From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Afsatu Kabba
As Hon. Haja Afsatu Kabba Excels; Oya Sankoh is Busy Exposing Herself
By Sylvia Olayinka Blyden
Feb 15, 2010, 14:10

The Deputy Minister of Fisheries & Marine Resources is Madam Oya Sankoh, an achiever in her own right. As a woman making my own mark in my own sphere, I am always in full support of any woman who makes a positive mark. I admire any woman who navigates this male-dominated world of ours to hold her own in whatever sphere of operations she might be in. I salute all hardworking, productive sisters! This is why my Sierra Leone sister Oya Sankoh had initially commanded my respect but lately, contrary to Minister Afsatu Kabba who has been comporting herself admirably, Oya has been causing me to wonder if she does not belong to that class of ‘amazons’ who bring more shame than glory to their team members. Just look at what she did last week!

Oya made some unsavoury waves last week when Spectator Newspaper and Torchlight Newspaper, carried the publication of an anonymous letter written either by her or on her behalf and signed by a bunch of ‘Concerned Cowards’ only for this to coincide with a shameful interview she granted to a news outlet in which she shames the one who appointed her (President Koroma) by describing her immediate boss to the whole wide world as being "corrupt" without providing a scrap of evidence to back up her allegations against her Boss, the dynamic, result-oriented and focussed Hon. Afsatu Olayinka Kabba.

So, if our Sierra Leonean sister, Oya Sankoh thinks her ill-thought action of exposing President Koroma’s results-producing appointee to ridicule was a positive step, well let me tell her that all she has done is expose her ill-suitability to be appointed by her President. A woman who respects the integrity of President Koroma’s team, to which she belongs, will not go public with wicked lies against Afsatu Kabba, a member of President Koroma’s chosen Team.

Instead, what she should have done, if she respected President Koroma’s trust reposed in them all, was to have brought the issue to the attention of President Koroma and then TRUST him, as Leader of the team, to take action. But by going public with her frustrated tatty-tales against her Boss, Afsatu Kabba, she has only exposed her ill-fitness to be a Team Player.

I, Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, can publicly lambast any member of President Koroma’s team from H.E. the President right down. It is my democratic right to freedom of speech as enshrined in Section 25 of Sierra Leone Constitution and also my sacred duty under Section 11 of same Constitution to highlight the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people. Furthermore, under Sections 30(d), 30(e), 30(k) and the Interpretative Section 37 of Part V of Public Order Act [1965], I find full protection for such exposures and criticisms.

However, unlike journalists’ right to expose and criticise publicly, Madam Oya Sankoh, by being a member of the President’s privileged chosen team, is limited in undertaking such public actions nefarious to the image of the team. Especially when she is making specific but unsubstantiated allegations against a team member who is more senior to her and in the process, by-passing the President’s inherent right to discipline errant members of his team when such complaints get to his attention.

I can only imagine the President’s shock to see the front page of such tabloid last week. It must have been an embarrassing moment for him to see one of his junior appointees calling another of his senior appointees as "corrupt". It is a total breakdown of the chain of command inside the President’s political household and a complete show of disrespect for the President right on the front pages of local tabloids.

It really was an exposure not of Hon. Afsatu Kabba but of Madam Oya Sankoh’s lack of discipline and lack of respect for President Koroma’s leadership. It was a true exposure of Madam Oya Sankoh’s ill-suitability for where she got catapulted to.

Madam Oya Sankoh, all you have done is expose yourself. To paraphrase one of our erudite journalists, you might be on the same ship as Hon. Afsatu Kabba but your actions show you are certainly not on the same deck with Afsatu. She is way above you in every respect possible except age; which latter index should have made you to pause before you gave that unsubstantiated interview.

Meanwhile, from my observations, as should be expected from someone who has no reason not to hold her head up high insofar as reforming the Fishing sector, Hon. Afsatu Kabba is unruffled by the sponsored press war she has been facing of late. And really, she has no reason to be ruffled up because the only person who should be grilled by the general public for lackadaisical results smacking of corruption is Oya Sankoh.

Why do I say Oya Sankoh should be questioned? I insist that Oya Sankoh should be placed in sully light because when Deputy Minister Oya Sankoh acted as Fisheries Minister after her former boss, Minister Moses Kapu fell ill, the current laudable strides and positive upward mobility of that Ministry were not evident but as soon as the dynamic, female super-power Afsatu Kabba took over, we saw Oya Sankoh’s paltry 4 billion leones target rise exponentially to 11 billion leones within just nine months!! Bravo Afsatu! Bravo!! Bravo!!! We are very proud of you.

Not only that, as soon as Afsatu Kabba took over the reigns at Fisheries, the development partners, including the European Union, with their mouth-watering lucrative fish market which Sierra Leone badly needs to enter, have had nothing but praises for the reformation efforts undertaken by this honourable lady, Afsatu Kabba. Same with international watchdogs like the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) who are figuratively clapping not only with their two hands but their two feet also at the positive steps taken by our own Afsatu Kabba of Sierra Leone.

Oya Sankoh, I tell you people all over the world are clapping not only their hands but their two feet and if they had tails, they would also wag them in support of Afsatu Kabba’s efforts to revamp and reform for the general good of all Sierra Leoneans even the ones yet unborn.

Haja Afsatu Kabba, keep your head up high. You have no reason to be flustered. As the Secretary General and the Youth Wing of the ruling APC said during the recent Commissioning of the Youth Buses, you are surely a pride to the entire ruling APC and to us the non-partisan ones in the country.

Finally, can the pro-Oya ‘Concerned APC Elders’ please come out from their cowardly rat-holes and identify themselves to us citizens so we can know them?

If the ‘Concerned Cowards’ are "elders" enough, let them identify themselves publicly so we can debate with them publicly about the merits and demerits of their stance against our great sister, Haja Afsatu Kabba. Some of us social commentators wish to debate with them on the issues raised but we cannot exchange words with anonymous cowards hiding behind masks to spread lies about how the minister’s sons are stealing doors and fighting watchmen. Rubbish!

So, be brave, come out of those rat-holes and face the public with your lies. We dare you.


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