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Editorial: Power struggle is the worst enemy of progress

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Editorial: Report of a brawl between the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Nathaniel F. McGill and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dee-Maxwell Kemayah over which one of them should get the attention of President George Manneh Weah is both troubling and disappointing, to say the least.

It is even highly incomprehensible why both officials who enjoy equal privileges under the executive or they should, would resort to adapting acrimonious postures against each other in government.

Specifically, seeming disagreement between Minister McGill and Minister Kemayah over whether or not, President George Manneh Weah should address this year’s United Nations General Assembly in New York in person or do so virtually, is nothing to quarrel about. We believe a final decision on such a matter must be in the best interest of the State rather than any personal ego or satisfaction.

Since taking office in 2018 President Weah has but twice (2018 and 2019) gone to New York and addressed the U.N. General Assembly in person. We also believe he should do so as many times as the opportunity avails itself, but if the U.S. Government is advising world leaders to address this year’s UNGA virtually because of a renewed surge of COVID-19 as the Foreign Minister is reportedly advising, we see nothing wrong.

Equally so, if the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs strongly thinks the President should be in New York personally to address the General Assembly and to perhaps take advantage of sideline discussions with friendly governments and international partners that can be also reasoned out as a government instead of getting into the boxing ring.

Besides, we are hearing that Minister McGill is posturing and directing that, the Foreign Minister, who is also Dean of the Cabinet, should report to his (McGill’s) office rather than directly to President Weah.  We think this is against protocol except the President chooses similarly, and if Mr. Weah would desire so, it could raise eyebrows, because the Foreign Minister directly represents the President on foreign matters particularly, State-to-State,  not the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs.

What was more regretting and disappointing, however, is that President Weah himself sat and watched such bitter exchanges between two key officials of his cabinet and made no intervention or take punitive action as a deterrence. That singular omission or inaction further demonstrates the President’s lack of leadership that has crept right before his nose.

It is about time the Weah administration rise up and lead as a capable government in which the Liberian people overwhelmingly placed their trust to govern them and properly manage the state of affairs. But time and again, this seems not to be the case.

The issue about President Weah going to New York to personally address the UNGA should not be a personality contest between Minister McGill and Minister Kemayah. The fact of the matter is, the President has a team of advisors who should intervene accordingly and suggest the expedient approach in such a matter.

What happened recently at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia was a total disgrace. It is our wish that this would be repeated because it doesn’t show maturity and leadership that the next generation could copy from.

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