From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

COMMENTS & OPINIONS
Awareness Times is Awareness Times and SLPP is SLPP
By Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden
Jun 16, 2010, 17:14

For quite some time now, this presshouse has made it very clear that it is not an extension of the country’s main opposition party, the grand Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP). We have been in sympathy with the SLPP and we continue to sympathise with a lot of the plights the party faces as an entity and the ordinary members face on individual basis; such as the plight of the now-neglected March 16 2009 rape victims. However, Awareness Times is not synonymous with the SLPP.

Our newspaper’s support for Francess Marke’s FBC aspirations was spurred by my desire for another woman to be able to achieve a feat in this country that I am so far the only woman to have achieved:- to beat male aspirants and become popularly elected as a University Students’ President. Miss Francess Marke, as of last night when I spoke to her, had never set eyes on John Benjamin in person nor has she ever spoken to him in her entire life. However, as her upcoming Written Complaint to the IMC will soon show, she was falsely labelled as having been sponsored by the SLPP because it suited her detractors to attribute her enormous popularity on campus to some external national political support. It was untrue. Similarly, it is untrue that Awareness Times’ editorial positions represent the opinions of the SLPP.

As is now well known, this newspaper has little confidence in the ability of the UN’s ERSG Schulenburg to build upon the peace this country needs but in the words of the SLPP through their Chairman John Benjamin, Mr. Schulenburg is to be thanked for "his fortitude, serenity and valor in implementing the mandate of the United Nations". At Awareness Times, we could not disagree more with Mr. Benjamin!!

Similarly, we could not disagree more with the current SLPP’s Executive’s repeated position against the upcoming Inquest which is why, over the past few weeks, we have carefully distanced ourselves from what we consider to be a Highly Misguided position by an otherwise matured political party like SLPP.

So, if anyone, including the cowardly pseudonym of ‘Mustapha Abu-Kpaka’, had any doubts, please continue to trust us that the Awareness Times is distinct from the SLPP. We surely sympathise with SLPP and plight of their ordinary members but we do not speak for the SLPP. We are distinct.

Finally, we have absolutely no 2012 Presidential aspirant we are endorsing as a newspaper. Neither do I have any personal favourite amongst SLPP aspirants. Lawyer Alpha Timbo, like all the other candidates, is free to use any of my staff reporters like Bampia Bundu, to cover campaign activities. It should not be translated into endorsement for Alpha Timbo. I have not endorsed Alpha Timbo nor have I endorsed any APC, PMDC or SLPP aspirant and neither has Awareness Times newspaper got any aspirant we favour.

The SLPP is the SLPP and the Awareness Times is the Awareness Times. Two separate distinct entities.



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