By Foday Moriba Conteh
The newly appointed Press Secretary in the Office of the President, Solomon Jamiru Esq, has assured all that during his tenure he will bring His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio to the people through the media. He made that disclosure during an exclusive interview on Radio Democracy “Gud Morning Salone” program on Thursday 20th July, 2023.
In his submission during the program, he started by paying tribute to His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio for appointing him as Press Secretary in his second term of office.
Solomon Jamiru Esq said that upon assuming office he has met with members of staff in the office in order to continue what has been started and to also discuss ideas and strategies that will contribute in enhancing the visibility of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio.
“It is important for the media to understand that the Office of the Press Secretary is existing for the media and my role is to serve as an anchor for Press and Press Relations and to ensure that what the President does is out in the public domain. Through the media we can reach out to the people of Sierra Leone and the wider world in order to achieve our ultimate objective of ensuring that visibility,” he revealed.
The Press Secretary pointed out that because the activities and programs of Government are very dynamic and emerge faster, therefore, Government also need to be very creative and innovative, of which he stated that as Government they are aware that communication is a very specialized field and that it is vast, expansive and transforming very fast maintaining how plans are on the way to tap into those dynamics.
“The Press Secretary’s Office sits at the Presidency and now we are taking about relationship with the Press and from time to time we will be convening Press Conferences at State House for members of the Press to interface with the President,” he said adding how they also believe that news editors are very important in the newsrooms as editorial contents are very vital also stating that they are looking at having Editors’ roundtable discussions from time to time.
Solomon Jamiru Esq said that the President cares for the media and has demonstrated that by doing much to enhance Freedom of Expression referencing the Repeal of the 55-year-old Part 5 of the infamous Public Order Act of 1965 that criminalizes free speech and the work of the media, increase of subvention to the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) and the enactment of a New IMC Bill 2020 which seeks to regulate same.
On behalf of the Office of the Press Secretary, he assured the media ecosystem in the country that President Bio will always like to meet with the Press as he is a friend of the press, adding that the President believes in transparency and accountability as well as holding the view that it is the media that will promote the good image of the country.
“Whatever are the past experiences let us now turn to a new page and look into the future with optimism,” he enjoined adding that as the Press Secretary together with colleagues at State House and other stakeholders in different departments in the same communications field they will do everything to ensure that access is provided for the media,” he promised.
With this commitment to transparency and open communication, President Bio’s accessibility to the media and the people is expected to strengthen Sierra Leone’s democratic values and promote accountability in governance.