known as “ Pass ah die” who build the foundation of the APC party on Lies and thievery. Both of them are educated but lack common sense, have very low self esteem which makes them feel very insecure and cowardice.
    Unfortunately for our country , Stevens succeeded in transforming our then fledgling democracy to a one party dictatorship for 25 years so the corrupt system he created protected him till his death. This time around, we are fortunate after the then Brigadier Julius Maada Bio sacrificed his life to restore our beloved country back to democracy which made it impossible for the lifetime chairman of the corrupt APC party to achieve his initial dream through parliament which was “ After You Na You” and his final dream was to handpicked his stooge ( Samura Kamara) which Stevens did with Momoh but fortunately majority of our voters rejected .
    Finally, with this bold steps that the younger generation which includes the National Reformation Movement (NRM) and now the “ Iron Lady” of the APC Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, the lifetime chairman of the APC party has no option but to disappear peacefully before he is disgracefully forced out.

  5. What is missing in the piece and Blyden’s audio is the right of every S/Leonean to participate in the national dialogue in an atmosphere of competitive ideas and mutual respect. calling for the leadership to go is against those values. Besides, the reputation built by the individuals being asked to depart and the notable coalition and support they command in the party is being underestimated and her approach could only be seen as an affront to the individuals and those who believe in them.

    Blyden’s position maybe bent on division and polarisation, thereby achieving the very opposite of the goal she claim to seek – strong opposition. On the contrary, she will be achieving for Bio, what he is seeking from inception through the violent overthrow of the APC and the now steps to delegitimize key opposition figures in parliament or in the leadership. Blyden must compete with ideas, seeking reforms rather that revolution.

    Let the battle of wits and ideas cause the current cadre of leaders to fade away than speaking to tear rather than build. Ours must be understood within the context of politics based on loyalty and building coalitions.

  6. The President of Guinea, Alpha Conde, is 82 and still vying to play an active role in the political arena. Alhassan Ouattara of the Ivory coast is 78; Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria is 77; and that of the greatest power on earth, Donald Trump is 74. The former President of Sierra Leone, Earnest Bai Koroma (EBK) is 66, but somehow he is perceived too old to hold the position of Chairman and Leader of his party – what a fallacy. Is it in the constitution of Sierra Leone that when one is at this age, he should not participate in politics? The problem of Sierra Leone is such that people use HYPOCRISY as a pastime. Sierra Leoneans have a tendency to deviate from the real issues, and instead divulge on the periphery of irrelevance.

    The absence of a strong opposition in Sierra Leone is definitely not as a result of EBK. EBK is not aspiring for the Presidency, but he is a prominent feature in the structures that hold the APC together. The current problem in the country is the new trend in politics that the people have never envisaged ever before. Here we are with a barbaric tyrant, in Maada Bio, who believes he is the righteous one that should govern the country – irrespective of his ineptitude and unfitting nature – and nothing should stand in his way. He is prepared to kill anyone, as witnessesed in the Pademba Road prison and the Makeni massacres. Sierra Leone is gripped with an aura of perplexity and interestingly the regional bodies, including ECOWAS, and the international community are mute.

    Human rights and civil liberties are to no avail. The Judiciary is bent and dubious, and does not recognise the case of the Opposition. Parliamentary setting is forcefully imposed and the constitution is merely a compilation of insignificant parables that can be discarded out of the window when it does not suit the government’s case. The Police, the Army, Civil Society Organisations and other institutions are politicized. The right to peaceful demonstrations is non-existent. Corruption and mistrust amongst the society is rife. Thus, all in all, the timing for a cosmetic surgery in the ranks of the APC hierarchy does not suit the present dynamics of the political atmosphere in the country. And Dr Sylvia Olayinka Blyden does not have the attributes to pioneer such a venture, since she can easily disintegrate under pressure.

    • Brilliant analysis by the Super-duper Mr Alimamy Turay. Bottom line, our former Commander in Chief of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces isn’t going anywhere. He has to stay. The APC is not going to be complacent or make the mistake that led to their narrow defeat in the last elections. Let them sing all the “Palm Wine Music” about the departure of our brilliant former Commander in Chief of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed forces to the best of their abilities. But, we say, stay on Mr Former President and Leader of the legendary APC party. ” Whack the tyrant’s tail” under the hot burning sun and let them go into a political comma. God bless our former President Ernest Bai Koroma and Mr Alimamy Turay.

