The New Dawn (Monrovia)

Liberia: Instituting Measures Against in-House Wrangling and Poor Performance in Gov't

editorial

A recent pronouncement by Executive Mansion Spokesman Jerolinmick Piah attributing to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, regarding her plan for a cabinet rearrangement may not have only been a result of poor performance, but ongoing in-house wrangling among her officials. The in-house wrangling among President Sirleaf's officials may have probably resulted to their poor-showing at their various ministries and agencies of government.

It is no secret that official activities of current government officials are characterized by in-house fighting among themselves, as well as undermining, thus creating the slow pace of government's development work. The Liberian Leader, a few months ago during an official function in the C. Cecil Dennis hall at the Foreign Ministry on Capitol Hill in Monrovia, frowned at some members of her cabinet for being at "each other's throat" on various radio talk shows.

She noted that her officials were in the constant habit of facilitating derogatory, defamatory and other unwholesome remarks against each other through the sponsorship (purchasing or distributing scotch cards) of telephone calls. The recent statement attributed to her regarding an eminent reshuffle, dismissal or whatsoever in government could have been indicative of her disappointment in those involved in such internal rivalries.

Such unfortunate situation may have led to their inability to achieve or meet up with the administration's hundred and Fifty-Day Deliverables during the middle part of the year as announced by President Sirleaf early this year following her inauguration for her second term. Other than fostering teamwork for success in line with the objectives of their respective institutions, most of these officials pursue personal interests, going against the others who try to marginalize, "cheat" or rob them of what to receive unknown to others, thus exposing each other to the public.

Even though the President was personally unfamiliar with most of her senior, junior and other officials, in terms of characters and ability to be up to the task, she was also of the strongest conviction that on the basis of her explicit confidence in those who may have one way or the other influenced the appointment of these officials through various recommendations, her second term at its onset, would have been more progressive.

Except for a very few, most public officials in Liberia are ardent believers in the media because of the inflated impressions they create, regarding their duties and functions. In actual sense, they do more publicity than the real work, something Madam President may have gotten to realize of late.

In view of the foregoing, most of these officials personalize their ministries and agencies as their "farms" owing to their ties or relationships either directly or indirectly with the President. As a result, the exhibit the highest degree of poor personnel (human) relations and unfair distribution of benefits without any regards to seniority and professionalism, thus disabling all of the potentials for progress at such ministries and agencies.

Interestingly, those in such practices are the ones either professionally misplaced or completely inept, in terms of administration or management is run. While President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf may have targeted mid next year to evaluate the performance of her officials in consonance with their contracts, she may have decided to cut short the time-frame realizing the numerous administrative and professional short-comings of most of these people that may have led to their inability to be effective and efficient to implement her administration's Hundred and Fifty-Day Action Plan.

In as much as the recent pronouncement by the Executive Mansion on an eminent cabinet rearrangement is being considered a welcomed decision to straighten up things in the government, the President's action should have taken precedence over a mere public pronouncement. In other words, Madam Sirleaf should have made the reshuffle, dismissal or whatever even before her recent departure for London.

Let it be made clear that no well-meaning Liberian would want the other to lose a job; but when people placed in positions of trust begin to pursue personal agenda over national interest and play on the integrity of the people, including the appointing power, they directly or indirectly undermine the administration/government to the detriment of growth and progress as it is currently in Liberia,

This is why President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf must rise above all sentiments and relations, 'bending behind backward' to institute measures so as to leave behind a forgotten legacy in the minds of Liberians. After all, should there be any failure, the blame would surely rest on her. That is why her measures must not only be stringent, but also open with some sense of patriotism among the new comers or those to be preferred to help move faster.

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