Honourable Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, Officer Of The Order Of The Rokel And Cabinet Minister, Answers Enquiries From Pastor Mohamed Sesay, Editor Of The Comment Newspaper And Releases Four Government Documents To Him Under The Right To Access Information Act No. 2 Of 2013 - Being An Act To Provide For The Disclosure Of Information Held By Public Authorities In The Republic Of Sierra Leone.
Sunday August 28th 2016.
To Pastor Mohamed Sesay
The Comment Newspaper.
Dear Editor Sesay,
I have received your request for information directed to me under the Right to Access Information Act. First of all, I want you to know that this APC-led Government is very transparent and we do not hesitate to release documents to citizens.
Now, I am quite amused to an extent I burst out laughing when you point out that some people, (not you as you are more intelligent), want to compare leaking of that infamous ‘mammy cuss’ tape to the current case of my own official release of a recording that informs my staff and other citizens of corruption in my ministry I am heading; the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender & Children’s Affairs (MSWGCA).
There is a difference between leaking and officially releasing. Learn it.
You see, I did not hide behind someone to leak that audio.
Rather, I boldly and officially released the audio using my real identity and my Cabinet Minister position as the source of the released recording. I am the official source.
Furthermore, I don’t need permission from anyone to expose corruption to the general public. Under the Zero Tolerance policy of His Excellency’s APC-led government, we announce and reveal corruption as it happens. We don’t hide it. We have ZERO TOLERANCE for corruption. That is the APC way.
We don’t hide and protect thieves when we catch them. That is why, unlike during the SLPP days, we currently allow the public to immediately know the contents of Audit reports as the Auditor-General lays them in Parliament - Instantly they are laid, instantly they are released on Internet - even before His Excellency the President lays eyes on them. We are instantly transparent in the APC led government.
So, I am VERY PROUD of myself for recording the voice of disgraced Permanent Secretary Bockarie Momo Foh as he showcased his criminality live. I have absolutely no pity for him. Not even an iota of pity. This is a man who as Permanent Secretary and Head of Administration of MSWGCA, on July 28th 2016, abruptly shut his office, locked away all essential documents (he hid everything!!!), switched off his phones and went on one month ‘vacation’ without any handing-over note to his deputy (Deputy Secretary). All done just so as to frustrate my leadership of the Ministry.
Mr. Bockarie Foh and those persons backing him, thought the ministry will crumble, grind to a halt and crash so Civil Servants will use that failure to intimidate others that no APC Minister can work unless he/she succumbs to a rotten and corrupt civil service.
But Papa God na wonderful God. Look who has crumbled and crashed?
NA DEN CUP FULL
Please see the accompanying four (4) government documents which I am now officially releasing as requested by you, under the Right to Access Information act. These documents speak for themselves as to what was happening in that ministry. Quite shameful but totally true. It reached a point where I was forced to be running the ministry this August month with my personal funds.
Yes, it is unbelievable but true that in this month of August as we at MSWGCA worked towards the all-critical presentation of Sierra Leone Government Responses for Child Rights Committee in Geneva next month, and as we were poised to roll out the registration and verification of Ebola Survivors nationwide, Permanent Secretary Bockarie Foh wickedly shut down the ministry’s administrative operations. Similarly, in clear connivance with the PS, the Ministry’s Chief Accountant Mrs. Mariatu Harding, shut her office and refused to work for weeks now saying she is unwell. She handed her office keys to a junior clerk Abdul Gegbai who was already retired since March this year. Mr. Gegbai in turn was never to be seen at the office.
These civil servants all simply decided to ground the administration and finances of MSWCGA. It has been an interesting experience for me.
However, I calmly kept my cool, forwarded the seriousness of the matter to relevant higher authorities and continued to keep my ministry operational with my personal funds.
Yes, over 50 million leones (I repeat, 50 million leones) from my personal funds is what has kept critical activities at MSWGCA operating as the Permanent Secretary and the Chief Accountant just refused to cooperate even in the midst of afore-mentioned very critical needs. Imagine if I was a Cabinet Minister who did not have such amounts in my personal account? The ministry would have simply grounded to a halt.
The relevant authorities all know this that I am revealing to you today upon your request.
On 16th August 2016, the Government’s Accountant-General Mr. Kebbe Korouma, who was on holidays in London, upon receiving my highly distressed call on him to step in, was shell-shocked over the phone at what I was explaining to him.
Right there from London, the Accountant General had to order a fact-finding mission the next morning at 8am led by a senior deputy accountant general Mr. Kainwo to go and confirm the amazing facts that it was indeed the Minister Hon. Dr. Sylvia Blyden, who was now forced to be singlehandedly running a whole government ministry from her personal funds to the tune of millions and millions of leones.
The confirmed report with documentary evidence is on the desk of the Accountant General who has now returned to Freetown and has promised to be at the ministry first thing tomorrow.
However, despite the Accountant General’s intervention, the remote control to frustrate me to resign my position, continued unabated. This, you can see, from one of the attached documents dated 17th August 2016, which was given to me in the same evening of the day Mr. Kainwo led the fact finding exercise. This document is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many, many more evidence of the frustrating obstacles that continued to be thrown in my way. It was clear, very clear, that what certain powerful persons needed was for me to be frustrated to extent of tendering my resignation from the ministry.
It all sounds amazing but it is all true. In the last two months since I reported the AFCOM conspiracy, I have seriously been subjected to very humiliating and frustrating exercises to molest me and subdue my enthusiasm to serve this country and the President. To my mind, it was all being done so that I will give up and resign. But I decided to stand my ground - even in the face of lack of support from where I needed it the most.
So on this Sunday, I have nothing but Thanks & Praises to my God Almighty for the wonderful display of his assurance in Psalm 46:10 of the Holy Bible.
Be Still and Know that I am God.
I am also SUPER PROUD of myself for letting the World know of the corruption by releasing the audio in my official capacity as the Cabinet Minister - after I had first informed both His Excellency the President and the Honourable Attorney General.
I don’t see anything that I have done wrong. People are just angry that indeed the APC is proving to be a transparent regime - at least in the Social Welfare, Gender & Children’s Affairs sector under my patriotic and selfless leadership of that sector.
I am a very proud patriot with no skeleton in my cupboard. I have always, always, always served my country with great and passionate devotion and dedication which is why I have been severally identified for high honour by two Heads of States in person of late President Alhaji Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah who gave me an high National Honour of Officer of the Order of the Rokel at tender age of 35 years and now by my President His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma who has honoured me now twice by twice appointing me to high offices; for which HONOUR I will remain grateful to him forever.
I am a patriot. A very proud one too.
As we say in our local parlance, Tiffman na for catch am en expose am. When you ketch arata, na for wap am.
If anyone knows I am involved in any corrupt practise in my duties as a Cabinet Minister, please take my report to Anti Corruption Commission or to Police or record me in the act of corruption and release it! Until then, any thief who crosses my path at social welfare ministry, will get thumped.
Yes, I do note that some have pointed out that the arrested Permanent Secretary is the younger brother of the Honourable Vice President. I can here confirm that the VP has personally told me of his displeasure with the way his younger brother was behaving when I verbally reported to the VP; not once, not twice but three times now! To an extent it was the Hon. VP who first made me be aware of what are ‘flimsy files’ when the VP expressed disappointment to learn the PS had never been following the flimsy file system that is so important in civil service administration. The Honourable VP is fully aware of my frustrations with his brother’s administration of MSWGCA and I have not found our Honourable VP to be wanting at all in that direction. Infact, to my personal knowledge, the VP one time even asked the number two man in civil service (Secretary to VP Dr. Julius Sandy), to caution his brother one day when I made a serious verbal complaint to the VP. I therefore urge people to totally separate the two men in this saga. Mr. Momo Bockarie Foh was arrested by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) in his capacity as an errant Permanent Secretary caught in corrupt acts. He was not arrested as the brother of the Vice President. Let’s maintain the clear distinction please.
I want to end with a reiteration that last week’s miraculous events of such a divine intervention in exposure of Bockarie Foh, Mariatu Harding and Abdul Gegbai, have only strengthened my Christian Faith. I cannot stop praising my God. Even though I got malaria flu on Thursday and I had to rest, I am still singing praises of my God from my sick bed. Oh what a wonderful God I serve!
What a mighty God we serve
What a mighty God we serve
Angels bow before Him
Heaven and earth adore Him
What a mighty God we serve!!!!!
So Editor Sesay of The Comment newspaper, you can quote me and re-share this message alongside the four government documents I am releasing to you upon your request. They are being given to you under your constitutional rights as a citizen in this our democratic republic.
Hon. Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden.
Minister of Social Welfare, Gender & Children’s Affairs.
Sunday 28th December 2016.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.