“How can anyone make a call for the ACC to go and investigate that ministry when the ACC is already well embedded and investigating that ministry at my strong insistence for over one year now? It is just mischief and malice, behind such calls” Dr. Blyden said.
“I personally called the ACC into that Ministry. I called them in over and over again. Not once. Not twice. Not three times but so many, many, many times now over the past 18 or more months,” the former no-nonsense minister asserted.
“It is amusing but also it is unfortunate to see how some tabloids are being used to play dirty politics. I am not afraid of any controversy in this world but I must say that it is disgraceful to read an editor write unsubstantiated trash and publish it with my photo as front page news,” Dr. Blyden pointed out.
“You look at the sensational headline and it has no link to the actual text of the article. Maybe those editors are not aware that the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs has been under investigation by the Anti Corruption Commission for over one year now,” Dr. Blyden asserted.
She said there is a reason why they call her the “lone czar” in fighting corruption. This is because she insists that she possibly has singlehandedly forwarded the highest number of corruption cases to the ACC than any other State official.
“So I laugh when I read some headlines planted by those who are frustrated that my sacking as minister has skyrocketed my popularity and not diminished it as they had wished” Dr. Blyden said.
She sarcastically mocked her detractors that they should prepare to write some more “because this Teflon Politician has far more popularity to unveil”.
Meanwhile, sources at the ACC confirm to this writer that as recently as few days before she was sacked on November 23rd 2017, Dr. Sylvia Blyden had forwarded yet another complaint to the ACC against one of the Ministry’s Directors. This time, over a missing amount of $10,000 from Ethiopia; knowledge of which had been hidden away from her. That most recent complaint now on the desk of the ACC, concern activities that would likely cause the State to lose even more thousands of dollars before the end of this December month. Such loss will be further crimes under the ACC Act.
A video recording which went viral on social media showed some of the ministry’s top directors and senior civil servants with bottles of alcohol in their hands during working hours as they publicly danced in the streets of New Englandville over the news of the sacking of their former Minister by President Ernest Koroma.
Those who are familiar with the faces of civil servants who were dancing with bottles of alcohol during working hours and before midday, said almost everyone dancing on those videos had corruption and/or other disciplinary issues to answer for.
Meanwhile the ACC has confirmed receiving many complaints from the former Minister whom President Koroma has now sacked for unspecified reasons.
“It is true that the ACC has received a significant number of complaints of corruption sent to us by the former Social Welfare Minister Dr. Sylvia Blyden over the past 15 months and we are working on investigating all her complaints forwarded to us. The Ministry has many Notices under the Anti Corruption Act which have been served on many of the staff already. We have constraints with resources and also staff constraints that slow investigations down but we take each complaint with seriousness. To get a case ripe for prosecution takes diligence so we are diligently investigating all the claims around that Ministry,” a source at the ACC told this paper last Friday.
It can be recalled that the Deputy Minister of that ministry who was also sacked recently, had gone on a local radio 98.1 to say six billion leones had gone missing at the Ministry under her boss. She said she had evidence to substantiate her claims of 6 billion leones going missing. The whole country has been waiting for the evidence from the deputy minister but all to no avail. It is now widely accepted that persons uncomfortable with Blyden’s natural appeal and connection with the voting public, are devising means of demonising her to kill her popularity.
A confident Sylvia Blyden is however unfazed at it all.
“It was God who gave me the natural appeal which I have with ordinary voters and it is only God who can take it away,” she philosophically ended.