June 12, 2018
By Memunatu Bangura
The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) yesterday paid tribute to their fallen colleague Ibrahim Samura at their headquarters on Campbell Street in Freetown.
In his tribute, SLAJ President Kelvin Lewis described Samura as a brave and fearless journalist who spoke truth to power and was committed to the association and the journalism profession.
“Ibrahim Samura was fearless, insistent and he’ll continue asking his questions until he gets answers,” he said.
He disclosed that the late journalist had already paid his membership dues and delegate fees ahead of the forthcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to take place in Kenema this July.
Mr. Lewis described the late journalist as a controversial man loved being in opposition with alternative opinions and criticisms, adding that such epitomised his lifestyle.
“Although we had our differences in relation to the administration of SLAJ, Samura was respectful. He would always say ‘hello Mr. President’ whenever and wherever we met. Whilst I was on this side, he would be on the other side,” Lewis stated.
According to the SLAJ president, it was necessary to have people in the profession like the late journalist, who always had alternative views on ideas and put leaders on their toes to do better.
He said the demise of Samura was a great loss not only to the journalism profession but also to SLAJ, Guild of Editors and his family.
In his words of courage to the family and friends, Veteran Journalist and regular columnist George Khoryama recounted that Ibrahim Samura is the fourth journalists, including S.U. Thonronka, Frank Kposowa and Christopher Johnson the association has lost in the last six months.
Khoryama described Samura as ‘a bold and fearless journalist that people admired’ and called on his family to mourn as believers.
“He died under suspicious circumstances, which is yet to be investigated. We are yet to know whether his death was as a result of that beating [on election day by APC operatives]. But let’s take heart and believe that God gives and takes. The late man was quite a brave and controversial journalist. He will be missed,” he concluded.
Editor of Salone Times Newspaper and a close friend and confidant of the late journalist, Thomas Dixon, said the relationship between him and his late friend was like a father and son.
Dixon said Samura always gave hope to people and that he was a controversial journalist that stood for the right thing in his career.
“I am still in disbelief but I stand here to give tribute to him. We will no longer share the scoop. He will forever be missed,” he said.
Giving tribute on behalf of the family, Pastor Ezekiel Turay said the late man was the only male child in a family of six, and was apparently the head of the family.
He said Samura was a kind and generous man who served as the bedrock of his family.
He prayed for God to provide a replacement that would fill the vacuum left by the demise of their kinsman.
Samura died last Wednesday, 6th June at the 34 Military Hospital after a short ailment. Until his death, he was Editor of New Age Newspaper and member of the Guild of Newspaper Editors.
Meanwhile, a book of condolence was yesterday opened at SLAJ headquarters for him. He will be buried on Sunday, 15th June after a requiem service at Christ Embassy in Freetown and interred at the Lumley cemetery.