When the English literary icon William Shakespear, several centuries ago, coined the phrase, “The evil that men do lives after them, but the good is often interred with their bones” in Act 3, scene II of his renowned drama, Julius Caesar, little did he know the sagacious assertion would later have profound meanings on the deeds of mankind, even up to today. Said assertion had a replay here during the week when three of President George MannehWeah’s nominees who appeared for confirmation hearings before the Liberian Senate were rejected virtually for their past deeds, which were obviously, far from good.
Nominees Cllr. Charles Gibson, chairman-designate for the Liberia Electricity Corporation, and Atty. Anthony Toga Nimely, chairman-designate, the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission were overwhelmingly denounced and rejected by the Senate statutory Committee on Lands, Mines, Energy, Natural Resources and Environment on Tuesday, February 04.
The committee, headed by Lofa County Senator George Tengbeh, also a stalwart of the former ruling Unity Party, voted overwhelmingly against the two nominees for their past evil deeds that have come to haunt them right in their faces.
Cllr. Gibson was President Weah’s first nominee to the Ministry of Justice, immediately after his inauguration in 2018. But the President withdrew the nomination under mounted public pressure due to integrity issues. While Gibson was poised to go for confirmation hearing, news about his past evil deeds surfaced in the media with unimpeachable pieces of evidence, convincing enough to overturn his preferment by President Weah in favor of Cllr. Musa F. Dean, the current Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Republic of Liberia.
President Weah and Cllr. Gibson are said to be friends from their youth, and the President is committed to rewarding his good friend with a job in his government, but Gibson’s dirty deeds from his past won’t go away even after he leaves dear earth, as Shakespeare had written in Julius Caesar.
For two consecutive times, The President has failed in awarding his youth time friend a job in solidarity for the ties that bind them.It is quite unfortunate.
Then comes nominee Attorney Toga Nimely, who faces serious accountability questions at the American-sponsored Millennium Challenge Account where he served previously.
Due to his past deeds at the MCA, Uncle Sam or the Government of the United States expresses lack of confidence in his integrity and pressurizes the Weah administration not to recycle Attorney Nimely back in government.
So it was obvious that his nomination by President Weah to the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission was already dead before reaching the Liberian Senate for confirmation hearing.
According to research, the Government of the United States of America in October 2015 provided a grant of $257M to Liberia through its development agency, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to address the lack of access to reliable and affordable electricity and inadequate road infrastructure.
The MCC compact is a Liberia-U.S. partnership to reduce poverty and promote economic growth. MCC awards compact grants to countries that pass at least 10 of its 20 governance indictors, including control of corruption. The Millennium Challenge Account Liberia is an independent, legal, and autonomous agency of the Government of Liberia created by the legislature to administer the compact projects The rejection of both individuals raises question about President Weah’s choice of nominees for public offices, amid widespread corruption in his government.
The full plenary of the Senate voted behind closed doors this week, endorsing the nominees’ rejection.
“The committee having thoroughly examined the nominees in persons of Cllr. Charles H. Gibson and Atty. Anthony Toga Nimely through their presentations, curriculum vitae, and other credentials; and in its wisdom further examined international efforts to increase efficiency and opportunities to advance energy efficiency in Liberia, while in committee room carefully scrutinized the nominees and unanimously did not see the nominees eligible and qualified to serve those positions as slated,” plenary reports.
The committee further notes it is against these backdrops it deems it necessary to recommend to the plenary of the Liberian Senate to decline the request for the confirmation of the two individuals.
As if they were not enough, Senator ConmanyWesseh of River Gee County on Wednesday, 05 February told Deputy Defense Minister for Operations-designate Tarpleh Davis, who had appeared for hearing, to go for detraumatization first before appearing before the Liberian Senate for confirmation.
The chambers of the Senate turned dramatic Wednesday when senators, including Montserrado County’s Darious Dillon and River Gee County’s Wesseh quizzed the nominee about his social media post on Facebook, in which he threatened to kill protesters, who will temper with his properties during planning for the June 07, 2019 protest organized by the Council of Patriots.
Sen. Wesseh recalls that Mr. Davis posted on his Facebook page, the pledge to ‘restructure’ security sector- focuses on the National Security Agency, the Liberia National Police and the Armed Forces of Liberia, without mentioning the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency or the Liberia Immigration Service.
Wesseh quoted Davis as saying the three security institutions -AFL, NSA and LNP are a risk to Liberia’s security because they have tentacles of influence over the regime and do not support President Weah.He further quoted the deputy minister-designate as saying, the change within these organizations are slow! Too slow, a post Davis allegedly made a week to his nomination by President Weah.
But Davis explains that he served in the United States army and suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, due to his involvement in combat while serving in the U.S. army, something, that led Sen. Wesseh to say he should seek treatment before facing the senate for confirmation.
Senator Wesseh’s assertion created tension and led to fistfight between supporters of Mr. Davis and staffers of the Liberian Senate. It took the intervention of police assigned at the Capitol to calm the situation.
Davis may not have committed physical harm against any fellow Liberian here, but his persistent threats against would-be protestors seem good reason for concern, as being expressed by members of the Senate Bomi County Senator Sando Johnson, also asked Mr. Davis to appeal to President Weah to revoke his nomination, as members of the Liberian Senate are not willing to confirm him because of his ‘terrible’ utterances.
Last December, several members of the House of Representatives wrote the Senate, urging that august body not to confirm Mr. Davis, as doing so could result to killing of Liberians, on his orders.
The lawmakers, led by Montserrado County Representative Henson Kaizolu noted that “David Tarplah sometime in May and June 2019, promised to kill any of his fellow Liberians, should any of them, in a protest, damage or cause to damage his property during such peaceful protest.”
In their statement to Senate President Pro-Tempore Albert Chie, they said, “We believe [that] if Mr. Davis could make such a statement when he was not in an official position, he would, if confirmed, believe that he has full authority to execute his plan against peaceful citizens.”
“Mr. Pro-Tempore and members of the Senate, we, the Independent Legislative Caucus within the Unity Party, pray your indulgence not to confirm Mr. Davis. Such confirmation,” they warned, “would be to the detriment of the Liberian people.”
Mr. Davis’ revelation of having suffered PTSD while serving in the U.S. Army, coupled with his persistent threats to shoot and kill unarmed civilians who venture around his premises, is enough basis to send him for detraumatization.His past utterances are beginning to haunt him, which could adversely impact his future’ as it now seems to indicate. By Jonathan Browne