The United Nations (UN) Radio Freetown Sierra Leone hosted Rex Osa and Clarke Itama to a LIVE radio discussion on the “Embassy Hearings” The program started 1.40am here in Germany (11.41pm in Sierra Leone) with a moderator in Sierra Leone listening in and sending back responses to us. Rex Osa started the discussion while the radio presenter ask questions as it came from listeners through text messages and email. Clarke Itama came next, representing Caravan München and he spoke very strongly (and was later commended by listeners in Sierra Leone) He went further to mention the name of a Sierra Leonean (Unisa Jalloh) whom was picked up by the authorities recently awaiting deportation.
A German citizen was reported to had participated in sending a text message during the program. He claimed that there is no such thing as Embassyhearings taking place in Germany, but Sierra Leonean listeners to the program where quick to correct him and went further to inform him that they are aware of 4 people (as the Sierra Leone government had said) was sent through Poland to take part in such hearing and even the newspapers had carried some article about the issue and one of the published articles was from Caravan the same organisation that one of the speakers represents. Before the program went on air, the President of the Sierra Leonean Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Philip Neville, who also is the Executive Editor of Standard Timees Newspaper, Sierra Leone (the major paper that carried most of the article and featured the articles online) started off the discussion and calling on the Sierra Leonean government to
stop these hearings.
Listeners agreed with Clarke Itama that the solution to the problem is not to deport Africans back home as the home government do not have any job arranged for them, and African abroad do very well in helping their people back home through the money they send to their families. There was a slight dissapointment that no Sierra Leonean took part in the program but the radio presenter informed the listeners that next week some affected Sierra Leoneans would be on the program.
There was over 90 percent success achieved from the information reaching us during and after the program, so much that they are calling on the radio presenter to bring to the studio next week the relevant authorities to come and give their own side of the story.
As we will be better ready for the program next week, we are looking forward to having a similar radio discussion on Nigerian radio and other African countries. A soft copy (digital recorded version) of the radio program shall be posted on the Caravan website. Next week the radio program will be on. I appeal to Sierra Leoneans living in Germany to contact and participate.
I want to use this opportunity to thank everyone that made this program possible and a success and to encourage everyone to keep up the spirit of this action as it will go a long way in brewing up strong mixed feeling of citizens in each African country and as such their put pressure on individual African government to stop these hearings.