By Yanguba Kai-Samba
This message is for all journalists in Sierra Leone Leone.
Stay in control, don’t give space to rankah politicians which they can exploit to evade answering your questions.
I will start by saying that I am not a journalist. I also recognised the poor conditions they work in and unfair pressures put on them by rankah politicians.
But one thing I have known about that profession is that it is a very noble one parallel to Law, Classical studies and Medicine and clergy.
Journalists are like a touch light, constantly searching for the truth. Shine light where there is darkness.
Dig the facts and separate it from lies.
They speak for the people, they are the moral guarantor of a nation.
Powerful, and can help shape the direction of the country.
Journalist should see themselves as professional who can see what is going on in a country than people can see. And they have the tools to uncover the truth and present it to the country.
Unlike journalists in advanced countries such as in Europe, I have been dissapointed that their counterparts in Sierra Leone are not scrutinising and challenging the politicians .
They allowed mendacious character like Julius Bio to get away with his lies.
Bio is the least qualified , the least experience and fit to lead Sierra Leone. He is indisputably the one with an evidence based criminal offences of corruption and stealing from Sierra Leone against his name.
Had Bio been in place like UK, journalists could have forced him to abandon his fruitless but desperate campaign to be president of Sierra Leone.
Sometimes ago, a young lady shredded Julius Bio to pieces on BBC focus on Africa, when he dared to defend his human rights records in the savage killing of 28 innocent citizens.
When the lady put it to him that he has innocent blood in his hand and people were concerned about his human rights record, Bio tried to deny his involvement.
The interviewer detected Bio’s vulnerability and she went straight for his throat. But you were the information minister of that regime the NPRC regime that stood accused of extra judicial killings, she noted.
At this point, the lady interviewer forced Bio to admit to his own share of responsibility for the cold blooded murder of 28 innocent citizens of Sierra Leone including a pregnant woman and an illiterate palm wine tapper.
For this alone no serious political party that wants to win the trust of the voters and win elections, could have allowed Bio to be the face of their party.
Bio has odious- indefeasible baggage from being a wife beater, violence and theft of public funds that in a normal society he would not be allowed to hold any responsible position .
But the impunity in Sierra Leone has emboldened political rascals to thrive . A philosopher once said, people who elect corrupt people in to power are not victims but accomplices to their crimes.
I understand that journalist are under severe strains, politicians intimidate them and there are reports that some accept bribes to take it easy with politicians.
When journalist asked them questions to expose their lies, they would demand they be allowed to answer the question but what they really do is to take control of the situation that create the space for them to talk all kind of nonsense without given a straight answer to a critical interrogation.
I have observed Alpha Kanu used his eloquence and fillibustring technic to dominate interviews leaving the interviewer to look like an observer.
I listened to a journalist who interviewed Julius Bio about why he cannot travel to America. The interviewer appeared sharp and was initially startled when Bio said he doesn’t need to go to America.
Tried to probe Bio further on what was clearly an arrogantly naive statement to make, Bio quickly interjected the interviewer pleading to answer the question. The journalist should have remain in control of the interview at this stage and pressed for a clear answer .
This created a space for Bio to what we call in parliamentary debate filibustering. This is when MPs talk and talk until the time allocated for a debate ran out .
It was a technic used by Bio to evade answering questions his interviewer put to him.
He came up with statements that were unsound and unintelligible for someone who wants to become president.
He said that whilst he doesn’t need to go to America, but if elected as president, the American government would give him visa to go to America.
Me Salone fanmul dem ouna yeri oh, Bio want you to elect him as president so that he can get a visa to travel to America.
But e nor day tell ouna why make America government done ban nam na dem country.