The NEWS (Monrovia)

Liberia: Why Did RIA General Manager Resigned?

As President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf prepares her pending reshuffle in government, too many maneuverings are taking place either one official undermining his colleague or scheming to ensure that his perceived enemies are out of public service.

The victim of this kind of politics is the former General Manager of the Roberts International Airport (RIA) Ms. Ellen Cockrum. She was reportedly asked to resign.

Investigation conducted by this paper established that Madam Ellen Cockrum who was ahead of reform at the RIA, was said to be entrapped in key policy glitch involving a top government official on one hand and the road construction supremo SSF of the Fawaz on the other, with an estimated USD$200,000 to rehabilitate the runway of the RIA.

A source indicated that the SSF Construction Firm put forward in advance US$200,000 proposal to rehabilitate the run-way of the Roberts International Airport. However, the Director General considered the proposal as inconclusive and far from the general vision of dealing with the holistic approach towards remodeling the airport.

With a master plan afoot, Madam Cockrum found the SSF plan as a cut and paste rehabilitation of the run-way. The RIA former Boss saw the plan as wasteful and lacks durability.

After 62 years of inaction towards maintenance, Madam Cockrum, an industry expert was required to deal with the problems of the Airport.

Our source indicated that a cabinet minister (not name) made a telephone call instructing Madam Cockrum to go ahead with the SSF run-way rehabilitation project.

In a report submitted by Madam Cockrum, she indicated the instruction given to her by the unnamed cabinet minister something which began her trouble. In the report she named the minister and quoted him as giving her the instruction to go ahead with the run-way project.

As the report backfires, the top official resulted to extreme arm twisting thereby calling on Madam Cockrum to withdraw her communication in which she exposed him of giving her instruction to proceed with the project.

However, Madam Cockrum rejected the request on grounds that it was unprincipled to withdraw such report. In the wake of the former RIA boss' refusal to comply with the top official's withdrawal mandate, the minister began to maneuver as a way of ensuring that Cockrum either resigned or sacked for exposing him in her report. The top official is closed to the Executive Mansion.

Madam Cockrum rejected the request to withdraw her report based on her credibility and principles.

Investigation continues.

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