Radio Democracy Versus Evil Or Rogue Civil Society Organisations?


    “I am a member of the ruling APC party and this I must tell you in confidence,”says the Executive Director of Democracy Sierra Leone-Alhaji Warisay.

    He was speaking to me at his Percival Street office some four years ago during a private interaction. Warisay says he hailed from Segbwema and his actual surname is *Waritay but his immediate guardian then was Sesay,* hence the reason for the combinated surname.

    “I am campaigning for More Time for President Ernest Bai Koroma because he has done a lot and needs another term,” says Alphonso Manley-National Coordinator for Civil Rights Coalition. He added that “I am wearing this More Time T-shirt to launch the campaign across the country.”

    Morlai Conteh, the President/Director of National Youth Coalition was a colleague but a very active APC student at Fourah Bay College-University of Sierra Leone. In fact he was the Minister of Information-FBC.

    Today he has been compensated as Board Member of the country’s state broadcaster-Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC)
    The President of the Anti-Violence Movement-Bernard Conteh has been reportedly used to oppose violent activities of the opposition parties. He has been very vociferous on that but lacks the temerity and intestinal fortitude to oppose all violence reportedly perpetrated by the ruling party.

    What a political stooge hiding under the cloak of Civil Society Organisation!
    From the aforementioned premise, one would be seduced by the truth to know why a purported *evil groups* turned into Civil Society to trumpet the ambition and political aspirations of their political god fathers all in the name of advocacy.

    What magnetised my attention was a poorly written Press Release by Mohamed Warisay and his cohorts dated 23rd January, 2018.

    Yesterday’s Press Release titled: *Civil Society Radio, 98.1 FM Goes Political* is aimed at denting/smearing the hard-won reputation of one of Sierra Leone’s leading radio stations (Radio Democracy). Aside from the fact that there were *Subject, Verb Disagreements,* the Press Release is grammatically erroneous and fallaciously disjointed. For instance, *Radio Democracy, F.M. 98.1 has become highly biased and it’s editorial is now been managed by people with strong political affiliation.*

    I am not a grammarian, but Kenneth Osho (FBC lecturer) taught me to understand that BEEN goes with HAS, HAD and HAVE. I have refused not to dwell on Syntax, Structure, Concord and their Linguistical phonemes. This is shameful!

    The unadulturated truth is, the role/s of Civil Society has been an integral part for sustainable democracy but this is completely missing in the country especially with the influx of mushroom groups assuming this position. Kudos to Valnora’s Campaign for Good Governance! No wonder Ibrahim Tommy of Center for Accountability and Rule of Law has been wrongly associated with the Sierra Leone Peoples Party.

    Civil Society is made up of civil actions, that is, those actions which directly or indirectly tend to promote the common good of society as a whole. Such actions are the basis upon which democracy, good governance, respect for human rights and inclusiveness of society rests. On the other hand, where the latter do not exist, society is more likely to become uncivil, hence the existence of evil society.

    In Sierra Leone, the existence of evil society has predominantly undermined the efficiency of our democracy and effectiveness of our state institutions. These days, the term civil society has been negatively used to describe mouth piece of the ruling Government and bootlickers of state functionaries.

    Radio Democracy’s ‘Gud Morning Salone’ is a widely listened Krio Magazine program in the country. Do a survey to disprove me wrong. I will not comment on *content and reportage* which is incredibly acclaimed. Asmaa James and her auxiliary soldiers have created an unbiased platform which many are enjoying today.

    Assuming they have declared for the opposition SLPP, why at one point in time the Board almost gave a media blackout to the same SLPP? The ruling Government reportedly used SLBC against Lahai Lawrence Leema the National Publicity Secretary of the SLPP and Africa Young Voices Media Empire used two party stalwarts (Abdulai Baratay and Abu Bakarr Daramy)to critique Samura Kamara yet they were highly hailed. This is arant mediocrity by celebrated vuvuzelas.
    In deed our lives begin to end the day we become silent on the issues that matter. It is in this spirit that The Voiceless Sierra Leoneans are responding to such a misguided and politically motivated Press Release meant to defame Radio Democracy which has positively served this country for a very long time.

    The requests made therein are untenable an indefensible. BBC’s Umaru Fofana was also labelled SLPP. This is Salone for us.
    Let me admonish the author/s of such a discontented Press Release to please respect the Queen’s Language and try to solicit better heads so that the public will learn from an informed point of view.
    This is the Pen of the Voiceless Sierra Leoneans. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and 24th/1/2018

    By Elkass Sannoh