Dr. Sylvia Blyden is a Respected Independent Journalist!
CULLED FROM THE SLPP’s UNITY NOW NEWSPAPER
By B.W. Bockarie (Editor-in-Chief)
Just a fortnight ago, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, the Publisher of the independent Awareness Times newspaper, carried a front page article in which she opined on what she said was an ignorance of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) with respect to important constitutional provisions about how a sitting High Court Judge should be removed from office. SLPP took the strong criticism from Blyden in good faith.
The SLPP is not infallible and we do make mistakes. Whilst we expect our members to quietly bring such mistakes to our attention, we did not blame Dr. Sylvia Blyden for publicly criticising us as she is not a member of our party. As far as the SLPP is concerned, Sylvia Blyden is a well-respected, independent voice speaking on issues affecting the country.
Whilst the SLPP National Executive and General Membership clearly have tremendous respect for Dr. Sylvia Blyden, it is also obvious that we do not always agree with her, nor, she with us. The recent issue of United Nations’ ERSG Michael Schulenburg is an example of one area in which the SLPP clearly disagrees with Dr. Sylvia Blyden.
This brings us now to the recent claim by the Government mouthpiece, We Yone that Sylvia Blyden is a member of the SLPP followed up by the Government releasing a press release in which they imply that Blyden is a member of the SLPP. We have thoroughly searched our records and there is no evidence of Sylvia Blyden ever making an application to be a member of the SLPP nor of her ever paying dues to this party in any shape or form.
It is thus wrong for the Government to say Dr. Sylvia Blyden is a member of the SLPP. As she has clearly stated several times, she is an independent voice in this country and we, in the SLPP, hold her in very high esteem for her independence and courage but she is not a member of the SLPP.
We hope the President Ernest Koroma APC-led Government will take due note of this fact and proceed to issue an apology out to Dr. Sylvia Blyden for misleading the public about her political membership when she is just an independent voice.
Finally, Unity Press wishes to thank Dr. Sylvia Blyden for highlighting to the Public the gross interference of Ernest Koroma’s APC Government into the operations of the SLBC. The Public still remembers how Information Minister I.B. Kargbo threw a public tantrum simply because the SLBC, in their editorial wisdom, realised that the SLPP parliamentarians were talking more sense on the issue of the fibre-optic cable law than the APC Government itself.
As soon as SLBC gave due coverage to SLPP MP’s intelligent input, the SLBC Management was publicly called to order by I.B. Kargbo following which the SLBC now refuses to give due prominence to SLPP Monthly Press Briefings and also only publicised the full length of the recent opening of our office after several days had passed and only after serious doctoring of the event and even then, it was aired during a period that many people were not watching. The Government needs to hands off the SLBC and the entire SLBC Board should be brave enough to publicly tell them to their face to hands-off just like Dr. Sylvia Blyden is now doing as an independent journalist.
Dr. Sylvia O. Blyden is not SLPP
By Rara Avis (SLPP Unity Newspaper)
The latest reference made to the proprietress and publisher of the Awareness Times Newspaper, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden as a member of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party by the misruling APC is gross misrepresentation of her political belongingness.
Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden is not a member of the party since one is considered through registration into any of the categories-Ordinary, Patron, Chief Patron and Grand Chief Patron. Both past and present records of the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party have no ink drop of Dr. Sylvia Blyden’s name.
Cynics quite often misunderstand this woman’s political alignment, a woman that has demonstrated loftiness in independent and impartial reportage. One thing for sure that nobody can take away from her is her controversial stance on issues. Her own way of journalism is quite above yellow practice, as she calls things by their real names, subject to no ‘lay belleism.’ This has made her to be indeed an edge above many practitioners in Sierra Leone. Her juxtaposition and pathological analyses, commentaries and news reports on contemporary issues have often left people wondering as to where she really belongs in politics.
In fact Dr. Blyden is the typical journalist that seeks permanent interest not friends which is indeed is a hall mark of independent media outlet like the Awareness Times she has singularly established and nurtured to an enviable adulthood in the world of journalism.
When therefore insinuations of such are directed at her, one starts to wonder how really people want journalism to be practiced in this country. Dr. Blyden is on record for giving the reading public ground breaking information without caring who it might hurt. What she cares about is the authenticity and the judgment proness of her argument.
Besides, has she not on several occasions lashed at the SLPP with headlines like: SLPP Play Cook Politics; SLPP Mumu Govt; SLPP National Executive Exposes its Ignorance of the Constitution and many others? Can a true SLPP journalist or member castigate his or her party in the above manner? Or is it that the APC does not want to accept the truth. The SLPP, in her usual maturity, has always taken corrective measures when such genuine criticisms are made but on the contrary, the APC would not want to accept. Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden is not a member of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party. LONTA!
Â (Culled from Unity Newspaper)