Tomorrow… Journalists to Vote for Change or Continuity?

The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), the umbrella body for journalists in the country, is set to elect a new executive to man the affairs of the executive in the next 24 hours at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Freetown.
This year’s triennial conference is expected to address the daunting challenges facing the association and the current President, Kelvin Lewis would take the back seat after running the association for two consecutive terms of three years each.
The Kelvin Lewis and his executive have been criticized for failing to deliver on most of their election promises in their manifestos.
His leadership was characterized with docility and that the association was not able to criticize all the un-constitutional performances that have marred the APC and SLPP administrations in the last ten years.
At the 2016 triennial elections in Kenema, the executive was held hostage by its membership for largely failing to account for most of the funds of the association including those involving the Ebola scourge that marred the country.
The Kelvin Lewis and his executive were largely accused of not been able to maintain most, if not all, the regional offices they inherited from the previous administration.
The Secretariat in Freetown is in a deplorable state and this has been underscored by most of the candidates vying for various positions in the association.
Many journalists who spoke to the association say SLAJ over the years was politicized and journalists who are very critical of the present regime were not provided with legal representation as provided for by the association whenever they are in Police net.
Legal representations which are very much the obligations of SLAJ were used selectively.
Now that journalists are going to the polls we have sensed a situation where a certain cabal of corrupt people are behind the scenes wanting to manipulate the 2019 elections in their favour.
They are hell bent on stopping the right candidate from winning, and even though they know the best candidate, they are putting lot of efforts to circumvent the will of the rank and file of the association just for their selfish interests.
The die is cast and everybody knows the fittest candidate for the race both in terms of experience and the wherewithal to run the association.
The person’s ability and selflessness in serving the organization has been very much commending.
Succeeding executives at SLAJ have benefitted greatly from his knowledge and wealth of experience to the point that SLAJ cannot do without him.
The discourse around the SLAJ elections has been eschewed by a few individuals to protect their interest.
There is a calculated ploy to uncover all the ills and corruption that have taken place in the association.
This explains why these few journalists are determined to have their choice to win the elections so that SLAJ will continue in the same vein.
The SLAJ 2019 elections are clearly about change and continuity and we as journalists should disregard these few folks and secure change in the state of affairs at SLAJ.
As a literate organization, we should ignore manipulation and vote for change of direction.

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