The Society for Democratic Initiatives, a Non Governmental Organization leading the campaign for freedom of information, yesterday presented the draft copy of the Freedom of information bill to President Ernest Bai Koroma.
This latest move is part of SDI’s advocacy campaign in getting more support from stakeholders including government officials in the campaign for access to information.
The Bill, drafted by civil society groups was yesterday formally handed over to the President by the Executive Director for Society for Democratic Initiatives, Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai.
Officially receiving the Bill from SDI, President Koroma said that, as a government and a party, they are committed to enacting the Freedom of Information Bill into law as they have always remained committed to the concept of Freedom of Information.
President Ernest Bai Koroma said, the position of government is that they support the call for freedom of information and recalled that when they were elected into office, the Minister of Information and Communication was invited to the United States of America where he stated government’s stance on the issue of freedom of information. He said ‘just as we promised to give strength to the ACC Act when we were in opposition, we have done that, and we will also enact the Freedom Of Information bill into law …’ He said, they will carefully ;look at the draft bill and give their necessary support to it.
Also present at the handing over ceremony were members of the SLAJ Executive. In his statement , SLAJ president Umaru Fofana called on the government to look at issues that have to do with the state owned broadcaster, the SLBS, and the welfare of staff, especially their wages, which he said are very appalling.
Umaru Fofana appealed to the president to look at the possibility of providing them with land as one of their campaign promise was to relocate the SLAJ secretariat from its present location.