Prior to winning the last election that saw him returned to State House with a fresh mandate resulting from a landslide election victory, President Ernest Bai Koroma promised a new Agenda for Prosperity.
Within the agenda was a strong emphasis to pay particular attention to gender issues. In keeping true to his promise to reduce the gender gap and position women for important roles in government, the president has expressed the fulfillment of that commitment in a dramatic and interesting appointment to be announced this week, with the outspoken news publisher and social activist, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, as Special Executive Assistant, answerable only to the president at State House, and tasked with the duty of ensuring the President’s objective to stamp out lawlessness in various spheres of the country, is enforced alongside his desire to give justice to all citizens no matter their socio-political beliefs or economic standing.
Newstime Africa has learnt that immediately after he won the last election, the President made ministerial offers to Dr. Blyden, but she politely turned down all offers of Ministerial appointments. Instead, she requested for this position to be created for her at State House as a Special Executive Assistant to the President, with responsibilities to coordinate presidential directives that will ensure the country returns back to the days when citizens had respect for the law, and the common man could be assured of justice, no matter his political persuasion or which part of the country he hailed from.
Sources close to the President have indicated that Dr. Blyden’s new position will carry a Cabinet rank and Cabinet privileges, and that she will sit in Cabinet meetings. Her job description will be to work from State House directly with President Koroma to coordinate and to ensure his directives against lawlessness in the country, and access to justice by the common man, are implemented to the letter. It can be recalled that Blyden was recently at the forefront of protesting against the illegal police detention of some supporters of the opposition SLPP.
Dr. Blyden’s duties will also include taking steps with the appropriate authorities to discourage some of the outrageous lawlessness and rudeness in the country’s local media.
Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden is expected to be carrying out her executive work from her presidential office at State House collaborating especially with the Sierra Leone Police, the new Minister of Information, the new Minister of Internal Affairs, the new Minister of Social Welfare and the current Attorney-General & Justice Minister, the Anti-Corruption Commission, and any other relevant department.
Shortly after President Koroma won the elections, Blyden who operates the country’s largest and most widely read newspaper, disclosed that she was leaving journalism and going into politics. However, she has repeatedly stated that despite the fact that she was entering into politics, she was not going to be a Minister. Despite this, the speculations have however continued that she was going to be named as a Cabinet Minister this week.
Newstime Africa can now confirm from our credible sources that Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden will be named this week as President Koroma’s Special Executive Assistant working at State House, with Cabinet rank and executive powers.
President Ernest Koroma has made “tackling lawlessness” one of the pillars of his second term. All of his speeches delivered during this holiday period have centered around the issue of lawlessness and rudeness in the country.
Our presidential sources tell Newstime Africa that President Koroma currently has “supreme confidence” in the talents and abilities of Dr. Blyden which is why he is going to appoint her to be his point person right next to him at State House in his fight against lawlessness, something that has pervaded Sierra Leone for some twenty years or more.
On the 28th of December last year, Dr Blyden wrote on her Facebook page, the following about certain people she said had held the country to ransom with lawlessness: “We are taking our country back from them… Ee do so bo!”
And to welcome in the New Year on 1st January 2013, she also wrote the following: “May 2013 bring us all what we positively dream of and most of all, may it be the year that Sierra Leone makes the greatest possible strides towards reclaiming her lost glory which was stolen from it.”
It is clear from her Facebook comments that she is all geared up to ensure the President’s mission to restore law and order back to Sierra Leone, comes to fruition.
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