Liberia’s Journalist Union Chief Preaches Freedom For All

Press Union of Liberia (PUL) President Abdullai Kamara says forging beyond Liberia’s post conflict status requires obligating ourselves to participate in reconstructing and developing the country and advancing safeguard against activities which caused the conflict in the first place.

Press Union of Liberia (PUL) President Abdullai Kamara says forging beyond Liberia's post conflict status requires obligating ourselves to participate in reconstructing and developing the country
Press Union of Liberia (PUL) President Abdullai Kamara says forging beyond Liberia’s post conflict status requires obligating ourselves to participate in reconstructing and developing the country

Kamara noted that ensuring the appropriate legal and operating environment that permits free space for impartial governance, opportunities for citizen participation and evolution of the society based on the needs and aspirations of the people, is a way of moving further away from conflict and war.

Kamara spoke on Saturday at the induction of officers of the Professional School of Journalism at the Thomas Fallah Academy in Paynesville. Those inducted at the ceremony were Teewon Manakpalah – President; Amos Doloson- Vice President and Prince Gibson – Secretary General.

The PUL President said the ongoing Constitution Review process is a useful opportunity towards that objective, but called on compatriots to take action during this process to reduce exclusions and specters of conspiracy from the national polity.

Kamara called on Liberians to avoid looking at the constitution through “parochial lenses,” but to stand up to prevent the renewal of any laws that unduly limit people in the exercise of their choices and freedom, noting “limiting freedoms may end up limiting creativity and innovation that could fuel development – and grow wealth.”

Kamara noted that various development programs – Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS), the Agenda for Transformation; the Central Bank enhanced microcredit programs; the County Development Fund and even the proposed District Impact Funds – have their own flaws, but still include inherent benefits, which can be better understood and adjusted through dialogue.

Continuing, he said “Regardless of the faults of anyone’s ideas, criticism, engagements, etc. – once they do not call for and or drive towards outright violence, war and destruction, they must be allowed the space. As offensive as their comments may seem, they should not be discounted at face value or the proponents punished on account of their propositions,” Kamara argued.

The PUL leader then called on the students to engage their colleagues in driving programs that will make their educational pursuit and leadership experiences meaningful and productive, adding that “maintaining such dialogues in leadership inspires the trust and confidence of others.”

He then pledged the PUL’s commitment to work with the Professional School of Journalism to improve their professionalism, and strengthen their media solidarity, practice and confidence.

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Author: D K Sengbeh

Danicius Kaihenneh Sengbeh (author of Sengbeh's Weblog) is a respected and renowned Liberian journalist, poet and writer with with journalism experience since 2001, of working both as a mainstream journalist and a communication/media consultant in Liberia. He is Secretary General of the Press Union of Liberia (elected Dec 2013). He was Assistant Secretary General of the Union Dec 2011 to Dec 2013. He is also Editor-In-Chief of The Informer Newspaper—one of Liberia’s credible dailies. Before joining the Informer, Danicius had served as reporter, chief reporter, sub-editor and News Editor at The Independent Newspaper between 2002 and 2006. Before then, he was reporter at the defunct Patriot Newspaper and Kiss FM 2001-2002. Danicius is a UN Media Fellow and Liberia’s first UN Medal Award-winning journalist for his contribution to journalism and for being the second Liberian journalist in 15 years to qualify for and successfully attended the United Nations’ Reham Al-Farra Memorial Journalist Fellowship Program in New York and Geneva, Switzerland in 2012. He earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Mass Communication and Sociology from the University of Liberia and a Diploma in Journalism from the International School of Journalism. He holds several awards and recognitions both in and outside of journalism, and carries dozens of certificates in journalism and communication from studies in Ghana, China, United States and Switzerland, among others. He volunteers as Chair of the Information and Communication Committee of his local Bardnersville community. He can be quickly reached via (+231) 886586531/777586531/777464018/ dakasen1978@yahoo.com

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