Liberians woke up this morning to the good news of the President’s 54th birth anniversary, but surprisingly, President had another news under his sleeves. President Weah, this morning has released a recycled list of his government, shifting old officials around like kids participating in a musical chair performance.
According to a press release dated October 1, 2020 from the Executive branch of government, Information Minister Eugene Lenn Nagbe, under whose watch pundits believe the government’s key information dissemination arm has become almost moribund, has been sent to the cash cow Liberia Maritime Authority (LMA). News about Mr. Nagbe’s appointment had been making the rounds recently, with speculations hinting of a contest between Liberia National Oil Company (NOCAL) boss Seifua Mai Gray and the Information Minister. With the exception of the Liberia News Agency which has experienced a rebirth under the watch of Oldpa Kwame Weeks, MICAT has been reduced to perfunctory press briefings, while the Ministry’s New Liberian newspaper has seemingly gone into coma.
As Nagbe heads off to LMA, his and Weah’s long-time friend, Ledgerhood Rennie, leaves the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) to take over at the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICAT). Like Eugene Nagbe, Mr. Rennie is one of the few survivors from the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf administration. Pundits opine that the national broadcaster has outlived its usefulness under Rennie, especially with the dormancy of its once-enviable potent rural broadcasting capacity. Moreover, the new television station which was heralded as a landmark achievement of postwar Liberia is almost defunct; and when one even gets the signal, the intermittent fluctuations cannot allow viewers to analyze the contents. What new innovation Mr. Rennie would bring to MICAT is the six million dollars question lingering on the lips of observers.
Also at the LBS, one of Mr. Rennie’s former deputies, Mrs. Estella Liberty-Kermoh, has been nominated as Director General.
Of all the new presidential nominations, Commerce Minister Wilson K. Tarpeh’s shifting to the controversial Environmental Protection Agency has left many in wonderment. Professor Tarpeh, a former Minister of Finance, had once been tipped to head the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) immediately when President Weah took office in 2018. His nomination to head the EPA as Executive Director, many believe, is a serious downgrade of his sterling public service career. Ms. Mawine G. Diggs takes over from Mr. Tarpeh as Minister of Commerce.
At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Comfort Sawyer takes over as Deputy Minister for Administration, a post recently occupied by Henry B. Fahnbulleh who has been acting as Foreign Minister following the resignation of Ambassador Gbehzongar Findley. Pundits are of the opinion that Mr. Fahnbulleh got the axe from the advisement of hardcore CDCians who believe that Mr. Fahnbulleh was allegedly one of the masterminds behind the sexual harassment allegation levied against the recently confirmed Foreign Minister, Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Kemayah.
Other nominations include Mr. Prince K. Vincent, who has been tapped as Deputy Minister for Operations at the Ministry of Defense; Debra Nebo, Deputy Minister for Small Business, Ministry of Commerce; Mr. Tarnue Marwolo Bongolee, Assistant Minister for Planning, Ministry of Education; and Madam Hannah Macaulay Karbo, Deputy Minister for Manpower Development.
Others include Jane Macculay, Director General of the National Public health Institute of Liberia; Binta Nah Jalloh, Deputy Director for VIP, National Security Agency; Marcus Zehyoue, Director General, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA); and Atty. Lucrezia Thomas Anderson, Judge, Juvenile Court, Montserrado County.
Atty. George H. Dahn goes as Commissioner at the controversial Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) where Cllr. A. Ndubusi Nwabudike recently returned as Chairman following the withdrawal of his nomination by President Weah and rejection of his confirmation by the Liberian Senate as head of the National Elections Commission.