19 July 2012

Liberia: Cyril Allen, Deputy Micat Boss Clash

The Chairman Emeritus of the former ruling National Patriotic Party(NPP), Chief Cyril Allen, has asserted that Mr. Robert Sirleaf lacks the requisite qualification and experience to serve as Chairman of the National Oil Company of Liberia(NOCAL). Mr. Robert Sirleaf is one of the sons of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

Chief Allen further asserted that the appointment of Mr. Robert Sirleaf as Board Chairman of NOCAL by President Johnson-Sirleaf amounts to "nepotism".

He contended that the man-Robert Sirleaf is not qualified for the job and that it was completely wrong for president to appoint him to such key position in government.

He made the assertions in Monrovia on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 when he spoke on the Truth Bread fast Show on Truth FM. He spoke on wide range of national issues. Speaking further, the former NPP chairman said the fact that the current NOCAL board chairman worked at Wall Street in the United States of America, it does not mean that the President's son is qualified for said post.

The Liberian opposition politician said it was unfortunate that President Johnson-Sirleaf, who criticized some past Liberian presidents of "nepotism", is doing just that. "Everyone is afraid of the President. She needs to be told what is going on wrong. She is a human being that needs to be told her wrong doing." He among other things stated.

But the Deputy Minister for Public Affairs at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT), Isaac Jackson, debunked the assertions by Chief Allen, saying they are "loose talks". Contrary to the claims by the NPP chairman emeritus that Mr. Sirleaf is not qualified to serve as chairman of the board of NOCAL, Deputy Minister Jackson said Mr. Sirleaf is qualified and intelligent to work in government, despite his mother being president of the country.

The MICAT official, who responded to Mr. Allen's assertions in an exclusive interview with the Heritage yesterday evening, pointed out that the continued commitment and dedication by Mr. Sirleaf in the discharge of his duty as NOCAL board chairman validates his qualification. He said the Liberian Constitution, which is regarded as the organic law of the country, states that government should provide job opportunities to all its citizens irrespective of status, political affiliation, tribe or creed.

Against this backdrop, he said Mr. Sirleaf, as a qualified Liberian citizen, is entitled to a job like any other qualified Liberian citizen, averring "If you say the president should not give Mr. Sirleaf job because he is her son then the president will be engaging into discrimination."

Said the MICAT official: " If nepotism is the only thing people in the opposition can point to, then I think we are making progress. What Mr. Allen and others should be talking about, is what the government has spoken to. The government said it will bring people on board who are competent."

According to him, the issue of nepotism has to do with incompetence and a person using his/her influence with the president disproportionately.

This, he added, is not in the case of Mr. Sirleaf.

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