Reports of APC attacks on journalists are baseless and unfounded – says APC executive

Cornelius Deveaux – APC Publicity Secretary: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 19 January 2019:

The attention of the All Peoples Congress (APC) party has been drawn to two separate press releases issued by the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) and its Northern Bureau, both dated 18th January 2019,  in relation to unsubstantiated allegations of violence and death threats against AYV reporters and Umuru Fofanah respectively.

The membership of the Party and the general public is hereby informed that the allegations are baseless and unfounded and that the APC is yet to receive an official complaint(s) regarding the same from any aggrieved person(s) or institution(s).

The Party therefore views, with serious concern, the allegations as orchestrated conspiracy to bring the hard earned reputation of the APC into disrepute, especially at the time when a delegation from ECOWAS is in the country to mediate the rising political tension occasioned by the way and manner in which the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) government is abusing power and authority.

In this regard, the National Publicity Secretariat of the APC (Photo) remains of the conviction that the press releases from SLAJ and its Northern Bureau are far-fetched from speaking in good faith in the interest, safety and wellbeing of journalists.

The public will recall that a journalist was allegedly manhandled by supporters of the SLPP and officers of the Sierra Leone Police, not just on the instructions of a senior SLPP functionary, but also in his presence on the day of the bye elections in Tonko Limba, Kambia district, Northern Region which SLAJ is still ominously silent on.

That egregious act of violence and human rights abuse allegedly meted against a journalist and perpetuated by senior members of the governing party and the Sierra Leone Police is yet to be questioned by SLAJ nonetheless mentioned in its most recent press releases of 18th January 2019.

Our attention has also been drawn to the allegations made by the African Young Voices (AYV) Media Empire in relation to the hullabaloo surrounding one of its reporters on its front page commentary on Friday 18th January 2019 edition in which AYV threatens a news blackout on the APC.

Claims that AYV reporters were attacked on the premises of the Chairman and Leader of the APC, and as endorsed in one of the press releases from SLAJ, is totally untrue and deliberately misleading.

This seeming carefully orchestrated conspiracy to bring the reputation of the APC into disrepute cannot be unconnected to the pre-emptive statement by AIG Brima Jah, Director of Crimes Services of the Sierra Leone Police, that the APC supporters attacked AYV journalists and carted away with a camera on Radio Democracy 98.1 Good Morning show thereby prejudging even before a complaint was brought forth to his attention and as if he was present at the scene of the alleged crime.

This was just before he [AIG Brima Jah, the lead investigator] had confirmed that the atmosphere in the precinct of the residence of the Chairman and Leader was very peaceful.

Therefore, we believe that whatever may have happened outside the precinct of the residence of the Chairman and Leader has been prejudiced by the Police and we expect no good faith outcome different from the seeming conspiracy by SLAJ, AYV and the Police to present the APC in a bad light in view of public perception.

We therefore hereby engender AYV’s patience against its hasty threat to shut down the curtains on activities of the Party and news blackout on 68 Members of Parliament, 10 local councils, well-over 200 elected local councillors of the largest opposition in the country.

It would be injurious to democracy and good governance and besides, we stand to be challenged that the APC is certainly the biggest newsmakers in Sierra Leone.

Nonetheless, should the Party receive any official complaint(s) from any aggrieved person(s) or institution(s) the matter will be seriously looked into and where necessary defaulters shall be held accountable.

It is however advisable for victims of the purported misfortunes and their allies to restrain themselves from hasty generalization/conspiracies and/or baseless and unfounded allegations against the APC as clearly demonstrated in SLAJ’s separate press releases and AVY’s threat of news blackout on the APC.

Author

Cornelius Deveaux is the National Publicity Secretary of the All Peoples Congress Party (APC).

2 Comments

  1. My friend, APC should first of all endorse the fact that they are not in governance. They still have the effrontery to challenge and run a parallel government alongside a democratically elected government. They are going through what we call delayed grief.

    It is really very disturbing to see these people rallying on the streets of the cities, praising a man who is no longer in power and has been called to account for his stewardship after ten years of service.

    Maada has been very kind and polite to them. He is doing everything democratically in order to keep the peace in the country. Who dare you gallivant the streets of Freetown when APC passes order? That is because they have no respect for the law and the people that elected them.

    They stole and destroyed the future of this country and the life of generations yet unborn. They are very callous and cold people, who have galvanised together to defend their evil deeds.

    Some of us who grew up in the days of APC under Siaka Stevens and Momoh, suffered so much due to nepotism, tribalism and regionalism. Those were the days when education died in Siaka’s era and buried in Momoh’s regime.

    Fighting on the streets and damaging properties were the order of the day. The railway that helped so much to bring goods from the provinces to the city were taken away with vendetta. Our people lost their means of livelihood and Freetown started to become impotent of food supply.

    I was still a very small but I saw the machines uprooting the rail tracks in my village. I had no idea how this will affect us later on. The cocoa and coffee that was easily transported started to decay in our houses.

    The Lebanese people started profiting hugely from our parents labour by buying the products very cheap. It is a long story, but APC has impoverished this country from the time Jesus Christ was a still a small boy and they are still doing it.

    Now the new government wants to fight corruption and corruption wants to fights back. The commission of inquiry has not even started and there are so many explanations by APC. Please do not waste words. Wait until the time comes.

    Good things do not last forever. You thought nobody will challenge your evil deeds but you were mistaken. This is the time of accountability. Even the bible said that we will be accountable to God on the day of judgement.

    The Sierra Leone people kept quiet for a long time. God has sent our Moses to take us to the promised land. Thanks Mr President for a good job well done.

  2. The attacks on journalists is becoming problematic. Everybody is denying. But people are been attacked. One thing is certain. Journalists are been attacked which is definitely not good for the country’s image. Is it extremists in both political parties that are involved or are the attacks on the journalist directed by the parties themselves?

    There are three possible scenarios to consider:

    1. APC or any other party supporter can infiltrate another party’s meeting to cause havoc in disguise. For example, not everybody wearing red in an APC gathering is an APC supporter. The Same for the SLPP or any other political party as regards to colour of their vests or costumes.

    2. It could also be the extremists in the political parties that are causing these havoc.

    3. It could also be an organised undertaking within the party itself with the knowledge of some of its leaders.

    So, what can now be done to stop this nightmare against our innocent journalists? My opinion is that all the parties should educate their supporters on, if you see something, say something or if you see something, try to help or find out. If during a party meeting someone starts to behave badly to others or a journalist for example, other party supporters should intervene to help with the situation.

    So, instead of playing the blame game, the political parties must start to inform and educate their supporters on how to detect supporters in disguise and also how to help with situations of hooliganism. Frankly speaking this blame game has to stop. More common sense initiatives must be taken by all political parties to stop these attacks on not only journalists but on innocent peaceful citizens as well.

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