Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Ibrahim Karim-Sei has finally declared that he would run for the Presidency of the association, come November 29 this year.
|Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Ibrahim Karim-Sei
He made this declaration last week in Makeni City. He has also done the same in Bo and Kenema over the weekend, while Freetown’s declaration is expected this week.
Mr. Ibrahim Karim-Sei, a graduate of Fourah Bay College in Arts and a Postgraduate Diploma in Mass Communication, is presently one of the country’s most seasoned journalists who had been in the profession for over twenty years now.
"I started as a Cub Reporter with the New Citizen Newspaper. I was privileged to own a column in that paper called TOP CHAT in the early 1990s. I also worked for the Standard Times Newspaper as Editor-in-Chief," the SLAJ Secretary General told pressmen in Makeni.
He says he has held other positions in SLAJ, such as Assistant Secretary General (1995-1997) and Auditor (2001-2004).
Former President of SLAJ, Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, now Minister of Information and Communication and current Acting President of SLAJ, Mr. Philip Neville, both of whom Karim-Sei served in the New Citizen and Standard Times respectively, do agree that the man is an asset rather than a liability.
A Founding Secretary of Standard Times, Miss Kadiatu Tarawalie, currently of the Transport Sector of the Ministry of Transport and Aviation had this to say about Mr. Ibrahim Karim-Sei: "It is undoubtedly true that Mr. Karim-Sei made Standard Times a prominent newspaper in Sierra Leone as throughout the period the paper strove for success, Mr. Philip Neville, the Proprietor was out of the country. Mr. Karim-Sei ensured that stories were accurate and well balanced as he loathed the idea of being dragged to court for libel offences."
Karim-Sei was not just a role model but a great source of inspiration to skilful writers like the late Paul Abu Mansaray, Tamba Sumana (now at PPASL), Amadi Abadi, Abdul Karim Kabia (News Editor Awareness Times), Abdul Kposowa (now at LAWCLA), David Mahdi Koroma ( currently in Canada) Jia Kangbai (now freelance), Abdul Kuyateh (of UNIPSIL), Mustapha Sesay (SLAJ Assistant Secretary General), Mohamed Issa (Managing Editor, Equity newspaper) and John Musaba (Editor, New Age), to name but a few.
He encouraged these young men to develop their writing talents on the pages of Standard Times and African Standard. It was under Karim-Sei as Editor of Standard Times that the paper stood for democracy by challenging the infamous AFRC/RUF junta rule.
Mrs. Isata Pratt, another former Secretary of Standard Times maintained that Mr. Karim-Sei was a team player.
"He knew that the job was tedious, therefore he spoke politely to all staff members, saying that the success of the paper would reflect on us all," Mrs. Isata Pratt said, adding that it was because of Mr. Karim-Sei’s disposition that he has earned himself respect among colleague journalists and the public at large. Mrs. Isata Pratt is now a Secretary at the Lebanese International School.
Miss Marie Ellie, who also worked at Standard Times and now a Secretary at a Private School at Aberdeen, described Mr. Karim-Sei as a man dedicated to success in everything he does without being noisy.
All these three secretaries resigned the same day after Mr. Philip Neville returned to Freetown but the ladies said they still miss Mr. Karim-Sei who, to them, was a fatherly figure.
A veteran journalist, who prefers anonymity, condemned those who claim that Mr. Karim-Sei is too dull for the job of President of SLAJ.
"Who told such ill-motivated journalists that to be a President of SLAJ one must be aggressive, arrogant and rude?" the veteran asked.
According to him, Karim-Sei, as Secretary General has been at the centre of every success of SLAJ during the past four years which has nothing to do with the dullness his detractors wish to use to deprive him of the presidency of the association.
"The man is just too simple and gentle, a great contrast to a rude and arrogant SLAJ president," he added.
The veteran described the Presidency of Alhaji I.B. Kargbo and the Secretary Generalship of Karim-Sei as a combination of charisma and administrative competence.
He said to maintain the honour and dignity which journalism has achieved in the past four years, Karim-Sei should be given the chance to lead SLAJ.
"In this way," the veteran went on, "our profession would never be brought again to disrepute, but will continue to be a leading professional association in this country".
He challenged other aspirants for the position of SLAJ President to show what they have done for the
profession and prove that they can work amicably with other executive members if elected.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.