“MENDE BASHING AND THE MISCHIEVOUS URGE TO USE THE TRIBE AND ETHNICITY IN POLITICAL RABBLE ROUSING” Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden

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The type of Mende-bashing being floated on Social Media is not helpful. We have had politicians who abuse the loyalty of the Mende clan to advance their selfish political agenda. We cannot extrapolate their selfishness to those Mende people who are actually VICTIMS of such circumstances.

I have said it repeatedly that I don’t see how the SLPP is going to win the Presidential Elections next year (pass miracle oh). President Maada Bio has made serious blunders and miscalculated very, VERY badly in his Politics but to be blaming the entire Mende clan for the mis-steps of a tiny few Mende people is unfortunate.

Such rhetorics will get even liberally minded Mendes who may wish to vote against the Maada Bio regime, to simply HARDEN and decide to cast their votes for SLPP next year.

There is also this unfortunate tendency to generalize non-Mende people as Mendes simply because they come from the South-East or because of their surnames. Cases in point, the Deputy Minister of Political Affairs: Amara Kallon and the Deputy Chairman of the SLPP: Alhaji Mohamed Alpha Kallon are both full-bodied Northerners but they are easily slammed as “Mendes” because of their Kallon surnames. This is wrong.

I am also aware of MANY areas in ‘Mende-Line’ (the South and East of Sierra Leone) where the residents are more loyal to the APC party than residents of APC bastion of Makeni.

Take areas in the Ribbi and Bumpeh Chiefdoms of Moyamba District. For eleven(11) years as President, Dr. Ernest Koroma NEVER stepped his foot there to say Thank-You to them but those people have consistently remained as APC supporters who vote for APC in Moyamba. Since the return of Constituency Elections and Local Councils, that Moyamba area has repeatedly given the APC their elected Parliamentarian and their Local Councillors.

Similar developments in parts of Kissi Bendu in Kailahun District especially in Kissi Kama, Kissi Tongi and Kissi Teng. They have been known to vote for the APC candidates over the SLPP candidates for Local Councillors and Member of Parliament very easily.

Furthermore, there is so much inter-marriage and inter-tribal relationships that have produced offsprings. For example, Opposition APC top politician Dr. Samura Kamara’s marital children are Half-Mendes as his married wife is a typical Mende Woman from Pujehun. Where would their children be placed when folks prepare to gang up against Mendes?

Please let’s tone down the Mende-bashing. It is so, so not helpful. Please let’s tone down the urge to issue TRIBAL press releases at any chance we get because some seek relevance.

Those who rely on TRIBE to advance in Politics are very weak in character and we should keenly watch them. It is weakness to bash the Mende people in the same way that it is weakness for those scaremongering the Mendes to vote SLPP.

It is weakness to bring the TRIBE into any act of Lawlessness including acts of Corruption. I hope those in the habit of issuing unfortunate press releases playing the ethnic and tribal card into acts of pure Lawlessness, will have a rethink.

I will be lacking if I end this piece without failing to condemn the Office of the President for the regional and tribal stoking inside the GTT Report of 2018 when they first came to office. It was unfortunate and it is hoped such will NEVER repeat itself again from such Highest Office. Nevertheless, two wrongs cannot make a Right. As a Nation, we can be bigger and we SHOULD be bigger.

Allow the Mendes to freely breath please. One Love to all the Mendes!

I drop my 🖋️ pen here.

My name is Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden OOR.

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