As BBC Reporter turns Vice President’s Spokesman; SHEKITO RUBBISHES UMARU FOFANA
By Shekito Black Tank
Last Friday’s expulsion of Vice President Samuel Sam Sumana from the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) party has apparently angered members of the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) more than even the people of Kono, his homeland, where pictorial evidence showed public jubilation at the news. There can only be one explanation for the SLPP’s crying more than the bereaved – they had always believed they had got political mincemeat in the scandal-ridden Aljazeera-timbergate-Tarkor-Mark-Heiligman-encumbered Sam Sumana in the event he would have been put up as a presidential candidate for the APC in the next elections. The shock of Sumana’s expulsion was therefore beyond explanation for the SLPP as it has overturned their plans and has left them guessing as to the APC’s grand plan.
THE MAADA BIO “INFORMATION MINISTER” THAT NEVER WAS
Umaru Fofanah, founder of Poltico newspaper wearing the cloak of a BBC stringer in Sierra Leone, is an SLPP man through and through – and would have by now been our Minister of Information had Julius Maada Bio won the 2012 elections. Since that ignominious defeat, Umaru has never spared any moment in twisting every report he files for the BBC from Sierra Leone against the APC – whether it’s about Ebola or a Cabinet reshuffle or riots at a mining site. His report today aired on BBC World News on the expulsion of VP Sam Sumana from the APC has exposed him as an unpatriotic mis-informant who thrives on denigrating his country as long as the party he hates is in power – never mind his late interview with APC Secretary General Osman Yansaneh, apparently pushed by the independent journalists at Bush House.
Many of us know how Umaru has been providing the link between the VP and the SLPP using their common Kono heritage as canon-fodder. Sumana’s unholy bedfellow alliance with the late Publicity Secretary of the SLPP, Musa Tamba Sam, was the product of Umaru’s shenanigans.
To many in the APC, the National Advisory Council really delayed in taking action against the VP, as the climax of his insubordination was demonstrated during the Monologue programme of David Tam Baryoh hosting the late Tamba Sam in November to celebrate the political demise of Burkina Faso’s Blaise Campaore and the physical demise of other presidents including the late President Bingu Mutharika of Malawi, making comparisons to Sierra Leone; and Sumana had the temerity to participate in such a discussion on the phone – only cut short by the swift intervention of the owner of the radio station, Philip Neville, who physically disconnected the transmitters.
And if the APC – after following procedure and internal due process – has now taken action by deciding to expel the VP, it is incumbent on a good and patriotic journalist to present the truth – just the facts! But Umaru Fofana obviously skewed his report to please his political benefactors.
Let’s take them one by one:
1. Umaru reported on BBC that the APC said Sam Sumana had no degree but that he had checked with his university in the US and found out he had one. FACT: The APC did not say Sumana did not have a degree. They said he did not have a Masters degree as a he claimed in his credentials. Umaru should have known the difference too well, but his political inclinations and academic mediocrity would not permit him to display journalistic integrity.
2. Umaru reported that the APC said the VP had registered a new political party and that he had checked with the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) and found out that there was nothing of the sort.
FACT: Umaru’s lying instincts are pathological and beyond redemption. What the APC Secretary General, Ambassador Osman F. Yansaneh, said was that they had proof that the VP had been “organizing political meetings for the formation of a new party.” If Umaru was sincere to himself or to this country, he would have stated the facts and not twisted them, as there is a huge difference between organizing meetings (planning) and actually forming a party, in which registration is normally the last action in the process. Did Umaru expect the APC to wait until the VP had formed a political party before taking action when they already had people who testified of having participated in such meetings with audio evidence? If Umaru were a through journalist, this was the evidence that he would have gone for and not to vainly and hypocritically run to the PPRC to try and cover his shame and disappointment.
3. Umaru reported that although the APC says VP is not a Muslim, he has checked with Muslims in Sierra Leone and found out that he is a Muslim because he can recite the ‘shalat’. Bunkum. Absolute nonsense.
FACT: The APC Secretary General in his statement categorically stated that “the VP was never a Muslim, but deceived the party to believe that he is one to claim the running-mate position ahead of the 2007 elections, only a few days before his nomination.” So whether the VP can now recite the shalat or whatever is not the issue here. An ethical and unbiased journalist would dig into the matter to ask whether really a few days before the 2007 nominations – and way before that – VP Sumana had actually always been a Christian. After all, Sam Sumana completed, sealed, and crowned his religious deception by performing the pilgrimage to Mecca and taking up the title of ‘Alhaji’. Even at one time, his office was the coordinating unit for all hajj activities in the country. So Umaru, it’s not about what religious duties the VP has been performing since the 2007 elections. The APC felt deceived, when they had gathered all the tangible evidence following the 11th November 2014 letter of complaint written by Deputy Political Affairs Minister Karamo Kabba, a native of Kono himself, that Sumana only connived with others to present himself as a Muslim after the then Opposition-Leader-now-President Ernest Bai Koroma said that it had always been the norm in Sierra Leone that if a presidential candidate/President is a Christian, then his or her running-mate/Vice President should be a Muslim; and would therefore want a Muslim running-mate because he is a Christian. The APC is saying that Sumana – born, christened, and baptized as Samuel –only abandoned his Christian religion to proclaim that he was a Muslim for the purpose of catapulting himself to the vice presidency. That is deceit. Pure and raw deceit, which only journalists of the likes of Umaru Fofana would want to cover up to their utter indignity. Umaru should have told us which mosque, either in Freetown or in Kono, Samuel Sumana had been attending before 2007.
Umaru should be reminded that the APC made it very clear that Samuel Sumana was himself interviewed by the investigation committee and he apparently did not deny the allegations levied against him.
The bottom-line is that Umaru Fofana is too shallow, too narrow-minded, and too partisan to be a BBC stringer.
God bless our Sierra Leone!