Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe, says President George Manneh Weah is set to declare his assets, noting, “The president is working on it as we speak, hopefully by the end of next month, it is expected that he would declare his assets, and we don’t want people thinking that he’s ignoring the calls to declare his assets.”
According to him, President Weah has been declaring his assets during the past regime, so now that he has emerged as President of Liberia, what would people think he’s not willing to declare his assets.
Minister Nagbe stresses that the issue of Asset Declaration is a process, and not a one event that people see it to be, adding that he himself had gone to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission or LACC to find out whether officials, who once declared their assets could again declare their assets when their positions in government have not changed.
He gives the assurance on Wednesday, 28 March while speaking on a live talk show hoted by a local radio station in Monrovia. “Myself, I was in discussion with the head of the LACC yesterday, asking him if I could re-declare my asset, because I declared it under the regime of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, but now my position remains the same”, he further explains.
According to the Information boss, the issue of corruption is at the heart of President Weah’s, saying that the President himself is committed to declaration of his asset, and he just got the form, including Ministers, heads of governmental Agencies and Commissions, some have picked up theirs to complete the asset declaration process.
Nagbe: The laws are clear, and it says when you have been nominated by the President to serve; it is binding to declare, and once you have declared your asset previously and your position has been changed, you will again declare, and all these things, the President is making sure that people in his cabinet abide by the law.”
President Weah has been under increase public pressure to declare his asset, especially, with just two months in office; he has demolished his private residence on 9th Street in Monrovia in order to reconstruct the property.
Some Liberians criticize him for not declaring his asset before the demolition, which could make it difficult if not impossible to distinguish whether it was public or private money being used on the project.
An official of the opposition Liberty Party, Abraham Diarus Dillion, recently criticized President Weah for not declaring his asset, so that members of his Cabinet would follow accordingly.
Mr. Dillon said the idea of calling on the President to declare his asset is to pave the way, and give citizens a clear picture of what he has prior to his ascending to the presidency.
“He must lead by example, as a leader, you expect your followers to move in the same direction with you, but in order to make them follow you, it is binding that you take the lead”, the outspoken LP executive emphasizes.
By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne