On Thursday, April 18, 2013, the Ministry of Information, through Minister Lewis Brown, categorically denied a front page lead story published by this paper the same day caption: Gov’t Admits Bribing Protesters. Minister Brown used his ministry regular news conference to suggest that there was “never-ever” any admission of bribery as attributed to his Public Affairs, Mr. Isaac Jackson by this paper during his appearance on a morning magazine program on FABRIC Radio on Wednesday, April 17, 2013.
Whether or not Minister Lewis Brown may have monitored his emotionally-charged Deputy Minister for Public Affairs (Isaac Jackson) before issuing such denial, we can only leave it to his conscience. But one thing we must stand by as an institution is that Deputy Minister Jackson did confirm that the would-be “April 12 protesters” were bribed by the government to call off their planned protest on Friday, April 12, 2013.
Even though Jackson failed to disclose the total amount received by the Coalition for the Transformation of Liberia and other pseudo civil society organizations organizing the protest, he, however, described them as ‘belly-driven’ groups acting under the pretense of civil society activists to the annoyance of the head of the so-called Coalition, Archie Sarnoh.
In his reaction by telephone on the same magazine show the same Wednesday morning, Sarmoh challenged the Deputy Information Minister to prove his allegation of bribery against them; expressing regrets that Minister Isaac Jackson would choose to expose them to public ridicule. It is unfortunate that after many Liberians, including us had monitored the utterances of Minister Jackson on the program very clearly; Mr. Lewis Brown would choose to issue public denial, believing in his deputy minister as very upright.
Other than choosing the path he chose last Thursday during his news conference, Minister Brown and others at the Ministry of Information must ensure proper coordination in tailoring issues of national concern before going public. In so doing, Isaac Jackson unlike other officials there must be made to bury his emotion and negative behavior when reacting to questions and comments from the listening audience.
It is no secret among radio audience in Monrovia and its environs Minister Jackson is always on the offensive-attacking personality instead of calmly addressing issues raised against him or the administration. There are more to do at the Ministry of Information for the Government of Liberia, not necessarily the Executive Branch of the Government as it is seen currently, to ensure life for the “dead giant”, previously referred to by Minister Lewis Brown as “sleeping giant”
The was need for Minister Brown to publicly deny what his deputy made public-it was clear and well understood from Mr. Isaac Jackson that the protesters receive money to call off their demonstration on Friday, April 12, 2013.