The Paramount Chief of Jong Chiefdom in Bonthe district, P.C. Alhaji Alie Badara Sheriff III has told Dr. Sylvia Blyden, the Special Executive Assistant (SEA) to the President at State House that he never granted an interview of the like reported in yesterdayís edition of an opposition local tabloid. He also insisted that he never gave a similar negative interview to the main opposition Unity newspaper. The phone conversation was listened to by local journalists with the permission of the honourable chief.
Expressing indignation and shock whilst the words he was purported to have uttered, were read out to him from the local tabloid, the Chief from his compound in Mattru Jong, Bonthe, explained of how callers identifying themselves as journalists, have been phoning him on the matter of the government delegation which the SEA led to his chiefdom.
The P.C. insisted that when his callers pressured him for his opinion on the matter of cannibalism and ritual murder allegations that had pervaded his chiefdom, he has been repeatedly using the occasion to praise ďthe brilliance of Dr. Sylvia Blyden especially in how she handled the crisis in my chiefdom by negotiating between all of usĒ. P.C. Alhaji Alie Badara Sheriff III boldly said he had nothing but ďrespect, high respect for the kind of woman Dr. Blyden isĒ.
ďHow can I say such words against you when right here in Mattru Jong, I praised you to all my people as the type of woman to be emulated by our girls? Every day I tell our girls to focus on their education so they can be educated like Dr. Sylvia Blyden,Ē the gentleman chief proudly asserted.
In a similar move, Police headquarters have also officially transmitted to Dr. Blyden that the words purported to be that of the Bonthe Police Chief, LUC Emmerson Kargbo, to SLPP Unity newspaper last month, were false.
The Police LUC Emmerson Kargbo himself has laughed off the newspaper publication as a figment of imagination of the SLPP. He said the move by President Koroma to send a team into Bonthe was ďtimely and helped to save the relationship between the Police and some in the chiefdomĒ. He was quite assertive to hail the role of Dr. Sylvia Blyden in mediations in Bonthe.
Dr. Sylvia Blyden has meanwhile dismissed the personal attacks she has been facing in the media. She said they were a sign that the opposition journalists were running scared and for now, they were inconsequential to her. She pointed out that her trip to Bonthe produced such spectacularly positive results that the opposition was stunned at her ability to manage a crisis right inside their so-called stronghold.She has promised to release an audio recording of the entire Court Barray meeting to local radio stations.
Dr. Blyden has however stated that whilst she did not mind the personal attacks, the attempts to disrupt the national cohesion of Sierra Leone by opposition journalists and their cohorts selling tribal messages will be ďstiffly resisted by instituting seditious and criminal libel court proceedingsĒ.
Awareness Times is reliably informed that plans are already well underway for certain journalists and printing houses to be dragged to court for seditious libel. This, it is believed, will serve deterrent for those stoking unwarranted tribal hate in the country.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.