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GeneralLiberia news

Sinoe lawmakers in degree war

Teahjay, Duncan trade salvos

 By: Emmanuel wise Jipoh 

Senator J. Milton Teahjay of Sinoe county has accused his colleague, Representative Crayton Duncan, from the county of masterminding a campaign to discredit his academic achievement, spreading false news that he (Teahjay) never graduated from Howard University, as he claims.

Senator Teahjay says the allegation is a product of “mischief makers” with a potential to foment distractions, directly pointing fingers at Sinoe County District #1 Representative, Crayton Duncan.

He maintains this is an attempt to ruin his character, as a means of overpowering him, ahead of 2023 Presidential and General Elections.

Teahjay instead, returns the attack at Representative Duncan, describing him as a common high school graduate, who has never entered university.

Academic records obtained by the NEW DAWN indicate that Rep. Crayton Duncan earned an Associate Arts degree from North Hennepin Community College, United States in 2002, Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Minnesota and Master’s in Public Administration from Strayer University, respectively.

But Teahjay describes Duncan’s degrees as “fake”, alleging that Rep. Crayton Duncan has never entered any University since he graduated from high school.

He sends an open challenge to Crayton to disprove him by displaying his academic credentials or if there is any university in the United States of America that can prove that indeed, Rep. Crayton Duncan graduated or attended a university in America, then he would openly apologize.

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However, Senator Teahjay himself has faced a long struggle in defending his claim that he is a Howard graduate.

According to the Sinoe county Senator, he holds a Master’s of Arts degree (MA) in Public Administration and Public Policy (Class of 1990) at Howard University in Washington, D.C. where he graduated with distinction.

He boasts that his degrees are among few of the most celebrated in Liberia. “I have absolute confidence in the quality of my credential and my degrees are among the best you can find in Liberia. I am a proud graduate of Howard University 1990”, Sen. Teejay claims.

Addressing a NEW DAWN investigation with reference to Campaigner for Academic Crimes Court (CACC) headed by Activist Martin Kollie, who claims that Senator J. Milton Teejay was never awarded Master’s of Arts degree in Public Administration and Public Policy in 1990, as the Senator alleges, Teejay clarifies that due to his eagerness for education, he successfully completed his Masters of Arts degree from Howard University in Washington, DC in 1990, after earning a second Bachelor’s degree in Congressional Politics and Liberation Theology in 1987 from   Kent State University in Ohio, United States, adding that he graduated with Cumlaude from Harvard.

However, he admits that he was never awarded a diploma from Howard University, simply because he had financial obligations with the University and needed to sort it out before being awarded his diploma.

He narrates that he benefited from a Government of Liberia (GOL) scholarship to study at Howard University, but alleged failure by the government to settle its financial obligations to the University, he was never awarded his diploma.

“At Howard University. I was on the fellowship and assistantship with Dr. Nicolas Oriowo Taiwo, the head of that department. He was ably helping me out, but at the time of my graduation, the support base did not continue” Sen. Teahjay explains.

He continues that to be part of a graduating class or receiving graduation formula, a candidate must clear all financial obligations, before being given letter to go through with the graduation formula.

“So, therefore, at the time I contacted Dr. Eugenia A. Wordsworth Stevenson, Liberia’s Ambassador to The United Kingdom (UK) for help, who on my behalf, launched an appeal to the University, using the Government of Liberia (GOL) as a guarantee to allow me to graduate and later if the country resumes from its war crisis, they were going to pay, and the University at the time on the guarantee of the government allowed me to graduate, with an option to hold my diploma until their fees are paid, therefore, I was allowed to graduate.”

He lauds the Government of Liberia for providing him the opportunity to go to Harvard University and leave there with distinction, giving special applause to former Education Minister under slain President Samuel Doe, Dr. George S. Boley, who afforded him the opportunity to study abroad.

This paper is yet to independently confirm from Howard University, whether Teahjay is a product of that institution, but the Sinoe county Senator displayed what is purported to be a graduating class yearbook for 1990 that contains his name and photography, among students, who graduated from the University that year. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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