Monrovia, Liberia – In the wake of comments from allies and Government officials which have embarrassed the President and Government, the President is now moving to instill some control of the narrative of his officials, especially on issues of national concern.
Late on Wednesday the Executive Mansion in Monrovia issued a press statement in which it said, “The President of Liberia, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, has issued an Executive Memorandum directing all Ministers, Deputies and Assistant Ministers, and Heads of Agencies and Commissions, and their deputies to refrain from making public comments on policy issues of national concern on both conventional and social media without first seeking authorization from the appropriate authorities. The President’s Executive Memorandum, issued Wednesday, May 8, 2019 through the Director General of the Cabinet, Hon. Jordan Solunteh, also instructs all government Ministries and Agencies to direct their communications on public policy matters to the Minister of Information or his designee. The Memorandum further indicates that there would be grave consequences for any member of the Executive Branch of Government found in violation of the directive. The President therefore cautions all members of the Executive Branch to take heed and govern themselves accordingly…,” the statement concluded.
Earlier during the week, the U.S. Embassy chastised some Government officials and lawmakers over their public comments. “…It is unacceptable for Senator Prince Y. Johnson, Representative Yekeh Kolubah, “ex-generals” or other former actors in Liberia’s civil wars to incite unlawful acts through ill-considered rhetoric that could jeopardize Liberia’s hard-won peace and security. It is equally irresponsible for people within leadership positions in government or the ruling party to promote such division as Deputy Minister Eugene Fahngon has done on social media. To take such a public stance and suggest it is a private opinion or a personal right reflects a misunderstanding of the nature of public service in a democracy…,” the U.S. Embassy said.
The Chairman of the ruling Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) Mulbah Morlu and Representative Kolubah have both welcomed the statement of the U.S. Embassy.
The Presidential directive does not cover the ruling CDC but observers say they expect the fiery rhetoric and accusations against the opposition of Chairman Morlu to be toned down.
Some observers say the action by the Liberian leader may have come following a closed door meeting with members of the Senate on Tuesday in which they made some suggestions to address the political tension in the country.
By Our Reporter
West African Journal Magazine