LIBERIA: As Gov’t Maneuvers ‘Select’ Group Of Media Executives To Promote Salary Harmonization, Breakaway Faction Develops In PAL, SG Resigns

Alfred Togbah, Interim President of the IPAL

Despite of effort allegedly being applied by the Liberian government through the Ministry of Finance, Development and Planning (MFDP) to contract a local media related firm, the Long Stone Media Consultancy Firm to conduct series of awareness for members of both the print and the electronic media on the much publicized ‘Salary Harmonization’, a breakaway has developed amongst members of the Publishers Association of Liberia (PAL).

Some aggrieved members of the PAL said they were organizing themselves to form an opposing faction, to be called the Independent Publishers Association of Liberia (IPAL), because the leadership of the PAL had sidelined them in all its activities over the years.

The IPAL in its action also said the current leadership of PAL was wholly engaged in acts that are not in line with the bylaw and constitution of the organization, including dividing the membership; calling one group ‘Big Fish’ while the others are called little ones; denying the ‘Little ones’ with all the benefits, situation which has compelled them to take such a decision..

Othello Garblah, President of PAL

The interim leadership of the IPAL, head by Alfred Togbah, Publisher of the People Newspaper,  in its communication to the President of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), Charles Cuffy yesterday, September 12, 2019, outlining several constitutional reasons why they were breaking away from PAL.

In order to intervene and bring the conflict between the two groups to a amicable resolution, the President of the PUL today invited the two groups, but instead, the President of PAL, Othello Garblah deliberately refused to show up, and further told Mr. Cuffy in an email message of his un-readiness to form part of any meeting called by the Union.

Mr. Garblah told Mr. Cuffy that his is not answerable to the leadership of the Press Union of  Liberia, failing to realize that PAL is an auxiliary organization of the PUL like others including the Reporters Association of Liberia and others.

However, the leadership of the IPAL was present at the called meeting of Mr. Cuffy expressing its unpreparedness to working with the Garblah- led PAL, in response the PUL President expressed disappointment in the Othello Garblah leadership for its refusal to attend his called meeting, and further assured the IPAL of his support, and also promised to submit the communication from the IPAL leadership to the coming PUL Congress expected to be held in Gbarnga, Bong County later this month.

In a related development, the Secretary General of the Publishers Association of Liberia (PAL), Moses Togbah has with immediate effect resigned, stating similar reasons that prompted aggrieved members who have resolved to form the Independent Publishers Association of Liberia (IPAL) to quit PAL. Meanwhile, election of officials of the IPAL is expected to be held in two weeks.

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About Cholo Brooks 10332 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.