18 September 2013

Liberia: President's Son Quits

Mr. Robert Sirleaf, son of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has resigned as the President's Senior Advisor and Chairman of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL). No reason was given for his resignation which came yesterday following more than one year of intense pressure on the President to remove him from his posts, citing many causes including nepotism. Responding to his letter of September 17, 2013, the President thanked the former Chairman for his extensive public service to the people and the country. "Mr. Chairman," she told her son, "I accept your resignation as Chairman of the National Oil Company of Liberia and as Senior Advisor to the President. With your departure, this government will lose one of its most capable and valuable assets." According to the President, the government and the nation as a whole, "hails your service and achievements during your tenure in both roles."

As NOCAL Chairman, she said Robert had accomplished the primary mission she had entrusted to him in the last 18 months - "to successfully lead the reform of our nation's oil sector into a transparent, accountable framework that will nourish the inclusive development of our country."

"I salute the extraordinary leadership and dedication you showed in that task. Your job is now complete, and fulfills the promise made to the Liberian people," she told her son.

Below are the remaining excerpts of the President's letter in which she praised her son for making profound and lasting contribution to national development: "As a Senior Advisor you have made profound and lasting contributions to Liberia's development in many areas: in the electricity sector, our international trade and commercial relations, sports, youth and enterprise development, not to mention the many local initiatives you have implemented to improve the lives of ordinary Liberian citizens. Above all, throughout your work you have shown a tireless dedication to the welfare and advancement of Liberia's youth. "Perhaps it will be many years before Liberians realize the scale of the profound debt our country owes to you, but I am certain that day will come. Today, the President and the Nation thank you for your patriotic service, and wish you well." Upon accepting the resignation, the President appointed Mr. Fred Bass, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of NOCAL, as Acting Chairman, and appointed Ms. Jacqueline Khoury, a petroleum expert, as a Director to the Board of NOCAL, according to an Executive Mansion news release.

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