Official Response of the Media Team of Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh for President against the Nation Times Newspaper
August 30, 2017: Attempts to gate crash the character of Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh, Jr. will not go unnoticed without our strong response. Those who have not the decency to withstand cross-examination without being found wanting will be given no aura of oxygen.
Early in the 1700s, Jonathan Swift narrated the attitude of impostors in his best seller— Gulliver’s Travel, asserting that narrow-minded swindlers were pocket-sized figures residing on the island of Lilliput, known to be mischief-makers and gangsters, they pandered to the instincts of hate and greed. That, they opposed anything that was virtuous and appropriate, while indulging in acts inimical to the forward march of the greater good, for the greater number of people in the society. In the folly of their thinking and the cheapness of their logic, he opined, these were the men who had no decency, but rather to denigrate astute statesmen who had sacrificed their lives for noble causes. We have read many local dailies and news articles lately, but the stories coming out of the Nation Times Newspaper are so appalling and disconcerting that we must react. Unfortunately for us, we were surprised to have read one of the most contradictory stories in recent times— in the Monday, August 29, 2017 edition of the Times Newspaper, captioned: “Notorious Rebel Fahnbulleh Goes Mad- Targets Media for Rudeness-is he on weed?”
Before we take this paper on, for the slanted information it purveyed to the public about Dr. Fahnbulleh, we want to inform the public that the publication falls short of the standards befitting a reputable newspaper. It is a hurriedly prepared publication, and presided over by an editor who is not versed in media related matters in Liberia. This editor in the person of Octavius Williams is not a journalist in our opinion, but a ruthless fraudster who uses the media as a hideout to vilify decent men and women in society. The editor of the Nation Times made slews of unsubstantiated allegations that bordered on crude logic, hasty generalizations, vague analysis, bias inclinations and non sequitur conclusions. The story, in and of itself, cannot qualify to be anything more than a sadistical propaganda written lousily that lacks understanding of the struggle that ensued in this country for the past three decades. All we can bet on, is that, the editor of the newspaper looks like a pen-for-hire mercenary, who panders to the instincts of primitive accumulation and conspicuous consumption.
We are inclined to believe that the paper is one of those publications that gate-crash onto the newsstand prematurely, and is characterized by slews of deliberate misinformation and wanton insinuations devoid of facts and truths,. It is our submission therefore that its motivation to publish such gibberish article dubbed as a news story is geared at not only besmearing the reputation of Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh, Jr., but to make him appear guilty, in total contrast of the conscious role he played in engendering the democratization of this space today called Liberia. The struggled icon in Dr. Fahnbulleh refuses to be victimized by this apostle of mischief.
Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh, Jr. has contributed to this free society where freedom of speech and of the press are no longer playthings of the rich and powerful in the Republic, but a fundamental democratic tenet inherent to the ordinary citizen as well as media practitioners, that Mr. Williams and his peers are enjoyimg.
For example, In 1978, at age 26, with a PhD in Political Philosophy, Dr. Fahnbulleh chose to teach at the University of Liberia in order to transform the minds of students. Instead of taking up job within the oligarchy of True Wing Party, HB, as he is tenderly called by his students, joined the Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA) and fought for the opening of the political space for the political participation of the Liberian people in general.
When our peoples’ sufferings were dire, Dr. Fahnbulleh and his comrades struggled for their dignity. Fahnbulleh along with other progressive forces during the 1970s agitated for the abrogation of the property clause in the Constitution of 1847. As a young minister of both Education and Foreign Affairs in the People’s Redemption Council, he served the state with honor and dignity. He would resigned in 1984 as Minister of Foreign Affairs, having fallen off with the military junta.
