The drama of politics is being played to its fullest in Sierra Leone and there is never one dull moment.
Former Minister of Social Welfare , Gender and Children’s Affairs , Dr. Sylvia Blyden , who is also a newspaper publisher and political activist, has called on former President Ernest Koroma and present crop of opposition All People’s Congress ( APC ) leaders to relinquish their posts when their term expires in October and make way for a more vibrant party leadership.
Dr. Blyden, whose call has stunned the rank and file of the APC wrote at Facebook “Let us also thank Hon. Minkailu Mansaray, Ambassador Osman Yansaneh and others for their services but we now need a transparent, modern APC team to restore Sierra Leone’s lofty democratic credentials.”
Dr. Blyden went on “I call on all APC Comrades to distance themselves from Adebayo’s call to remove Maada Bio/SLPP unconstitutionally. “
“Adebayo’s call is dangerously futile and fails to understand that Ernest Koroma’s current lack of leadership is a problem. “
“We need an effective Opposition who can use democratic tools to ensure the removal of the SLPP from governance through democratic means. The current APC team cannot do it because of blackmail, etc.“We need an effective Opposition who can use democratic tools to ensure removal of SLPP through due process. The current APC team cannot do it because of blackmail, etc. Join me to thank EBK Team for past services but they must go. ”
Sylvia Blyden produced an audio to strengthen her call and this audio has gone viral in the social media. She said that “A lot of things are happening in the country because we lack an effective opposition”, She complained that she and others were in jail but there was nobody to speak for them because the party seems to be under blackmail.
Join me to thank EBK’s Team for past services but they must GO!”
Please also listen to my audio recording explaining why I (Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden – OOR) believe that Dr Ernest Bai Koroma must go:Audio Player00:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.
Dr. Blyden’s call has however stirred a fierce response from supporters of former President Koroma . One of them, Mr. Unisa Thorlu Conteh of Mary land , USA, publicly released a statement in which he condemned Sylvia Blyden for making such a call.
Thorlu’s article is titled : SYLVIA BLYDEN MUST GO FOR GOOD IF THE APC IS SERIOUS ABOUT WINNING THE 2023 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
Thorlu wrote : “Sylvia are you normal? But it is not surprising to some of us that have known you for the longest time because your name is synonymous to rancor and chaos. You’ve said a lot of things about EBK back in the days when the APC was in opposition prior to the 2007 elections, and during the early presidency of EBK, but EBK paid you no attention, because you’re just a mere attention seeker, and EBK went on to carved an office for you and make you a Special Assistant to the President (SEA) at State House, and it was the involvement of this other two gentlemen Pa Yansaneh and Minkailu Mansaray that pleaded for you to get yourself around the presidency. “
Thorlu further asserted : “We are urging you to come clean and offer an apology to the APC party leadership and Sierra Leoneans for your deception style of politics. Because you always wade into rough and unknown waters, you have to take responsibility.”
An obviously angry Thorlu went on : “Furthermore, you ignorantly said Bio is not the problem, but EBK, how can EBK be the problem and leaves out the president of the nation, who happens to be Julius Maada Bio? With all the killings, the high spate of human rights violations against innocent citizens of the republic, you don’t see anything wrong with the leadership of Bio to be removed but EBK who is just an opposition leader serving his constitutional mandate? You don’t see reason to removed Bio that acted in a junta style leadership by removing over 10 constitutional elected members of parliament and beat them up in the well of parliament, but you’ve problem in seeing EBK as the APC chairman and leader and calling for his removal without respecting the fact that he is holding to that position constitutionally. You, also, ignorantly inferred that removing Bio is a constitutional problem besides elections, and failed to grasp the simple facts EBK and the rest of the current crop of APC leadership that you’re calling for their exit are constitutionally endorsed to serve in those various leadership positions. Your political overzealousness is making you look more like a social media comic relief toy.”
Before this new development in the APC, fierce rivals the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) had gone on and changed their constitution to make President Maada Bio the leader of the party. The constitutional change means that the positions of Party ;eader and Deputy are no longer separate. Vice-President Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh is now the Deputy Leader of the SLPP.
What is contradictory about this action by the SLPP is that it was the same SLPP that bitterly opposed the APC plan to make President Koroma life-time chairman. Now, they have given President Bio the tools to convert himself into a Chairman of the SLPP for life.
“In keeping with the changing dynamics of the democratic landscape of the world in general and Sierra Leone in particular, the Sierra Leone People’s Party saw a compelling need to amend its 1995 constitution, without any breach of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.
“Consistent with the statutory provisions of the 1991 Sierra Leone constitution vis-a-vis Section 35 subsection 2, on the 8th of December 2018, the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party, mandated the National Executive to set up a committee that was specifically tasked with the responsibility of reviewing 1995 SLPP Constitution as amended.
“On the 29th June 2019 at the Wizard Hall in Bo city, a Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) was empanelled after approval by the NEC and mandated to draft a new constitution for the SLPP.
“After weeks of CRC meetings, consultations and brainstorming, on the 17th August 2019, the newly drafted constitution was presented to the NEC for onward presentation to all regional, district and branch members of the party for their input and recommendations.
“This wide ranging exercise was for a 90 day period in order to give all branches an opportunity of owning the process and being contributors to the new SLPP constitution.
“At the elapse of the 90 days consultation period, on the 28th November, NEC was convened with the purpose of setting a date for a National Party Conference at which meeting the new draft constitution was to be ratified and approved and subsequently forwarded to the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC). This is consistent with Section 24 subsections 1 and 2 of the Political Parties Act of 2002.
“On the 6th 7th and 8th December 2019, at the Catco International Hall in Freetown, the National Delegates of the party unanimously approved and ratified the new draft constitution and directed the National Executive to present it to the PPRC for it to be published in the National Gazette.
“In March 2020, the new draft constitution was presented to the PPRC for publication in the National Gazette as per law required, and on the 6th of March 2020 it was duly published by the PPRC with the general public invited to raise objections and concerns.
“Five objections were made by the public to the PPRC and they were communicated to the party for response. The party duly responded to the objections and submitted it to the PPRC.
“By a ruling dated 17th July 2020, the PPRC directed the party to amend some provisions of the draft constitution and submit the amended version to it for publication, and to make way for it to come into force after five working days. On the 7th August 2020, the final amended version of the SLPP constitution, as per the directives of the PPRC was presented for publication, and on the 11th August 2020, the final draft was published by the PPRC.
“Accordingly, on Wednesday 19th August 2020, the new constitution would officially come into force as the guiding document of the SLPP, after fulfilling all provisions of the 1991 Sierra Leone Constitution, the Political Parties Registration Act of 2002, and the SLPP 1995 Constitution as amended.
“The new constitution of the SLPP has duly approved His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio as the Leader of the party, and Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh as Deputy Leader.
“In keeping in line with democratic and statutory regulations, the SLPP has clearly raised the bar for democratic plurality and practice in the national body politic. As the oldest surviving ruling party in West Africa, this latest exercise has set the pace for a proper and effective democratic practice in the Republic of Sierra Leone.
“Signed: Umaru Napoleon Koroma, Secretary General.”