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COMMENTS & OPINIONS  

Bravo to Superintendent Biango for making Sierra Leone Police proud!
By Sylvia Blyden
Nov 2, 2011, 17:12
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I first met Superintendent Tamba Moses Biango during a trip to Pujehun District in 2007. He was by then the Local Unit Commander (LUC) for Pujehun and it was the period before the elections when political malcontents had embarked on rampant burning of houses. Over 150 houses were burnt down in Pujehun.

 

The arsonists would strike in the middle of the night wearing black outfits and covered with masks. It created a serious panic which even spread beyond Pujehun to Bo and Freetown as people started reminiscing of the mysterious Ndorgborwusui fearful days gone by.

 

To the utmost credit of the Biango-led Police team in Pujehun, they were able to unravel the mystery using excellent policing skills. LUC Biango was to diligently unravel the motive behind the mystery fires which I do not need to get into here. Bottomline, having determined their motive, Biango ensured the detention of the culprits and their indictment in court. Just as mysteriously as the fires started, so did they cease due to excellent policing skills of Biango. Indeed T.M. Biango is an Officer we should all be proud of! I am!

 

Fast forward to 2011 where Sierra Leone is being plagued with reckless journalism! One very discredited publisher, printed (without any evidence) that an upstanding Sierra Leone citizen from Koinadugu known as Alhaji Alie Batorma Sheriff, was an illicit miner. It was a published lie contrary to the Criminal Defamation Laws of the Public Order Act of 1965. That publishers ceaseless malicious lies aimed to demean Sheriff in the eyes of right-thinking men; simply because Sheriff decided to resign from the SLPP.

 

Aside the load of criminally defamatory materials against the person of Alhaji Batorma Sheriff, the discredited publisher also published clearly seditious tribal incitements contrary to both the Public Order Act and Constitution of Sierra Leone during which, totally needless tribal stoking of Madingoes versus Limbas was done.

 

The reckless publisher then, with no regard for the right of Batorma Sheriff to his reputation, goes on to complain that the defamatory, seditious and inciteful publication should be allowed to be freely distributed to the general public in Koinadugu despite the increased tribal tensions his reckless outright lies were creating there!

 

I spoke to LUC Biango about these criminal actions by the reckless publisher. I must say I felt proud of Biango as he recounted the speedy proactive moves he instituted to cease the tribal incitement via distribution of published criminal materials. LUC Biango used community policing skills to prevail on misguided SLPP partisans to desist from the folly of engaging in criminal dissemination of defamatory, seditious and tribal incitement materials.

 

What we should not forget as journalists is, our right to freedom of expression stops where the next mans right to his reputation starts. That notorious publisher who tried to defame Alhaji Sheriff should be thanking his stars that his agents were not charged for Seditious Libel, Incitement and such crimes listed in Public Order Act.

 

Alhaji Batorma Sheriff deserves his right to his reputation. He was not an illicit miner. He was not against Kabbah and does not deserve this defamation simply because he changed political parties.

 

Similarly, LUC Biango has just returned from making Sierra Leone proud as a police peacekeeper in Sudan. He also does not deserve defamation from reckless so-called journalists. As LUC Biango goes about proactively doing his work to ensure protection of ALL rights of ALL residents of Koinadugu District, I can only say bravo to him.

 

Meanwhile, some of us are just waiting for the Independent Media Commission to be fully constituted! WE CANT WAIT!!


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