HB did not join the remnants of the True Wing Party’s 1989 quest to unseat President Doe, contrary to futile attempts of this Mr. Williams to link Dr. Fahnbulleh to the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) of Charles Taylor. Contrarily, HB has no history of being a member of any warring faction that participated in the fourteen years of civil madness in this country. In 2008, Dr. Fahnbulleh spent nine (9) hours at the TRC, explaining his role in the political history of our country from 1979 -2003. The commissioners of the TRC, having investigated, saw the truths in Dr. Fahnbulleh’s historical narratives and vindicated him. Thus, in the TRC Report, Dr. Fahnbulleh is not recommended for prosecution and barred of contesting for elected public offices. Throughout the history of his struggle, he has dedicated his services to the interests of the Liberian people. And no amount of misinformation from this inherently dogmatic bigot will derail the revolutionary credentials of the patriot in Dr. H. Boima Fahnbullheh, Jr.
While we are striving to uphold the peace and stability of this Republic, it is not loss on us that this riffraff in the media is bent on creating confusion to undermine the peace and tranquility that this country enjoys. In his quest to paint certain people as good and others as bad, he devises stories and engages in slandering and mudslinging certain individuals with whom he disagrees. His motives therefore, is to restrict the views of some, especially the candidates he doesn’t like. We want to submit to you that the Nation Times Newspaper is nothing but a scandal sheet that disgorges slew of infantile diatribes void of digging for facts and upholding the ABC of journalism that are the rudimentary foundation on which the profession rests. Such an appalling characterization of a decent statesman in Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh, Jr. anchored by a paper owned and operated by the Vice President of the Press Union of Liberia in Octavius Williams leaves one to wonder whether the PUL is a dumb site and safe haven for gibberish, and that such a man is impervious to the ethics of journalistic objectivity.
Common sense will inform us that Octavius Williams is bereft of the integrity and the moral objectivity to serve in the hierarchy of such a prestigious body called the Press Union of Liberia. Imagine a man with an unquenchable appetite for illegal wealth and a man who is none adherent to journalist ethics, is a one clothed with the authority to regulate the conduct of media practitioners in the country, and to apportion punishment to practicing journalists who transgress. The presence of such an individual in the leadership of the Press Union will further exposed the Union to ridicule and disdain.
While we appreciate the Liberian media for serving as the glue that holds the poles of the society, by exposing ills and corruption in our nation, we will not relent on exposing a mercenary of the pen in Octavius Williams who has found himslef within the rank and file, of what is suppose to be a reputable media landscape. This individual is bent on igniting chaos in the country because he strives on deceitful theatrics. It cannot be over-emphasized that Dr. Fahnbulleh, a man who have laid down his life on the line in fighting for the rights of journalists and the free press, has never harbored disdain for the media. He only frowns on dishonest racketeers parroting as journalists.
However, we argue that freedom of the press in itself can only be truly manifested in regards to the legal precepts and guidelines under which it is expected to be practiced. It is not a carte blanche, for the reckless and ruthless use of the media to insult, vilify, malign and defame the characters of individuals who share different views on tropical issues. Such scandalous publication of this gutter press should not be condoned, as it has the proclivity to enthrone the ghetto culture of media terrorism. Nowhere in the history of humanity, and not in these times can glaring facts and known occurrences be distorted by a tyro journalist like Williams who wants to suit his personal quest and agenda in an attempt to defame a man who has given his soul for his country. It has never worked before, and cannot work now, because the conscious vanguard will always rise up to counter the introduction of myths and lies peddled out of hatred. It is important to note that the story in the Nation Times Newspaper is a ponderous spitting, derived out of a useless recital and marketed by a political jester and historical nondescript who is on a futile move to bruise the character of a man of honor and dignity.
Except we have forgotten the role of the media in fueling violence in Rwanda, which culminated into the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Similarly, in Kenya, due to the reckless behavior of certain elements in the media landscape, the Kenyan society exploded into crisis after the election of 2007. These unfortunate incidents are a reminder to the Liberian people that unscrupulous individuals in the media have ignited violence before on the continent by using their news outlets to push incendiary rhetoric.
Alfred P.B. Kiadii
Spokesperson, Media Team of Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh for President
The opinions, and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the or official policies of the Liberian Listener