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Editorial: Lomax Must Prove His Case

On Wednesday, September 22, 2010, the NATIONAL Elections Commission or NEC issued a certificate of accreditation to the National Union for Democratic Progress or NUDP of Senator Prince Y. Johnson. The accreditation ceremony was graced by a number of dignitaries and executives of the NUDP, including its acting National Chairman, Emmanuel Lomax. Among the numerous remarks during the ceremony were those of the Chairman of the new political party, Mr. Lomax.

During his remarks, the NUDP Chairman disclosed his replacement on the Board of Directors of the Liberia Produce Marketing Association or LPMC by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. According to him, replacement was done in a letter to him three weeks ago by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. We are informed that by Mr. Lomax that he was replaced by Madam President because of his refusal to join the ruling Unity Party, after he was appointed to the LPMC Board two years ago.

If Mr. Lomax’s allegation is something to go by, we think there’s a problem. Under the condition of Liberia, every citizen of Liberia has the right to participate in government or service provides he/she is capable or qualified. We believe that no one should be judged on the basis of partisanship/nepotism, and if and only if Lomax was dismissed as a board member of LPMC for the reason he gave, it was wrong on the part of Madam President.

Our  only challenge to Mr. Lomax, if he does not want us to believe that he may be into political mischief, is to make the letter of his replacement public for us to understand its contents to make the judgment we should as citizens. Again, we must all understand that the constitution of Liberia gives the power to the President to appoint, dismiss or reassign at her will and pleasure. Perhaps Mr. Lomax may have fallen into either of the last two categories mentioned, and that means, he may have been dysfunctional in the performance of his responsibility as a member of the Board.

Or maybe Madam President thought that Lomax had served too long on the board, and so she decided to quietly replace him, as is done with other portfolios. And if this is something to accept, we think there should be no need for Lomax to   make un-necessary publicity or propagandize little things that do not matter. While we believe that the government must be criticized or taken to task whenever it goes wrong or off-track, we should also understand that our engagement with the President must be on the basis of substantiality when it comes to the issue, and not just mere criticisms.

Let us not be misconstrued for taking either of the two sides. We are only commenting on the issue raised by Mr. Lomax on Wednesday and the possibility of Madam President’s reason as disclosed by the young politician. And if and only if Comrade Lomax can prove his case, we will then take his allegation very important.

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