Who replaces McGill, Tweahway, Cllr. Cephas?
By: Emmanuel wise Jipoh
President George Manneh Weah has a tough task at hand in naming replacements for three sanctioned officials, who resigned here on Monday, 12 September under pressure.
The trio includes suspended Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Nathaniel Falo McGill; suspended Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA) Bill Tweahway, and suspended Solicitor General Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephas.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated them in mid-August for their involvement in ongoing public corruption in Liberia.
“These officials are designated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and target perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world”, a press release issued from Washington, DC, by the U.S. Treasury Department on August 15, 2022, said.
President Weah immediately suspended the three officials indefinitely amid public outcry for their dismissal.
But with hints of more Liberian officials to be designated by the U.S. government for corruption and other acts of impropriety, Nathaniel McGill, Bill Tweahway and Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephas presented their letters of resignation yesterday, leaving the President with the headache of naming new persons to those offices.
Among the three, ex-Minister McGill and Bill Tweahway are confidantes of President Weah, so much so that the former was dubbed as ‘Prime Minister of the government.
However, records have shown that nominations coming from the Executive Mansion do not meet public approval, including the Liberian Senate especially, with the President’s choices for Justice Minister immediately after he came to power, his recent nominee to the Liberia Airport Authority and elsewhere, bordering on integrity and qualification issues.
Since Monday, the social media has been flooded with names like current Maritime Commissioner, Lenn Eugene Nagbe, Special Presidential Envoy, Dr. Laurance K. Bropleh, and Commerce Minister Mawine Diggs, among others to replace McGill as the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs.
Another suggested name for the prestigious office is current Foreign Minister Dee Maxwell Kemayah, but with the terrible diplomatic scandal surrounding the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he may automatically be out of the President’s list of new nominees.
It is important that President Weah nominates somebody who will not limit his government’s influence internationally by commission or omission.
In the early years of the government, Eugene Nagbe and two other famous ministers were in a famous picture that flooded the Internet and was interpreted as saying to all those in opposition to shut up and allow them to catch their fun. Editing by Jonathan Browne