Journalism is one of the most life threatening jobs anyone can take as a career but as well, the reward of the job can never be paid. It is the Love of humanity to know the happenings, hidden secrets of unpatriotic citizens that will will dare one to consider it as a profession amidst the threats encompasses the profession.
Amidst Social Media sagas that has been happening around Umaru Fofana, he has affirmed that no matter his obstacles and though he walk through the valley of the shadow of death, he would never be afraid to stand on his values as a journalist.
“…but I will continue to resist and remain undaunted for as long as I remain a journalist…” Umaru Fofana mentioned.
In the last 14 days, Umaru Fofana has been scolded many times on his reports on BBC. These include the reports of prominent rapper Boss LA to the recent post made by the First Lady of Sierra Leone, Madam Fatima Jabbie Bio. To draw your attention a bit to what happened, The First Lady Fatima Bio on a video disclosed that his husband The President, Julius Maada Bio has a PhD in coup d’etat which was later reported by Umaru Fofana.
With dismay and a sense of anger in her, Fatima Bio took to her official Facebook handle and expressed her disappointment to the BBC reporter and further drew his attention to her developmental projects which she was expecting to be reported on.
With these blames, allegations and scolds from the Sierra Leoneans including the The First Lady Fatima Bio, Umaru has affirmed that nothing in their doing will limited or stop him from reporting what is the truth to the public, because he owes that responsibility to the people of Sierra Leone.
“but I will continue to resist and remain undaunted for as long as I remain a journalist – my passion, my profession. Trying to force me to do otherwise will continue to be a waste of time,” Umaru Fofana continued.
As determined as ever before, Umaru took to his official Facebook page to explain what he went through 25 years in the field of journalism while others were having a wonderful time; possibly because they might be a part of the plot.
“25 years ago this month (Thursday 9 October 1997) I was shot in the right leg by people who didn’t like me reporting the truth. My tibia bone was shattered. Some of the pieces were picked up at the scene by a lady who witnessed it. She got in touch yesterday, almost for the first time and by a dint of coincidence.
Hawanatu, who now lives in the US, recounted how she and an old lady who lived nearby wept as they saw what the soldiers were doing to me. She gave me words of courage in the face of what I’ve been going through especially in the last 14 years for simply standing up for the truth and holding the balance. At the hands of people who believe right is wrong and wrong is right. They include politicians across the party divide – mostly using their supporters – and lackeys of a certain defunct mining company, some of them members of the local media who took turns to attack me in the pages of their newspapers or on their websites because the more vicious the attack the heavier their pay, I was later told.
Hawanatu reminded me of my “courage and strength” in the face of adversity. What she didn’t know was what would happen to me after that shooting: my back was burned with dripping flames from a lit polyethylene plastic bag, as a combined group of soldiers and rebels tortured me further including urinating in my mouth and forcing me to swallow the urine. They twice attempted or planned to kill me: once when they leaned me against a tree that stood by their checkpoint, and at the hideout where they further tortured me. God had a reason for thwarting their attempts to kill me.
All this happened as a time when certain people were in the comfort of overseas or stayed here and either collaborated with the killers and torturers or were silent about the brutality.
The AFRC military junta in power at the time were mad that I refused to tell their lies to the world. The same reason both sides of the country’s divide have found reason to hound me for the last 14 years.
I know it is hard to speak truth in a society where almost everyone has vested interests, a society where lie reigns supreme and a society where acquiring ill-gotten wealth is not shameful. I may not be perfect – none of us are – but I will continue to resist and remain undaunted for as long as I remain a journalist – my passion, my profession. Trying to force me to do otherwise will continue to be a waste of time. God bless you! 💪” Umaru Fofana disclosed.