  7. Every democratic government needs an effective opposition, for the smooth running of the affairs of the state. In the absence of a strong opposition, journalist and citizen journalists are effectively, sent to the front line, to act as the fourth estate, to check on government activity,on behalf of the nation. Listening to Dr Sylvia Bylden podcast, I can’t help but think, the All People’s Congress party, and its members are engaged in a deep soul searching exercise. This is not new. It always happens after a party loses an election. In other words, the party members and the executive have to diagnose what went wrong, and plot a strategy for the next elections . DR Bylden’s podcast is a timely reminder of that. The ruling SLPP party found itself in a similar situation before the last election. Hence the founding of the National Grand coalition under Dr Kandeh Yumkella. With the APC in a state of flux, Dr Bylden’s contribution to the debate, does shine a light in some aspect of the inner workings of one of Sierra leone oldest party. It’s a measure of how far democratisation, within the party has become. It takes a brave individual to come out and speak out against or point out the flaws of an organisation that they claim to love and cherish. The APC party leadership should listen to her. Otherwise they will be having the same discussion after 2023 . President Bio and his party supporters will love to see the APC party tear themselves apart. I hope for the good of Sierra leone they deny him that wish. May God bless Sierra leone.

  8. Ernest Koroma is the best president of Sierra Leone since 1961 to 2020. He worked for the country for a better future. He was having a good plan to build the country for all Sierra Leoneans. Express highway from Freetown to mile 91, Freetown new city hall, mamanah airport. and ext. But in any political party you must have the good and bad people like Sylvia.

    • I have read with dismay some of the comments on the issue of our country going forward: Have we lost the direction of good and reasonable thinkers? It was the same corruptive leadership of Siaka P Stevens that made the vacuum and voids of leadership in the APC wanting today. Had it not been that they killed and eliminated most of the brains that would have been formidable leaders today in the likes of Sembu Forna, Ibrahim Bash Taqi, Samuel Bangura, Minah and many more, to name a few.

      The likes of EBK would not have even had a look in: “Na Sense Make Book, Nor to Book Make Sense” some quotes by the then Probyn Stevens. “When the Intellectuals Fail Politics,Then Ragamuffins will take over” Some truth are said in jest. We are today seeing in the APC the saying of the later. An organisation built on lies and deceit will surely crumble one day. {APC we nor dae Tiff, We nor Dae Lie} Really?

  9. Is Mr Saikujohn Barrie on the wrong side of History? The former Commander in Chief of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces and Former President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma is doing a very good job. He should not be seen interfering into the mess perpetrated by the Bio SLPP kakistocracy in arresting and incarcerating APC party members because he is the Leader of the APC party. It does not make sense. In fact, that will escalate the situation. We have laws that every government in Sierra Leone must follow. If the Bio kakistocracy respect the rule of law, we will not be engaged in such debates or mess.

    I have three questions for Mr Saikujohn Barrie. First: Where was Mr Saikujohn Barrie when the majority of the APC was stolen from them to weaken their position in parliament? Second: Why did Dr Sylvia Blyden apologised to the brilliant former Commander in Chief of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces for mentioning his name in that awkward audio? Third: What would Mr Saikujohn Barrie do if he was the Former Commander in Chief of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces and Leader of the APC party in such circumstances?

    The present leader of the APC party Dr Ernest Bai Koroma must stay on as long as it takes to make sure the right leader that will make Sierra Leoneans demand the Bio SLPP kakistocracy to surrender and we go politically nuclear against them in 2023 or whatever date is elected. What is wrong with that? No one should be thinking of the option surrender or we go nuclear. It’s going to be surrender and we go politically nuclear against you if the APC choose the right candidate. It’s time to take the presidency home! God bless Chief Sam Sumana and our former Commander in Chief of the Sierra Leone Armed forces. See you soon.

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