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Maada Bio, Sulaiman Banja-Tejansie & Kalilu Totangi molest Female SLBC Journalist
By Sylvia Blyden & Aruna Turay
Oct 22, 2012, 12:17
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A female member of staff of the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) is reporting that she was verbally attacked on Saturday October 20th 2012 in a malicious manner by opposition presidential candidate Maada Bio and also by Kalilu Totangi, opposition head of media, right inside the opposition SLPP headquarters. According to Mrs. Yvette Jas-Corr, ever since she was assigned to SLPP headquarters this month as the SLBC reporter covering SLPP activities, it has been a psychological trauma for her.

On her first day, she says she was accosted by SLPP Scribe Sulaiman Banja Tejansie on presenting her letter of credentials from SLBC.

Na which party you dey? Make ee nor be say you na spy den done send pan we oh
? were amongst the questions asked of her by Sulaiman Banja Tejansie. [TRANSLATION: What political party do you belong to? Hope you have not been sent to spy on us?]


Another question, Banja Tejansie is alleged to have asked her was You na marrade woman? [TRANSLATION: Are you married] to which, in a state of shock at the impertinent question, she merely showed him her wedding ring.


Upon seeing her gold wedding ring, he reportedly said Well some woman dem kin werr marrade ring but den nor marrade so talk nor. You na marrade woman? [TRANSLATION: Well some women wear wedding rings without being married so answer my question. Are you a married woman?]


According to her, this latest alleged psychological haranguing by Maada Bio and Kalilu Totangi came about when she attempted to interview Bio on aspects of his launched Manifesto. She says a furious Bio and Totangi launched a bitter verbal tirade at her and Maada Bio also posed a fierce sojaman military pose when talking down to her camera man who was trying to explain to Bio that SLBC was not biased against SLPP.


Apparently standing like a military man over SLBC camera man who was stooping, Maada Bio is reported to have shouted, Na true Kalilu dey talk. SLBC una biased against SLPP. Ar nor get natin for say to una and then he strode out.  [TRANSLATION: Kalilu is saying the truth. SLBC is biased against SLPP. I have nothing to say to you people].

Mrs. Jas-Corr says the actions of Maada Bio stunned her as it showed a man who was not in control of his emotions and lacked leadership skills.

I expected much more from a leader. I feel disappointed at how he treated me especially as I am a woman. I felt ashamed and humiliated by Mr. Bio, Mrs. Jas-Corr told Awareness Times.


Yvette Jas-Corr has also described Kalilu Totangi as being rude and obviously in a state of frustration.


She said Totangi swung his hands right in front of her face whilst vowing that Maada Bio will not speak to SLBC.

Although he did not hit me, he violently swung his hands right in front of my face so much so that I felt the wind pass my face. I felt humiliated and molested. I felt robbed of my pride as a woman by the way I was treated inside the SLPP headquarters, Mrs. Jas-Corr said adding even during the trip we made to Pujehun to launch the SLPPs campaign on October 17th, it was the same awful treatment. I have asked my bosses to withdraw me from covering SLPP programmes.


Her immediate boss at SLBC, Mr. Samuel Valcarcel confirmed to Awareness Times that he had received the disturbing report of the maltreatment of one of our female staff inside the SLPP headquarters.


According to Valcarcel, the report has been corroborated by the cameraman who was with Mrs. Jas-Corr at the time she was molested by Maada Bio and Kalilu Totangi. Valcarcel said SLBC was now going to be vigorously engaging the SLPP authorities on the matter.


Mr. Elvis Gbanabome Hallowell, Director-General of the SLBC tells Awareness Times that this is not a matter we will treat lightly. Our staff should not be intimidated or molested by anyone especially not a female staff.


All attempts to reach the relevant persons of Bio, Tejansie and Totangi for their own side of the incident proved futile. However, we reached the editor of the SLPP mouthpiece newspaper, Mr. B.W. Bockarie who denied that such a thing could have happened.


Not Brigadier Maada Bio. He is too much of a gentleman for that. And besides, why will he refuse to speak to an SLBC staff when we have agreed for SLBC to give us coverage? Bockarie pondered.


Late last night, our editor finally reached the opposition SLPPs National Chairman & Leader John Oponjo Benjamin. He told this paper that he was just returning from several days of campaigning in the provinces. He has promised to investigate the matter with both Bio and Totangi for their own side.

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

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