On Saturday, November 13, 2010, registered members of the Press Union of Liberia will go to the polls to elect new officers for three years. The Press Union of Liberia elections are part of the first national congress of the Union scheduled to take place on the campus of the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary on the Monrovia-Robertsfield Highway from November 12-13.
The elections will be about choosing between the survival and growth of the media in Liberia for the general good of Journalists and the criminalization of the media for a few individuals for their selfish interest. It is an open fact that a few individuals have over the years held the PUL and its members hostage, retarding total growth, development and progress.
The Press Union of Liberia, for the past two years, has been dormant with no general membership meetings at all to update its members on both the administrative and financial activities of that umbrella body of journalists and media institutions in Liberia, and that everything is kept secret.
We are hoping that Liberian journalists registered to vote on Saturday, will vote on issues affecting and in the interest of the PUL and not personality and sentiments, as we have seen over the years. As we go about these exercises, we must see ourselves not as mere followers, but people who read between the lines, understanding what’s good for our own growth and development.
As we decide who to vote in, we must retrospect the organization for the past two years and its achievements, as well as prospects for the future of the PUL based on its achievements for the past two years. We must also register here that the manner and form the processes for the First National Congress and elections are being conducted are of serious concern to us.
The lack of awareness among the membership of the PUL as the Congress approaches is very key in this concern of ours. Up to yesterday, there was no public awareness in Monrovia or other parts of the country where our members are regarding the Congress and elections.
Instead, the Congress Committee which operates from the headquarters of the PUL has been reportedly passing on information, through text messaging to a few individuals, probably of their choice, something we believe, is very unhealthy for the entire process.
We believe that there should have been public service announcements on the radio stations in Monrovia and other parts of the country, at least, five days to the occasion. But up to yesterday, there was no awareness, except for the one and only one done by the Chairman of the Congress on the Truth Breakfast Show on Truth FM, something we feel, was very insignificant.
Again, we must state emphatically that we do trust the present election commission of the PUL, and our judgment of its activities as well as the caliber of characters, we think they fear nothing, but to do the right job. Perhaps that’s why the elections commission refused to be hosted at the PUL headquarters, unlike the Congress Committee. It wanted to be truly independent, we thing, and we look forward to seeing the final job done.
Again, to those of us we may be participating un these elections on Saturday, our focus should be the election of those we believe can either eliminate or reduce the huge division which exists in the Press Union of Liberia.
It is clear that the Union is completely divided between those who believe in opening up the PUL to all and those who want to sustain/maintain the criminalization of the Union. As we go to Congress on Saturday, fellow colleagues, and then elections, we must make a decision for the PUL to either survive in the interest of the general membership or perish in the interest of a few who continue to take our general interest hostage.
Go and vote right. Remember that you must allow your conscience to lead you to make the right decision for unity, growth and development of the Press Union of Liberia.