Margibi County Senator Oscar A. Cooper receives lashes here for opposing the appointment and subsequent confirmation of former Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay as Director General of the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority or LCAA.
A prominent citizen of the county, Mr. Andrew Nelson Yancy, who is also Project Manager of Steinbock Liberia Limited, a private firm based in Margibi, expresses dissatisfaction over Senator Cooper’s opposition when he spoke to reporters recently in Kakata.
Following Mr. Nuquay’s nomination by President George Weah to head the LCAA and his subsequent confirmation by the senate, Senator Oscar Cooper wrote plenary, expressing his descending views against the confirmation.
He notes that the appointee does not have 10 years experience as required by the act that created the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority.
Senator Cooper maintains that Mr. Nuquay, who gave up the Speaker post and contested as running mate to ex-Vice President Joseph Boakai in 2017, has no knowledge on civil aviation, so making him head of that institution could pose challenges, including security threat.
But speaking to reporters recently in Kakata, Mr. Yancy argues that the senator’s opposition to his kinsman speaks of his ingratitude and also shows Margibians that they have to be careful in who they elect as leaders.
According to him, before ascendency to the senate, Mr. Cooper was very little known in Margibi, but his hands were raised by Nuquay to gain the prominence that he (Sen. Cooper) now enjoys.
He says it is a shame that out of 28 senators, only Senator Oscar Cooper came holds descending view, which means that he does not even have support in the senate, but is single-handedly operating because he is always on the losing side when it comes to pushing issues across the floor.
The Chairman of the Governing Council of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change, Chief Cyril Allen recently voiced his opposition to the appointment of former Speaker James Emmanuel Nuquay as Director General of the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority and his subsequent confirmation by the Liberian Senate.
In an interview with OK FM, a local radio station in Monrovia, Chief Allen cited the "Civil Aviation Act of 2005" Sub-chapter II Section 203 under Appointment and Qualifications of the Director General, which states among others, “The Director General shall be appointed with regard to being properly qualified and experienced in civil aviation for the efficient discharge of the powers and duties vested in and imposed by this Act.”
Mr. Nuquay holds a BSc degree in Economics from the University of Liberia and is a graduate of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law from the same state-run university.
But Chief Allen stresses that the former Speaker lacks technical qualification as required by the "Civil Aviation Act of 2005" to head the LCAA.
He notes that the country is not bankrupt of qualified personnel in civil aviation and names at least five Liberian professionals, including Capt. Moses J. Weefer, and Randolph Cooper, among others, who could instead, effectively run the institution based on competence.
He warns that the appointment could face some international challenges because Liberia is a member of the world civil aviation authority and there are global standards that should be met.
The CDC Governing Council Chair thinks those who recommended the former Speaker to President George Manneh Weah for appointment to the post, did so to embarrass the President, cautioning, “A gift from a wicked man is a trap; I don’t want somebody to embarrass our President tomorrow.”
However, Rivercess County Senator Dollar Gueh, disagrees with Chief Allen, defending that Mr. Nuquay is a professional manager, capable of steering the affairs of the LCAA.
He cites count two of Section 203 of the "Civil Aviation Act of 2005" under Sub-chapter II that states: “At the time of nomination, the Director General shall have at least ten years management or similar technical experience in a field directly related to aviation.”
Editing by Jonathan Browne