It appears that the long standing feud between former pals George Weah, now Senator of Montserrado County and his former Secretary General Lenn Eugene Nagbe, now Minister of Youth and Sports is headed for the Senate.
The move comes as Weah describes the posture of Nagbe against the Liberian Senate as ‘disrespectful and unacceptable after the latter had allegedly refused to appear before the Weah’s Senate Committee on Sports to give reasons why the nation’s inter county sports festival, the County Meet was called off.
“The action of Minister Nagbe is totally unacceptable, disrespectful, and such practice and utterance should not be encouraged by the senate,” Weah vented his anger during Thursday’s session of the Senate’s Plenary.
Weah’s anger follows a response to a communication sent to the Youths and Sports Minister citing him to appear before the Senate’s Ad-hoc committee to explain while the national County Meet was cancelled.
Nagbe, rather than appearing, reportedly wrote the Liberian Senate and its committee on sports urging them to redirect their energies and strengths on how to increase the budget of sports in the 2015/16 national budget.
Making the report to the full Plenary of the Senate- the highest decision-making body of that body, Weah, who served as Chairman of the committee, asserted that Nagbe also published the ministry’s response to the committee’s letter in a local newspaper and on social media (Facebook), refusing to send a copy of his reply to the committee.
Weah, who doubles as the political leader of the Congress for Democratic Change or CDC, said it was unfortunate and embarrassing that a senior government official would choose to disrespect others, especially members of the Senator.
According to him, the irresponsible attitude of the Youth and Sports Minister, who once served as Secretary General of the CDC, but crossed carpet to the ruling Unity Party or UP, must not go with impunity, recommending that the Plenary of the Liberian Senate summons him (minister) to give reason(s) why he should not be held in contempt.
Another Montserrado County Senator Geraldine Doe Sheriff warned that if nothing was done about the ruthless attitude of the minister, other senior officials of the government, especially from the Executive Branch would also choose to exhibit similar gross disrespect to the Senate in discharge of their constitutional duties.
“The action of the minister is shameful, and I think if nothing is done to stop this ugly practice, our colleagues from the Executive Branch will not respect us- and that will affect the functions of the senate. We are elected for a purpose and that purpose is work the people,” she added.
But River Gee County Senator Conmany Wesseh of the ruling Unity Party said to cite the minister for contempt charges was too early on grounds that it had not yet been established through evidence that the letter published in a local newspaper and on the social media was from the minister.
“Our world is more advance these days- someone can temper with the communication. I believed we should ask the committee to do more due diligence by inviting the minister again and if he refuses or fails, then we can reach that conclusion; but like this now, it is too early,” River Gee County Senator said.
Meanwhile, the Plenary of the Liberian Senate, through an overwhelming vote, has cited Minister Nagbe to appear to show reason(s) why he should not be held in contempt, and that he’s expected to appear before that august body on next Tuesday, March 3, 2015.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor