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SLAJ, tread cautiously!

SLAJ, tread cautiously!

If everything works as planned, delegates to this year’s biennial conference of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) will depart today for the eastern town of Kenema for the dual purpose of discussing the welfare of the association but more importantly to conduct both the national and regional executive elections for the next two years.

Sadly though, well before this great event which commences tomorrow, Friday 25th March, it has not been a smooth sail for the Umaru Fofanah-led regime. Internal feuds within the ranks of executive members almost succeeded in creating disunity in what was once a united family.

Even as we head for the Kenema biennial conference, there are plans by some SLAJ members to apply for a court injunction to prevent the delegate conference from taking place as scheduled.

The aggrieved party believes certain procedures have not been followed correctly and would want to pre-empt any attempt to hold the elections with fears that they might be rigged, hence the court action.

However, up to the time of going to press it was not clear whether the court injunction would be affected or not.

Of course, the idea of a court action by SLAJ members against their association or its organs does not send the right signal for the future of an association that was known for its fraternity, the secret behind its vibrancy.

We therefore wish to admonish members to refrain from any action that might disrupt this year’s historic event in Kenema.

Indeed, we agree that SLAJ operates on democratic principle and respects the rights of its members irrespective of status or rank. Hence, every member is entitled to his or her opinion which must be respected.

But in the collective interest of the association, members need to put their personal interest aside and work towards the collective good of the association.

Let us all go to Kenema with one spirit and conduct ourselves in a manner that our hosts there will see us as responsible group of people that influence the conduct of others for the overall development of our country.

Let us don’t go to Kenema and leave there more divided than when we went there in the first place. That is our appeal as a medium.

Let us tread cautiously as we head for Kenema; we must not allow the public there to tell us ‘you ought to know better’. In other words, we must learn to wash our dirty linen at home, as the saying goes and behave like the professionals we are.

After all, SLAJ is bigger than any one individual member!

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