Liberia: Executive Mansion Reporters Adopt Constitution@ a Day Long Retreat

Members of the Executive Mansion Press Corps (EMPC), a group of Journalists assigned at the Executive Mansion have adopted the first ever constitution of the organization.

The constitution was drafted on May 25, 2019 by a three member committee with Varney Kamara as Chair, Dennise Nimpson, now Chairperson of EMPC as Co-Chair and Frank Martin as Secretary General.

Executive Mansion reporters gathered in their numbers on Saturday, October 10, 2020 in the Right to Play Conference Hall in the SKD Community in Paynesville to adopt the Constitution.

The occasion was graced by several personalities including Presidential Press Secretary, Solo Kelgbeh, Press Union of Liberia President, Charles Coffey, Reporters Association of Liberia President, Mrs. Cecelia Clarke and representatives of other auxiliaries of PUL.

Addressing EMPC members at the indoor program before the adoption of the constitution, Presidential Press Secretary, Solo Kelgbeh, urged reporters to conduct themselves in the framework of the law.

Mr. Kelgbeh reaffirmed the commitment of his office to working along with Executive Mansion reporters in the spirit of promoting a good working environment.

The Press Secretary however wants members of the Executive Mansion Press Corps to remain united and work together.

"A Retreat will be organized by the Press Secretary office where all of us including the security people and all reporters assigned at the Executive Mansion will discuss issues to sustain our coordination and collaboration," Mr. Kelgbeh said.

Also speaking, Press Union of Liberia President, Charles Coffey cautioned reporters to avoid coming in conflict with security personnel while in the discharge of their duties.

Mr. Coffey said reporters must always be sensitive of the environment especially during this electioneering period.

"Know the environment. During this election time, I am urging all of you to be sensitive of the environment because we are in an election year. Also as a body, I will like to urge all of you to be united," Mr. Coffey stressed.

At the same time, Reporters Association of Liberia President Cecelia Clarke has challenged media owners and executives to improve the wages of their reporters.

"We call on the PUL, as our parent body to advocate for the Collective Bargaining Agreement," said Mrs. Clarke.

"Reporters deserve better than what they are making. Media owners and executives must improve the wage of their reporters to avoid compromises and low performance".

She used the event to call on members of Executive Mansion Press to at all times be peace with each other adding, "As you gather here today, it is our quest that you have a positive stay discuss, build a strong team and trash whatever that terms to divide you all. This is a little group which needs a united front for a forward match."

Stressing, "The media like any other organization needs to retreat and discuss issues in their cycle."

The RAL President went on to say, "Before I take my seat, let me use this opportunity to call on the Liberian government to do business with media institutions because the government is the highest business partner the media has and when media executivesare strangulated, it is we, the ordinary Reporters who feel it the most."

The Chairperson, Dennise Nimpson, thanked the entire membership for showing up to adopt the organic law of the body.

Chairperson Nimpson also called on her colleagues to uphold the spirit of unity and work together as a team and lauded the office of the President through the Press Secretary office for the continuous support to the organization.

She used the occasion to appeal for one of the organization's members, Jerry Gaye to return to Ivory Coast and further his treatment and also appealed for the treatment of Gabriel Mills, a videographer in the office of the Press Secretary, whose condition was also worse following the accident, to be beefed up.

Both Gaye and Mills were involved in an accident with the President's motorcade along the Gbarnga highway in February 2019.

Meanwhile, following the adoption of the constitution, a committee was set up by the EMPC Chairperson to print the constitution into handbill and distribute to all reporters assigned at the Executive Mansion, with occupies to the office of the President and Press Secretary Office.

Those appointed to the committee include, Varney Kamara as Chair, Varflay Kamara, as Co-chair, Justice Clarke as Secretary General and Edward Blamo as member.

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