We Congratulate Pres. Weah on FeJAL Rescue 

AS THE LIBERIAN parlance goes, “You can see your friend’s gari and pour sand in it.” As journalists ourselves, knowing what it means to rent or lease an office space let alone to furnish it properly and make ourselves look representative of any modern professional entity, we believe strongly President George Manneh Weah’s presentations or donations to the Female Journalist Association of Liberia (FeJAL) is a critical rescue. It a momentous and timely relief that must be wholeheartedly welcome, hailed and cerebrated by all well-meaning individuals, particularly journalists. FeJAL deserves that office complex and the sizable bus it has got from the President. All the murmurings and overt critiques against the donor and beneficiary of these facilities are untenable, ill-fated and unjustified.
TRAVELLING OUT OF Liberia and seeing progress being made by media organizations and journalists in their home countries can be disheartening. Media organs outside Liberia host themselves in gigantic buildings as their offices. Editors and reporters are well-to-do. They may not be beneficiaries of private or public donations. But the point is, they are on the move and are far advanced in terms of logistics, facilities and equipment they own and operate with. Here at home, we are bedeviled and dwarfed by the circumstances of our social, economic and political ecosystem against which we operate.
WE, LIBERIAN JOURNALISTS, are not destined to be this way. We have to rise up and seize opportunities when they avail themselves. If we don’t have it and it goes to a colleague or a friendly organization, we must support it. We must stand by it.
WAS IT NOT nearly 12 years ago when the last political administration provided US$100,000 for the headquarters of the biggest journalist organization in the country, the Press Union of Liberia? All the misfortune that attended it aside, didn’t we all celebrate the donation? What if President Sirleaf and her partners had decided to build the PUL headquarters office and turned it over to us? Would we have rejected it?
YESTERDAY, WE SAW a US$100,000 donation as God-sent, and an opportunity to seize. How can some people, even including those who celebrated it, become incensed, angry and abhorrent to President Weah’s donation of a bus and a completed and furnished office complex to FeJAL? Or it is because today’s opportunity goes to someone else—a female organization?
OUR FEMALE COLLEAGUES have often decried abuse, marginalization and disdain against them in newsrooms and other areas of work that we commonly share. Which is why they, in the first place, decided to form a special organization to seek their own welfare and exalt themselves. To juxtapose the issue of FeJAL’s independence with the President donation, as others are cynically arguing, is still to underrate and question the capacity of the female journalists. If independence or credibility was not a factor yesterday with the US$100,000 donation, it is not and cannot be a factor today.
WHEN WE ACCEPTED the US$100,000 donation, we did so not only because it was an opportunity not to miss, but also because we believed a donation made to a membership association had no impactful influence on individual members’ editorial judgments. We also knew the donation would outspan the term of a given political administration. And more so, we knew journalists are people that live above the fray, and that Liberian journalists would not cow to entrapping political donations. All these factors have not changed. Our colleagues at FeJAL are no different and are not indifferent to those factors.
THUS, IT IS only patriotic and well-meaning to congratulate President Weah for the relieving interventions that he has made. Indeed, the donations are rare and historic. FeJAL has indeed been lifted to new frontiers of organizational life with such a huge and gorgeous office complex and a fabulous van. No one should try to put sand in their gari. Let’s wish them well.
AGAIN, HATS OFF, Mr. President. We agree you have made hist

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