27th April 2017
"Blyden Family has Impeccable Ties with the Kono People," First Lady Says
By a press release (15/03/17)
Sierra Leone's First Lady Mrs Sia Nyama Koroma has affirmed the historical ties the Blyden family has with the people of Kono District.
The First Lady of confirmed this during her recent visit along with members of her staff and the ruling APC Women's Wing to sympathise with the family members of Dr. Sylvia Blyden (Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children's Affairs) on the death of the minister's father, the late Edward Walter Babatunde Blyden. (Pictured: The Blyden family and the late Pa Blyden).
She said her father the late Abu Aiah Koroma was amongst young men in the fifties and sixties who were introduced into politics and mentored by Sylvia Blyden's grandfather, the late Professor Dr. Edward Wilmot Blyden III who had impeccable ties with people of Kono
Other sympathizers present were Deputy Leader of the ruling APC who is Minister of Mines Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray, Ambassador Osman Yansaneh the APC Secretary General, Capt. Momodu Allieu Pat-Sowe Minister of Trade & Industry, Mr. Leonard Balogun Koroma Minister of Transport & Aviation, Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Alhaji M.S. Kargbo, Special Adviser on Grassroots Outreach Mr. Jordan Kanu and other well wishers.
As she consoled the family, First Lady Mrs Sia Nyama Koroma said she recognized Hon. Sylvia Blyden not only as the Gender Minister but more as part of the First Lady's own wider family. First Lady recounted about the close relationships with her own late father and the Blyden family.
It can be recalled that President Ernest Koroma had visited the Blyden family on the day before he travelled to Nigeria. However, in his absence, the First Lady assured that she will attend the funeral on Sunday March 5th 2017 to represent both the President as well as her father's, the Abu Aiah Koroma family of Kono.
Extending thanks on behalf of the Blyden Family at home and abroad, Dr. Sylvia Blyden also reiterated the strong ties between her family and the Kono people especially the First Lady's family. She said the late Fiama Paramount Chief Sahr Mortatay Songu-Mbriwa who was brutally executed by the NPRC in 1992 was actually raised since childhood by her late grandfather Prof. Dr. Edward Wilmot Blyden III.
She said on the death of the PC, it was the First Lady back then in 1992 who had been able to gently break the news to Pa Blyden that his adopted son had been killed. The Cabinet Minister said that history was why the ties between her, the First Lady and Kono people was unbreakable.
Dr. Blyden used the chance to give thanks and appreciation for the warmth extended to her family on the death of her father by President Ernest Bai Koroma, his wife the First Lady and many sections of the APC party.
She recalled that the APC Party Secretary General Osman Yansaneh had visited the bereaved Blyden family four times in just the last two weeks to ensure the family was doing okay amidst the grieving.
She said her father, whom had put a lot of youthful energy into strengthening the APC, though now in the spirit world, would be in the happiest and most proud state to see how he has been appreciated by the APC.
Meanwhile, the APC was well represented as they handed over the traditional 'kasankay' sent by President Koroma on behalf of the APC so as to assist with the funeral rites.
The late Mr. Edward Babatunde Blyden was laid to rest at the Race Course cemetery in Freetown on Sunday March 5th 2017 after a funeral service at 2:30pm in the Zion Methodist Church, Wilberforce Street. May his soul rest in perfect peace.