Letter to editor

Philip Neville blasts SLAJ

20 May 2009 at 07:08 | 863 views

Members of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, SLAJ, as well as the public, will recall that after our democratically conducted elections in November, some senior members of the association had observed that the conduct and behavior of the new administration, of our hitherto much revered association; especially now that Mr. Umaru Fofanah is every thing in the association, was, to say the least, putting the association in very funny, unprofessional and precarious situations.
The innumerable election promises of a ‘new office’ ‘no special interest’, etc for the association remain never-to-be-achieved dreams!

Our office continues to be in the heart-land of a brothel where serious journalists (international or local) would not venture to go without placing their hard earned reputations in disrepute.
Promises of uniting the association are not only far-fetched, but SLAJ is much more divided now than ever. No government functionary or institution takes us serious; and yet, for the good of our country, these are supposed to be our working partners, while at the same time, the association has taken confrontational stance with some of our traditional partners such as the Independent Media Commission, IMC on issues that glaringly show that SLAJ is moving in the wrong direction, and at the same time engaging our hitherto respected association into a free-for-all defense of people who are neither media practitioners and have been advocating for the retention of anti-press laws in our law books, nor do they have defendable characters.

The profile and image of our revered SLAJ is at its lowest ebb today, while the executive remains divided and portraying our professional association as political party organ.

In addition to the above, our attention has been drawn to a press release put out by the present confused SLAJ executive; in respect of one Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden.
In defending a non member and an avowed enemy of the interests of SLAJ, our present executives have not only ascribed an unsolicited membership to Sylvia Blyden, but have placed our association, once again, in a childish, unprofessional and small-minded position.
For reasons best known to the Umaru Fofanah administration, our association is being caricatured, mocked and scorned by serious section of our membership because of lonely and undemocratic decisions emerging from SLAJ since November last.

If such arrant and unprofessional behaviors do not stop, we would have no choice but to call for an emergency meeting of the serious section of our association to PASS A VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE in the Umaru Fofanah executive.
Those who love SLAJ and would wish that this association continues to be respected and service-oriented to its members should be ready to redeem our SLAJ. This is what we are now calling for!

Thank you all.


Mr. Philip Neville,
(Former Acting President)