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SLAJ calls for withdrawal of two SLBC Board members

SLAJ calls for withdrawal of two SLBC Board members

Freetown – The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists has expressed serious concern over the continued membership of two people on the Board of Trustees of the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation.

At a General Meeting held at its headquarters today, SLAJ resolved that Easmon Ngakui who represents the Sierra Leone Bar Association and Festus Minah who represents the Civil Society Movement should resign or be recalled from the Board by the organisations they represent.

Mr Ngakui was elected in December last year by the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party as a member of their Legal Team, while Mr Minah who is the acting Chairman of the Board in the absence of the substantive, is Chairman of the ruling All People’s Congress party in a constituency in Pujehun district.

“These two men cannot continue representing civil society organisations on such a sensitive Board when they are officials of political parties” says SLAJ President, Umaru Fofana. He said “there is, clearly, a moral question and a conflict of interest bordering on political partisanship, which makes the two men unfit to continue being members of an outfit whose key principle must be independence, impartiality and neutrality – especially political neutrality.”

The meeting also requested that a letter be written to the Secretary to the Board  enquiring and expressing concern over the long absence of the Board Chairman, Prof Septimus Kaikai who has been away for over three consecutive months, which is beyond the time allowed for in the SLBC Act. Agnes Koroma of the Women’s Movement and Morlai Conteh representing the youth were also said to have been absent from Board meetings for months. 

Meanwhile the meeting set up a committee to look into complaints of threat and intimidation received from Ariogbo and For Di People newspapers. Members however overruled a decision by the Executive for the forthcoming Annual General Meeting to be held in Freetown saying it should go to Bo with the Biennial Conference in 2013 held in Freetown. An AGM Preparatory Committee was set up to start work in earnest.

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