Monrovia: For many of those who might have thought that the recently dismissed Deputy Minister of Press and Public Affairs at the Ministry of Information, Eugene Lamine Fahngon, would have used last Friday’s Spoon Talk Show platform to rain hellfire and brimstone on his former boss, President George Weah, must have been disappointed.
President George Manneh Weah sacked Mr. Fahngon for allegedly spreading false information regarding the government’s handling of the Coronavirus pandemic, and anyone who had thought that the tough-talking former government official would go on reprisal counterattacks.
But surprisingly he took seize of the opportunity to instead herald President Weah as a trailblazer in Liberia’s current political dispensation, a man who has achieved a lot in a relatively short time.
On the other hand, former Minister Fahngon severely lambasted key members of his own ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and other government officials for continuously deceiving President Weah into believing that the ruling party can easily win the 2023 presidential elections even in the face of such daunting socio-economic challenges and the menacing political maneuvers of the burgeoning Liberian opposition.
Starting his prepared statement by giving thanks to those that are fighting for their lives and those who are providing care and services for the sick in the face of limited supplies, Fahngon spoke of the country’s shared cultural and traditional values which bind Liberians together as a nation, but which are now under attack from an unknown, unfamiliar enemy, cautioning, “this global menace must unite Liberians rather than divide them.”
Heaping praises on the man who just unceremoniously fired him, perhaps to the chagrin of the opposition bloc and a good number of the Spoon Talk Show panelists, Mr. Fahngon hailed President Weah, stating: “I must give sincere thanks and appreciation to President George M. Weah for the opportunity given to serve my country Liberia,” openly expressing his gratitude for being a part of the team that has overseen the construction of several modern health facilities to include the 14 Military Hospital, the Redemption Hospital, the ongoing Gbarpolu Health facility, among others.
Fahngon further spoke on the construction of several modern facilities by the Weah Government to include the Gorbachop Market, Joe Bar Market, Old Road Market, Duport Market, among others; while hailing the extraordinary performance of high school students in the West African exams, as well tas he high enrolment of students at tertiary institutions due to government’s tuition free policy.
“The construction of inner-city roads connectivity, and the construction of modern highways linking our provisional capitals, and the integration of our people must be hailed – particularly the construction of modern infrastructures such as the LPRC, the NPA, Maritime Complexes, to name a few. A structured mechanism to handle food security is among the many achievements of President Weah’s government,” former Minister Fahngon continued.
Regarding the issue of peace and security, the loquacious former government spokesperson hailed President Weah for passage of legislative bills such as the Domestic Violence Act and the K. Abdullai Kamara Press Freedom Act, while praising the government for making tremendous progress in stabilizing the economy through fiscal and monetary policy actions as well as the harmonization of salaries.
Pressed by one of the panelists who wondered if the former Deputy Information still harbors an ambition to work in President Weah’s government if called upon after his woeful dismissal, Mr. Fahngon said he stands ready to serve his country when called upon again, adding, “my position as Deputy Minister for Press and Public Affairs was not only to defend government but to also defend the people. That was why I was minister for press and public affairs. To you the members of the public, I remain committed to serving you whenever you need me.”
Attacked by CDCians, Stained Relations with Info Minister
After heaping tons of praises on President George M. Weah for what he saw as positive development initiatives, former deputy minister Fahngon turned his missiles on members of his own political institution, particularly the Congress for Democratic Change, which is a subset of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
“I was jailed and humiliated by CDCians,” Fahngon recounted his ordeal when he was jailed for two days following a scuffle with Representative Edwin Snowe in 2020. He said during the hearing, Speaker Bophal Chambers could not stand the spectacle and had to recuse himself from the proceeding, which was later presided over by the late Representative Munah Pelham-Youngblood and Representative Acarous Gray.
“On the floor that day, it was the likes of Representatives Solomon George, Dixon Seboe and the rest of them. I was humiliated, handcuffed and driven to jail. But I remain resolute, stand ready and loyal to the Revolution,” Fahngon boasted.
Mr. Fahngon further disclosed that the antagonism towards his person spiraled into the workplace, wherein his former boss, Information Minister Ledgerhood Rennie, stopped speaking to him for a long time.
“I never assaulted him, I don’t know where it came from, but the Minister stopped speaking to me since January until two to three weeks ago,” Fahngon said, disclosing further that the minister even excluded his name from the President’s recent nationwide tours.
“Howbeit, due to my commitment to the Revolution and to see President Weah succeed, as well for the Liberian people, I used my own finances to go to the counties that were totally necessary to bring to bear the fruit of the county tours to the people of Liberia,” Fahngon said.
Further berating those within the hierarchy of the CDC who continue to look down on others that they consider “newcomers”, Fahngon decried the attitude of stalwarts such as Representative Acarous Gray who often denigrate the efforts of those who deeply hold the Blue Revolution at heart. Fahngon also blasted Rep. Gray for recommending his firing when he (Fahngon) recently called on government to consolidate efforts and resources to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, otherwise, remaining nonchalant would tarnish President Weah’s legacy. Mr. Fahngon also described Rep. Gray as someone who makes utterance without thinking.
Be Wary of a Formidable Opposition
Sending a clarion call to President Weah when one of the panelists asked what his word of advice would be were he to meet the Liberian leader face-to-face, Mr. Fahngon called on Pres. Weah to handle the Coronavirus pandemic with care as doing otherwise would taint his legacy.
He further called on President Weah to be wary of those who continue to tell him that all is well, and that the ruling party will easily retain power in 2023, stating plainly that the opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) which CDCians tend to overlook has grown in strength and stature and it would take the concerted efforts of true-Blue Revolutionaries to stop the CPP at the ballot box during the next elections.
Fahngon said the governing party allowed the opposition to grow from an embryonic stage to a full-fledged institution, a risky calculation that would play against the governors in 2023, likening the growth of the CPP to a baker mixing all the ingredients to make a juicy cornbread which would eventually be gobbled by the hungry populace.