Just after the State opening of Parliament, work came to a standstill at the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Services (SLBS) New England complex when employees barricaded the entrance to the building demanding that their Director Kasho Wellington “must go or else there will be no work.”
This protest action stemmed out of a front page story on the Spectator Newspaper of Friday 5th October quoting the Director Kasho Wellington as saying “SLBS is an institution without competent staff that can push the station forward.”
This angered the workers who had earlier in the day demonstrated their capacity to work by broadcasting live on television and radio, which had not been achieved for a long time.
The workers closed the main gates leading to their different offices, shouting and waving placards on which was written “Kasho must go or else there will be no work.”
A visibly angry engineer Steve Conteh who has worked at SLBS for 29 years said that since Kasho Wellington took office there has been little or no progress in the station.
Conteh claimed Director Kasho Wellington has not bought any new equipment for the office, and yet they still manage the office and make something out of nothing.
Conteh maintained that with limited resources in the station “we still work hard to push the station forward,” lamenting that after all those sacrifices “he turned round and told us there are no competent staffs at SLBS?”
Fuming, Manso Dumbuya a senior driver who has worked for 39 years said “we are not satisfied with his work and he must leave the station”.
The driver Dumbuya recalled that the days of Gina Thomas at the station were far better than Wellington.
Asked why he said so, Dumbuya disclosed that now there are no vehicles in the station, conditions of work are deteriorating every day, no equipment to run the station.
He added that he has condemned every body for his selfish means.
After the altercation a truck load of armed Police personnel stormed the scene to calm the situation.
In a chat with Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Kaetu Gibson of Delta operation he told this press that they arrived at the scene on instructions from the Inspector General of Police Brima Acha Kamara.
ASP Gibson averred that unfortunately by the time they arrived the place was calm and no complains of fighting or use of abusive languages.
Some 15 minutes later, Kasho Wellington arrived at the scene.
As he alighted from his official vehicle, some of the workers demanded he gives them the car keys.
With the intervention of the police he was able to get out from the crowd and was taken to studio two where he had a close door meeting with some police officers.
It was at this point that the President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo arrived at the scene he went on to hold talks with Kasho Wellington.
After the meeting with Wellington, President Kargbo admonished the workers to go back to work, giving them the assurance that today Monday he and Wellington, along with government officials and some workers will meet to settle the dust.
Assistant Inspector General of Police for training S .I.S Koroma also admonished them to go to work and keep the peace until today as they will investigate the matter.
According to Kasho Wellington he said he came from Parliament to cover the state opening and when he return he met the main gate leading to his office closed.