By KABS KANU :
PATRICK FORYOH is just a young blood with radical views. That is all he is. And the multitudes agreed with that yesterday. Yesterday, it was HALLELUJA for him because he was touting their views and seemingly supporting the SLPP. Today, it is crucify him, because his views have become too radical for those who once hailed him and because he no longer supports their SLPP. Oh, this life…..Men are so fickle-minded, especially SLPP supporters. And there is no better man to state this than your humble servant , who has “bought and sold.”
PATRICK FORYOH : THEY FEAR HIS PEN AND VILIFY HIM NOW AFTER HAILING HIM YESTERDAY
Those who knew me at FBC knew that I was like that. I was always vocal and radical in my views. And people’s views about me changed like their socks.
The Principal, Professor the Rev Dr. Harry Sawyerr and his administration, including the legendary Warden of Students, Mr. Dan Decker (Dan Diddo) , looked on me with scorn because of my biting articles on Chuks Press everyday, attacking the college administration and the national government down town, especially during the turbulent Kemoh Sulimani era. when the spirit of student radicalism started stirring up at FBC . I was threatened with rustication many times by Dan Diddo, because my views were tearing the campus apart, he used to complain . And Students Union President Sulimani did not make matters better. Whenever the students allowances were delayed and “Public ” started agitating on campus, he will rip my articles off Chuks Press and take them to Harry Sawyerr, to plead, almost with tears : “Pa, den borbor den don begin agitate for den allowance O. Nar for try pay dem O. You see wetin den don begin write ? ” Harry Sawyerr would read the article, frowning and scowling, and then put in an urgent call to the Bursar, Pa .Cole to enquire what was happening about the students allowances.
The students who came to know how my articles put fire under the feet of the administration would come to me whenever allowances were delayed : “Bra, dar thing don begin delay O. YOU NOR GO BLAST ONE ARTICLE NAR CHUKS PRESS ? ” I would oblige and Mr. Sulimani would be up to his feet again. Sulimani was a President who loved his students and fought for them, inspite of all the stick he received. But men are like that. They do not appreciate. He was appreciative. For all the manner I pounded his government, he was the only student council leader who gave me an award when he was leaving. Not even Njai-Bah , for whom I worked.
In 1973, when I supported the Father of FBC radicalism and the man who sowed the seeds of the 1977 students revolution , the Marxist-Leninist doctrinaire, Comrade Boubaccar NJai- Bah , I was everybody’s hero. Everybody was calling for a revolutionary and this Auradicals man who filled Chuks Press with his biting articles everyday was everybody’s favourite. President Bah appointed me Minister of Propaganda of the FBC Students Union Government after we won the elections . The hero status continued as we launched serious challenges on the college administration and the government downtown in a radical move to let them hear our pleas for a change.
In 1974, When I refused to support Njai-Bah’s revolutionary acolyte, Sorie Touray, because the revolutionary government had descended into a farce , and threw my weight behind the moderate and conservative Foday Kallon, the “fixity candidate” , I ceased to be the hero for those who said they were anti-fixity. Things moved from Hosanna to Crucify him. I was attacked everyday on Chuks Press and some comrades went to my room early one morning to fight me. Everyday, I was challenged to a fight on campus by anti-FBC administration activists. I was vilified and called names. My life was miserable. After lectures, people were waiting outside to cuss me out or fight me for my views.
PATRICK FORYOH is a young man. He will learn the same lessons I have learnt in life that make me unshakable and unmovable today and fearless , afraid of none , not even a certain painted devil who hails from Pujehun . Yesterday, Patrick was the hero on social media as he tore into the APC Government, President Koroma and all whom he was displeased with. They hailed him and called him the best blogger, the radical, the one-man civil society. Today, because he is taking on the SLPP and its comic actors, he has become the bad boy of social media.
Somebody made an audio and alleged that I was paying Patrick to praise the government and attack the SLPP. I was shocked when I listened to the audio . Sierra Leoneans are so fickle. Only yesterday, Patrick was attacking me left and right and lampooning and caricaturing me on Facebook . Today, I am the one paying him. What a shame. They have forgotten. Sierra Leoneans do not remember. They always forget . Today, they are even accusing the poor boy of being paid Le. 5 million every month by the President. ALL BECAUSE HE HAS TURNED HIS RAYS ON THE SLPP and their hero, Maada Bio. They have forgotten how he promoted their cause yesterday , so to speak.
That is man for you, Patrick Foryoh. They only want you to support their views perpetually and at all times, especially SLPP supporters . If you don’t, you are a sycophant, bootlicker and a hireling. They only love you when you help to promote their wrong-headed views. Once you become wise, you are in trouble. The most intolerant Sierra Leonean politicians are the SLPP. They do not want you to speak any truth that is against them.
But Patrick and other young blood like him will learn that such is Journalism. JOURNALISM IS WAR. My advice to Patrick is to continue writing and hitting hard. Hit hard when it is convenient for them. Hit hard when it is inconvenient for them. That is what defines you as a journalist. Always stand for something. Never be a flip-flopper. In politics, you are either for a party or against them, especially in Sierra Leone. There is no middle road.
I BOUGHT this book , JOURNALISM IS WAR, from Amazon and it is teaching me a lot more about the dangers of Journalism. The journalist will always be in trouble, whether he is pro-government or anti-government. If people know the threats I receive everyday in my inbox, letters and forums, they will be stunned .Somebody even threatened me : “IF YOU DON’T STOP SUPPORTING ERNEST KOROMA , WE WILL KILL YOU . WHEN WE KILL YOU, APC WILL NOT BE ABLE TO BURY YOU. ”
Alex Mansaray even told me he saw a threat somewhere on Whatsapp where somebody was saying they knew my house and would come there and kill me. He advised that we go to the Franklin Police to report the threat, but I told him that I was not moved. It has been part of life since I started practising Journalism. Let them kill me. It is part of the journalist’s life.
JOURNALISM IS WAR.
So Patrick, my son. Do not despair . That is the fickleness of man. They will start hailing you again when you start criticizing the APC. But do not really care for their praises . You are better off without them . In fact, if you are a journalist and men praise you too much , it means you have compromised your stand. Let them attack you. It shows you are standing up for something and that is what good journalists do, whether for or against the government. They stand up for something.
After all, TRUTH CRUSHED TO THE GROUND WILL RISE AGAIN.