By Lincoln G. Peters
Vision for Liberia Transformation Party (VOLT) political leader Dr. Jeremiah Z. Whapoe has termed as a mere political show, President George Manneh Weah’s suspension of three sanctioned officials.
On Tuesday, 16 August 2022, President Weah suspended indefinitely his office chief of staff, the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Nathaniel McGill, Solicitor General Cllr. Saymah Syrenius Cephus and National Port Authority Managing Director Bill Twehway.
President Weah’s decision came after the U.S. Department of the Treasury on Monday designated the three officials for specialized sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act.
President Weah has also designated the principal deputies of the suspended officials to act in their stead.
In an exclusive interview with this paper Tuesday, 16 August 2022, Dr. Whapoe claimed that President Weah’s action suspending the officials is a mere political show just intended to allegedly quiet down the pressure and sweep this concern under the table.
“The suspension of those officials by this president is another political [show] because we will get nothing from this,” said Dr. Whapoe.
He wondered how President Weah could suspend officials with their salaries and benefits allegedly ‘all in tight.’
“How can you again suspend them and fail to give the investigation a time frame so that the investigation finding can be turned over to the Liberian people?” Whapoe asked further.
He believes that this is just ‘another mere bluff’ because all the best practices are not being followed.
The VOLT political leader urged President Weah to turn over the suspended officials to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) for immediate investigation.
He also called on the president to ensure that all their salaries and benefits are suspended until the findings of into their investigation can be made public and their innocence is proven.
He believes that suspending the officials without giving a specific duty to the relevant integrity institution to conduct the investigation is a move to make mockery of the Liberian people.
“I do not trust the word of President Weah, therefore, I believe those people who he claims he has suspended will be all over the place campaigning as we are seeing in the case of the CDC-CoP (Coalition for Democratic Change – Council of Patriots),” said Dr. Whapoe.
He accused the CDC – led government of being ‘corrupt,’ alleging that proof is all over the place.
“I expected this sanction long ago but it’s better late than never. However, I can assure you that there are more names to come out because our friends are giving us the information,’’ Dr. Whapoe alleged.
Meanwhile, Dr. Whapoe has welcomed the U.S. sanction placed on the three top officials, saying it’s a great move to redeem Liberia from corruption.
“I welcome the sanction by the U.S. Government against those officials because I see this as a great move to redeem our country from corruption,” Dr. Whapoe said.
He deemed it a warning to the government, suggesting that if it continues to put self-interest above the interest of the people, even the President will go in the near future.