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NOTICES & DOCUMENTS  

COMPLAINT AGAINST SORIE FOFANA INSULTING ALL CREOLES
By Arnold Akibo-Betts
Apr 7, 2011, 10:58
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Arnold Akibo-Betts
Deputy Editor,  THE SENATOR Newspaper, 
39 Soldier Street, Freetown.

 

To: The Chairperson & Commissioners,

Independent Media Commission (IMC),

Kissy House, Siaka Stevens Street, Freetown.

 

Monday April 4th, 2011.

Dear Sirs/Madams,

 

COMPLAINT AGAINST SORIE FOFANA INSULTING ALL CREOLES


I write to complain as a bonafide member of the Creole grouping of Sierra Leone against Mr. Sorie Fofana, a member of the Mandingo ethnic tribe.

Shortly after the December 2010 Cabinet Reshuffle of President Koroma, in an article titled: NEW CABINET WINNERS AND LOSERS, Mr. Sorie Fofana was to publish an offensive statement against Creoles of Sierra Leone in which he described us in a derogatory and pejorative manner thus: David Carew was the only Creole in the Ernest Bai Koroma led APC government. After all, the Creoles are no longer influential in the politics of Sierra Leone. They are not known to be committed Politicians.

He published this untrue, ethnic-based, insulting statement both on his website and in his local printed edition. A copy of the offensive article is here attached as printed from his website. You will have the archived local copy.

Honourable Commissioners, Article 25 and Article 26 of the Media Code of Practise warns all journalists to avoid publishing pejorative or prejudicial references to a persons ethnicity. Infact, Article 26 insists that if such an ethnic-referenced publication is made, mention of ethnicity must be directly relevant to the story.

In this case, not only did Mr. Sorie Fofana not have any grounds upon which to publish the ethnic identity of the sacked Minister to be a Creole but Mr. Sorie Fofana, after contravening Article 25 and 26 has also contravened Article 1 and Article 2 of the Media Code of Practise which calls for journalists to be factual and to distinguish clearly between facts, comments and conjectures.

It is not a fact that Creoles are inconsequential to Sierra Leone politics nor is it a fact that Creoles are not known to be committed people. Additionally, David Carew was not the only Creole in the Government as Energy Minister, Professor Ogunlade Davidson, is a bonafide Creole who is a highly committed man of no mean stature and possessing great influence in local and international polity. So to dismiss the Government as having only contained one Creole called David Carew, is another contravention of Article 1 of IMC Media Code of Practise. It is misleading, distorting and inaccurate to make such a claim.

Sirs/Madams, Mr. Sorie Fofana has also contravened Article 23 of the Media Code of Practise by making an indecent reference to all Creole politicians as having a reputation of not being committed and of being of no consequence in the politics of Sierra Leone. In so doing, Mr. Sorie Fofana has also contravened the Public Order Act of 1965 as well as the National Constitution of Sierra Leone which severally warns against doing exactly what Sorie Fofana has done: i.e: stirring up hate and contempt against an ethnic group in this case, the Creoles!

Sirs/Madam, I am the eldest son of my late father, Alfred Abraham Akibo-Betts who was a celebrated politician whose commitment to not only his party but to the whole of Sierra Leone, remains legendary. It is rare, if not impossible, for writers to mention legendary, committed politicians of Sierra Leoneans without mentioning my late fathers name who was born a Creole and lived his life in typical Creole fashion until the day he died. Even as of todays date of April 4th 2011, my late father was celebrated in todays edition of STAND FIRM newspapers editorial;  a copy of which I hereby attach.

Therefore, for Mr. Sorie Fofana to stir up hate and contempt against all Creoles in the manner in which has done, has not only contravened the Laws of Sierra Leone and the National Constitution but he has also done so with no factual basis. There are numerous other examples of outstanding Creole politicians and other Creole professionals whose commitment are legendary. Just look at an outstanding Creole journalist like Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden.

As far as my memory can serve me, prior to that his December 2010 publication that he disseminated both locally and on the Internet through the www.globaltimes-sl.org website, no Creole had ever referenced or roundly insulted the entire Mandingo tribe before and so Mr. Sorie Fofana has no grounds upon which to say he was returning an insult that was first levied against all Mandingos.

It was totally unacceptable for him to engage in such demonizing of us the Creoles of Sierra Leone and so I am complaining to the IMC for Sorie Fofana to be sanctioned for contravening Article 1, Article 2, Article 23, Article 25 and Article 26 of the IMC Media Code of Practise in that his unwarranted ethnic-bashing article.

Whilst looking forward to your prompt response,

I remain yours truly,

Arnold Akibo-Betts
Deputy Editor of THE SENATOR Newspaper

CC: Mr. Sorie Fofana

CC: Awareness Times Newspaper

CC: President of SLAJ.


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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