|Special Assistant Blyden|
Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, the Special Assistant to the President of Sierra Leone has been in blind rage all week, calling for the country's main opposition leader Julius Maada Bio to be locked up and referring to members of the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party as 'sewer rats' and 'human Okuru dogs.' The reason for this temporary public display of insanity is not clear, but the former sensationalist tabloid journalist and opposition sympathizer turned government activist could not be contained, even after some pleas from Sierra Leoneans close to her.
Sylvia Blyden who has a history of sending barrages of foul mouthed invective to people she disagrees with has apparently brought this unfortunate tendency right into State House and has started causing quiet discomfort among people close to the president, who have become alarmed at the sudden hold she has developed over the president, but are wary of her acid tongue.
|Byden's Hero Taylor|
Just a few years ago, President Koroma was the main subject of Blyden's tirades when she was in cahoots with the opposition. But having abandoned the opposition to the side of the government and been rewarded with a seat close to the president seems to have hyperinflated the ego of the journalist turned politician.
Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma has a knack for creating political positions in return for loyalty and favor. From Cocorioko blogger Kabbs Kanu's Minister Plenipotentiary to Sylvia Olayinka Blyden's Special Assistant and to the plethora of press attaches scattered across obscure corners of the globe, the country's leader loves to manufacture titles, dump them on favored designees and then apparently leave them to develop the job description for themselves.
Sylvia Olayinka Blyden seems to be very busy putting together her job description and she has decided to bring the action on social media frequented by Sierra Leoneans, primarily Facebook. Having been kicked out of several Sierra Leone forums for her foul mouth, she is now trolling forums administered by friends and associates and creating her own Facebook chat forums willy-nilly.
Ms. Blyden seems to be particularly incensed at the behavior of some youths perceived to be supporters of the opposition politician Julius Maada Bio who have been flocking to the Law Courts in Freetown in droves to witness the court proceedings involving the SLPP's appeal against the results of the November 17th 2012 presidential elections. Pointing to the rowdy behavior of some of the supporters in the crowd, Sylvia Blyden yesterday made this direct threat to Julius Maada Bio:
"Meanwhile, please allow me to reiterate my earlier expressed position that if Julius Maada Bio thinks he is above the law, let him test the State again with any more act of lawlessness or public disorder. Trust me that Maada Bio will be arrested on the spot and whisked off to a police cell so fast, his head will spin. No more kids gloves for lawless politicians.
Now, for those who are looking for diplomatic language, do not expect it from this very senior female government functionary occupying the position of SPECIAL EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT (with full Cabinet rank) thus making me the first ever woman in History to exercise constitutional executive authority from within the Office of the President under the direction of my boss, His Excellency the President. I have always said things as I see them and my boss, His Excellency the President, was fully aware of that trait of mine when he appointed me to such a senior government position answerable only to him."
After been busy the past few weeks releasing press statements, Sylvia Blyden seems to have found her true element, and as she writes, she has full go ahead from the president himself. Presidential permission to publicly misbehave and she intends to do so fully.
Many people were concerned when President Ernest Koroma appointed a woman who had openly professed loyalty to former Liberian rebel leader Charles Taylor and had stated disappointment at his indictment for atrocities in Sierra Leone, as Special Assistant to the president. Pro APC journalist like Joseph Sherman flew into a rage when Sylvia was appointed and publicly denounced the president for ingratitude.
Late last night, Sylvia boasted that she had heard that opposition activist Kalilu Totangi and former disgraced Sierra Leone Ambassador to China under President Koroma, Abdul Karim Koroma were on their way to the Lungi airport to allegedly confront the lady that had accused the former ambassador of unwanted sexual advances and she had called the Lungi police and had them detained and boasts that the two were currently in police detention.
These negative developments in Sierra Leone are particularly unsettling, given the country's recent past. President Koroma must have heeded to the mantra, "bring your friends close and your enemies closer." However these public statements of arrogance and incendiary remarks against politicians and other people with substantial support in the country will not yield good fruit and I hope this President will take some active steps to tamper down this blossoming insanity.
After many years of war and a contentious election, Sierra Leoneans need a break and a return to sanity. Everybody knows political tempers get flared up during elections, but wise people get over it, go back and prepare for another time. Julius Maada Bio did not accept the results of the elections as fair. But on the other hand, he did not call or incite his supporters to go on the rampage, but did the right thing and went to the courts. When the courts decides, everybody is expected to abide by those dictates and that is what democracy is all about.
Many APC supporters state that when Blyden was writing against the President, even mentioning the color of his "underwear" it was SLPP lawyers like Dr. Bu Buakei Jabbie that were defending her, so now that the table has turned on them they should not complain. However most people agree that these unnecessary taunts by Blyden is creating a dangerous situation that should not exist and are hoping that somebody will advise her to start using language more reflective of the dignity of the Presidential office. But as they say, the hand of a monkey will remain black, even if it is bleached.