By Sorie Fofana…………………….
Since he was sworn-in as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone in 2007, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has enjoyed a cozy relationship with members of the Forth Estate.
Even before he was elected President, Ernest Bai Koroma (the insurance executive), was a major financier of several media outlets.
As Leader of the Opposition who was busily courting public attention, Ernest Bai Koroma befriended a lot of Journalists during his days in Parliament. His regular sound bites in The House usually dominated the front pages of several newspapers. He suddenly became the darling of the print media.
As President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has helped a lot of Journalists. Some Journalists have been lucky to be even appointed as Ministers of government.
Others, who have not been so very lucky, have enjoyed from his financial generosity and friendability.
It is rare for some print media Journalists to openly criticize President Koroma in the pages of their newspapers. Afterall, they still consider him as a friend of the Press.
President Koroma’s open criticism of the media, last Friday, came as a shock to many media practitioners. That was least expected of a man who has enjoyed a cozy relationship with the local media since he came to power in 2007.
What has the media got to do with the collapse of the country’s economy? What has the media got to do with Koroma’s diminishing popularity in the country? What has the media got to do with the severe suffering of the average Sierra Leonean today? What has the media got to do with the rampant corruption and lawlessness that has spread throughout the country today?
Our friend should not look for scapegoats in his failure to address the bread and butter issues in the country.
Our media friend should admit that he has run out of ideas to govern the country. He should not blame the media for his failure to implement hard-hitting measures in order to curb rampant corruption and institutionalized leakages in his government.
What does the President mean by “incoherent newspaper articles”? So, newspaper articles that do not support the government’s austerity measures are incoherent?
A good leader should always maintain a calm and controlled demeanor in public. You don’t lose your cool under pressure!
Having served as President for eight years, President Koroma should have gotten used to public criticisms. To his credit, President Koroma has been a very tolerant man. But his recent ill-advised outburst at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay at Cline Town leaves much to be desired.
Some of us still consider him as a friend of the Press.
A friend indeed!