From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
President Koroma Ignores APC Newspaper; Adopts Intolerance Tool in Sierra Leone
By Sylvia O. Blyden
May 7, 2009, 17:30

Wittingly or unwittingly, President Ernest Koroma, the APC Leader, has virtually neglected the APC’s official mouthpiece, We Yone Newspaper, which is alleged to be drowning in unpaid debts and has instead gotten his regime to adopt the propagation of intolerant materials that seek to promote divisiveness, hate and calumny in the society; The President is overseeing a State House where his Press Secretary is using Government equipment to assist the production of what is registered as a private newspaper house at 17 Bathurst Street.

Ernest Koroma’s State House is now assisting the Divisive materials in Shekito’s paper as evidenced by this State-Owned Vehicle operating to & from PRIVATE 17 Bathurst St. office on a daily basis

Aside from the use of State funds to equip a private newspaper’s production, what is even more worrying is the fact that the newspaper’s publications are clearly aimed at sowing fresh seeds of political hatred and intolerance in a society that is fighting to inculcate political tolerance.

The Press Secretary to His Excellency the President is running a newspaper which every single day comes out with materials that leave many eyebrows raised sky-high. The State House Press vehicle which is supposed to be assigned to carry out official duties is now being used by the private newspaper and is seen going to and from the 17 Bathurst Street offices all day long. This press-house has been closely monitoring the vehicle’s movements.

In a subsequent edition, this writer might or might not take a more in-depth look at the operations of the said newspaper, its divisive contents that run counter to the professed words of President Koroma, its obsession with John Benjamin and Tejan Kabbah as well as carry exclusive interviews with Mr. Pasco Temple and Mr. Tatafway Tumoe, erstwhile Managing Editor and Editor who have both since quit the paper in disgust.

Many observers have opined to this writer that should President Koroma continue to encourage Shekito to attack SLPP and John Benjamin even as the latter bends backwards to promote political tolerance in this society, the President should have no-one but himself to blame if a section of the press turn their pens directly on him, the President.

"President Koroma’s handlers should not believe that they are the only ones with the capacity to write in Sierra Leone and they should realise they have far, far more to lose than us should we open a writing match with them," a University student and SLPP supporter, Sheku Gibrilla Kamara quietly opined to this writer yesterday after reading the latest attack in a series of recent attacks on the personality of John Benjamin.

Meanwhile, it is reliably learnt that the APC’s official We Yone Newspaper continues to find it difficult to hit the market as the paper cannot pay its creditors whilst State House seemingly lavishes State resources on Shekito’s private newspaper at 17 Bathurst Street. When Cornelius Deveaux, the Editor of We Yone newspaper was contacted on the issue last night, he tritely responded that he had "nothing to say" as to why the APC newspaper had not been out on the streets for weeks now.

This saga might or might not continue in subsequent editions. Stay tuned.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.