New Castle, Delaware-The Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) has described the recent consultative talk hosted by President, George Manneh Weah, and representatives of some political parties in Liberia, as a positive development in the nation’s quest for peaceful co-existence.
The Association said the August 15, 2018, high profile gathering which brought together the President and eminent politicians of the ruling CDC, Liberty Party (LP), All Liberian Party (ALP), Unity Party (UP), among others under a single roof with the sole purpose of formulating strategies for making life in Liberia livable, manifests that no one person or group has monopoly over ideas.
ALJA said it is pleased by the gesture and expressed its profound gratitude to the Liberian leader and the CDC for reaching out to the country’s opposition bloc in seeking its inputs for making Liberia a better, safe and secured country for all regardless of political, tribal, race, and social alignments.
ALJA said as a media advocacy organization committed to the advancement and protection of free speech, press freedom and the principles of good governance in Liberia, it welcomes the move by the Liberian government. The Association maintains the conference was necessary because it laid the foundation for continued interactions and dialogues between the government and opposition political parties in moving Liberia forward, but urged President Weah to have a defined agenda to guide future discussions with the opposition.
Meanwhile, the Association is calling on the Liberian Leader and the ruling CDC to give a sober reflection to some of the salient proposals put forth by some of the meeting’s attendees as approaches for reconciliation and peaceful co-existence in Liberia. The ALJA said the concerns raised by two political parties leaders at the meeting regarding the establishment of a war crime court in Liberia as a means of giving justice to victims of the nation’s ended 14 years civil wars; and the over representation of southeasterners in the batch of individuals appointed to executive positions in the Liberian government by President Weah must be given serious consideration by the CDC administration.
ALJA said Liberia belongs to all Liberians; so, executive appointments in the CDC led government must transcend tribal or regional representation. ALJA said President Weah would do well when selecting and appointing candidates to executive positions in the government by focusing on competence, job skills, education and work experience instead of dwelling on tribal or regional connections.
In a related development, the Americas based Liberian journalists have described as appalling and unfortunate recent public pronouncements emanating from the Deputy Minister of Information and Public Affairs at the Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT), Eugene Fahngon, regarding national developments in the country.
ALJA said Deputy Minister Fahngon’s routine divisive and loose talks directed at individuals and politicians, whose views on national issues run contrary to those of President Weah and the CDC led government, are not helpful for the government and peaceful co-existence in the country. The Association said the roles of the Deputy Minister and the Information Ministry are to project a better image of the Liberian government at home and abroad, but his unrestricted wild talks are doing more harm to the Weah administration than good.
ALJA cited Mr. Fahngon’s recent Facebook post in which he publicly denigrated the Liberty Party’s Chair of Political Affairs, Abraham Darius Dillion, for walking-out of the August 15, 2018, consultative talk hosted by President Weah with members of the opposition. ALJA maintained the Deputy Minister’s post which referred to Mr. Dillion as a ‘third grade dropout’ was childish; and it does not represent someone who holds such sacred position at the Information Ministry.
The Association urged the President to give a second thought to Mr. Fahngon’s continued stay at the Information Ministry, especially at this critical time in the political governance of Liberia. The Association said after years of bloody civil wars, Liberians are endeavoring to reconcile themselves so, they don’t need a Deputy Minister that is ignorantly putting them at loggerhead with their government.
The dispatch signed by Joe Mason, National Vice President and approved by Moses D. Sandy, National President in the US concluded