Special Executive Assistant (SEA) to H.E. the President at State House, has said in her view, the 1965 Public Order Act is “a saving grace for post conflict Sierra Leone which, on no account is to be expunged any time soon”. Dr. Sylvia Blyden was reacting to aired threats from journalist David Tam Baryoh that his lawyers were preparing papers under the said Act against her.
“I have always maintained the Public Order Act of 1965 is an excellent law for post-conflict Sierra Leone. Not only is it a deterrent against seditious and defamatory libel by criminal minds like Tam Baryoh but it has strong safeguards within it that ensures protection from its abuse,” Dr. Blyden said.
SEA said she currently enjoys a “direct executive mandate from the President”, to use my skills and abilities to “counter all real or potential threats to reputation of the Sierra Leone government whether short-term or long-term”. One such attack on the reputation of the government by Tam BaryohÂ with a now-infamous “wheel nuts tale” was thus repelled.
Dr. Blyden explained of how, based on her executive office, she could get a stay against any frivolous and vexatious lawsuit like the one from Tam Baryoh.
However, she smilingly said she would eagerly want “any such foolish matter filed by any foolish lawyerr” to proceed unhindered so it could serve as “a textbook case of just how perfect and ideal the criminal libel laws of the Public Order Act, really are for this our very beautiful country”.
“I am very much hopeful and infact, I have been praying so hard that indeed Tam Baryoh has lawyers who are ignorant enough of the provisions of the 1965Public Order Act to try to institute such a lawsuit against me. It will be an opportunity for the whole world to see the many safeguards within the Public Order Act of 1965 especially those highlighted under Part V, Section 30,” Dr. Blyden said, adding, “By the time the stupid case will end and Tam Baryoh forced to pay for wasting the court’s time, the whole country would have now learnt of just how perfect the Public Order Act really is for Sierra Leone at this point in time. Everyone would then agree with me that the Public Order Act of 1965 is truly an excellent piece of legislature for us Sierra Leoneans”.
Tam Baryoh made the threat against the President’s SEA during an exclusive interview with a popular STAR RADIO on Friday 21st February 2014.
Are these Criminals Afraid of Aruna Turay?
By Aruna Turay (Tel: 077-772001) - First Published Feb 3rd, 2014 and reproduced by popular demand
When SLPP or APC politicians need interviews by Awareness Times, they do not call up Sylvia Blyden but speak to Aruna Turay. When Momoh Konte recently took Heads of media houses to meet with President Koroma in Kabala, the invitation for Awareness Times was not extended to Sylvia Blyden but to Aruna Turay, the head of the editorial team. It was I, Aruna Turay, who met with our beloved President on behalf of Awareness Times just as Sorie Fofana went there on behalf of Global Times. However, Sorie Fofana and his political, blackmailing criminals calling themselves journalists will ignore that Dr. Sylvia Blyden has for the past one year now, left her day-to-day duties at Awareness Times to work at State House. Hired hands like Sorie Fofana & David Tam Baryoh will attack Dr. Blyden whenever this paper contains articles of national interest. Instead of taking on Aruna Turay, who is responsible for this paper, Sorie Fofana & Co. will jump over me and pick on Dr. Blyden as if they are hired by unseen hands to attack Blyden. Or are they afraid of Aruna? Are these criminals afraid of Aruna Turay? Sorie Fofana and David Tam Baryoh, please see this short comment as a warning for you fellows to desist. I, Aruna Turay, will not reserve reaction if you persist! Finally, looking at politics of wanting to separate Dr. Sylvia Blyden from President Koroma at State House, the reasons are not hard to fathom. If Blyden leaves State House, who benefits and who loses? The answer to those questions are behind the regular ‘storms in teacups’. For years now, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden has easily been amongst top most popular women in Sierra Leone. She has instant name recognition. She commands great influence within a significant chunk of public opinion, nationwide and internationally. Her high intellect is virtually un-matched. All these are huge assets where it matters - up at State House.
APC-led Gov’t MOD Warns about Incitement of Sojas
First Published Feb 6th, 2014 and reproduced by popular demand
It is exactly how they built up resentment in theÂ nation prior to NPRC successfully overthrowing the last APC government of Joseph Saidu Momoh. Whilst President Momoh, with all due respects, stupidly watched from State House under belief he was allowing freedom of speech, so-called journalists were the agents who were busy inciting soldiers & citizens. The ground was thus very fertile for acceptance of military overthrow when it did occur since no effort had been done to counter lies. This time, a foresighted President Ernest Koroma is NOT prepared for History to repeat. His Ministry of Defence(MOD) has fired an open letter to the press.
