In a Press Release issued by the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) it was highlighted that Management of the institution is gravely concerned about unfounded claims that the national public broadcaster has denied access particularly to the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC).

SLBC Management underscored that while responding to questions on Radio Democracy 98.1 FM Gud Morning Sierra Leone programme broadcast on Monday 16 August 2021, Acting National Publicity Secretary, Sidi Yayah Tunis, alleged that for the past two years the SLBC has denied access to the APC to attend programmes hosted on SLBC, and that it has refused to cover events organized by the party.

According to the Press Release those claims, made by a very senior member of the APC, are widely unfounded, baseless, and are a calculated political ploy to undermine the restored image of the broadcaster.

It continued that those uncorroborated assertions were believed to have been made to hurt the growing credibility of the national broadcaster, insult its re-energized and dedicated audiences, and to create public disaffection for a medium that continues to provide unbroken live coverage of political and other national events, regardless of where they happen with limited and constrained resources.

Management, it was mentioned, is dismayed and frankly shocked at the inexcusable failure by Tunis to provide verifiable instances of the press conference or any events organized by the opposition APC that the SLBC has failed to cover.

Further mentioned was that at no time has the SLBC Management, the Independent Media Commission or the Ministry of Information and Communications received a complaint from the leadership of the APC or any of its officials regarding those unsubstantiated claims.

Stated was that in fact, a mini documentary portraying dynamics of the APC internal politics, which features the party’s Secretary-General, Amb. Alhaji Foday Yansaneh and other senior party officials, has been produced by and broadcast on the SLBC.

“The SLBC remains a public forum. By its nomenclature and mode of operations the broadcaster provides discursive platforms that build a sense of national identity, generate national appeal and taste, strengthen our evolving democratic political system, and while at the same time protect minority interest. Our role as a national broadcaster is to enrich our democracy, and we believe to have delivered on this mandate especially in the last three years in a manner appreciated by vast majority of our audience,” said Director-General of the SLBC, Joseph E. Kapuwa Esq.

It was further mentioned that the SLBC wishes it to be known that it has verifiable and incontrovertible data indicating access to the Corporation by members of the APC, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and women’s groups, including persons from all backgrounds stating that a brief list of some of the station’s activities and guests of its various programmes is annexed to the Release.

The Corporation, it was added, also wishes to point out the important distinction that its coverage of activities of the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) should not be viewed with political lenses as it considers the GoSL (Parliament and the Judiciary inclusive) as the legitimate representative of the people of Sierra Leone and not as a political party.

The Press Release ended by SLBC assuring the general public of fair access to its professional, balanced, and accurate broadcasting of events across Sierra Leone regardless of where they happen, when they happen, who is affected or in whose interest.