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By Sheku Putka Kamara

Sierra Leone’s Vice President, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh has called on journalists to present what he describes as a progressive narrative in reporting issues of national interests. He was speaking on Friday March 29, 2024 at the Radisson Blu hotel, Aberdeen in Freetown during an Iftar organized by the Muslim members of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, (SLAJ).

VP Juldeh said that the theme of the Iftar ‘Promoting Peace and National Cohesion’ resonates with the focus of disciplined leadership and am urge to enhance sustainable societal development. He said that for Sierra Leone to make the much-needed progress, peace and cohesion shouldn’t be treated with levity. He called on newsmen to uphold acceptable journalistic norms in reporting matters of societal happenings. He said that attaining absolute uniformity in societies could pose serious challenges as a result of divergent views and aspirations, but urged that such shouldn’t disrupt progress.

Iftar Lecturer, Sheikh Umar Farouk Adam Bah said that Islam had always prioritized peace and cohesion. He said that people should inculcate living as one even where shared differences exist. He said that the SLAJ Iftar Committee had been embarking on a laudable venture which he said has the proclivity to continue to propagate and promote Islamic doctrines. He noted that such platforms should be promoted in the interest of all and sundry. Sheikh Farouk disclosed that a society that lives in harmony thrives in peace, adding that Islam strongly encourages the upholding of such valuable traits.

President of SLAJ, Ahmed Sahid Nasralla said that it was important for peace and cohesion to thrive in any society, noting that newsmen have a strong role to play in that regard. He said that where there’s no peace, development will hardly take place and that all societies should work towards doing things in the best interest of all and sundry.

Former President of SLAJ, Umaru Fofana who spoke on behalf of the media said that the role of the media cannot be overstated. He used the opportunity to encourage journalists to embark on fact finding missions whiles making sure that reports are accurate, balanced and clearer enough.

John Caulker of Fambul Tok International said that engagements should be decentralized to make sure that the views of the minorities are equally captured. He encouraged that the governance of the state has to be people centered and asked that simplistic and realistic conversations are needed in making sure that things work out accordingly.

SLBC Director General, Josephine Kamara said that the media has a very crucial role in society, stating that strategic engagements and constructive dialogues should be encouraged in society. She said that newsmen should equally present facts and not fictions, adding that such will promote peace, development and cohesion.

The All People’s Congress Party (APC) and the National Commission for Peace and National Cohesion couldn’t send representatives during the Iftar/engagement.

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Information and Civic Education, Chernor A. Bah was also in attendance.

The Iftar ended with an interactive session and the breaking of fast by Muslims present, including other invited guests.