22 October 2012

Liberia: UP's SG - Robert Sirleaf's Appointment in Gov't Is Wrong

Photo: Liberia Government
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf addresses the U.S. council on foreign affairs.

The appointment of Mr. Robert Sirleaf into government positions by his mother President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is wrong, the Secretary General (SG) of the ruling Unity Party (UP), Wilmot Paye has asserted. Currently, Mr. Robert Sirleaf through the appointment of his mother serves the Government of Liberia (GOL) in dual capacities, as Senior Adviser to the President and Chairman of the Board of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL).

It can be recalled that prior to the ruling party's Secretary General's assertions regarding Mr. Sirleaf's appointment into government, Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee told President Johnson-Sirlef that it was nepotistic for the Liberian leader to appoint her [President Johnson-Sirleaf] sons into government positions.

Recently, while in Paris France promoting the French edition of her book, "Mighty Be Our Powers", Nobel Laureate Gbowee resigned as chair of the nation's Peace and Reconciliation Commission; on grounds that the Johnson-Sirleaf led government has made no sufficient progress in promoting reconciliation, also blaming the Johnson-Sirleaf administration of not only condoning corruption but also of practicing nepotism.

Madam Gbowee , who stated that she stands guilty of betraying the people's trust by working in a government that is guilty of closing its eyes to corruption in high places, views her resignation as an act of forgiveness from a raging conspiracy that President Sirleaf has awarded "lucrative jobs" to her sons in a blatant act of nepotism.

She lamented that the president's appointment of one of her sons, Charles, as central bank deputy governor, another (Fumba) as head of the National Security Agency, and the third (Robert) as senior adviser and chairman of the state-owned National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) was unacceptable.

Regarding President Johnson-Sirleaf's son Robert Sirleaf, Nobel Laureate Gbowee averred: "This is wrong and I think it is time for her to put him aside." "He's a senior economic adviser and that's well and good - but to chair the oil company board - I think it's time he stepped aside."

Said Laureate Gbowee: "I've been through a process of really thinking and reflecting and saying to myself 'you're as bad as being an accomplice for things that are happening in the country if you don't speak up." "And when tomorrow history is judging us all let it be known that we spoke up and we didn't just sit down."

So like Laureate Gbowee, the UP Secretary General Wilmot Paye didn't just sit down but spoke out on Thursday, 18 October 2012, when he was quizzed by a talk show host on the Truth FM's Truth Breakfast Show whether there was something wrong with the appointment of Mr. Sirleaf into government positions.

Listen to the UP's Secretary General: "Something is wrong with it, something should be wrong with it at all times; of course something is wrong with it." He stated that something is wrong with any president appointing his or son into government positions, indicating that: "Something is wrong with it and the President knows that."

He averred that something is wrong with the Liberian leader appointing her son [Robert Sirleaf] into government positions "because we want our government to succeed, and the President wants her government to succeed, so if the appointment of her son is going to be an obstacle, I think the President can go ahead and address that."

He stated that the appointment of the son of the President into government positions can be an obstacle to President Johnson-Sirleaf's administration due to what he calls Public perception regarding such presidential appointment, adding that: "Public perception is very strong."

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