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Officials face arrest, dismissal

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Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe says President George Manneh Weah has mandated a Presidential Taskforce to arrest any official of government that will breach health measures and protocols in the wake of cases of Coronavirus in Liberia.

The pronouncement came Thursday, 19 March at a press conference where the Liberian authorities along with international partners, assembled to give the public update on preparation made and measures taken so far in the fight against the disease here.

Liberia’s two coronavirus cases include the indefinitely suspended executive director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mr. Nathaniel Blama and his domestic worker.

Mr. Nagbe says during an earlier meeting with President Weah ahead of the press conference, a lot of new measures were put in place, which include the closing of the VIP lounge at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) to all government officials.

“The President of Liberia has mandated and ordered the arrest of any official of his government in a meeting with the Presidential Taskforce and some high level security officers and furthered that he will dismiss that official and turn that official over to be prosecuted in line with law,” Mr. Nagbe says.

Minister Nagbe furthers that there is also an arrest warrant for anybody including members of the government that will misinform the public, pointing out that the time of speaking wrongly and misleading the public is over.

The Minister continues that President Weah also appeals to the media not to allow their platform to be used by those that don’t mean well for the people of Liberia in the time of the deadly Coronavirus that is spreading globally.

“How can you give credence to someone who will not [want you] to wash your hand? Please don’t listen to those people, they don’t mean well for the country. This is not time for politics, people as such should wait for the election time and not this time,” he warns.

Mr. Nagbe stresses that no lawmaker is above the law of the country, as he dares any lawmaker to repeat the misleading of the public or misinform the public, saying they will get arrested and prosecuted according to the law.

He also commends the public for the level of cooperation since the outbreak of the Coronavirus in the country and further discloses that the two people that were tested positive of the deadly Corona virus are coping with treatment.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Samuel Tweah, disclosed at the briefing that the World Bank has provided an immediate amount of US$1.5 Million to help the Government of Liberia in fighting the virus.

The briefing, planned earlier for 11am Thursday, at the National Public Health Institute of Liberia was eventually held jointly at 7pm in the conference room of the Ministry of Information.

It followed back and forth shuttling by the acting NPHIL director Doctor Masoka Fallah between the Ministry of Health and the Executive Mansion that led to a lengthy meeting with President George Manneh Weah and international partners.

Responding to the annoying delay that ran into about nine hours,
Deputy Information Minister for Public Affairs, Eugene Fahngon told reporters state radio and other media institutions willing to stay until 7pm will cover the conference, pointing that there is no other important news equal to update on the Coronavirus.

“Journalists in the great United States of America had to wait for five hours before President Trump could address the nation; there is no big news than the Corona virus anywhere in the world, so if you want to wait, you can but of you don’t want to, you can leave because we’re not going to keep anyone hostage,” the Deputy Minster said. .By Ben P. Wesee—Edited by Winston W. Parley

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