Just recently, the President of the Press Union of Liberia or PUL, Mr. Peter Quaqua chose to go to war with the New Dawn-Liberia in defense of the administration of the General Auditing Commission or GAC under the guise of ‘ethical transgression’.
In his article: Ethical Journalism and the Challenge of Self-Regulation, the PUL President attempted to present himself as the most righteous and transparent personality in Liberian journalism, as far as the issue of ‘ethics’ in practical journalism was concerned. The New Dawn-Liberia, he insinuated or suggested in his article, was far from where he claimed to belong, and that this paper was “pro-government” (something to which we will not even respond). It is only members of the Press Union of Liberia; those who work with us at our institutions as well as the communities in which we live and interact that can make proper judgment of professional and moral characters, and not Mr. PUL President.
On the basis of a number of appeals from a few colleagues and members of the public who are very cognizant of true human nature Peter Quaqua, we had thought not to dignify the sentiments requested by him through his article a few of our colleagues chose to publish for reasons best known to them. But again, we are constrained and under obligation to reiterate our position on this matter, owing to the negative and partial role of the PUL President in addressing whatever “bone” the administration of the GAC had to pick with us.
Secondly, because the PUL President had allowed the GAC administration to use him as a stooge for little or nothing to get out of the alleged ‘lake of corruption’ at the commission as evidenced by our various publications, leaving him and us in conflict, we thought to again make our position known.
Since its appearance on the news stand more than one year ago, the New Dawn-Liberia continues to report or publish very critical stories and editorials on individuals and institutions, including Senator Prince Y. Johnson and the National Union for Democratic Progress, the Liberian Legislature, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Unity Party, Cllr. Charles Brumskine and Liberty Party, Professor Dew Mayson and his National Democratic Coalition, Former President Charles Taylor and trial, as well as the Liberia National Police, a few county superintendents and other institutions, among others without comments from the President of the PUL with regards to ethics.
Any well-meaning individual or institution may want to actually wonder and understand why Peter Quaqua would now choose, this time around, to trade insults and arrogance at, and demonize the New Dawn-Liberia on behalf of the GAC in response to our publications on the corruption and mal-administration at the Commission under Comrade John Morlu, II. Other than rhetoricizing the matter in his recent article which we seriously intend not to directly follow, Mr. PUL President needs to explain why now the GAC and not others.
Some may even be more puzzled by the fact that most of his undertakings and utterances on issues are done without the acquiescence of the Vice President, Secretary General and Assistant Secretary General of the PUL probably because they wouldn’t just agree to take sentimental positions on matters that may give the institution a gloomy picture as the current GAC saga.
We are aware that Quaqua’s negative intervention is an achievement of a strategy and an attempt by the current GAC administration, still guided by Mr. Morlu, II to drive a wedge between the PUL (using Quaqua as the frontier) and New Dawn-Liberia-something Peter has intentionally refused, to comprehend because of the inducement involved, judging from the commitment between him and former AG John Morlu, II following President Sirleaf’s pronouncement that the latter would not be nominated.
It is an open and established fact that the current administrations of the GAC has been and continue to seriously harbor the fear of instituting legal action against us for the publications for reason(s) we don’t understand. That’s why it chose to make a fool out of the PUL leadership and sit aside to avoid disgrace and further embarrassment. But we at the New Dawn-Liberia reiterate emphatically to the President of the PUL, administration of the GAC and their likes that all publications and utterances on mal-administrative practices at the GAC under Mr. Morlu, II by us continue to sustain without any fear, favor, regret, malice or whatsoever.
We fear nothing, but to do wrong, and this is why we will continue to challenge the GAC and its likes to use the Liberian court system against whatever ethical offenses it feels we have and continue to commit against its image and reputation-SIMPLE, but not to field Peter Quaqua in the ‘middle of the game’ under the guise of the PUL to instigate conflict between us (the New Dawn-Liberia and entire leadership of the PUL).
May we repeat that if the administration of the General Auditing Commission is of the strongest conviction that we have ethically transgressed by publishing distorted, false and erroneous stories about it, it must drag us to court and stop playing “hide and see” politics with the PUL. We strongly believe that the GAC administration must have men and women enough to challenge us in court if it feels offended by the series of publications in this paper; the GAC has the right to seek redress through the civil court.
Our unwavering preparedness to rapidly and strongly respond to any attacks from any quarter, including the current rebellion against us by the GAC and Peter Quaqua without justifications is something that must no longer be over-emphasized. While we believe in respect and co-existence among media practitioners, institutions and organizations, including the leadership of the PUL, may we seriously warn that creating any situation against the New Dawn-Liberia for selfish reason(s) amid tangible evidence and facts is a complete declaration of media war.