Sierra Leoneans are now holding breath tight to witness an anticipating debate called for by the Minister of Information and Communications, Honourable Mohamed Bangura; against former Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) now opposition Presidential aspirant, Dr. Kandeh Yumkella.
Many are surprised with the fact that the Minister accused Dr. Yumkella of “impersonating” the President of Sierra Leone. This allegation the Minister further delved, that “Dr. Yumkella is going around the world asserting that he has been endorsed by President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma to be the next president of Sierra Leone”.
Meanwhile, with my experience as a Public Relations scholar, and from the Public Relations perspective, I believe that handling an entire government Public Relations goes with thorough research. As a Government Minister, one must not go about making statements childishly and nonchalantly, especially when it has to do with the personality of others. Otherwise, Government is ridiculed every day.
In Public Relations Research, I believe that every assumption must conform to two (2) variables. The variables are: VALIDITY of findings and RELIABILITY of submission.
What until now I have not been able to see in all numerous reporting of the event of the press conference, is how valid the statement of Mohamed Bangura is to prove that Kandeh Yumkella is indeed impersonating the President. Although the contextual meaning of the word “IMPERSONATING” itself is another problem, actually that is for another day.
However, sticking to the basics here, the Validity of Mohamed Bangura’s findings are extremely questionable for any sensible editorial staff. As editor of the most widely read newspaper in Sierra Leone, I chose not to publish activity of the very event, which happened last Thursday, because I feel the statement of the Minister shows how unserious he feels the media in Sierra Leone is.
How can a whole minister of government make such huge accusation and say his sources are “world leaders”? How can responsible journalists go on and publish such frivolous and unrefined statement against another person’s integrity, without asking the Minister to first of all show reasonable samples of his findings? In addition, these samples could be if he conducted interviews on world leaders. If indeed he conducted interviews, then how many world leaders did testify that Kandeh Yumkella was as the Minister said “impersonating President Koroma”?
Otherwise, I feel as things stand, the statement of Mohamed Bangura against Kandeh Yumkella is totally invalid, and he commits a Fallacy of Hasty Generalization. Thus the Reliability of the submission of Mohamed Bangura at that fateful press conference is completely premature and should be questioned by right thinking Sierra Leoneans.