Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor’s Press Secretary Solomon Ware says Madam Taylor suspended elected officials from the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA) under straight order of President George Manneh Weah.
“The Vice President is acting based on precedent, and is acting on behalf of the president of the republic of Liberia,” Mr. Ware told local broadcaster Truth Fm Tuesday, 9 October outside Monrovia.
Mr. Ware made the claim Tuesday following marketers’ peaceful protest outside President Weah’s office on Monday, 8 October, requesting the reinstatement of suspended Liberia Marketing Association (LMA) president Alice Yeebahn.
Aggrieved marketers loyal to Alice are accusing Vice President Taylor of allegedly using armed officers to force their elected officials from office over claims of corruption at the LMA.But Mr. Ware claims that in recent times, President Weah asked Vice President Taylor to intervene into crises within the LMA.
He says upon receiving the mandate from President Weah, VP Taylor than moved in at the LMA, called on the aggrieved marketers, the leadership and met with them on different occasions.According to Mr. Ware, prior to Madam Taylor’s intervention, aggrieved marketers had gone to the house of President Weah, Madam Taylor’s house and at the Capitol Building to protest their disenchantment.
He claims that it was based on aggrieved marketers’ protests that the Vice President thought to move in and to bring some civilities to the LMA.“Following all those interventions – calling the aggrieved party, calling the LMA leadership to meeting, all of them agreed in one accord that yes there was a need for audit,” he explains.
“But how then can the audit be conducted? You cannot conduct an audit when the leadership still sits. So they all agreed in the meeting that the current leadership should step aside,” Mr. Ware narrates further.
He continues that Vice President Taylor did not reach the decision all by herself to suspend LMA’s leadership, arguing that it was a decision reached following lot of consultation with government authorities and the marketers.He says LMA officials were suspended, an interim leadership was instituted, and auditors from the General Auditing Commission were asked to come in and conduct an audit.
According to him, the LMA’s three – member Interim Leadership Team include Francis Siryon, Dan Sherman Secretary-general, and Madam Lusu Sloan, Chairlady.It can be recalled that a group of marketers presented a petition to Vice President Taylor on 27 August, over the manner and form in which leaders of the organization were proceeding.
The petitioners most of whom were market women topped their petition on perennial allegations of corruption, financial mismanagement, misappropriation of resources and other acts inimical to the existence of the Association.
By Ben P. Wesee–Edited by Winston W. Parley