December 14, 2016 By Regina Pratt
Nigerian Commissioner in Sierra Leone has stated that the fortitude shown by the Veteran Journalists Union (VEJU) in creating a platform for veterans of the journalism profession and the media in general was highly commendable.
Gladys Modupe Quist-Adebiyi was speaking last Thursday (December 8) during a Press lunch organised by VEJU at the CUBE Restaurant in Freetown.
She stated that the collaboration between journalists from Sierra Leone dated back to pre-independence days, while the Nigerian press journey could be traced as far back as 1859.
“I will say though that the pre- and post-Independence of Nigeria and Sierra Leone continue to enjoy journalist fraternal cooperation as both countries’ machineries- the National Broadcasting Commission and the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation synergise in the continuum,” she said.
According to Her Excellency Quist-Adebiyi, VEJU has shown resilience as they can boast of notable writers, poets, teachers of the pen and Pan Africanists, who have demonstrated exemplified leadership.
She expressed fervent belief that the union would serve as a repository of knowledge for both government and journalists, as well as help to mentor and advise in standard setting for journalism in a non-partisan capacity towards the development of professional journalism in Sierra Leone and the sub-region.
Also speaking, Chairman of VEJU, Christo Johnson said the organization, which comprises mainly older people, was launched by Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh in May, this year.
“You are here to grace this sumptuous lunch as one of our dear friends who did not attend our lunching. We want to work with you to advertise and also do public relations for your organizations,” he said.
He maintained that they have no doubt that the High Commissioner would continue to support them in their planned activities, citing the media exhibition and mentoring of young journalists.
“We call on you to help us carry our dignity to a better place, while we wish you a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year,” Mr. Johnson stated.
Chairman of the Independent Media Commission, Ambassador Alieu Kanu reckoned that the establishment of VEJU was necessary as it would serve a useful purpose to the practice of the journalism profession in the country.
“Our veterans can play a necessary and concrete role in the advancement of journalism in Sierra Leone. They are experienced people. Journalism is one of the institutions of governance in every state,” he stated.
He challenged VEJU to take the lead in the establishment of a School of Journalism in Sierra Leone, noting that students learn the tools of journalism but refused to learn the ethics, practical aspect and technicality of the profession.