Following the elective congress of the Sierra Leone Bar Association (SLBA) in Kenema, the President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, sent a goodwill message to all participants.

Nasralla, on behalf of the SLAJ executive and journalists nationwide, wished the SLBA a successful annual congress. He highlighted the long-standing cordial relationship between the two associations, dating back to the 1970s.

“Our esteemed colleagues recounted the unwavering support the SLBA provided journalists during the oppressive one-party era,” Nasralla said. “Lawyers defended journalists, secured their release, and challenged the harassment they faced.”

He emphasized the evolution of the relationship, with journalists now practicing law and vice versa. He envisioned a future where the two associations might even be led by a lawyer heading SLAJ and a journalist leading the SLBA.

Nasralla underscored the successful collaborations between the two bodies in recent years. These included the repeal of the Criminal and Seditious Libel Law, contributions to the Cyber Security and Crime Bill, and commitments to peaceful elections.

“Our combined voice strengthens our position on critical national issues,” Nasralla stressed. “Duty bearers are more likely to listen and act in the best interests of our nation when we speak with unity.”

While expressing regret for missing the event due to the 3rd Annual African Media Convention in Accra, Ghana, Nasralla assured his presence through the SLAJ’s Eastern Regional Office.

He concluded by thanking the outgoing SLBA leadership for their cooperation and wishing the candidates success. He implored the members to elect an executive that will elevate the Bar even further in the coming years.