Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sierra Leone Ebola Victims Should Not be Pawns in In Anybody's Power Struggle

Sylvia Omotunde Blyden
Ebola Expert Extraordinaire
Blyden: A Life Dedicated to the Cultivation of Enemies

I had the time to listen to an interview on Radio Democracy given by the Special Executive Assistant to Sierra Leone's President Sylvia Blyden and came away ever more convinced than ever of my earlier suspicion that all the tears she had been shedding for the Ebola victims in Kailahun were just meant to use a particularly horrendous disaster to score a political advantage over perceived enemies.

In the world there are basically three types of ambitious people. The first are those people who have high aspirations in life and devote all their lives to preparing themselves to meet these aspirations. They try to fulfill their ambitions by pursuing perfection. An individual like the great Nelson Mandela falls conveniently in this class. Obama is another.

The second type of ambitious people are those who may or may not seek perfection, but whose primary strength lies in building networks of influence and using these networks to fulfill their aspiration. They never burn their bridges and value the strength of both old and new relationships. In all countries, there are people like this who every government is comfortable to work with.
Miatta Kargbo Newest Enemy

The third type of ambitious people are those whose main strength lies in destroying others to fulfill their ambitions. They may even have all the qualifications and credentials to be great on the basis of their own strengths, but are just wired to derive strength from the downfall of others. These people do not care about past relationships, nor do they think a minute about the consequences of betrayal. All they think about is their rise to the top, and if they offend, betray, or even annihilate another individual to do so, they don't even give regret a second thought. They are simply sociopaths in their quest for power who have no regard for either the feelings or reputation of others. Listening to Sylvia Blyden speak on radio about herself and the current Ebola crisis, all I could think of was how wonderfully she exemplifies the political sociopath.
Alpha Kanu Enemy No 2

Sylvia's first flaw as a human being is not just her exaggerated opinion about herself, but her penchant to give herself all the praise for every success in her life and give others all the blame for every single failure or setback. In college, she says that she was an excellent student, the best in clinicals and multiple choice in her final year. However, when she failed theory or essay, it was no longer her fault, but the fault of her lecturers who were jealous of her because she had gone to China to address a women's conference. According to Sylvia, every African at the conference including Presidents had said that she was simply the best. Her delivery was so powerful that she was on the front page of Chinese newspapers. Because of this success her lecturers had been jealous and had failed her, but she had still managed to graduate from Medical school in Sierra Leone with two medical degrees.
Dr. Sama Banya
2012 Enemy former Uncle

Sylvia's repeated assertion that she was a brilliant medical doctor flies in the face of all reason, as according to her, she has never practiced medicine. So how will you know if you are a brilliant medical doctor if you have never practiced medicine? Even though, according to her, she had completed a study of medicine, Information Technology, Espionage and counter surveillance in USA,  (her words not mine) she had decided to go into tabloid journalism and not medicine, yet she considers herself one of the best doctors in Sierra Leone. Where is the consonance? Is Sylvia failing to realize that the brilliance of health care professionals lies in the quality of their practice and not in how many 'A's they got in medical school? Medicine is a practical profession. You can't be a brilliant medical doctor until you've practiced medicine, same as you can't be a brilliant driver because you got the best results on your driver's exams. Some reality is sacrificed here.
But let us come to her new crusade; Ebola. When you claim, as she does, that you feel so much for the victims of Ebola, there should be some emotion in your voice or some concern when talking about the victims. The only mention of the victims in Sylvia's very long interview is in her attempt to paint Miatta Kargbo as this heartless human being who did not listen to Sylvia Blyden, a medical doctor, and now the people are dying.
David Tam Baryoh
2013 Enemy

What was truly sad about the Blyden interview is that we do not really get the chance to hear much about the victims. It is all about Sylvia and how she feels she is not being respected by her "Junior " colleagues. These junior colleagues are also State House employees and health ministry officials who may have been in the ministry when she was still  writing about Ernest Koroma's many girlfriends. Now she considers them her juniors because the President told her she is  of "cabinet rank." I think the greatest problem Ernest Koroma created for this woman is telling her she was cabinet rank. How can you go about calling your fellow public servants your juniors? Is that even professional?

One of the interviewers asked a very important question, which I will paraphrase. If you care so much about these Ebola victims especially those of Kissi Teng  who you say voted for the President your boss, won't you be in State House talking to the President and begging him to do more for these people? Would you be sitting at home on Facebook ridiculing every effort the health ministry is making just because you don't like the health minister?
VP Sam Sumana
Most Senior Enemy

I don't know Miatta Kargbo and truthfully believe that her ministry's handling of the Ebola outbreak has been disastrous. In any serious country she should have been forced to resign. Nevertheless if I were Miatta Kargbo I also would not listen to anything Sylvia Blyden has to tell me. The heart is not made of bone. You don't advise people by public ridicule. The fact that Sylvia feels she cannot talk privately to Alpha Kanu and Miatta Kargbo, but would use her Awareness Times rag to go after her colleague ministers and portray them in a negative light because she wants to be viewed positively is both juvenile, disloyal and faithful.
Sylvia is only doing this because she knows Ernest Koroma will look the other way. She claims to have also worked for Gambian President Yayah Jammeh. She must know that she cannot do this in the Gambia, not by any stretch of the imagination.
John Baimba Sesay
Fityai Enemy

No Yayah Jammeh appointee will behave as she is doing. The Jammeh I know will not tolerate this even in his relatives, let alone a political opportunist. Sylvia knows the Sierra Leone president will let anything go as long as you praise him occasionally.

My appeal to Sylvia is to stop using the victims of this horrendous disease as pawns in her endless cycle of quarrels. The wife of the Paramount Chief who died was my own classmate in high school where she was known simply by her maiden name of Aminata Baimba. We sat in the same class for years in Wesley Secondary school Segbwema. One of the other victims Amie Jajua was a young lady who grew up with us and married one of my best friends in school, Osman "Tolo" Gbabai. These people are not just figures or pawns in anybody's political chess game, but young individuals who had so much to live for. So instead of just using their names to score political points Sylvia,go to EBK and use your position constructively. When this Ebola is over, you can come back to your daily wahala.

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