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New SLAJ president promises to maintain the balance

July 17, 2019

By Ibrahim Tarawallie

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President Ahmed Sahid Nasralla aka De Monk

Newly elected President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) has assured of his administration’s  readiness and determination to uphold the independence and neutrality of the association.

Ahmed Sahid Nasralla aka De Monk emerged as winner of last Saturday’s July 13, 2019 election at the Golden Tulip Essential Kimbima Hotel in Freetown, securing 252 out of the 324 votes cast, while his main challenger, Mustapha M.K. Sesay got 69 votes.

“We will be vocal when necessary, and we will do so without prejudice, fear or favour. I assure you I will not disappoint this confidence you have reposed in me,” he assured members after his victory.

With a three year mandate to lead the journalism fraternity in Sierra Leone, Nasralla also assured that he will be a president for all SLAJ members, not a faction.

According to him, his victory was a proof that majority of the membership believed in his agenda of addressing issues of welfare, gender, mentorship and unity, which are more important to SLAJ than ID cards, library and chairs.

“We have noted the challenge Vice President Dr. Mohammed Juldeh Jalloh threw at us during the opening session of this Triennial Conference. We are greatly encouraged by the fact that the issues he raised resonated with our SALT Manifesto under welfare,” he said.

He noted that they have accepted the challenge and will initiate a process to start engagement with the current government through the Vice President’s Office.

The SLAJ President elect congratulated Mr. Sesay for sparring with him during the campaign in a civil manner, a move which he said has shown the national body politic how candidates should participate in democratic elections.

While recognizing his immense contribution to the SLAJ, he assured that his administration will work with him to ensure greater success.

“I assure you that my administration will uphold the independence and neutrality of SLAJ. We will be vocal when necessary, and we will do so without prejudice, fear or favour.

He thanked the outgoing executive for what they have achieved and his predecessor, Kelvin Lewis, for giving him the opportunity to assume leadership roles within the executive, which helped prepared him for his presidential ambition.

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