More confusion Over Appointments In Transitional Government In Liberia

By: J. Wesley Washington


The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted October 27, 2003

More confusion seems to be brewing as various stakeholders to the Accra Peace Agreement continue to make conflicting nominations to fill slots within the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL). The civil society organizations in Liberia (CSO) under the signature of its chairman, Saa Philip-Joe yesterday forwarded a list of nominees for positions agreed upon by the joint political parties and civil society technical committee. However confusion has already begun to emerge.

At the Bureau of Immigration & Naturalization(BIN) yesterday, Abraham Mitchell and Othello Mason, both nominated by Political Parties as Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner for Administration respectively, were seen at the premises familiarizing themselves with the various offices and staff of the BIN.

Ernest J. Torbon, who has also been nominated by Civil Society Organizations as Deputy Commissioner for Administration appeared to be confused when he arrived and witnessed the incident.

A similar situation is emerging at the Liberia National Police where Losay Kendor has been nominated by Civil Society Organizations as Director. Another group has nominated Chris Massaquoi for the same position of Police Director. This has not been confirmed up till press time.

Likewise, a number of education-related organizations are protesting the appointment of Dr. Evelyn Kandakai as Minister of Education rather than Civil Organization’s nominee, Dr. Thomas G. Koon.

In a release signed by the National Teachers Association of Liberia (NTAL), National Association of Liberian School Principals (NALSP), Teachers Aid Program (TAP), Monrovia Consolidated School System Teachers Association (MCSSTA), Liberia National Educational Workers Union (LINEWU) and the Liberia Library Association (LLA), they noted that on October 17, 2003 they were “opportune(sic) to meet and interact extensively with Professor Tuapleh Farnodorh, Dr. Evelyn Kandakai and Dr. Thomas G. Koon, all who have expressed their intention to head the Ministry of Education”.

The release noted that these prominent educators addressed themselves to numerous educational concerns and issues raised by the groups.

“Subsequent to this professional academic exercise,” the release continued, “the education related organizations again met on Saturday, October 18, 2003, and democratically elected Dr. Thomas G. Koon with the votes of 12 to one out of the three candidates to head the Ministry,” the release said.

They reiterated that the Education Ministry is a professional government institution and therefore the input of teachers and other stakeholders of the education profession is crucial in deciding who heads the Ministry at any given time.

They said, “any attempt by anyone to exclude or deny us from the process, is a calculated move to carry on ‘Business as usual’ which is not only dangerous and counter-productive but also promotive of bad governance which will not be acceptable by the education related organizations under the umbrella of the Civil Society Organizations of Liberia.”

Meanwhile, additional nominations have been forwarded to the NTGL chairman, Gyude Bryant by Civil Society Organizations. Those additionally nominated for the Ministry of Education include: Lucinda Carter, Assistant Minister for Administration; David Dhan, Asst. Minister, Secondary Education; Rev. Joe C. Jarwleh, Asst. Minister, Teachers Education, Accreditation and Certification; and Matthew Flomo, Asst. Minister, Curriculum Development.

At the Ministry of Rural Development, those nominated include: Maxwell S. Poe, Deputy Minister, Administration; Moses J. E. D Mapleh, Jr., Deputy Minister, Community Services; Julius D. Zoegar, II, Asst. Minister, Community Services.

Vabah Gayflor has been nominated Minister at the Ministry of Gender and Development replacing Dr. Evelyn Kandakai, who was earlier nominated to the position by Civil Society.

At the National Insurance Corporation of Liberia, Eric J.H.S. Coker has been nominated as Deputy for Administration, while Mark. J. Spencer was nominated as Director, National Housing Authority.

Obedia Tarla was nominated as General Manager at the Monrovia Transit Authority, while William T. Watson was nominated as Deputy for Administration at the National Food Assistance Agency.

Francis Johnson was nominated as Auditor General at the Bureau of General Auditing, while at the John F, Kennedy Hospital, Dr. Taylor Neal has been nominated as Chief Medical Officer; Moses Zayee, Deputy Administrator; and Dr. Samuel Dopoe, Administrator.

Meanwhile, the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) has forwarded the names of two Liberian journalists to the Civil Society to fill slots allotted to the Union under
the Accra Peace Agreement.

Mr. Bernard A. Waritay has been selected to occupy the post of Deputy Information Minister for Administration, while Ms. Caroline Caranda was chosen to fill the post of Assistant Information Minister for Culture & Tourism.

The two were selected from a list of other candidates submitted to the PUL leadership by a committee set up to scrutinize the credentials of those who applied to fill the posts.

Mr. Waritay holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communication and Political Science from the University of Liberia. Ms. Caranda also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communication and English.

The two names and others representing the Civil Society will be submitted to the chairman of the NTGL.

In a related development on nominations to the NTGL, the Liberia National Union yesterday nominated its reinstated chairman, Mr. Jonathan K. Weedor as Information Minister, and at the same time nominated Mr. Richard F. Jallah as Deputy Minister/Operations, Ministry of National Security; Mr. Samuel F. Moliwulo, Jr., Asst, Minister/Administration, Ministry of Gender & Development; Mr. Mr. Allan A. Yama, Assistant Minister/ Curriculum & Textbook Research, Ministry of Education, Mr. Prince W. Kieh, Assistant Minister/CID/CIU, Liberia National Police, and Mr. J. Jerome Slojue, Assistant Commissioner for Security Services Affairs, Bureau of Immigration.

© 2003: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.