By KABS KANU :
Some Sierra Leoneans dislike their own country so intensely that whenever there is an international index by monitoring organizations, if their country is not given a poor rating , they become very unhappy. Similarly, if an international scandal breaks out and Sierra Leone is not part of it, some patricidal Sierra Leoneans will look for every means to hook their country or President to it.
While the Liberian , Nigerian and Ghanaian media are going out of their way not to link their country to the recently leaked Panama Papers, Sierra Leoneans, out of mischief, hatred , unpatriotism and perfidy have linked President Ernest Koroma to these infamous papers, though in truth, nowhere is the President named in the scandal.
Whereas a Liberian social media commentator proudly believed no member of his country was involved , saying : “OH! OH! My people, I hope no Liberians show up on this list because we are decent people. I have the hope and faith in our leaders that shame will not come to our leaders and country! “, Sierra Leonean social media bloggers , who are becoming notorious for made-up stories linked our President to it gleefully, even though his name came nowhere near it. But the blame is with the Government. As long as we continue to turn a blind eyes to the grave misconduct being perpetrated by our media and refuse to charge so-called journalists guilty of slander, defamation of character, libel and sedition, we will continue to have the names of our President and country dragged in the mud unnecessarily.
For those of you who have not read about it yet, “A huge leak of documents has lifted the lid on how the rich and powerful use tax havens to hide their wealth. The files were leaked from one of the world’s most secretive companies, a Panamanian law firm called Mossack Fonseca ” and “The files show how Mossack Fonseca clients were able to launder money, dodge sanctions and avoid tax”, according to the BBC. “It is the biggest leak in history, dwarfing the data released by the Wikileaks organisation in 2010.”
According to the BBC, the documents were obtained by the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
The documents provide links to 12 current or former heads of state in the data, including dictators accused of looting their own countries, the BBC disclosed . It says that more than 60 relatives and associates of heads of state and other politicians are also implicated.
These 11 . 5 million leaked documents have now come to be named THE PANAMA PAPERS.
All the credible and reputed world newspapers that have researched the Panama Papers so far mentioned nothing about President Koroma. They named the past and present world leaders caught in the scandal . On the African side, Sudan’s former President Ahmad Ali al-Mirghani, Kenya’s Deputy Chief Justice Kalpana Rawal and Kojo Annan, son of former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, Mounir Majidi, the king of Morocco’s personal secretary, South Africa President Jacob Zuma’s nephew, Khulubuse Zuma and Former governor of Nigeria’s Delta State, James Ibori were named .
Other world leaders named were President Mauricio Macri of Argentina; President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine; Mr. Gunnlaugsson, then the prime minister of Iceland; Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan; King Salman of Saudi Arabia; the former emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, and its former prime minister, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani.
Also, over 40 countries were named whose leaders and relatives were implicated in the financial scandal, but Sierra Leone was not among them.
A story written by one Silas Gbandia of Sierra Leone , said to have been produced by Times Media in conjunction with the African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, stated that the Sierra Leone diamond mining industry was implicated through Octea and Koidu Holding’s but no mention was made of the involvement of government officials.
The social media bloggers’ reports linking President Koroma and family members to the Panama Papers are therefore not only willfully misleading and completely false; they are also an attempt to fool the Sierra Leone public, which is noted for its gullibility and complacency and laziness to verify reports in the media, especially Facebook and WhatsApp.
The Sierra Leone media loves to take advantage of the gullibility of the public to peddle all kinds of lies and propaganda against President Koroma and the Government.