MINISTRY OF DEFENCE, TOWER HILL, FREETOWN, Cell Phone: 076616457/033441279
Dear Members of the Press,
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has observed with utter dismay that for the past few months its activities have been unnecessarily under constant media spotlight. Both the electronic and print media have been incessantly engaged in broadcasting or publishing damning reports on the activities of this Ministry, particular financial issues, with gross impunity disregarding the repercussions of such action on state security.
For a recap on issues reported:
1. On the Monologue Programme of 12th October 2013, the Presenter claimed to have received a call from someone in Somalia complaining about neglect of their welfare at the theatre of operations, the fraudulent deduction of USD 200 from their allowances by MoD/RSLAF authorities and payment of inducement to go on peacekeeping mission. Even though frantic effort was made to clear the air on these issues; the Presenter already had a fixed mindset and therefore remained unconvinced. As if that was not enough, the Voice Newspaper of 17th November 2013 again alluded to the same broadcast and insisted that indeed there is corruption in the selection process for participation on peacekeeping. We insist that our selection process is free and fair, and that the USD 200 deduction from individual soldiers allowances is legal and not peculiar to just the Sierra Leone Contingent.
2. On a certain date in December 2013, an article captioned "Defence Spokesman Misleads The Populace" appeared on the Informant Newspaper. As a gross manifestation of the motive behind this piece, the writer initially veered off the headlined issue and started lambasting his fellow journalists for heaping praises on Ministers including the Minister of Defence, who for him, has not done anything much to deserve such accolades and that his colleagues were only displaying cheap journalism with the expressed aim of attracting incentives. Even when the writer eventually came back to the right subject, he only succeeded in displaying gross ignorance by still insisting that administration in the military is expected to be as democratic as any civilian organization. I wouldn't want to belabor myself on this issue but would rather encourage this writer to do a research on "The Unique Nature of Military Service" and read himself into what the Confederation of British Service and Ex-Servicemen Organization (COBSEO) says about this.
3. On the Monologue Programme of 11th January 2014, an unverified report was again aired bordering on the Medical Screening of soldiers currently in training at the Peace Mission Training Centre at Hastings to relieve our troops in Somalia by the middle of this year. The Presenter claimed that the screening exercise was fraudulently outsourced to Dr Walid's Clinic and Choithram Hospitals for Two Hundred Million Leones (Le 200M) rather than allowing the 34 Military Hospital to conduct the exercise for Thirty Million Leones (Le 30M). The Presenter harped on the point that he contacted me and I refused to provide explanation. If he did not have an ulterior motive, why would he contact me at 6pm on a Saturday to grant him an interview at 9pm? Furthermore, what was the urgency in broadcasting such an outrageously false report without first ensuring that it was thoroughly verified? The fact of this matter is that the 34 Military Hospital does not have the full capacity to conduct the medical screening. When they did it last year for troops currently in Somalia, they had to co-opt College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences and the reagents were procured at a very huge cost. When an attempt was made this year again for the screening to be done at the 34 Hospital, it was discovered through wide market survey that the cost of reagents this year has even tripled to the tune of about Two Hundred and Seventy Million Leones (Le 270M) on the average. Thus, a bidding process was instituted for the conduct of the entire screening; but still the price quotations of the bidders were too outrageous. We eventually got Dr Walid's Clinic which opted to do the entire screening exercise, including the cost of reagents, at a fee of about Two Hundred and Thirty Million Leones (Le 230M). You tell us what you would do in this case.
4. On 18th January 2014, the Presenter of the notorious Monologue Programme once again claimed that authorities at the MoD have fraudulently withdrawn the sum of Five Hundred Million Leones (Le 500M) from the Peacekeeping Account at the Union Trust Bank without any justification for its purpose. This emanated from an interview with the Deputy Auditor-General of the Audit Service Sierra Leone that same night in which this Presenter failed in his frantic effort to lure him into admitting that no proper auditing is done on MoD Peacekeeping Account. He further went on to insinuate that the coup incident of 1992 was as a result of similar reasons. This is absolutely dangerous. In a similar story, the Standard Times Newspaper on 24th and 28th January 2014, published falsely alarming articles claiming of a withdrawal of One Hundred and Fifty Thousand US Dollars (USD 150,000), contrary to Le 500M earlier stated by the Monologue Programmme. I am pretty sure the listenership and readership of these media houses may have been left to wonder who is actually saying the truth. Infact, the Presenter of Monologue does not even know that there is no Peacekeeping Account that is operated in Leones; both the Darfur and Somalia Missions Accounts are in US Dollars. Also, as claimed by the writer on the Standard Times Newspaper, as of 28th January none of these two accounts is currently below USD 100,000 balance; and all withdrawals so far from those accounts are for genuine reasons and not personal gains. If anyone is challenging this and has any evidence to the contrary, we would encourage him or her to report to the Anti-Corruption Commission. Furthermore, this writer claimed that the Chief of Defence Staff denied having knowledge of any withdrawals when he was never contacted by anyone. This is certainly libelous.
