From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

COMMENTS & OPINIONS
Breaking News: Sad to Report that SLAJ under Umaru Fofana has gone to the Dogs
By Sylvia Olayinka Blyden
Oct 16, 2012, 17:14

As I said a few days ago, our esteemed journalists' body, the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) has really gone to the dogs ever since it was hijacked by the opposition media teamsters (i.e: PA.O.PA squaddies).

 

SLAJ vice-president and SLAJ president Sheikh Bawoh and Umaru Fofana respectively are now in the dregs as they force their PA.O.PA agenda on the country using CRIMINAL METHODS now to get their agenda underway.

 

Imagine, they have now stooped so low as to actually criminally fake a press release with SLAJ Secretary-General Ismael Koroma's signed name forged on it and published it on the front page of Global Times yesterday Monday October 15th 2012. I am assuming silence to mean acquiescence as Fofana is yet to denounce the criminal act of his characterless Vice-President!

 

Global Times, which is rabidly pro-SLPP is editted by Sheikh Bawoh. That paper is lead propagandist for opposition in the country and does not hesitate to publish outright lies and character assassinations as Umaru Fofana is on record to have done in the past.The classic case of Umaru Fofana's malicious trash against Haja Afsatu Kabba over BBC immediately comes to mind.

 

The fake SLAJ Press Release (bottom of which was forged Ismael Koroma's signed named), had attacked the person's of Alpha Khan and Balogun Koroma of the ruling APC claiming that was the official position of SLAJ. It was NOT. The correct SLAJ Press release as agreed upon by the SLAJ executives was totally different and did not mention any ruling APC official's name but simply condemned the lawlessness of the opposition SLPP.

 

On this page below is SLAJ Secretary-General Ismael's official statement demanding an apology from the editor of Global Times who is SLAJ Vice-president. The fact that the SLAJ Secretary-General is making such a public demand for an apology from his colleague in SLAJ executive speaks volumes in itself about whether or not SLAJ has gone to the dogs or not.

 

I told people that the refusal of Umaru Fofana to condemn the abduction of the foreign journalist will be the watershed moment for his presidency of SLAJ. As usual, my predictions are ON TARGET! The official demand for an apology to SLAJ for criminal editting by SLAJ VP is published below whilst both the CORRECT and FORGED SLAJ Press Releases are also published.

 

So, has SLAJ gone to the dogs under Umaru? You decide dear readers!


 --------------------------------


Sierra Leone Association of Journalists

1st Floor, 56 Campbell Street, Freetown

Website: www.slaj.sl    Email: slaj.salone@gmail.com

 


President: +232 76/77/33 609285,

Secretary-General +232 76 460423/033 533547

_____________________________


Date: 15 October 2012

 

PUBLIC NOTICE

UNOFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE FROM SLAJ


Freetown
The attention of SLAJ National Secretariat has been drawn to a press release published on the Global Times Newspaper on Monday 15 October 2012, captioned SLAJ responds to accusations by ruling party officials and signed by the National Secretary General, Ismael Koroma.

 

The National Secretariat wishes to inform the general public that the said press release is unofficial and does not come from SLAJ.

 

The Secretariat wishes it to be known that the use of the name of the National Secretary General in that press release is criminal, and therefore demands an immediate apology from the Editor of the Global Times Newspaper to SLAJ and its National Secretary General and retraction of the said unofficial press release.

 

Signed

ISMAEL KOROMA

National Secretary General

....................................

THE CORRECT SLAJ RELEASE

Date: 14 October 2012

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

 

SLAJ condemns the action of the SLPP for taking foreign journalist to their party headquarters for questioning. 

 

Freetown The National Secretariat of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, after preliminary investigation wishes to condemn the alleged action of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party for taking a French journalist to their party headquarters for questioning during their party nomination rally on Monday October 8 October 2012 in Freetown.

 

How could someone filming an open event in broad-day light be doing so surreptitiously to constitute espionage? asks the SLAJ President, adding that if there was anything suspicious the cameraman was doing, he should have been taken straight to the police.

 

The National Secretariat has launched an investigation into the matter to verify accusations and counter-accusations of kidnapping and torturing of the journalist by officials of the ruling APC and SLPP respectively, and the public will be duly informed about the outcome. 

 

We have no evidence of the claims of torture or even beating or any manhandling of the journalist, and if it exists would be interested to receive it for action, says Umaru Fofana SLAJ President.

 

The National Secretariat wishes it to be known that this release is not being sent out under any pressure from any political party or individual.


-------------------- 

Ismael Koroma

National Secretary General

.........................................

FOLLOWING IS CRIMINALLY FORGED SLAJ PRESS RELEASE


SLAJ responds to accusations by ruling party officials


Freetown
The attention of SLAJ has been drawn to a statement made on the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation on Friday 12 October by the Campaign Coordinator of the governing All People's Congress party, Balogun Koroma, repeating a similar inference made by the Minister of Political Affairs, Alpha Kanu who was speaking at a press conference on Tuesday 9 October in his capacity as Public Affairs Officer of the same political party.

 

Both men have attacked SLAJ for not making a statement about an incident they say happened and about which the Association has received no evidence or complaint written or verbal. Koroma even referred to SLAJ as a toothless bulldog under its current leadership for not condemning the alleged incident.

Both men say a Senegalese cameraman/journalist was kidnapped and tortured for seven hours on Monday by the opposition Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) before being handed over to SLAJ, and that the Association has not condemned the alleged acts.

 

We have no evidence of the claims of torture or even beating or any manhandling of the journalist, and if it exists would be interested to receive it for action, says Umaru Fofana SLAJ President.


He says he received a call on Monday afternoon from a member of the SLPP, as did the Vice President, informing him about a cameraman they claimed was spying on them during their political rally and they wanted to take him to the police. Fofana spoke to the cameraman/journalist on the phone who said that there was a misunderstanding because he could not speak English and that he was being guided by an ex-serviceman who is a private guard to Alpha Kanu. He was asked whether he had been manhandled or harassed and he answered NO. He complained of no attack physical or verbal against him, and said only that he was accused of spying for the opponents.

 

We will never surrender SLAJ to the control of any political party, nor can we be blackmailed by any individual or political interest, Fofana says.

 

He however condemns the action of the SLPP for taking the cameraman/journalist to their party headquarters. How could someone filming an open event in broad-day light be doing so surreptitiously to constitute espionage? asks the SLAJ President, adding that if there was anything suspicious the cameraman was doing, he should have been taken straight to the police.


Signed___________

Ismael Koroma ( National Secretary General )



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