“Press freedom and the free flow of information are necessary not only to inform citizens about the [Sustainable Development] Goals, but to enable them to hold their leaders accountable for fulfilling the pledges they have made,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message marking World Press Freedom Day, which is observed on 3 May each year.
It is exactly the date of the letter, in which Green Scenery and FIAN, reported The Spectator to the Independent Media Commission (IMC), a very sad situation.
Reports indicated that certain Non-governmental organizations are trying to discredits the media in this country.
One of those organizations that have doggedly tried to defame the media is Green Scenery. This organization has been working directly with FIAN in Pujehun district precisely Sahn Malen.
It has been remarkably noticed that Green Scenery is against the operations of Socfin Company, an agricultural outfit which has provided employment for many indigenes and also contributing in terms of paying taxes to Government.
Through research, it was discovered that since the inception of the operations of Socfin Company, Green Scenery has been propagating negative information about the company.
President Ernest Bai Koroma and even the Local authorities within the district are very aware of these altercations between Green Scenery and Socfin to a certain point in time when he even stated that no individual or authority should undermine the activities of any company that is bent on fostering development within the country.
This medium is urging peace loving Sierra Leoneans to join hands with investors like Socfin Agricultural Company, OCTEA and others to help boost our economy.
It is becoming crystal clear that certain Non-Governmental Organizations and International Non-Governmental Organizations are seriously censoring the media.
The media will continue to expose NGO’s and INGO’s that are frowning against multi-national companies.
President Koroma in his address to the Pujehun people at the Malen Playing Field last month was very unequivocal to saboteurs particularly Non-Governmental Organizations and International Non-Governmental to stop discouraging investors.
The Pujehun people and invitees can see the bitterness on the face of President Koroma while frowning at local NGO’s conspiring with Local NGOs &International NGOs trying to frustrate investors in the country.
As an independent and responsible media outlet we totally frown at the stance of Green Scenery for stating that we published defamatory articles concerning the organization and its partners.
The Federation International Droit d’homme, (IDH) an International Human Right Organization calls freedom of the press a basic human right. The authorities must cease all acts of harassment against the media and allow journalists to do their job without hindrance, obstruction or intimidation,” Secretary General of the organization enthused a week ago.
We do not understand organizations like Green scenery or Fian Belgium who claims to defend Human Rights to directly threaten to gag Press Freedom.
A forked tongue!! Making the world believe one thing, in reality doing the opposite, it’s really unfortunate for them.
All information previously published was made available to this medium by the Chiefdom authorities and some Government officials who in our estimation we deemed to be very credible.
Though we failed to get the side of Green Scenery , we deemed all the information given to us by the Chiefdom Authorities, including the Honorable Paramount Chief, Brima Victor Kebbie, was in the best interest of Chiefdom and the country as a whole.
We do implore the Government under the leadership of President Koroma to protect multi-investment companies for the benefit of the nation.
We are totally against the statement that the articles that were published were very poor and they contain aggressive allegations lacking basic sources.
We are merely trying to help the Government to encourage multi-investors in the country by exposing anti-developmental organizations.
The various articles: “How sincere is Green Scenery to the Government”, “Why vilifying Multi-National Companies”, “International Non-Governmental Organizations Frustrating Salone Economy”, “Green Scenery International NGO Ban From Entering Malen Chiefdom” and “What’s hope for the Saboteurs” were all published out of the love, admiration, support for the good work of the Ernest Bai Koroma led administration.
We believe that posterity will judge us if we fail to expose some of the ills of society.
President Koroma is pleased with the investment at Malen-Chiefdom expressing such in a tet-a-tet discussion with young Sierra Leoneans working at the agricultural company.
The Spectator is protecting the love President Koroma has for Sierra Leoneans, the massive infrastructure undertakings by the company in Sahn-Malen Chiefdom should not be allowed by narrow-minded Sierra Leoneans operating under the pretext of Non-Governmental Organizations.
Civil Society Organizations or Non-Governmental Organizations should not be seen sabotaging genuine investors in the country.
Residents of Sahn-Malen Chiefdom are challenging Green Scenery and FIAN to showcase a single development they have done for the chiefdom people.
We are wondering what hidden agenda these organizations have for Sierra Leoneans, Investigative journalism is our key word, we reports the stories as it is.
What rights do the INGO’s had to interfere with government and the free press and to tell Sierra Leoneans what we can or should do or not?
Are we not able to handle our own business, under the dynamic leadership of President Koroma? International Non-Government should leave us in peace. Colonialism is over, we can handle our own business, the money on behalf of Sierra Leone is your bread and butter; go we don’t need you anymore.
The Majority Leader of Parliament, who doubles as Leader of all Government Business in Parliament, Hon. Ibrahim Bundu blasted International Non-Governmental Organizations for tax evasion.
He explained that most of the INGO’s expert are paid colossal amount of money, but reluctantly to pay their income tax to the National Revenue Authority of Sierra Leone.
“The law will take its course for anybody who breaks the laws of the country,” he said.
The Spectator was overwhelmed with development Socfin Agricultural Company is doing in Sahn-Malen Chiefdom and beyond.
President Koroma was also astounded with the kind of development the agricultural company is shooting in Malen Chiefdom.
The roads, education, health and the livelihood of the ordinary people have developed drastically to the amusement of the chiefdom authorities.
Censoring or intimidating the media will not help the situation, we are not blind, we can feel development, we see development the people of Malen Chiefdom need peace and they are highly satisfied with Socfin Agricultural Company.
The honeymoon is over for any self-styled organizations.
Let’s join hands to help developed Sierra Leone, the pulling him down syndrome will continued to tear us apart. Lonta!
Read the original article here: http://www.salonetoday.com/newspapers/spectator/why-censoring-the-media/