The above extracts clearly indicate a new and deliberate attempt by the media to unnecessarily target the MoD and the Minister of Defence in particular. I wish to stress that the MoD is unique from all other Government Ministries; in that, it is synonymous to the RSLAF. Thus any malicious machinations targeted at the MoD also affect the entire RSLAF and may have the tendency to incite soldiers, thereby undermining state security. The media in this country is no stranger to the dangerous consequences when soldiers decide to go on the rampage. The media is expected to inform rather than misinform people; the aim should not be to create unnecessary sensation. Therefore, every media practitioner is expected to cross-check information before it is published or aired, rather than be in a rush to capture attention through falsehood. Not everything about the military is safe for publishing or broadcasting especially issues that have the potential to adversely affect state security. There are surely other corrective measures worth taking to achieve the desired results. The mind is like a farm; when it is used well you are sure of harvesting well.
I wish to also stress that this Ministry has surely not been performing badly in terms of compliance with extant financial management policies. Therefore, we are not averse to any probing by any individual including the media, but we urge you to be ethical in the practice of your noble profession and desist from targeting individuals at the detriment of state security. Our doors are always wide open if you want to cross-check any information. Most times telephone conversations do not provide all the answers.
This piece of writing is not an attempt to open a pen battle with the Press but rather to serve as a word of caution to all patriotic media practitioners in the interest of the state. It is my fervent hope that this will be accepted in good faith.
Thanks for your understanding.
Director of Defence Public Relations and Information
Like Charles Taylor; Like Tam Baryoh
First Published on Friday 21st February 2014 - Reproduced today
In August 2003, as he fled Liberia, Charles Taylor told his fellow Liberians, “God willing, I will be back”. The criminal never went back to Liberia and will instead die in a prison in Britain. Another criminally minded person, David Tam Baryoh was recently quoted in newspaper of his good friend Edward Marah as having headed out of Sierra Leone with a similar Charles Taylor kind of message that went thus: “tell fellow Sierra Leoneans I will be back. God will certainly prevail!”
This newspaper can now reveal that Tam Baryoh did not head out of Sierra Leone as he wanted people to initially believe. Tam Baryoh has been keeping his heels cool right inside this country at a certain location believed by some to be Sinkunia in Koinadugu district. He kept hidden and silent as he gauged public reaction to his now-infamous wheel nuts tale. Realising the public was not buying into his “wheel nuts story” and expected sympathy for his ‘wheel nuts plight’ was not forthcoming, Tam Baryoh has resurfaced and is expected to have radio interview out at 8am today (Feb 21st) with a face saving version of what has happened to Monologue.
Tam Baryoh Engages on KorKor Journalism
First Published on March 4th 2014
In almost all cultures of Sierra Leone, is the story of the KORKOR bird (shown in the photo). This is an owlish bird believed to be deployed during witchcraft in night time. A KORKOR will insidiously kill its prey (usually a young child) by mystically sucking the life blood from it over a period of time; during which time, the child appears well but is really losing its life through the insidious sucking of its blood.
Slowly but surely, in the spirit world, KORKOR insidiously sucks out the life-sustaining blood of
the victim without the physical world realising
that the victim was slowly losing its life-blood. When the KORKOR would have finished sucking all the victim’s life blood in the spiritual world, the child would one morning in real physical world, just suddenly die; leaving onlookers perplexed as to what killed the child that had seemed to be so healthy to them.
Special Executive Assistant (SEA) to President Koroma at State House, Dr. Sylvia Blyden, has in an exclusive chat with this newspaper, described the popular Monologue programme hosted by David Tam Baryoh as practising KORKOR Journalism against the APC-led government. She was explaining why the government was no longer complacent to sit and watch the programme air untruths to an unsuspecting public but was now following legal pathways of redress.
It can be recalled the government’s Ministry of Defence dragged Tam Baryoh to the Independent Media Commission (IMC) over Tam Baryoh’s insidious incitement of the military personnel and general public against the APC-led government. In a bid to ostensibly escape appearing in front of the IMC, Tam Baryoh came up with a scheme to present himself as being persecuted.
The scheme saw him deploy into the international public domain an untrue report that indicated he ran away for his life after attempt was supposedly made to involve him in a vehicular accident through security operatives removing his vehicle’s wheel nuts that caused two of his tires to fly off his vehicle that was moving at high speed.
Within an hour of the allegation against the governance system, being dumped on international social media, the SEA to the President had carefully poked holes in the report thus subjecting Tam Baryoh’s claims to total ridicule. Realising that his allegations against the government had been debunked and he was not getting any public sympathy out of his stupid tale of wheel nuts, Tam Baryoh suddenly re-appeared with no cause for alarm and started his broadcast despite his claims of his life being under “security threat”.
