Liberia: Scapegoats?

opinion

President George Manneh Weah has dismissed the president of the State - run University of Liberia (UL), Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks, at a time the University's faculty members are striking for salaries.Her dismissal comes days after a social media post purported to be that of Rep. Acarous Gray of the Coalition of Democratic Change or CDC accused officials of the former regime of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who are still serving in the Weah's government as the hidden hands behind the series of recent demonstrations including that of the students of the Monrovia Consolidated School System or MCSS.

Following that alleged accusation, photographs of Dr. Weeks touring with former President Sirleaf circulated on social media again purported to be from Rep. Gray insinuating that the plans of the Mrs. Sirleaf's appointed officials were working. This was published hours after faculty members of the state run University had also threatened to go on a go slow if their overdue salaries were not paid.

This news also come at the time another appointed official from the Mrs. Sirleaf regime tendered in his letter of resignation from the sometime last week. Mr. Tolbert Nyenswah, now former Director-General of the National Public Health Institute (NPHIL), is reported to have tendered in his resignation to President Weah on October 9, 2019 and might vacate office on November 29, 2019.

It is not clear whether Mr. Nyenswah's resignation is as a result of the alleged accusation by the CDC lawmaker that these former officials of the Mrs. Sirleaf regime serving in the Weah's government are undermining his administration.Meanwhile, President Weah who is also the Visitor to the University of Liberia has appointed Dr. Julius Sawolo Nelson as the University's new president.

President Weah's decision came just a day after Dr. Weeks' plead with faculty members to return to their respective classrooms while their concerns were being addressed.

Protests for salaries have been ongoing in recent times in various government institutions, including national public health workers union and public high school teachers.

Dr. Weeks was appointed UL president nearing the end of former Liberian President Ellen Johnson - Sirleaf's last term in 2017 and was inducted in September that year as the University's 14th president.Her successor, Dr. Nelson who has worked at the University for years as Dean will face Senate confirmation hearing for the job.

In other appointments, President Weah has nominated Mr. Edwin Juah as Assistant Minister for European Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Mr. Ssiaka Sheriff as Assistant Minister for Research, Planning and Development at the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

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