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President Bio has not appointed Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden as Information Minister

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Claim: A viral Social media Press Release claims Dr. Sylvia Blyden has been appointed as Minister of Information.

Dr. Sylvia O. Blyden has not been appointed Minister of Information by President Bio.

Full Text

A press release claiming to have emerged from the office of the president in Sierra Leone indicates opposition politician Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden has been appointed by the president as the nation’s new “Minister of Information and Broadcasting.” The press release dated 20th October, 2021 bears the “Office of the President- State House” stamp and the signature of press secretary to the president and government spokesperson Yusuf Keketoma Sandy and has been shared on WhatsApp and Facebook. This also saw another fake release re-surfaced claiming the Chairman of the ruling SLPP-Prince Harding has been appointed as the nation’s vice president.

This came in a recent affidavit filed by Dr Sylvia Olayinka Blyden to the High Court of Sierra Leone presenting a case against some top politicians of the opposition All People’s Congress Party of which she is a senior member. Amongst the top APC leadership in Blyden’s affidavit is her former boss and former president of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma, to whom she served as Special Executive Assistant (SEA) and later Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs. 

In the affidavit presented to the court, Blyden is asking for 25 orders to be granted by the court but the ultimate desire of her case is “to preempt any step that will lead to the APC losing its registration.” 

Verification

A media officer at the State House, Mr. Lamin Sheriff, told Dubawa that the release is fake.

We reached out to Mr. Sheriff via WhatsApp for verification and his short response was “Fake.” 

Furthermore, Dubawa conducted some internet searches on the social media handles of the office of the president and the press secretary who in most cases unveils new political and national appointments  but there was no such announcement. 

Red flags

The press release mentioned “Ministry of Information and Broadcasting,” but there is no such ministry under the current government. What is available in this current administration is the Ministry of Information and Communication

Conclusion

Dubawa confirms that no such appointment has been made by the government of Sierra Leone and that the viral press release is not from the Office of the President. 

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