Monrovia, Liberia – The latest broadcast by Freedom FM on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, has deeply concerned the Press Union of Liberia (PUL). 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).
Freedom FM claims that twenty commissioned officers in the AFL are being fired and deactivated from the force in ways that don’t follow the rules. Abraham Wheon, a manager and host at Freedom FM, asserted during an evening talk programme that Major Gen. Prince C. Johnson, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia, is reportedly politically biassed in favour of opposition Leader Joseph Boakai when administering the AFL. Wheon encouraged AFL active-duty soldiers who voted against President Weah in the first round of voting to change their allegiance because they thought the Liberian military lacked sufficient leadership.
To assist the Liberian Armed Forces in becoming more professional, the US government keeps a Defence Attaché in Monrovia. 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.
These accusations, in the opinion of the Press Union of Liberia, are extremely concerning and could be detrimental to the integrity and standing of the armed forces in the country. Accurate, impartial, and fair reporting is crucial during the election process, according to the PUL, an organisation dedicated to supporting ethical standards in the media sector and maintaining the values of responsible journalism. The unity and morale of our armed forces, an institution essential to the security and stability of our country, can be damaged by unfounded allegations and polarising stories.
The Press Union of Liberia urges all media organisations, including Freedom FM, to report with care and responsibility, particularly when handling delicate subjects like national security and the reliability of the natonal armed. In order to promote harmony and understanding among all facets of the society, the PUL advocates polite and productive discourse.
Dedicated to advancing the interests of media professionals and the general public, the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) was founded in 1964 and has been the leading organisation in Liberia representing journalists. Its goals include press freedom, protecting journalists’ rights, and maintaining ethical standards in journalism.