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The Monologue Ban: A Bad Omen

The Monologue Ban: A Bad Omen

The Government of Sierra Leone, through the Independent Media Commission (IMC), has slammed a two month ban on the most popular good governance radio program on Star Radio, Monologue, presented by Dr. David Tam Baryoh and produced by Silas Gbandia.

The ban has caused a public outcry from especially the thousands of Monologue fans across the nation. For two months, they will be missing their dearest friend who informed them on current national issues on Saturdays and Sundays.

Government may have its own reason for imposing the ban on the popular program as I am yet to know why. But the Monologue embargo did not come to me as a surprise as the program had been a thorn in the flesh of many government functionaries, particularly the corrupt ones. They had an anathema for the program which they felt was just there to expose the dreadful skeletons in their closets. Some corrupt government officials have been praying for thunder to strike dead Dr. Tam Baryoh and Silas Gbandia.

While the masses keep mourning the ban, the chronically corrupt government officials and some sycophantic journalists are celebrating it; their arch enemy has been silenced temporarily, so, they can now breathe a sigh of relief.

I consider the ban as a bad omen for the Sierra Leone press, showing clearly that indeed the honeymoon is over as declared by President Koroma. We can never tell who next will be banned tomorrow morning as it appears government is now poised to use the sledgehammer approach against the critical press.

When the Managing Editor of Independent Observer Newspaper, Jonathan Leigh, and his Editor, Bai-Bai Sesay were arrested and detained for allegedly insulting and libeling the president, we thought they  were alone but by the time we knew it, several other Editors were subsequently dragged to the police for interrogation. Today it is Dr. Tam Baryoh, tomorrow it could be Sorie Fofana. One cannot rule out the possibility.

The APC under Siaka Stevens has a history of maltreating journalists and muzzling the press. Frank Kposowa and others can testify. We only hope and pray that President Koroma does not end up being another Siaka Stevens.

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