It appears that the race for the senatorial by-election in Bong County is drawing attentions both from within and outside of government, with the Acting Deputy Executive Director for the National Disaster Management Agency of Liberia Fairnoh Theo Gbilah, out rightly disagreeing with President George Manneh Weah, telling the President to take his job.
Fairnoh rejects President Weah’s decision to appoint him as Principal Deputy at the NDNAL, because he says the appointment is not in line with the law. Rather, he senses a political motive, claiming the President is creating this post that never existed before at the Disaster Agency in order to get him out of the senatorial race in Bong County.
The Liberia is to hold two senatorial by-elections in May, both in Montserrado County and Bong County, respectively to fill vacant seats created by the ascendency of Ambassador George Manneh Weah, and Madam Jewel Howard Taylor to the nation’s top offices.
Fairnoh adds that he is not also taking the job because the Ministries of State and Internal Affairs allegedly ask him to back off from the senatorial race in Bong, if President Weah should retain him on the job.
Fairnoh Gbilah: “Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ministry of State; they called me because currently, I am the Acting Deputy Executive Director for the National Disaster Management Agency of Liberia, and I was asked to be retained and that President Weah wanted to appoint me last Thursday or Friday, but I must leave the race, and I told them not by sight! It’s a mistake; it’s in a dream. I don’t want the job; tell Weah to appoint someone else to the position.”
Mr. Gbilah, who has declared his intention to vie for the vacant Bong senatorial seat created by the election of Madam Jewel Howard Taylor as Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, explains the Act that created the National Disaster Agency requires that there should be a duly competitive recruitment process that would see the board of directors of the Agency recommending names to the President for appointment to the position, something, he observes, did not happen.
Addressing reporters on Saturday, 7 April in Sanoyea, lower Bong County, where he has gone to grace an official welcome program for Representative Joseph Papa Kolleh of Bong, he revealed, “You know one of the reasons [why] I rejected the job, the President is appointing outside the law.”
He further argues that President Weah appointed the executive director of the agency outside the law, therefore, asking him to serve as deputy to the executive director is wrong and unacceptable, and that is why he would not take the job.
According to him, he was already recruited during former President Sirleaf’s regime in accordance with the law, and if President Weah meant something else, he should nullify the law and calls for re-vetting.
Fairnoh vows he will not bow to any pressure or anything else, but remain a major force in the upcoming senatorial by-election in Bong. He discloses that over the last few days, they have been embarrassing him and he has been warning them to get off his back.
He narrates that recently, he travelled to the home of Dr. Henrique Flomo Tokpa, former Minister of Internal Affairs and a prominent citizen of Bong, and other parts of the county where there is no GSM coverage and they were in search of him all over the place when President Weah had gone to Gbarnga and could not find him.
Fairnoh maintains that he may not have the resources others got, but he would use the widow’s might to contest in the senatorial by-election.
By Ramsey N. Singbeh, Jr. in Margibi-Editing by Jonathan Browne