David Tam-Baryoh, the Sierra Leonean journalist who was recently detained for a week before being released under the country’s State of Emergency regulations, over the weekend put to shame Sierra Leone’s many political rabble-rousers , anti-government zealots ( Many of them masquerading as journalists ) , the errant British Parliament and the biased Guardian newspaper of London, by apologizing to President Ernest Bai Koroma and the people of Sierra Leone for “Unwarranted comments ” that the journalist himself confessed “have a likelihood of aggravating national tensions that may precipitate unwarranted actions that may not augur well for peace and security “.
Dr. Tam Baryoh was detained on November 3 following an executive order signed by President Ernest Bai Koroma under section 29 (17) (a) of the Sierra Leone Constitution and the state of emergency regulations . A public statement from the Government gave the following reasons for Tam-Baryoh’s arrest :
“The public would recall that on saturday, november 1st, 2014, dr. david tam baryoh during his weekly radio “monologue” programme made disparaging and inflammatory statements that in no way would aid the collective efforts we are making as a nation in the fight against the ebola virus disease.”
“Rather, his statements to all intents and purposes have the likelihood to incite public hatred, disaffection and instability by inferring and making innuendoes of the government using the ongoing constitutional review process to perpetuate itself in governance rather than fighting the ebola virus disease.”
“Furthermore, in the same monologue programme, dr. tam baryoh also inferred that the deployment of the securtity forces, including the military, in isolated and quarantined areas was done discriminatorily. this has the potential to incite public unrest thereby leading to a breakdown of public order and good governance of the nation.”
“His insinuation of recent events in burkina faso to be replicated in sierra leone, a country still reeling from a very devastating conflict and presently dealing with an ebola epidemic of unparalelled magnitude is not only distasteful but an attempt to provoke unrest.”
“Therefore, the arrest and detention of dr. david tam baryoh was authorised by his excellency as provided for in the public state of emergency 2014.”
Troublemakers and detractors of the government went overdrive , after the arrest, accusing President Koroma and the government of illegal actions and violations of the constitution. Some Sierra Leoneans on the social media belonging to the opposition threatened to create chaos if Mr. Baryoh was not released.
Repeating what these misguided Sierra Leoneans were saying, the British Parliament and the Guardian newspaper of London fabricated stories that Dr. Baryoh was beaten up during his arrest and maltreated . On his release , however, the journalist shamed all of them by refuting the allegations against the government, stating that at no time was he beaten or manhandled. On the contrary , he said he was well treated in detention. David Tam-Baryoh even chided the opposition that they took advantage of his arrest and detention to attack the President and the government. This led to an interesting scenerio on social media, with his erstwhile defenders turning on Tam-Baryoh and accusing him of being a sell-out. It was obvious that they had become mad with him for not playing ball with them to use the event to stir chaos in Sierra Leone.
Now, Dr. Tam-Baryoh has shamed them all again by apologizing to President Koroma and the people of Sierra Leone.
With this apology by Dr. Baryoh, we wait to see whether these Sierra Leonean confusionists , the British Parliament and the Guardian would emulate Dr.Baryoh’s good example of honesty and professional ethics by similarly apologising to President Ernest Koroma and the Government.
Text of Tam-Baryoh’s Apology to Sierra Leone
APOLOGY by David Tam Baryoh as aired worldwide on Star Radio during the weekend of November 22nd 2014:
-Transcribed by the Awareness Times newspaper :
The Good Governance Programme called MONOLOGUE had two guests during a radio discussion. In the course of undertaking our journalistic job, several unwarranted comments were made during the programme. It is the duty of the producer and presenter to regulate comments on such issues that were raised.
Following the radio discussions on the programme, it came out clearly from our listeners that issues discussed have a likelihood of aggravating national tensions that may precipitate unwarranted actions that may not auger well for peace and stability.
In view of this particular programme, we are tendering an unreserved apology [for] any inconvenience that this may have caused to His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
We will like to assure the general public that the MONOLOGUE programme that is loved by many will continue to uphold the professionalism, integrity and ethics which are the hallmark of the programme.
Management is sorry for any professional setback and will like to assure all that MONOLOGUE is here to stay and ready to uphold the highest professional integrity that it deserves.
We encourage all and ask everybody to please turn attention to the fight against Ebola.
God bless Sierra Leone.
David Tam Baryoh ( Saturday 22nd November 2014 )