Sunday, 7 March 2010
Death threat! It will not work
When we undertook the decision of joining the media to pursue what we know and what we are used to - dissemination of information, we did so absolutely sure of what we were up to, vis-à-vis the implications of what it means to be in this profession. Therefore no amount of intimidation can deter us from continuing on this path we have already taken. Not even death threats.
In case you are wondering, Jollof News’ founder and managing director, Yusupha Cham, has so far received two email messages, following in an interval of 24 hours, warning him against stepping his feet on Gambian soil.
The cowardly mails were supposedly written by people claiming to be members of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) of the Gambia. The first one, dated Friday 29 January, 2010, was received from someone who could only be indentified by his email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The second mail, apparently from a different author who signed as Musa Last Name Jammeh, email: email@example.com, followed suit on Saturday 30th January.
In both mails the author(s) is/are promising death for Mr Cham, if he ever ventured to step on Gambian soil.
However, the fact that no mention was made of Jollof News makes it assumable that this threat has to do with Cham’s previously written articles, which were published on other online Gambian sites, prior to his establishment of this paper.
In any case, we find the threats ridiculously despicable and unbelievable that even as calls for a change in the Gambia government’s policy towards dissenting voice amplify, hard-hitting elements within the government are bent on pursuing this line of defiance of wisdom. It is hard to believe that after all the strong warning coming from the rest of the free world, a few people continue to trade in blackmailing, in an effort to stifle free speech.
While challenging the Gambian authorities to use their expertise through Gamtel or other means at its disposal to unveil the people behind this threat, we wish to add our voice to global call for sanity to be reintroduced in the country. We take these threats very seriously, given the prevailing situation in the country.
Meanwhile, Mr Cham is very well ready to cooperate with any investigation regarding the matter by releasing the full details of the said mails to the relevant authorities for investigation, in an effort to help track down the absolute coward who are behind this act.
Just for the record, no amount of intimidation can deter us from this path.