Liberian Journalist Wins 2021 Integrity Icon Award

Liberian journalist Tokpa Tarnue has won the 2021 Integrity Icon Award ahead of four other candidates.

The state broadcaster ELBC Lofa County correspondent was given the award Wednesday, 8 December 2021 by civil society organization Accountability Lab Liberia.

Accountability Lab Liberia is a non-governmental organization that tracks corruption issues across the country and seeks to encourage integrity in public and private places.

Presenting this year's award to the winner during the ceremony at the I-campus, Liberia's Information Minister Ledgerhood J. Rennie called on citizens of the country to emulate the footsteps of Mr. Tarnue by exercising honesty at all times.

"Today we are proud that someone from the media has been named winner of this year's Integrity Icon Award, and our people should see this as a wake-up call," said Mr. Rennie.

He warned against politicizing issues in the country, saying everything can't be politics.

"I'm so much excited because it was through my stewardship at the Liberia Broadcasting System that Mr. Tarnue got recruited to work for the state radio and today he has won for himself this prestigious award," Mr. Rennie added.

He called on the winners of the Integrity Icon Award to be a role models to the upcoming generation.

"I want to encourage every one of you who participated to continue holding the ethical values and integrity," Mr. Rennie noted.

"Let this Award be a shining star in your home, and that every other Liberian will follow that same spirit," he concluded.

Receiving the award, Mr. Tokpa Tarnue extended profound gratitude to Accountability Lab Liberia for the recognition bestowed upon him.

He used the occasion to recognize a few people who he said had helped him along the way.

Mr. Tarnue said today he is being celebrated not because of who he is, but because he exercised the highest level of trustworthiness.

"Today if our country must be developed, than we should all prioritize the issues of integrity," said Mr. Tarnue

"As we [are] being celebrated here today, I like to encourage all of us to go back into our communities, workplaces and continue what we started. This award given today is a challenge for us to be an example to our communities," said Mr. Tarnue.

Mr. Tarnue assured Accountability Lab of his continued support on issues of integrity. He encouraged fellow integrity icons to go and show the light for others to see and follow.

Giving the overview of Integrity Icon Liberia earlier, the Country Director of Accountability Lab Liberia Mr. Lawrence Yealue said Accountability Lab Liberia is a non - governmental organization working in the fields of active citizenship and good governance.

He explained that Integrity Icon is a campaign that Accountability Lab has run since 2014 following the launch in Nepal.

Mr. Yealue noted further that the grassroots program celebrates public servants of integrity and has since expanded to Liberia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Mali, Uganda, South Africa, and most recently Mexico.

Yealue narrated that for the past four years, the Lab has launched Integrity Idol Liberia, now called Integrity Icon, which according to him, continues to promote citizens' engagement and demand for individual integrity to strengthen government - citizens relations.

Also speaking, the president of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), Mr. Charles Cuffey described the award as a perfect framework that will strengthen public trust and allow professionals to engage national stakeholders for the promotion of accountability.

"We are very delighted that a journalist has become the winner because professional integrity plays a key role in our duties as journalists," said Mr. Cuffey.

The award ceremony was graced by key diplomatic officials including US Ambassador to Liberia Michael McCarthy, representatives of government, including Liberia's Auditor General, among others.

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