Sierra Leone Importers Association Urges Tanue Jalloh to Give Account
The interim body for the Sierra Leone Importers Association (SLIA) has urged Alhaji Tanue Jalloh whom they described as outgoing/ex-officio of the association to give account of his stewardship after serving as President for fourteen years consecutively. Vice President for SLIA, Rev. Paul Winner and Secretary General, Ibrahim Jalloh
Speaking to Journalists at his Lumley Street office in Freetown yesterday, Interim Vice President of the association, Rev. Paul Winner said, Alhaji Tanue Jalloh is no longer the President of SLIA because according to him, he has been removed from office through vote of non-confidence in a meeting he (Tanue Jalloh) attended and accepted on April 25th 2018.
He argued that their constitution allows an elected President to serve only for a period of two years but he said, Tanu Jalloh has over exceeded his term of office with impunity as he is accused of performing double standard role by working as the President, Secretary General and Public Relations Officer (PRO) at the same time.
The Vice President further accused Tanue Jalloh of misappropriating eleven million dollars foreign currency and three hundred and sixty million Leones local currency but he quickly stated, Tanue Jalloh denied that he only received money in the tune of five hundred thousand dollars on behalf of the association and assure the association members that the money is in the bank.
He discussed that if Tanue Jalloh continue with his scandalous statement on the media, they would take him to the legitimate body to hold him accountable and stressed that something would come out of Tanue Jalloh’s fight. ‘’Very soon what Alhaji Tanue Jalloh believes will be demolished’’, he bragged and concluded that Mr. Tanue Jalloh was untouchable because he was working like son and father with former President Ernest Bai Koroma.
In his presentation, the Secretary General for SLIA Interim Body, Ibrahim Jalloh narrated that SLIA was founded way back in 1992 by Alhaji Wurie Sow who is now the current Interim President, Alhaji Danta Bah and others.
He sensitized that importers came together to form SLIA with the aim to minimize the struggle that importers were encountering in trying to clear their containers at Water Quay and supported that indeed a vote of non-confidence has been done against Tanue Jalloh by majority members of SLIA, a process he said, Tanue himself supported and approved for the fact that he chaired the meeting and consented on the vote of non-confidence passed against him.
He dilated that Tanue Jalloh should acknowledged that his term of office has overdue and he must hand over port-folio honourably because he alleged that, he has been making personal benefit in the name of SLIA. He entreated that Alhaji Tanue Jalloh has exceeded the constitution two years stipulated period which an elected President must serve for the fact that he said, Mr. Jalloh has served the association as President for about seven terms which means they said, he was running the association individually using political influence.
‘’We want to change the face of the organization where responsibility can be shared among members so that activities of the association may not be monopolized like in the past’’, he told Journalists adding that as a demonstration of confidence bestowed on them by majority members of the association, their term of office as interim body has been extended for the next six months so that election could be held to formerly choose new executive body to serve the next two years as written in the constitution.
‘’We want true representation of SLIA because its needs reform and facelift’’, he told the press and emphasized on their desire to see how best they can harmonize things by bringing new ideas.
He admonished importers to do their businesses within the realm of the law and continued that their aim as an interim body, is to bridge the gap between importers and Government and explained that they have cordial relationship with the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
He argued there is no division in the importers association because according to him, members of the association had been yearning for Tanus’s exit but it was impossible because, he was backed by the past Government.
He promised that they would soon engaged business stakeholders to know how they go about paying taxes and concluded that education is one of their initiations they wanted to initiate among traders through workshops and seminars.
Speaking to Tanue Jalloh yesterday at his office on Rawdon Street to clear damning allegation, Alhaji Tanue Jalloh intimated that his administration style was inclusive, accountable, transparent and has promoted Sierra Leone business landscape adding that, as a result of politics, they are attacking him now to step down forgetting that the association is run on non-political basis as it comprises large, small and medium scale businesses.
Tanue expressed confidence that the purported Interim President, Alhaji Wurie Sow Alias Lofty did not only boycotted meetings for the past five years but has also not been honouring his dues.
‘’Most of them who are now fighting me are not even registered members of the association’’, he told Journalists and discussed that majority members of SLIA surprised at Alhaji Wurie Sow for declaring himself President of SLIA without going through the due process.
He said SLIA was established to help reduce the too many deaths that was occurring in the sea when business people were travelling from Freetown to Conakry and Liberia adding that through his advocacy, he was been able to form the Tanue International in China and is now helping Sierra Leoneans Business people to do business directly from Sierra Leone to Dubai and China.
He expressed firm determination to continue elevating the association to the highest degree and warned that Alhaji Wurie Sow to go through the legal process to acquire SLIA President rather than making self-declaration in the media.
By Abdulai Mento Kamara
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