The newly elected executive committee members and their portfolios are: Bai Emil Touray, president; Namory Trawally, first vice president; Modou Kanteh, second vice president; Saikou Jammeh, secretary general; Abdoulie Nget, first assistant secretary general; Sarjo Camara Singhateh, second assistant secretary general; Lamin Jahateh, treasurer; Ida Bah and Hatab Fadera, co-opted members.
Speaking after he was overwhelmingly given a second mandate, Mr Touray said: “Since we are the voice of journalists and journalism it is important that we continue to fight for freedom of expression and media freedom. In my view what happened today is a clear demonstration that as journalists we are able to decide our affairs without external interference.
He said: “I believe my colleagues here will understand that all those who spoke want the best GPU. Sometimes some of the statements our colleagues might have uttered are strange, it all goes to show that freedom of expression is something that should be allowed. If people had been disallowed from expressing themselves there is a likelihood that we would have fought among ourselves today.”
Touray called on all journalists in the country to continue showing interest in GPU. “It is prudent for members of the GPU to continue paying their dues and attending meetings regularly. This will help to put us on our toes if we are derailing rather than waiting until congress and we start criticising one another. If we do that, then we are not doing it in the best interest of the union,” he said.
He promised that the GPU would work with sub-committees because the failure to have sub-committees for the past decades had not helped to pursue the best interest of journalists and that those committees would not comprise members of the executive.
A senior journalist, Sam Sarr, advised his colleagues to exercise patience and be respectful of one another because journalism calls for professionalism and good morals. “You may criticise because it is your right, not only when congress is drawing near but even after that and criticise constructively with the objective of ensuring that your union grows and develops in the interest of journalist to be protected.”
Last Saturday’s congress was first scheduled for 20 December 2014 but was deferred in order for the majority of the members to regularise their status, among other issues.]]>