1 September 2014

Liberia: Who Are the Dismissed Officials? - Public Demands Explanation From Gov't

Photo: Liberia Government
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has instituted what has described by the public as a "blanket dismissal" against officials of the Executive Branch of government, who failed to obey her order.

It can be recalled that barely two weeks ago, President Johnson-Sirleaf issued a directive, restricting all officials of the Executive Branch of government from traveling, and at the same time, ordering the return of those who were already away on private visit or out of government's assignment.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the President has ordered the immediate dismissal of those who are still abroad outside of government's assignment or without any medical reasons.

But she fell short to state the names of any of those officials who are said to have disobeyed her mandate, thereby leaving the public and perhaps, the media to speculate who those names are.

In the release, which is posted on the website of the Executive Mansion, the Liberian leader only stated the names of those officials who were granted special authorization with doctor evidence of urgent and specialized medical treatment; and those who were directed by her to undertake specific critical assignments.

She named those who are excluded from her action as Cllr. Seward Cooper, Chairman of the Board of Directors, National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), Madam Yusador Gray, Auditor General, General Auditing Commission (GAC), Mr. Richelieu A. Williams, Executive Director, Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA), Cllr. James N. Verdier, Chairperson, Liberia Anti-corruption Commission (LACC), Madam Cyvette Gibson, Acting Mayor, Paynesville City Corporation (PCC), Dr. Amos C. Sawyer, Chairman, Governance Commission and Mrs. Rosetta Jackollie.

The pronouncement by the Liberian leader, without stating the names of governments who are relieved of their positions, has raised public concerns, with many calling on various radio talk shows demanding the government through the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) to quickly release the names of those covered by the action.

However, in a mobile phone conversation with the state owned Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS), Information Minister, Mr. Lewis G. Brown, said the names will be released to the public in the soonest possible time.

Minister Brown, who also briefly spoke with this paper, pointed out that the reason for the delay in disclosing the names is because, the government does not want to make any mistake by leaving out the names of anyone should be affected by the action, or wrongly include names of officials who should not be part of the action.

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