The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism on Capitol Hill has reacted sharply to the opposition Liberty Party’s criticism about President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s latest appointments.
Addressing reporters on Thursday, 15 June during the Ministry’s regular press briefing, Deputy Information Minister for Technical Services, Ricks W. Barsi-giah, says the Information Ministry will not allow people or institutions to make negative statements against the Presidency.
“We officials of this Ministry under the leadership of Minister Nagbe we will not sit and watch people, who misapply their status of education and intellects to make good for nothing comments about the appointment of qualified people”, says Minister Barsi-giah.
Though he did not directly state to whom he was referring, quite recently, the opposition Liberty Party protested against President Sirleaf’s recent appointments of persons to tenured positions when her government has less than six months to be in office, thereby calling on the Liberian Senate not to confirm individuals being appointed to tenured positions.
“The President in her capacity as head of the country has the full right to appoint people whom she thinks are qualified to help in leading the country on the right path of development, and no one can question her about such thing,” says Minister Barsi-giah. In a very angry tone, the Deputy Information Minister notes that it is unfortunate for people who claim to be politicians to question the appointment of qualified Liberian citizens, saying all of us are Liberians.
He says the President has the authority to appoint whoever is best suited to perform in specific position, which is unchallengeable, adding “So we have come to make this clarity, because what we have observed people misapply their educational status and intellect and carry on damning words and unnecessary challenges; this is no time for that, no matter we will not take distraction from the corner; we thought to make this clarity since we are in the position to do so.
According to him, when some people speak out of ignorance, they must be educated, because it part of the ministry’s job, saying we will do our best to protect the sanity of this country, and make sure that the destiny will no longer go back to where it came from.”
The Deputy Minister says government welcomes criticism, but it should be seen as a benchmark, but if individuals embark on negative comments, “we will make sure to teach you the running of the Presidency.”
The opposition Liberty Party (LP) of Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine Wednesday, 14 June issued a press statement, calling on the Liberian Senate not to confirm any appointments by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to tenure positions.
The LP in a release also admonishes the government to begin a culture of Presidential courtesy during transitions, specifically calling on President Sirleaf to take the first step by working with others to continue to develop the country’s democratic pattern.
By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne