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SLAJ Thanks NPPA Boss for Supporting Office Construction

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SLAJ Thanks NPPA Boss for Supporting Office Construction

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The National Executive of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) has paid a courtesy call to the Chief Executive of the National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA), Ibrahim Brima Swarray, to thank him for his continued support towards the construction of the SLAJ Eastern Region Secretariat.

SLAJ President, Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, expressed appreciation and gratitude to the NPPA Chief and commended him for supporting media development in his hometown and the country at large.

“I have been following your support to our colleagues in Kenema in their determination to have an office building of their own. Our Regional Chairperson East has been reporting to me about your interventions and she speaks very highly of you, and I assured her that we would come here in person and say thank you, and may God bless you abundantly,” said Nasralla.

He added: “To me, people (or organisations) who support the media or journalists are not actually trying to buy out journalism. Nobody can buy journalism. Rather, your gesture demonstrates your understanding and appreciation of the critical role of the media in society and why journalists need a free and conducive environment to provide information to the people. Yes, the media can make or break societies; so support the media to make society better, do not suppress them to break society,” said Nasralla.

The SLAJ President encouraged the NPPA boss to continue supporting the media’s growth toward nation-building whenever he could afford to do so.

On behalf of the SLAJ National and Regional East executives, Nasralla presented a framed ‘Thank You’ certificate to the NPPA boss as a show of gratitude.

Receiving the certificate, the NPPA Chief said he was touched and proud because he was not expecting such a show of gratitude from SLAJ.

“This is a huge surprise to me; I was honestly not expecting this. Actually, when I was growing up I developed an admiration for the journalism profession. Journalism is a noble profession because it is selfless. And it is that selflessness that I admire. I’ll never regret supporting journalists (and the media) even if they write or say bad things about me. I know some people will say I am a politician and I am supporting journalists because I want protection. I am a public servant and I should be held accountable if I am not doing the right things,” said Swarray.

The NPPA boss said he is looking at the bigger picture and not the petty things detractors say.

“I care less about what some people say to demotivate me. My focus is always on the bigger picture. I am not in competition with anybody. Do you know what it will mean for the journalists in Kenema to have a building of their own? Do you know what it will mean for the people of Kenema? I believe in leaving legacies and that is exactly why I am supporting this project,” said Swarray.

The NPPA boss mentioned the fulfillment of the manifesto promise of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio in the repeal of the criminal libel law in 2020, describing it as a stepping stone for the growth of the media in Sierra Leone. He said it is now incumbent on well-meaning Sierra Leoneans and organisations to build on that success by supporting the media in diverse ways to develop, prosper and be independent.

He said he wants Kenema district in the Eastern region to be the first district in the country to have a permanent SLAJ building on its own, and pledged his continued support until the building is completed.

Since the turning of the sod for the construction of the SLAJ East office building in November 2020, the NPPA boss has been a reliable supporter of the project. He has donated tons of iron rods, bags of cement, trips of sand and granite stones, as well as cash donations to support the construction.

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