For five days now, we have deliberately run the Open Challenge by Dr. Sylvia Blyden, a member of the main opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) party; an open challenge which was issued to the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and one of their media allies in the person of the BBC Reporter Mr. Umaru Fofana. It concerned an alarm raised by Fofana over a purported death threat.
We did this so as to give maximum publicity to the challenge. And indeed, after five days, it is now clearly proving to be a very shameful and unfair demonization of the APC.
We agree with Dr. Blyden and we also believe that the vitriolic audio with the death threat should be comprehensively investigated by the Sierra Leone Police with the full cooperation of Mr. Umaru Fofana who gave such widespread local and international publicity to the matter in the first place. He needs to tell the Police who sent the audio to him. Nothing more and nothing less will do.
We believe in the current leadership of the Independent Media Commission (IMC) and so we hope the IMC will also caution not only Mr. Umaru Fofana but all other similarly-minded journalists that such unfair, unfounded and baseless attacks on a whole political party based on an anonymous audio, should not repeat. Even though it may have been frightening to hear such threats but to tarnish an entire political party as a reaction to an anonymous audio is just so unfair and shows a definite bias that is not good. This is not how to display independent journalism.
The APC should also raise its game and be more swift in self-protection of its image. The party should let it be known that it is no longer easy game for those wishing to unfairly scandalise APC.
Bottomline, the demonization of APC should now stop. We need our multi-party democracy to thrive and that means giving space to APC.
Culled from the Awareness Times Editorial Team.