On Tuesday, March 28, 2011, the leadership of the Press Union of Liberia or PUL issued a statement countering the decision by the President of Liberia not to re-nominate Mr. John Morlu to the position of Auditor General of Liberia. The PUL statement, under the signature of its President, Peter Quaqua, followed the dismissal on Friday, March 25, 2011 of Auditor General Morlu by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
In that statement, the PUL expressed the belief that the removal of Auditor General John Morlu was a victory for corruption, noting that though Morlu’s ejection was inevitable, it was sorry that the President would “shoot herself in the leg” in her professed fight against, what it referred to as this “ major public enemy”-corruption.
“The Union does not wish to be drawn into the argument that Morlu was “disrespectful to the Presidency” but if his e-mail is the overriding reason for the President’s decision, then she has missed an opportunity to be remembered as a true champion of free expression and dissent,” the PUL statement further noted. The PUL also described the e-mail as only an alibi because the President has just made known her disapproval over the manner in which the Auditor General has been critical.
The PUL statement then emphasized the need for the President to be told that she has withdrawn a fearless general from the battle field when this “public enemy” called corruption is attacking on all fronts and crippling the development of the citizens. As members of the Press union of Liberia, we at the New Dawn categorically distance ourselves from the position of our leadership on the decision of the President.
Insinuate that the removal of the Auditor General was inevitable, and that the situation of the e-mail was only an alibi for the decision by the President was not only prejudicial, but a complete misrepresentation of the objectives of the PUL by its leadership. When advocacy for freedom of the press, free speech, social justice and genuine capacity-building for change in the Liberian media community should be its hall-marks, the current leadership of the PUL has intentionally chosen serve as a ‘spokesman’ and campaigner for the Auditor General, who in his email, chose to abuse the Liberian Presidency.
For the PUL Leadership to even describe AG Morlu as a ‘fearless general’ in the fight against corruption when there may be other qualify Liberians here and abroad, is a complete show of its simplicity, immaturity and ignorance to understanding government. While we have always admired AG John Morlu’s ability to properly perform/execute his task in the supreme interest of the nation, we also think that there was indeed a ‘short circuit’ in his email- a show of disrespect to the Office of the President of Liberia.
And for the leadership of the Press Union of Liberia to applaud such disrespect and indecency, is a complete misrepresentation of the purpose for which the Union was formed. This is why we at the New Dawn detest the position of our leadership in the strongest term, and distance ourselves from such negative posture.