October 25, 2019
H.E. George Manneh Weah
President of the Republic of Liberia
Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs
Dear President Weah:
It is with a very heavy heart that I write to seek your urgent intervention to investigate a decision by Freedom FM, a radio station owned and operated by the deputy director of the National Security Agency, Mr. Sam Sanyon, to make me a subject of on-air discussion, insults and hate speech in the Wednesday, October 23rd, edition of their late afternoon/evening program.
Mr. Sanyan and his station, without any regard for my personal safety and reputation, had more than two hours of discussion on me, inciting and soliciting hate messages from their community of listeners against me. They insulted my professional standing and hard-earned character and further exposed me to danger.
I have never ever shied away from making myself available to respond to people who, out of an apparent lack of understanding, don’t see any good in the international reporting that I have done for twenty-six plus years, even though the media institutions for which I work say I am up to the task. Mr. Sanyon and Freedom FM did not let me know they were going on air solely to discuss me and afford me an opportunity to be in studio to respond to their believers.
In every professional media setting, if a radio station is to make a person a subject of discussion, it is only fair to have the person in studio to respond to some of the wild allegations and insinuations, a lot of which are more often than not made out of mere ignorance.
Mr. President, because the personality who owns and runs the station is a top official of government — a presidential appointee, who is well situated in a key, influential national security position — I could not find a more appropriate place to take his complaint than the office of the President, his employer. I don’t care about the young ones who could allow themselves to sit behind microphones as a conduit to spread hate speech against others. I hold Mr. Sanyan responsible for their action, and Mr. President I respectfully request your urgent intervention in asking him why, as a national security official, he has decided to target me through his media institution.
I look forward to your timely intervention in getting to the bottom of this because, Mr. President, my life is involved.
I am copying the Press Union of Liberia and the media community on this letter to let them know my INITIAL move and seek their interest in following all developments as you look into why Mr. Sanyan and Freedom FM have launched this media onslaught against me.
Thank you for your attention, Your Excellency.
BBC/The Associated Press Liberia Correspondent
Cc: The Press Union of Liberia/ The Media Community