BBC reporter – Umaru Fofana fears for his life as journalist is killed in Ghana

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 18 January 2019:

In Ghana, unidentified men on motorbikes have shot dead local journalist, Ahmed Hussein-Suale in the capital Accra.

According to media reports, he was shot three times whilst driving home, after a politician called for retribution against him for reporting corruption in Ghana’s football.

Ahmed Hussein-Suale was a member of the Tiger Eye Private Investigations, founded by the famous undercover journalist – Anas.

Yesterday, Sierra Leone’s news reporter – Umaru Fofana, working for the BBC, reported that he has received death threats from persons believed to be supporters of the opposition All People’s Congress party, after a BBC radio interview with Sierra Leone’s former vice president – Victor Bockarie Foh.

This is what Umaru said in his statement published yesterday:

“My attention has been drawn to a vitriolic diatribe and a clear and open threat made against me by someone who’s apparently a member or supporter of the opposition APC party. In the audio circulated on social media, the anonymous coward threatens that whenever I visit Makeni I will be killed.

“Reason: Because I interviewed the former Vice President, Victor Foh which was aired on the BBC yesterday.

“Makeni incidentally is the place I visit more than anywhere else in Sierra Leone because my parents and siblings live there. I am therefore taking the threat very seriously.

“I have therefore decided to report to the police Criminal Investigations Department in Freetown. I have also brought it to the notice of the head of the police in and around Makeni.

“This latest threat comes after I was verbally and physically attacked on 31 December 2018 by members/supporters of the same political party at their headquarters in Freetown where I had gone to cover a story when police attacked the building with teargas.

“One of those attacks on me on that day happened right in the presence of the Secretary General of the party’s Young Generation, Abdul Conteh.

“A lady whom I don’t know, rained abuses on my parents before throwing an empty can at me. I duly brought the matter to the attention of the party’s National Secretary General, Osman Yansanneh moments after it had happened.

“I assume these attacks and threats are coming from thugs who are acting alone. I therefore urge the APC leadership to condemn this banditry and distance the party from it while I seek redress.”

Listen to Umaru Fofana speaking to former vice president Foh about the APC: 

Yesterday, Sierra Leone’s TV broadcaster – AYV, published a statement alleging violent attacks on its staff, which it said took place near the residence of former president Ernest Bai Koroma, by supporters of his APC party.

A female AYV journalist is reported to have been attacked whilst trying to report a story about the police interrogation of the former president at his house in Makeni.

Hundreds of APC party supporters were gathered outside the former president’s residence, in protest at the police decision to interrogate the former president, after a press statement published by the APC executive had labelled the government’s commission of inquiry into alleged corruption by former government officials, as tribalistic and a kangaroo court.

This is what the police told Radio Democracy about their decision to interrogate former president Koroma:

2 Comments

  1. I am really worried and sorry about what is going on in Sierra Leone. The BBC should know after all that most journalists in Sierra Leone are politicians and Umaru Fofanah is one of the likes. The reason is because most of these Newspapers and media houses are sponsored by politicians.

    There are ethics in journalism which needs to be respected. Umaru Fofanah is a relative of the late Former president of Sierra Leone Ahmed Tejan kabba. He practised his profession without being biased. Now he wants to run to Europe because of fear. Why didn’t he do that during the war ? A very bloody war in Sierra Leone Sierra Leone.

    He is just a mere coward and cowards die many times before their death. He is part and parcel of the SLPP government now in power and one thing I know is that they will be highly secured. We all know this that he is just seeking an opportunity to travel and stay abroad. The BBC must not take sides or be biased. Listen to both sides of a story.

    We are concerned and we love our country. We want to see a better Sierra Leone, very peaceful. Hope to be contacted for any further explanations . Peace, love and unity is what we want to see in our country and not tribalism, hatred, killings, harassment and lawlessness.

  2. The type of action happening in the country will never have been done by the SLPP members but by the APC who are still biting their fingers since losing the election in March.

    I do ask all the APC members to refrain from using violence. They must work with what the government is saying “To refrain from using or encouraging it”. This will only lead the country to another problem which no Sierra Leonean is prepared to accept.

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