“You people are lucky; that is why you people are running around like champions,” says Deputy Minister of Information for Public Affairs, Mr. Eugene Fahngon when he responded to media reports accusing him of reportedly mismanaging 10,000 dollars intended for journalists.
The Deputy Information Minister who did not divulge what offer he made to the government that has fallen on deaf-ears also accused the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) of being silent when journalists have misinformed the public about conducts of officials, but has mustered the courage to come to the defense of journalists when the characters of official are maligned.
He was reacting to media reports accusing him of receiving 10,000 dollars intended for media practitioners, which he reportedly diverted and absconded.
The Morning News as relayed by some electronic outlets have reported that President George Weah has given the amount to the Deputy Information Minister for Public Affairs, Mr. Fahngon for onward distribution to journalists.
The paper, according to Minister Fahngon, further accused him of converting the money to himself.
Commenting on the story, Deputy Minister Fahngon alleged that Boima J. V. Boima wrote in “The Morning News” that he Fahngon had received from President George Manneh Weah the amount of $10, 000 for journalists, an amount from which he reportedly distributed $3,000 while he pocketed the balance $7,000.
In reaction to the story, he threatened to say something that may not suit other people or otherwise caused his dismissal, noting that he is not afraid of saying the truth no matter what it may cause him.
“I could be a broadcast journalist, a cool aid seller or a pempem rider; this idea that when you serve people, your life begins and ends there is wrong,” Deputy Minister Fahngon indicated.
He said that the allegation by Boima J.V. Boima is not the first of its kind, pointing out that Journalist Rudoxon Fayiah had once accused him of receiving S30, 000 from Masoka Fallah of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) for the printing of passes for journalists, a portion of which fund Fayiah contended that Fahngon consumed.
Pointing out that “We are in turbulent times,” Fahngon said the detractors of the government want him and key people in the government removed from offices because of their truth they tell the public about realities of occurrences in the country.
“People don’t like me because I tell them the truth and I become victimized. Some of them seem to be in the very government that I serve; they want me out of office because they want my job. But I serve at the will and pleasure of the President,” Fahngon exclaimed.
He asserted rhetorically, “will I live better if I leave this job? I say yes! I was living better when I got the job.”
On fear of being dismissed, Fahngon bragged, “One thing I have done for myself is that I have been consistently reacting to negative propaganda. Every propaganda by opposition was met with stiff resistance,” he said, naming the 16 billion saga, the 25 million United State dollars mop up saga, amongst others which he defended without laptop, stationeries and other logistics for the past three years.
On his role in the government, he emphasized that he has never given opportunity to the critics of government, noting “Wherever they put it, I meet them halfway”
“No one could do what I have done as Deputy Minister for the past three years” without logistics to work with, Fahngon further bragged, saying that the opposition of the government want them – State and Presidential Affairs Minister Nathaniel McGill, Finance Minister Samuel Tweah and Jefferson Koijee dismissed from the government because they want to have the chance for the down fall of the President.
When they get ready for Tolbert, the clear all of Tolbert’s strong men from around him, so they did to Samuel Doe – the Ensure that his security strategist Patrick Minikon was eradicated; that his Defense Minister Gray D. Allison was entrapped and imprisoned and then they have access to getting at him. That is the same thing they want to do to President Weah,” Fahngon indicated
Deputy Minister Fahngon who claimed that calls have mounted on him in relation to the allegations continued, “Critical thinking will question why Fahngon should be dismissed? Why come to ask Fahngon and not those who are making the allegations?”
According to him, he didn’t received a dime; the President didn’t give him $10,000 as claimed, although some are saying, “Fahngon is in hot water for eating journalists’ money.”
“You should be finding your way to the President instead of calling me. The President didn’t give me a dime, not even five cents; and I did not see the President before Christmas,” he reacted. Fahngon furthered quotes the report that the few journalists that got to know about the money were said to have told the security to the President to inform the Liberian leader.
But clarifying, he explained that on New Year eve, the President met with journalists and he was not at the meeting. He further that he was not at the meeting because he was sick, and that his doctors advised him to do a COVID-19 test having undergone an X-ray test that did not find anything wrong with his health.
Concerning the defeat of the referendum, Fahngon noted that his office was not given the logistics he asked for to ensure that the Ministry reached every nook and crony of the country to create awareness. “”If we had the three vehicles that we requested, the referendum would have passed”
On why couldn’t he resign with the situation of poor working environment facing his office, he reacted, “Resignation is not an option for me. Not because you have beaten me …. I have a lot inside here, if the President said I should hit the doors, I will be gone.”
Asked why the government was treating him that way, he clarified that the action of few individuals should not be blamed on the government,” noting that he has no regret of his actions towards journalists, saying that, if you go after them, that is when you see the PUL…”