By Alusine Sesay & Matthew Jabbi
Minister of Information and Communication, Alhaji Alpha Kanu, has described the Special Executive Assistant to President Koroma as “a lost cause and one who is a dangerous, demented rumour monger bent on misleading the public through the publication of unverified information on the Ebola outbreak.”
Alhai Kanu, who was speaking yesterday at the weekly government press conference, urged journalists to be news reporters and not news makers, and to publish accurate information for public consumption.
His comment came in the wake of sustained media reports by Awareness Times newspaper, owned by Blyden, lampooning health ministry officials, in particular the minister, Miatta Kargbo, for their handling of the Ebola outbreak in Kailahun district.
As government struggles to contain the outbreak in the country, Blyden’s vitriolic against the young, pretty and urbane health minister may have irked her senior colleagues in government.
Thus, according to Alhaji Kanu, Blyden exhibited her ignorance about ‘shared governance’ when she prominently featured an opposition lawmaker who donated protective clothes and chlorine for his constituents in Kailahun district, on the front page of her newspaper.
“What all this publication wants to portray is that government is doing nothing about the Ebola outbreak. The publication expatiates Blyden’s ignorance about shared governance,” Kanu said. “Everybody in governance, including parliamentarians, are all working together to ensure that they fight against the scourge.”
He said Blyden was a “spy” employed by the opposition to reveal the internal dynamics of the government, although the government has nothing to hide.
“The APC government has nothing to hide. We are transparent in whatever we do, so she has nothing negative to reveal,” he averred.
He also reacted to the Wednesday front page publication of the Awareness Times which presented the Health Minister in a derogatory manner, referring to her dress as seductive and one that caught the eyes of the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Chernor Bah.
“The article is very much misleading. We are going to look into the IMC Act and know what to do next,” he said, adding “We don’t have freedom of lies but freedom of information.”
He referred to Blyden as a cat among the pigeons as well as a Trojan horse who is using all means to make herself relevant in society.
This is not the first time that the minister and the special presidential aide are on a collision course. During the saga of how much a visiting Saudi Prince donated to youth in the country, the duo again clashed when the latter stubbornly held on to claims the prince donated US$2m, contrary to the stated US$1m by her other colleagues in government.