For Refusing To Be Bootlickers SLPP Targets Sierra Express Media
Having woefully failed in their several attempts to make this medium become one of the bootlickers of the current government, Sierra Express Media, one of Sierra Leone’s isolated media voices, if not the only voice of the people, in terms of keeping government on their toes for the general good of all, has since the coming to power of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) Government led by the former military leader, Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, now become a subject of politically motivated intimidation, physical and verbal attacks orchestrated by sycophants, claiming to be supporters of the ruling SLPP.
It could be recalled in a little over three weeks ago, some hooligans, dressed in SLPP attire and armed with offensive weapons including knives, cutlasses, sticks, bottles and stones, stormed SEM’s office at 13 Pademba Road in order to cause terror on staff of the media house especially the proprietor and the editor, Mr. Chwuku Adeyemi Paul and Mr. Ibrahim Alusine Kamara respectively, whom according to the attackers, are behind the consistent criticism of their party and government.
It could also be recalled that for the first time since the country returns to democracy, a senior member of the Government, who is now a minister and whose name is withheld in the meantime, actually went to one of the local radio stations, 98.1 FM, singling out Sierra Express Media and openly condemning the media house for being critical of their government; an action which many well-meaning Sierra Leoneans viewed as a calculated ploy by the government to intimidate and consequently silence the voice of the people.
Having failed in those intimidating attempts, SLPP has now resorted to social media attacks on SEM as one of the many strategies cooked up by operatives of the party in order to intimidate and silence the medium; a strategy that will also fail.
What these SLPP miscreants fail to realize is the fact that our quest to defend democracy can never be thwarted by any form of intimidation because Sierra Express Media cannot keep sealed lips over the blatant human rights violations, constitutional murder, summary dismissals of hundreds of our fellow Sierra Leoneans on a daily basis from their jobs, diplomatic embarrassments among other atrocities perpetrated by them. If you think your actions will go unchecked, please have a rethink because we will continue to be the voice of the people we have always been.
For ease of reference, below is one of the pieces of rubbish written by an SLPP operative that has been in circulation on social media which we have choose to ignore:
“REBUTTAL REBUTTAL REBUTTAL
As President Bio Commits to Repeal Libel Law… Sierra Express Media may serve as the Black Sheep
By: Gbessay Sankoh
Barely few hours ago, His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio met with the Executive of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ). In that meeting, deemed highly successful, the President reiterated his government’s commitment to repealing the obnoxious and dreadful 1965 seditious libel law.
These commitments from no less a person than the first gentleman of the state have been received with great excitement from journalists as well as private individuals with the intention of investing in the media. However, some observers have expressed concerns about the prospect of abolishing the law for fear that it would leave individuals vulnerable in the hands of some fringe and ill-motivated media practitioners who will use the “free speech” platform as a basis to disperse hateful and inciting messages through malicious publications.
One of such concerns has been drawn from the recent publications of a local tabloid named “Sierra Express Media”. The medium is now known for its malicious writings against President Bio, who is just settling in barely two months after elections, his person and his government as a whole. A clear example of such is a banner headline the tabloid carried today Tuesday 22 May 2018 titled: “Like Kabba, Like Bio… SLPP again turns Diamond to Stone”.
While this writer acknowledges the fact that the President can be subjected to public scrutiny, it is believed that the work of a journalist is to report in line with the Accurate, Balance and Credible mantra which is the universally accepted principle of journalism.
Unfortunately, it is either Sierra Express Media is ignorant of the reality surrounding the stone (claimed to be diamond) or it is an extension of their ploy to tarnish the reputation of a President who is setting the stage for a transformative nation. Let us set the records straight now: the stone in question was discovered by a gentleman named Ezekiel who decided to take it to the government as per law. The government through the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources conducted a test on the stone using a device called “Presidium Duotester”, the same device that is used to test diamonds in ANTWERP, Belgium.
After reading through this trash, the test was done in two phases: In the first phase, a real diamond was tested and the result was positive. On the second phase, the so-called diamond (stone) was tested and the result was negative.
“In both phases, the tests were conducted in full view of the owners of the said stone alleged to be a diamond, thus the stone is not diamond,” quoting an official release by the Ministry of Information. In another video circulated on social media, the owner of the stone could be seen thanking the government for a show of transparency in the entire process.
Popular opinions on social media have so far been charming for a government that has so far placed accountability at the pinnacle of its activities. It is safe to state that Sierra Express Media’s recent rants against His Excellency and his team could only be an attempt by a media team that has benefitted a lot from the loot of the previous administration. Now it has set out to tarnish the image of a focused administration that is ready to deliver on the hopes and aspirations of Sierra Leoneans.
Sierra Express should be watchful or risk annoying the rest of the media fraternity that is working very hard to convince the public that it would be responsible enough to self-regulate when the criminal libel law would have been repealed’’.
By Ibrahim Alusine Kamara
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