Chernoh Alpha M. Bah Issues An Official Complaint Against New Citizen Newspaper For Publishing Uhuru News Slander Article
It has been almost 2 months since the Uhuru Movement launched one of its most scathing smear campaigns against another African leader. This time however they underestimated the unity that would be found and failed to anticipate a serious struggle. I do not wish to stir things up with this post. We have decided to “Do The Work”, and let history absolve us, to borrow from Fidel Castro. Only to make public for the record the negative affects of waging such unprincipled public criticisms of other African leaders and the dangers of the enemies of our struggle seizing on our strife and utilizing it as a means to attack.
This is the perfect example of how careless and immature acts made in the name of some “correct policy of criticism” can unintentionally land one into a collaboration with imperialism. You will read below that the Uhuru Movements Slander Article has been published in Sierra Leone by a newspaper owned by the neocolonial Mr. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo. He is the Minister of Information and Communications of the All Peoples Congress (APC) for the current government that utilizes his newspaper to attack political opponents.
We know that the Uhuru Movement understood that this could happen as they went to great lengths to mobilize their handful of “members” in Sierra Leone to stalk Chernoh and other members of the African Socialist Movement on radio shows, phone calls, and home attacks. But the people of Sierra Leone are an intelligent people that have witnessed the work and sacrifices of Chernoh for years and have untied with his constant criticism of both the neocolonial parties (SLPP & APC)! So it is clear to the people that these seemingly uncoordinated attacks are de facto conspiracies to undermine Chernoh as a leader of the working class and peasant masses in that country!
Any one who opposes the revolution opposes the people and they understand that. Whether you agree with the tactics and strategies of the ASM-SL it is blasphemy to label them anything less than a revolutionary mass movement.
I say that by default the Uhuru Movement and their members in Sierra Leone are partners with the APC! On more than one occasion since AAPDEP is in a relationship with Milton Bayoh, APC supporter and member. Since the “Freetown 3″ are reactionary deflectors and by default and their counter revolutionary actions are APC operatives and supporters. And now more recently the publishing of this Uhuru propaganda by the Minister Of Information and Communications of the neocolonial APC!
Because we are former members we know that the Uhuru Movement is fully aware of the risk involved in every decision that they make. So, we know that they probably intended or maybe suggested that this article be published by their APC cohorts. I dont know for sure but it is what it is. In the mist of the most significant election year in that countries history the APC and Uhuru Movement have informally joined forces against Chernoh, the ASM-SL, and the masses of people that support the movement.
From day one we summed this up as a classic cookie cut, COINELPRO/CIA style of attack and now it is becoming increasingly clear that we were correct in our criticism of not only the nature but the method of this unprincipled attack.
Our duty is to keep the people informed we welcome all constructive and objective criticism.
Official Complaint Filed By Chernoh And The ASM-SL
Friday July 14, 2012
Dear Sir; (The Chairperson of Independent Media Commission)
Complaint against Editor & Management of the New Citizen newspaper
I am writing to forward an official complaint against the Editor and also Management of The New Citizen newspaper owned by Mr. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, the current Minister of Information & Communications of the All People’s Congress (APC) government of President Ernest Bai Koroma.
As you may be aware, the Editor and Management of The New Citizen newspaper have been publishing an article that contains very slanderous and defamatory information against me and other reputable citizens of the United States of America who are associated with my professional and organizational work.
It might interest you to note that the truthfulness of the contents of the article, which appeared on the internet some two months ago from members of an organization that we were once associated with and largely based on a one-sided opinion from the writer(s), has been largely challenged by several political leaders and organizations across the United States of America and other places who are familiar with the actual basis of the disagreement between myself and the organization that first published the article in question.
These responses, which include my own personal response to the matters alleged in the defamatory article, are all available on the internet. Other testimonies from members of other socialist parties and organizations in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Swaziland, who have suffered from the same defamatory tendencies from the same organization, are also available on the internet alongside the same article that The New Citizen has been publishing.
One would have therefore expected a good journalist to have undertaken a comprehensive research and investigation on the contradictions raised in the said article before going to press. Such an investigation would have required the said journalists to contact me as the primary subject of the article and other individuals who are unfairly attacked in the said article because of their organizational relationship with me. This is not what the journalists of The New Citizen have done. In stead, they chose to published the article ignoring the fact that its contents are largely defamatory and slanderous not only against me and but also against the character and reputation of other individuals who have nothing to do with the politics of Sierra Leone let alone a government for which Mr. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo – the proprietor of the said newspaper – is serving as a Minister of Information and Communication.
They deliberately failed to contact me or any of the individuals mentioned in the article. The Editor of the newspaper and its Management equally failed to entertain our own valid reaction to the obviously slanderous material they have been publishing against us since Tuesday July 10, 2012 regardless of the fact that I have personally visited their offices to demand that our side of the story ought to be published. This happened in the presence of Mr. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, the Minister of Information and Communication, who is also the proprietor of the newspaper.
I am therefore writing to bring to your notice that The New Citizen newspaper, apart from publishing a very defamatory and slanderous article whose allegations they can not prove, is in violation of the Media Code of Practice and all other instruments governing the conduct and activities of journalists and the media in Sierra Leone. The New Citizen has failed to honour the ethics governing the profession of journalism.
It is obvious that the attitude of the said journalists as manifested in their handling of the said article could not be unconnected to some plot initiated by Mr. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo to employ his newspaper and other media institutions in an attempt to deliberately smear my reputation and character in the face of my constant objective criticism of the failures of the APC government that he is serving. The current unprincipled conduct of The New Citizen newspaper against me can not be divorced from this dishonest style of political propaganda of the APC orchestrated by its Minister of Information and Communication, Mr. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo against members of the opposition who are very critical of government economic programs and policies during the last four years.
In consequence, I am therefore bringing this issue to your notice and it is my hope that you will immediately intervene to help and encourage the journalists of the New Citizen to respect the provisions of the Media Code of Practice and the other instruments governing the conduct and activities of journalists.
As we approach the elections of November, the role of the media in maintaining peace can only be enhanced through objective reporting and independent discharge of its functions and responsibilities to society.
I am demanding on behalf of my other colleagues, the following:
i) That the New Citizen publishes an unqualified apology to me and the individuals unfairly mentioned in the article in question
ii) That the New Citizen equally publishes verbatim and in full all of our responses available on the internet on the subject of the article they have been serialising.
I look forward to your action on the subject of this compliant. I thank you in advance for your usual cooperation and understanding. An acknowledgement of this correspondence will be greatly appreciated.
Chernoh Alpha M. Bah, NDA Spokesman