Liberia’s incumbent Vice President and presidential candidate for the pending 2017 general and presidential elections, Joseph N. Boakai has been rejected by some group of Liberians journalists to server as this year’s Keynote Speaker at the World Press Freedom Day celebration schedule to be held in Voinjama City, Lofa County by the Press Union of Liberia.
Speaking on behalf of the Concerned Members of the Press Union of Liberia at a news conference yesterday, Mr. Octivin Williams said the selection of Vice President Joseph Boalai by the leadership of the PUL will put a dark cloud over the credibility and image of the Liberian Media.
Mr. William said the World Press Freedom Day should not be used as a platform for state actors and non-state actors that have served as stumbling block to press freedom, stressing, “It can be recalled that the closure of the independent Star Radio was masterminded by the Vice President who was appointed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to mediate in the crisis between the management of the station and staff, instead the Vice President recommended its closure thus putting several journalists out of jobs,” Mr. Williams stressed.
Mr. Williams also indicated that the selection of the Vice President by the leadership of the PUL was done unilaterally, instead of consulting with the membership who should be considered as mayor players in the process.
For his part, the President of the PUL, Mr. Kamara A. Kamara said the union under his leadership has no reject for the selection of Vice President Boakai to serve as Keynote Speaker for this year’s World Press Freedom Day.
Members of the union are expected to be converged in the City Voinjama, Lofa County for the celebration over the weekend.