“Serpent Microphone” -PUL Raises Concern Over Freedom FM Broadcast

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—– As Abraham Wheon Retracts Slanderous Statement Against AFL Chief of Staff  The promotion of democracy focuses on cultivating and supporting professional, apolitical militaries, especially with experiences of two decades army conflict in Liberia.The polls on October 10 were conducted in a free and fair environment, according to international and local observers. Amidst growing tension within the subregion particularly arising from postelection era, Liberia is set to change political transition trends in the West Africa region by holding a pretty clean October 10 Election West Africa might have been on international wires for wrong reasons over the last six months, especially over spate of coups, and controversial elections in the region, now, Liberia is set to change the narrative for a firm democratic credential with the holding of what is still a ‘clean election’. Both the UN, US Government, EU, including ECOWAS and AU have all appealed to the people of Liberia to exercise maximum patience and remain calm while awaiting the declaration of the final results. On the heels of this, a controversy has ensued with the arrest and detention of Deputy Director, National Security Agency (NSA), Sam Siryon, by Military Police Officers of the Armed Forces of Liberia, following slanderous broadcast of Freedom FM owned and operated by him. Freedom FM; in its implicated Army Chief of Staff, Major-General Prince C. Johnson, as an operative of opposition leader Joseph Boakai of the Unity Party, main challenger to incumbent President George Manneh Weah second term bid. Mr. Abraham Wheon, Manager of Freedom FM in a live talk show insinuated that members of the Armed Forces did not vote for Pres. George Weah in the just ended October 10 presidential elections due to the ill-treatment they had been receiving at the hand of Maj. Gen. Prince C. Johnson, III. Wheon indicated that he has stockpile of information on activities at the Military Barrack under the watch of Maj. Gen. Johnson, including the decommissioning of over 20 commissioned officers. Wheon further narrated that is aware that the army chief is a supporter of Mr. Joseph Boakai, the standard bearer of the opposition Unity Party. Military Experts tell IPNEWS that there can be no truth to Mr. Wheon’s accusation as there is nothing within the Military called “Decommissioning”. One Expert told IPNEWS that contrary to what happens in the military is “Discharge”, which are based on series of investigation commissioned by the provoked Master, who then makes investigation reports to the defense minister, and thereafter review of the same recommends to the Commander-in-Chief for the “discharge” of a commissioned officer as enshrined in the powers of the CID to commission officers of the military. In the aftermath of Mr. Abraham Wheon’s accusation, the AFL issued an arrest for the owner of Freedom FM, happens to be Deputy Director, National Security Agency (NSA), Sam Siryon. Mr. Sam Siryon told the authoritative Independent Probe Newspaper, that he was arrest military police officers, humiliated, stripped and interrogated by armed AFL officer at the Barclay Training Center (BTC) in the presence of Justice Minister, Cllr. Frank Musa Dean. “I was arrested, humiliated and stripped by the Armed Forces of Liberia. I was taken to a room where the Minister of Justice was seated and made to listen to a recording of a Freedom FM broadcast in which Abraham Wheon allegedly made some comments against the army. I was told to have the station retract the broadcast but I refused on grounds that I was disrespected and humiliated. I was stripped of my clothes and shoes and told them I could not act under duress. I feel so humiliated and disturbed.” Deputy Director, National Security Agency (NSA), Sam Siryon said. In a swift reaction, Justice Minister Cllr. Frank Musa Dean, admitted the arrest of Deputy Director, National Security Agency (NSA), Sam Siryon, and stated that certainly Mr. Siryon was invited by the AFL for questioning surrounding considering his link with Freedom FM and if he had provided the station any information to broadcast in his capacity as Deputy Director, National Security Agency (NSA). The man at the center of the broadcast controversy, Mr. Abraham Wheon, admitted that details of his controversial broadcast were never provided his boss (Sam Siryon) prior to the broadcast. “I wish to address the growing concerns surrounding my recent broadcast concerning the Chief of Staff of the AFL, Gen. Prince C. Johnson III. In that broadcast, I made certain claims based on circumstantial incidents, including an audio recording where the COS criticized the government’s tuition-free initiative, suggested that people had advised him to consider a military takeover due to the President’s prolonged absence from the country, and a recent post by Eugene Fagohn indicating that the COS had walked out of a joint security meeting. I now retract these statements and offer my sincere apologies for any embarrassment they may have caused to the reputation of the COS and the military. I also acknowledge and respect the Press Statement released by the Press Union of Liberia on this matter.” Mr. Abraham Wheon to the FrontPage Africa. Meanwhile, the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) has expressed deep concern regarding the recent broadcast on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, by Freedom FM. The radio station, owned by the Deputy Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), made serious accusations about political divisions within the ranks of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL). According to Freedom FM, (20) commissioned officers within the AFL are allegedly being decommissioned and dismissed from the force outside the established standards. During an evening talk show, a host and manager at Freedom FM, Abraham Wheon claimed that Major Gen. Prince C. Johnson, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia, is allegedly administering the AFL in a politically biased manner in favor opposition Leader Joseph Boakai. Wheon, urged active-duty soldiers of the AFL who did not support President Weah in the initial round of voting to switch their allegiance due to perceived inadequate leadership within the Liberian Military. The American Government maintains a Defense Attaché in Monrovia to work with the Armed Forces of Liberia on its professionalism.  The AFL was restructured after the Civil Wars and has built itself ever since as a force for good in the eye of the Liberian public.  “The Press Union of Liberia finds these allegations deeply troubling and potentially damaging to the reputation and integrity of the Armed Forces of Liberia. As an organization committed to upholding the principles of responsible journalism and promoting ethical standards within the media industry, the PUL stresses the importance of accurate, fair, and unbiased reporting throughout the election process. Unsubstantiated claims and divisive narratives can undermine the cohesion and morale of our armed forces, an institution vital to our nation’s security and stability.” “The Press Union of Liberia calls upon all media outlets, including Freedom FM, to exercise caution and responsibility in their reporting, especially when dealing with sensitive matters involving national security and the integrity of our military forces. The PUL encourages a respectful and constructive dialogue that fosters understanding and unity among all sectors of our society.” The PUL release concludes. Source: theindependentprobe.com

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