“He was the only one beating his drums and he was the only one dancing to his drums. Even some of his strongest fans were embarrassed for him over the extent of lies he deployed in a bid to blackmail the government to the world,” Dr. Blyden pointed out adding “The man has openly acknowledged that as far as he was concerned, the stupid wheel nuts allegation in THE INFORMANT newspaper was correct. So since he is a journalist of many years, where is the evidence? Where are the photographs of the scene at Wilkinson Road where Tam Baryoh’s two tires flew off his car? Where are the marks on that tarred road where the wheel hub grinds the road? He was traveling at such high speed of 50mph and no marks were grinded by heavy metal wheel hubs on the tar?”
“David Tam Baryoh is just criminally-minded but his blackmailing tactics were resisted by us patriots and we will continue to resist them. Evil can only thrive when good people do nothing. Enough is enough of his KORKOR journalism to destroy the image of this country & government!” the SEA to the President asserted to Awareness Times.
“If we don’t stem insidious lies sent out to destroy image of APC government; done like how KORKOR insidiously kills at night, it will create a seditious situation against current Sierra Leone government. People will wonder why a government that had seemed to be doing so well, could just suddenly fail and die like a victim of a KORKOR,” Dr. Sylvia Blyden, the SEA, ended.Â
Tam Baryoh runs away from IMC leaving Fake Tale of Wheel Nuts as he promises he will be back
Have you read Tam Baryoh's wheel nuts tale? (See below) My foot! Look at these amateurs and blackmailing "journalists" trying to taint our country's image?
Tam Baryoh, God nor day sleep that is why your credibility is gone and no serious person respects you in this country anymore. Will any sane man take a microphone and talk for 7 hours non stop? You finally realised you are just a laughing stock so your only option remaining was to hang your head and flee our midst, in shame. Pity you could not resist undermining your credibility even further with this limp tale about mystery operatives at unidentified security location pulling off your wheel nuts and making your two tyres fly off AT THE SAME TIME (Hmmmmm!!!) as you drove at 50 miles per hour IN CENTRAL FREETOWN OF ALL PLACES (50mph in traffic congested Central Freetown and the wheels without nuts stayed on the vehicle until you got to Wilkinson Rd???- Another Hmmmmm!!!) Ha ha ha.
Here's my take on your imaginative tales. I suspect little green aliens landed in a spaceship from Planet Mars and yanked off your wheel nuts and took them off to Planet Jupiter for laboratory tests. Ha ha ha. Bo, commot before we with you sad, sad, lie-lie tale of wheel nuts.! Random Public Survey my foot!
@Sylvia Blyden on Facebook (FEBRUARY 2014)
MONOLOGUE CLOSES DOWN...For security reasons
by Edward Marah (editor of The Informant paper - FEBRUARY 2014)
The Producer of popular radio programme- MONOLOGUE, Mr. Silas Gbandia has told The Informant that the weekly programme might now be reduced to a fortnightly recorded one, considering what he refers to as, “security and intemperate actions of politicians towards certain journalists in the country.” Already, news abound in Freetown that the Presenter of the weekly popular Good Governance programme, Dr. David Tam-Baryoh, has left the country for a short while. Over the last two months, several journalists have been invited to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), some detained for no professional but politically-motivated reasons. Dr. Baryoh being one of such detainees. According to Mr. Gbandia, “we have had reasons to be concerned for the safety and security of Dr. David Tam-Baryoh and I can confirm to you that such concerns have led to the need and demand from the Inspector-General of Police, for an armed security guard for his person; Police services which will be paid for by Dr. Baryoh like any citizen, foreigner or Lebanese merchant procuring Police security services in this country. We are yet to hear from the authorities.” Last Friday, Dr. Baryoh was driving on Wilkinson Road in Freetown after having his vehicle parked at a public place closer to a security outfit in central of town. The incident which he refused to narrate in detail at the moment could have ended his life when two of his wheels dispatched off the vehicle with no wheel nuts on them as he drove at 50mph. “Some person(s) may have removed his wheel nuts, leaving him to chance on the highway,” said Silas.
Two weeks ago, the Defence Minister of Sierra Leone, Paolo Conteh accused Philip Neville and Baryoh of inciting the Military by publishing and airing respectively, several concerns of service personnel in Somalia and Darfur. After issuing a Press Statement condemning several newspapers for publishing same, the Defence Minister according to Baryoh, was advised to lodge a complaint against the ‘Monologue’ programme at the Independent Media Commission (IMC). For Baryoh, “it is not difficult to know who they want.”
When contacted two days ago on his cellular phone as he headed out of town, Dr. Tam-Baryoh only said, “tell fellow Sierra Leoneans I will be back. God will certainly prevail!” There was no programme last Saturday and it is not known how long the shutdown will continue. The Informant is yet to conduct a random sample survey regards how the public will react to this news.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
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