Sylvia Blyden settles CFN impasse in Sierra Leone
Saturday 28th January, 2017- The Honorable Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, dialogued with a cross-section of Children’s Forum Network (CFN) members.
The dialogue which took place at the ministry’s conference room at New England Ville in Freetown was well attended by CFN members coming from Kailahun, Kambia, Kono, Kenema, Bonthe, Pujehun and other areas across the country.
Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden took her time to narrate the incidents, misunderstandings and misconceptions which led to the current CFN impasse. According to Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, she has always had the interest of CFN at heart, citing that for the last ten years she personally funded CFN programmes and projects and also contributed financially to CFN members education, overseas travel and other activities.
She maintained that the formation of CFN is a Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs initiative which was started by a former Social Welfare Minister Shirley Gbujama. Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden who most of the children at the dialogue meeting described as ‘the mother of all children in Sierra Leone’ explained to her audience that her life had been threatened several times within the last six weeks and that she is disappointed over the way and manner the police treated the issue with levity even after she had personally reported the matter to the Inspector General of Police, Francis Alieu Munu.
During the session, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden challenged CFN members who were unhappy with her management of the issue to come forward with evidences and suggestions to resolve the issue. She informed her audience that it all started when she heard a BBC news report stating that $20 million had been sent to the Social Welfare Ministry to fight Ebola. She said that after thorough investigation, she discovered that that was just the tip of the iceberg and that some time later she also discovered that huge sums of money were being siphoned by unscrupulous people working in the ministry.
She prevailed on CFN members not to allow politicians and other ill-motivated people to use children for selfish, political and other reasons, adding that children are tomorrow’s leaders and should therefore be focused, diligent and law abiding in all their endeavors.
It could be recalled that CFN split following the cancellation of their Annual General Meeting (AGM) which was to hold in December last year. A section of CFN members blamed the minister while another section trusted the minister for her wisdom in doing what she could to bring sanity to the organization.
However, at the end of the almost five hour long dialogue, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden succeeded at resolving the issue and the children went away happy.
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