‘We Have A United Government’ -MICAT Boss Says; Denies Speaker Removal Claim

MONROVIA: One of the earliest criticisms against the fledgling administration of President Joseph N. Boakai and his Unity Party, sending a lot of pundits and ordinary citizens grumbling about, has been that the regime came not with a Bible, but with a sword to decimate and paralyze its foes. That was one reason while many were not doubting a claim by a lawmaker, who happens to be a staunch member of the regime and supporter of the president, that a plot was afoot to oust the Speaker of the House of Representatives who is a known opposition bigwig. News that the ruling Party wanted to remove Speaker Fonati Koffa therefore spread like wildfires within and without the country. But nerves are seemingly calmed by the Chief Spokesman of the Government who said in a public statement that the account by UP stalwart Representative Yeke Kolubah, was false. The Analyst reports.

The Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Jerolinmek M. Piah, has discounted claims by Representative Yeke Kolubah that the Jospeh N. Boakai administration was bribing lawmakers to unseat the Speaker of the House, Fonati Koffa.

Piah said the three branches of government are working harmoniously to achieve the same purpose of delivering services to the Liberian people, and that there was no intention whatsoever to remove the Speaker of the House from office.

Speaking during the regular press briefing at the Ministry of Information Tuesday, March 26, 2024, Piah said it was necessary to make the clarification because some elements were bent on creating the impression that the government was divided as if to suggest that the Government is not be able to redeem its promise to the Liberian people of governing differently to ensure that the country becomes prosperous for every citizen.

“We would like to make the clarification, and that is not intended to respond to anybody in particular,” he noted. “The government of Liberia is very united and strong. The Legislature, the Executive, and the Judiciary, constitute one government united in one purpose and committed to serving the Liberian people and delivering services as we promised.”

He added: “So those who believe that we will take our eyes off the prize to focus on politics rather than governing are mistaken.”

The Minister stated that in the next six years, high premium will be placed on governance and not politics, stressing that the time of politics will come as “it is a time we are always prepared for because we know what it takes to do politics”.

He said there are detractors who are bent on taking away attention from the core issues of governance but the government will not be distracted and “we are going to proceed with development. We will govern.”

Piah, who previously served as a Deputy Minister for Public Affairs at the Ministry, said further that President Boakai enjoys an excellent relationship with leaders in all the branches of government to include the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, the Pro Temp, the Chief Justice and other justices of the Supreme Court.

“So, for those who are imagining that there is a plot to remove the Speaker must find other talking points that will make some sense,” he said further. “There exists no plot to remove anyone, not even the Speaker.”

He said there have been some concerns shown by some people for what they see or hear in the media such as in different newspapers and those narratives probably intended to “sow the seeds of discord, trying to create the impression that we do not have a united government. Rather, we are thinking about building roads, how we will have a better reputation for ourselves, how our schools will be built, how our people will be saved again”.

Mr. Piah said “those who are thinking that we will have a government that is divided, and that the things that are least important are our priority must think twice”.

He said while in opposition, the Unity Party took the challenge to democratically remove the President George Manneh Weah led government, consciously aware that Liberia was a nation in despair and the nation needed to be rescued and the intent of that crusade has been manifested as “civil liberty has been restored, peace and security have been consolidated, the drug epidemic is becoming history, basic social services are being improved. In short, the nation is once more on the move and the future is bright”.

“Some of the dividends of these rescue efforts are clearly manifesting,” he said further. “Lost voices of the past, especially for the past six years, have now got their voices back. If you have been following the media, some of them know historically that they were intentionally silenced in the last six years and are regaining their voices.”

He said there is now an atmosphere of free speech and people with dissenting voices who were once denied in the last dispensation “are making a lot of noise, discussing the economy.”

Piah added: “They are criticizing everything; they are saying nothing good; people are wondering what happened in the last six years. Of course, in  the last six years, they did not permit  them to do so, because they were cowards; they were under siege and when they realized that civility is around, they have come to ensure that the nation becomes more democratic.”

The MICAT boss noted that “while we are acknowledging that their voices are being restored, they have gotten their voices back. So, you have come to see what has manifested in what we promised to do and that is why we intended to do and that is what we will do.”

Minister Piah also used the occasion to descend on the past regime on some of the policies adopted that he claimed provoked hardship for the citizens especially those who worked in public service. He singled out the harmonization policy which was widely criticized by government workers and other stakeholders.

He continued: “Let me talk from the perspective of the Minister of Information. They [CDC government] brought something called Harmonization. Everywhere in the world, you improve earnings, we do not devalue earnings. People work and when you want to touch their salaries, it has to be upward, not downward. Many wrong things happened, and to balance the book, it affected all those who worked in public service, and we have seen it.

“We have seen discrepancies on our payroll; we have seen indications that most of these payrolls are filled with ghost names; we have seen salary inequality. What is it like to work in an institution with a Master’s degree and someone pays you $200.00 and someone in the same institution with a high school certificate makes $600.00? Is that something you think should happen? These are the realities we are confronted with. These and more, we are focused on addressing.”

Earlier in his brief remarks, Piah confirmed the incident which occurred in a mining town in District #2, Rivercess County on Monday, March 25, 2024 in which a landslide “led to an entrapment in the unspecified number of persons”.

He reported: “It has been confirmed that up to 10 bodies were recovered and that a search and rescue operation is ongoing, jointly undertaken by the National Disaster Management Agency, the Armed Forces of Liberia, the Liberia National Police, the Ministry of Health, the Red cross, the Ministry of Mines and Energy.”

“The government extends condolences on behalf of the President, the Vice President, the Speaker, the Pro Temp, Chief Justice, and on behalf of the Liberian people to the affected family.

“We pray that God will grant repose to their souls. We will continue to provide updates to the public as the situation unfolds”, Piah said.

  1. Jake Doe says

    Mr. Reporter and Mr. Editor, you leave the impression that you are prime enablers of culprits in the corruption and crime now committed by Joseph Bokai when you shamelessly without regards for the core key principles and ethics of journalism, report that “ News that the ruling Party wanted to remove Speaker Fonati Koffa therefore spread like wildfires within and without the country, but nerves are seemingly calmed by the Chief Spokesman of the Government who said in a public statement that the account by UP stalwart Representative Yeke Kolubah,“, WHEN THETRUTH IS THAT THE NATION IS EMBARRASSED, AND DISAPPOINTED AND EVEN VERY ANGRY THAT BOAKAI IS THIS CRIMINAL MINDED AND HAS COMMITTED SUCH AN IMPEACHABLE OFFICE, PROMPTING HIS REMOVAL AND CONVICTION.

    As for you little rascal Jeremiah Piah , by you here unprofessionally and incompetently trying to mislead the nation on the impeachable bribery crime of Joseph Boakai who is bent on manipulating his very bad policies into laws, is what your SPREADING OF LIES SELF SEES AS NOT BEING A GOVERNMENT PROPAGANDIST??? You made such fraudulent vow not too long ago on the the Senate floor during your confirmation hearing. And here you are here conducting yourself so recklessly, when you could have countered the allegation in a professional manner.

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