The Acting Editor of the Awareness Times Newspaper, Abdul Karim Kabia, is swimming in a pool of death threats from hooligans who are finding it difficult to understand the meaning of democracy and freedom of the press.
The unwavering and youngest newspaper editor in the country, had earlier wanted to ignore the scores of life threatening text messages and phone calls he received on a daily basis, but the ones he received on Monday 16th March 2009, forced him to make a report at the Lumley Police Division.
Among the numerous threatening messages Abdul Karim Kabia received on his Africell mobile phone are one from a Zain number, 078 342412 on Monday 16th March 2009 at exactly 4:31pm and another on 4:36pm respectively. The first message reads thus: "WAE KAKROACH WAN ALAKI NA PAMINE BOTTLE E DAE FEN. U FASIN 4 WRITE BUT APC, WE GO KILL U LEK FOL. BASTA PIKIN EDITOR", whilst the second reads: "YOU ARE JUST A DEAD MAN WORKING. WHO DO U THINK U ARE TO POKE UR NOSE INTO OUR GOVT. AFFAIRS. D GRAVE IS WHERE U BELONG AND WE WILL HELP U GO THERE".
As if that was not enough, the editor received another phone call from a private phone number at around 5:10pm on the same Monday in question. The unknown caller, with a cracked voice, made several life threatening remarks for over 20 minutes. The caller who refused to identify himself, rudely told Kabia to "desist from publishing offensive articles against the APC led government or be ready to lose your life in the most gruesome way". The calls and text messages did not cease to flow in up till press time yesterday.
Meanwhile, Editor Kabia and the entire Awareness Times team remain calm and committed to their sacred responsibility of informing, educating and entertaining the public.
"Life threatening remarks cannot divert my focus; it rather strengthens my resolve to continue my hard work without fear and favour", Abdul Karim Kabia stated, adding that such behaviours are acts of cowardice and sheer sycophancy.
Commenting on the issue, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Proprietress of the Awareness Times newspaper, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, stated that "those threats are nothing but stupid threats". For her, "deadly threats have become part and parcel of me, as I received them on an hourly basis". She emphasized her resolve to continue her sacred responsibility of news dissemination unhindered.
On a similar note, the Editor of the Exclusive Newspaper, David A. Jabati, continues to receive anonymous death threats, few days after being mercilessly beaten by miscreants. Yesterday, he received a letter from a so-called APC Special Task Force, warning him to "henceforth stop attacking the APC in your newspaper". The letter alleged that Mr. Jabati have been bribed by the SLPP to destroy the APC, adding that he should return the money back to the SLPP, or they will continue to hunt him down day and night.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.