By FUTURE Investigative Team….
Ever since the issue about former Vice President Samuel Sam Sumana came up about him taking the Government of Sierra Leone to the ECOWAS Court for redress and for compensation over what he described as unlawful dismissal; there has been only one voice in the media wilderness of Sierra Leone shouting ‘wolf, wolf,’ when there is no wolf to be seen for hundreds of miles…and that lone voice is that of Sylvia Blyden, Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, who erroneously, arrogantly, persistently and shamelessly brands herself as ‘honorable’ when she is educated well enough to have understood the press release issued sometime ago by the House of Parliament describing the category of people who merit such a title. But that is the Sylvia we know, who can be as stubborn as a goat when she decides to.
Before coming to the “nitty-gritty” of the thorny issues surrounding Sylvia Blyden, it could be recalled that in out last edition we raised several issues but inadvertently forgot to mention the fact that the Awareness Times newspaper of Thursday 3rd November, 2016 in an article titled: ‘Social Welfare Deputy Calls Up Bizarre Press Conference’ authored by one Benjamin Davies who claimed in the article that he has 12 years experience in Journalism; used derogatory language against The FUTURE Newspaper for which we took great exception.
We are disheartened that the Awareness Times newspaper had the nerve to stoop as low as calling our newspaper a “propaganda rag sheet of the former VP Sam Sumana” and we feel that the Awareness Times owes us an apology because we have never at any point in time used derogatory terms against the Awareness Times or its owner(s).
We at FUTURE Newspaper are very conscious of journalistic ethics and now address this issue.
Any person who has been following events of late can vouch that it is only the Awareness Times newspaper which has been trying (thankfully unsuccessfully) to stir the hornet’s nest and cause panic and eventual rebellion by daily reproducing the fictitious article (authored by a nameless and faceless ECOWAS Court Reporter) titled: ‘Sam Sumana tells ECOWAS Court his Supporters will turn to Senseless Rebels’.
It is unfortunate and very disappointing to note that there is little or no tangible proof or evidence brought forward by the Awareness Times in this all-important matter which borders on our national security and integrity; the reason why the Office of National Security (ONS) should be seen taking a proactive role in getting to the truth about this devious allegation of Sam Sumana planning to launch a rebel attack on Sierra Leone, by getting the CID to invite the publishers and owners of Awareness Times to provide sufficient evidence of ‘Sam Sumana’s plans to turn his supporters to senseless rebels’ if “he, (Sam Sumana), does not win the case at the ECOWAS Court,” according to Awareness Times, before it could be too late.
Furthermore, many people who have read the Awareness Times’ ‘Sam Sumana tells ECOWAS Court his Supporters will turn to Senseless Rebels’ story, are of the opinion that, the learned Judges on the panel of the ECOWAS Court (with all respect to them) must either be naïve, or afraid of Sam Sumana to not have by now come out themselves via press release (print or electronic) to tell the world that “The Applicant, at great personal cost, has been able to restrain and constrain his followers and supporters thus far,” and that, “Only God knows for how long he will be able to do this,” as stated by the Awareness Times.
The above amounts to a serious security threat by any standards before any court of law and anyone making such a threat must not be taken for granted. But it is the court which must state this and not a second or in this case a third party such as Sylvia Blyden and her Awareness Times.
That said, we now move on to the issue between Sylvia Blyden and the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Rugiatu Neneh Turay. It is unfortunate that Sylvia Blyden is known to be an individual who is as stubborn as a goat and erroneously believes she has monopoly over knowledge and over viciousness. It is therefore a blessing and an opportunity for the FUTURE Newspaper that Sylvia Blyden has chosen to spill the first blood because we the FUTURE is one very hard nut to crack and ten times more stubborn than Sylvia Blyden can ever boast of being.
It could be recalled that ever since Sylvia Blyden was appointed Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, she has been at loggerheads with the poor woman and has defiantly refused to acknowledge the fact that Ruguatu Turay was also appointed by President Koroma for her to be Sylvia’s principal assistant. But Sylvia being as stubborn as a goat has slyly and selfishly manipulated the staff at the Social Welfare Ministry creating what can best be referred to as to divide and rule policy which is precisely why the Social Ministry is being starved of funds. President Koroma is no fool and he is watching and soaking in all the antics of Sylvia Blyden who is lost in her own world of self praise, which is really no recommendation or commendation. What other medium takes Sylvia Blyden seriously except her own Awareness Times, should be the question she and her newspaper team should be asking themselves. But again, that is the Sylvia Blyden Sierra Leone has come to know. She is oblivious to listening to common sense and believes that the Ministry or wherever she is posted for that matter revolves around her and that without her nothing can happen.
She is the first ever minister to be before the IMC Complaints Committee with her deputy to answer to questions about her maltreatment and scurrilous writings in the Awareness Times about the Deputy Minister. What image and message does Sylvia Blyden intend to sell to the personalities and representatives on international organizations she meets on her overseas trips, when she cannot put her own Social Welfare Ministry in order, is what baffles many observers.
As things now stand regarding the matter before the IMC, it is understood that Sylvia Blyden and her legal representative either appear late after the matter would have been adjourned or not at all; something which one observer said displays the disrespect and suspected low esteem Sylvia Blyden holds the IMC. The outcome of this case would be landmark for the IMC and for the media landscape in the country.
Quite apart from the above, The FUURE is investigating a report that Sylvia Blyden recently recruited the services of a juju man (witch doctor/herbalist) to work for her. However the scope of the work and whether it is for official or private purposes is what we are investigating.
Another matter worth mentioning and that is of public interest is the rumor doing the round that Sylvia Blyden is merely pretending to have the interest of her workers at the Awareness Times at heart, because a number of former workers at Awareness Times say they can swear that she is notorious at abusing the rights of her employees and has at no time employed any of them on permanent basis and gets rid of them under cloudy circumstances with most of them unable to fight back. The FUTURE is investigating this other dark side of Sylvia Blyden in addition to another report that she duped a very senior Editor when he was under the influence of alcohol and took possession of a newspaper the hapless Editor had suffered together with his wife who was selling soap just to provide money for production. This too is another dark side of Sylvia Blyden which the FUTURE Newspaper is investigating.
Finally, it comes as very nauseating to realize that at one time Sylvia Blyden and Sam Sumana were buddies. It could be recalled that Sylvia Blyden singlehandedly took upon herself to defend Sam Sumana when the latter was framed by Sorious
Samura in an infamous Al Jazeera documentary which implicated the former Vice President in an alleged corruption with regard a timber deal.
It could be recalled that Sylvia Blyden not only visited the VP’s office to substantiate her belief that Sam Sumana was framed, but she published photographs of the scenes and wrote lengthy articles in defence of Sam Sumana and at the end of it all, she managed to get Sam Sumana off the hook. It was mooted at the time that Sam Sumana paid Sylvia Blyden handsomely; something she has always denied.
So why Sylvia Blyden is now spitting venom and hate against her former buddy is the question on the lips of many Sierra Leoneans.
More details next edition.