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The Need for President’s Wisdom and Negotiating Skills in Senate, LNP Row

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During its 10th sitting of its extended special session, the Liberian Senate recommended to the President of Liberia, the dismissal and prosecution of the Director of Politico, Colonel Chris Massaquoi. The decision arose out of the Friday, September 13 alleged “mutiny” staged on the grounds on the Capitol, while the Vice President of Liberia and members of the two Houses were present executing their responsibilities. It preceded the failure of Director Massaquoi to adhere to a previous summon on Thursday, September 12 by the Senate’s Plenary following a written complaint of disrespect filed by Senator Armah Jallah of Gbarpolu County.

The complaint by Senator Jallah was the direct result of an unfortunate incident involving him and the Police Director relative to his vehicle pulled-over in the traffic in “violation of the vehicle and traffic law of Liberia”, just a day following another incident between Senator Theodore Mombo of Gbarpolu and Deputy Director Agrahim Kromah, which was then resolved. These developments took place last week in the absence of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who was on a state visit to India.

While Director Massaquoi and his Liberia National Police may have erred by  allegedly allowing the presence of armed troops on the grounds of the Capitol-the official seat of the Liberian Legislature, the recommendation for the Director to be disrobed and subsequently prosecuted by the Justice Ministry was too harsh a decision.

Towards this direction, the intervention of Madam President in the best possible manner and form cannot be over-emphasized. By this, the President must use all of her wisdom and negotiating skills for a common ground with the Liberian Senate so that the Government of Liberia will not be seen as being divided within itself. Whatever positive intervention and peace-building mechanisms Madam President can adopt to reconcile such unfortunate situate must be applied in the interest of the unity of the Liberian Government.

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