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Sylvia Blyden Dot Com

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NEWS : Politics  

In 2012, Sylvia Blyden Is Not Running for President
By Teddy Macmon Karim
Oct 9, 2009, 13:40
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Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, the only female Sierra Leonean News Publisher who is also one of the most recognisable names in the country has yesterday informed that she was not running against President Koroma in the 2012 Elections nor was she fighting with John Benjamin for SLPP Flagbearership.

I am not running for Parliament; I am not running for Vice President and I am 100% most certainly, most definitely not running for President against President Ernest Bai Koroma in 2012, Blyden firmly asserted.

Sylvia Blyden also took great exception to claims that she was fighting with SLPP Chairman, John Benjamin for the position of SLPP Flagbearer.

John Oponjo Benjamin is one of my best friends. We speak on the phone virtually every single day; even up to this morning we have just spoken on the phone but Mr. Benjamin respects my right to criticise his public actions in my newspaper as he knows he is a public figure open to newspaper criticisms. He respects the fact that my task as a socio-political commentator comes with having strong opinions that are sometimes in sync with his but sometimes run totally contrary to his own but we both have never allowed that to affect the great friendship we share and people should not learn to misinterpret things. I am not fighting with John Benjamin over anything, Sylvia Blyden assured.

The Blyden reaction came in the wake of the lead story in one of Freetowns tabloids yesterday who claimed to be in possession of information that Blyden was being considered by some persons in the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party for the task of running against the APCs President Ernest Bai Koroma in 2012.

The Enigmatic Sylvia Olayinka Blyden

I am not a member of the SLPP so how can I be considered by SLPP for such a lofty position? That article in Sierra Express Media is an exercise in mischief because I did not have any such discussions like the one the newspaper is claiming to have had with me. I do not know what that newspaper is trying to do but God help that editor, Sylvia said adding If I want to give an interview on the issue, will I by-pass credible newspapers like Exclusive, New Vision, Independent Observer, Senator, Concord Times, New Citizen, etc. etc. and speak to a little-known mushroom paper that is fighting to establish itself? No, I will not, Blyden said.

However, Sylvia Olayinka Blyden does not deny that she has strong Presidential ambitions.


Over the years, I have made no secret of the fact that I might consider to run for President of Sierra Leone but surely not even in the next decade to come, she said.

In 2012, I will be only 40 years old and in my honest opinion, I will certainly not be matured enough to handle the Presidency of Sierra Leone. Being one of the few women given a State National Honour does not translate to automatically being Presidential material as that newspaper claims. Sylvia asserted confidently.

It is worthwhile to note that Sylvia Blyden some fifteen years ago performed a previously impossible feat when in June 1994 at the age of 22 years, she contested for and became the first Sierra Leonean woman to win a Students Union Presidency at the University of Sierra Leone; a feat that no other Sierra Leone woman has been able to carry out again to date.

In 2001, she financed a brand new political party then known as the Young Peoples Party (YPP) which contested the 2002 National Elections but although she was the YPP National Leader, she was only 30 years old at the time and thus constitutionally barred from running for the Presidency. She thus remains the youngest Sierra Leonean to have ever led a fully registered National Political Party.

However, for now, Sylvia Blyden says her focus is not politics or the Presidency of Sierra Leone. When asked what she was primarily focussing on, she responded: Getting Sierra Leoneans to know the real person behind the name Sylvia Blyden and in the process, debunking untruths that my detractors had been peddling when I had been living in self-exile in America during the civil war. I believe I have a tremendous strength of character and in time, I will make a formidable President of Sierra Leone if I indeed take up the challenge but for now and for at least the next ten to fifteen years, active politics is simply not my focus let alone the Presidency.

Addressing the issue of her being probably the foremost critic of the Ernest Koroma Presidency, Sylvia Blyden responded that she criticised President Koroma because she wanted him to succeed.

He has too many bootlickers and sycophants around him. Persons like Sheka Tarawalie of Torchlight Newspaper are a liability to President Koroma so I am helping to neutralise their ill-effects on him by giving him the critical truth as often as possible. The President is surrounded by some of the most ill-fitted human resource that Sierra Leone has to offer like his Press Secretary Sheka Tarawalie who owns Torchlight Newspaper and we will not relent to help him out by criticising him when he unwittingly goes astray, Blyden said, adding Criticising Ernest Koroma does not mean that I hate him. On the contrary, I like President Koroma and I want him to successfull  run a stable, democratic country but with characters like Sheka Tarawalie as his aides and advisers, Koromas success chances get slimmer by the day.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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