SIERRA LEONE IS BIGGER THAN MY PERSONAL RIGHTS & FREEDOMS
This is an important message. It can be recalled that a little over a year ago when His Excellency the President Dr. Julius Maada Bio tried to proclaim a State Of Emergency on “Rape”, it was *nobody else but me,* Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden OOR, who swiftly *led the advocacy process* to block him and his governing SLPP from doing so. I was fierce and unrelenting in doing so! I effectively won that media and advocacy battle against the powerful President, *virtually all on my own* as our APC Parliamentary Leaders had already succumbed – prior to me lacing them with social media pepper-spray!🙂😉
NOW, I singlehandedly did it last year because I did not trust our president’s penchant, exhibited ‘collectively’ in the nineties under NPRC military junta, to abuse political authority when the constitution was abeyed.
THEREFORE, considering my singular, one-woman, advocacy blockade of President Bio’s “State Of Emergency on Rape” last year, many have in the last few hours been bombarding me for my thoughts on the State of Emergency proclaimed today by President Bio. This post serves to address the numerous questions.
Firstly, I am a fully trained and qualified Medical Doctor. I am also an experienced, investigative journalist. I have also served in the very highest echelons of governance. I am also a longstanding, experienced politician of no small merit. With all those attributes of mine, I have a bird’s eye, well experienced view on Social and Economic issues of Sierra Leone. So, let me make it loud and clear in my such aforementioned capacities, that *I am 100% in support of today’s proclaimed State Of Emergency inside Sierra Leone.*
If some fellow citizens believe the proclaimed 12 months, *AS PRE-SET BY THE CONSTITUTION,* [See Section 29(13) of Sierra Leone Constitution] is too long a period for a State Of Emergency, then I urge them to lobby Parliament to pass a resolution to make it shorter. But as far as the Constitution goes, the President is fully mandated to proclaim an SOE for 12 months if he so sees it fit.
Furthermore, and this is important, even if a State Of Emergency means I personally am going to be subjected to loss of my rights and freedoms simply because of my political views, so be it! I am willing to make that sacrifice because *my individual rights and freedoms are not in any way more important than the grave existential threat of Coronavirus facing Sierra Leone as a whole right now.*
President Bio has not done anything unconstitutional today and I, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden OOR, stand firmly by him as we prepare to face any Corona threat. *A Corona Virus Outbreak is an existential threat to a Nation like Sierra Leone!* I repeat that a Corona Virus Outbreak is an existential threat to a Nation like Sierra Leone! Given our poor state of healthcare, such a Coronavirus outbreak can wipe out a huge chunk of our populace within less than a year.
It is also important for all the _*completely unconstitutional*_ measures and regulations that have been put in place by mere Ministers, to now be summed up as a single gazetted document, signed by His Excellency and sent to Parliament for 90-days approval as merited under Section 29(10)(a) of our Constitution. I have been extremely concerned over the arbitrary and illegal ban on religious gatherings and other such hitherto illegal bans, measures and regulations. Now that we have a State of Emergency proclaimed, let the Law be followed.
On a different but related note, I will certainly be remiss if I don’t use this chance to also make a public personal appeal for the criminal investigation of my Comrade, Palo Conteh, to be set aside so that Palo can join us challenge this looming Corona Virus existential threat. Mr. President, don’t be distracted Your Excellency. I cannot comment on the police investigation of Palo but I can surely appeal to you, Your Excellency that you need full concentration right now and no distractions Sir. Please ask your Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecution to put the criminal investigations into abeyance Your Excellency and release my Comrade to join this all-important fight. One country in the middle east, actually released all their 85,000 prisoners from jail as a measure of fighting Corona Virus. *Need I say more Your Excellency?*
Finally, to all my fans and followers, if you agree with me on the need for us all to give the fullest support to H.E. President Bio in the possibly very tough days, weeks and months ahead; of an impending Corona Virus outbreak, please just click LIKE on this post and then reshare.
May God bless the Republic of Sierra Leone!
Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden OOR.
at 8:55PM on Tuesday 24th March 2020.