LIBERIA: Ruling CDC Party Chairman Receives Lashes From the Public For Ordering The Dismissal Of Oliver Dillon

L/R: Morlu and Dillon

Recent decision by the chairman of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Mulbah Morlu to order the Minister of Transport, Samuel A. Wlue to immediately dismiss Oliver Dillon, the brother of Montserrado County Senator, Abraham Darius Dillon as Director for Ports and Border Entry at the Ministry of Transport has received dozens of lashes from callers on a local radio station in Monrovia.

Many of those who called on the radio condemned the action of the CDC Chairman for ordering the Minister of Transport to dismiss Mr. Dillon, an action which was implemented by the Minister.

According to Morlu, opposition members should not be given positions in the CDC-led government while qualified partisans are left to wander street corners in search of jobs.

It appears Chairman Morlu ignores the fact that, during the administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, several CDC current stalwarts including Samuel Tweah (former consultant at Finance Ministry, now Minister proper), Nathaniel McGill (Assistant Minister for Administration, Ministry of Internal Affairs, now Minister of State for Presidential Affairs); and Janga Kowo (official at General Auditing Commission, now Comptroller and Accountant General, Republic of Liberia).

Morlu, in his outburst on Facebook, took issue with the transport minister who he says, is found wanting in the provocative decision to create employment opportunity for a non-party member, while (over the years) rejecting dozens of qualified partisans under the pseudo-canopy of ‘no vacancy’.

For Morlu, the appointment of Sen. Dillon’s brother has no moral justification, rather is an insult to the party and its members who fought hard to bring them to power — as such, the Minister of Transport must withdraw the appointment and replace Oliver Dillon with qualified partisans who are otherwise left to wander street corners in search of jobs.

“While commending the President’s efforts in appointing many qualified partisans to serve in his administration, it calls for the inclusion of more qualified and loyal partisans (of the Congress for Democratic Change, the National Patriotic Party, the Liberia People’s Democratic Party, the NUDP & collaborating political parties) to strategic positions in government; replacing treacherous fifth columnist infiltrators who may be part of the government, but working against the President’s development goals,” the ruling party chairman said.

“As a part of the new beginning, the mighty Coalition for Democratic Change calls for nullification of this recent provocation at the Ministry of Transport as a necessary step in building a cohesive and strong party.  It is [sad to have] a cabinet minister appointing non-partisans to important positions at ministries and agencies, while qualified partisans are left to wander street corners in search of jobs,” added Morlu in a press conference on Friday, March 19, 2021, at the party’s headquarters in Congo Town. He warned all Cabinet Ministers in the CDC-led administration to desist from appointing people in the opposition.

Chairman Morlu, therefore, has warned Transport Minister that he will face consequences for his action if Oliver Dillon’s appointment is not canceled and the job instead be given to a partisan of the ruling party.

On March 11, 2021, Liberia’s Minister of Transport elevated Oliver P. Dillon, who previously served the Ministry as Decentralization Coordinator, to the position of Director for Ports and Border Entry. Dillon’s reappointment and promotion followed a long period of trial in a case involving the stabbing of a man who attempted to rob him. The court acquitted him (Oliver Dillon) on January 4, 2021, ordering that all his employment rights be restored.

However, being a brother of Senator Darius Dillon, a staunch critic of the CDC-led government, Oliver suspects this is the reason behind Morlu’s action against him.

“I am a professional person. I am not, nor have I ever been a member of any political party,” Oliver Dillon told the Daily Observer in a telephone interview for this story. “I have been harassed by unknown persons calling me with threats that if I accept the job, they will harm me. The recent appointment is also being misinterpreted as new employment.”

The position for which Oliver is being appointed was created to accommodate his reinstatement at the Ministry of Transport, since the court, upon his acquittal, required that all his employment rights be restored.

“When I returned,” Mr. Dillon continued, “I saw that someone was already acting in the position I held — Coordinator for Decentralization — a position I held for six years. But I did not want to deprive the person of this opportunity to serve, so my Minister decided to create a new position for me. I recommended to him that, we should set up a sub-office in the Free Port of Monrovia, where vehicle importers would be able to register their cars before clearing them from the port. This would ease the tension of inspections who otherwise would have to chase down importers to regularize their unregistered cars that were brought through the Free Port. We coordinated this with the Liberia Revenue Authority to make this happen.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Dillon alleged that his boss, Transport Minister Sam Wlue, has also been harassed with calls from ruling party heavyweights including Chairman Morlu, demanding his (Oliver’s) dismissal. One ranking government official is quoted as saying: “This man’s brother is giving the government hard time and you are empowering the Dillon family through him?” However, from the appointment letter addressed to Mr. Dillon, Minister Wlue said the appointment “is based on [Dillon’s] qualification and professional experience.”

During his six years as Coordinator for Decentralization, Oliver Dillon successfully helped to expand the Ministry of Transport’s revenue base by opening up regional offices in strategic points across the country to enable vehicle owners to register their vehicles without having to come to Monrovia to perform this requirement.

“Before this, people would bring vehicles in from neighboring countries like Guinea and drive them in the counties until the vehicles were fully depreciated without ever registering them,” Mr. Dillon explained.

After nearly two years of being trapped in a murder allegation, the 13th Judicial Circuit Court of Margibi County on January 14 set Mr. Dillon free of the crime of murder, having been on trial for the alleged murder of one Emmanuel Kofi who attempted to rob Mr. Dillon one night in the Barnesville Community in early April 2019.

Mr. Dillon was investigated, charged, and forwarded to court by authorities of the Liberia National Police for onward prosecution and subsequently indicted in November 2019 by the Grand Jury of Montserrado County for the crime of murder.

The matter should have been heard in Montserrado as per the law of territorial jurisdiction since that was where the incident occured, but the matter was transferred to Margibi predicated upon a motion for a change of venue filed by Government lawyers on grounds that the deceased could not have had fair justice if the case were held in Monrovia.

Meanwhile, Morlu says he has declared a new revolutionary beginning and is calling on all government officials to desist from appointing non-partisans to provide jobs for qualified CDCians. He stressed that CDCians have suffered and can no longer continue to suffer in their own regime where the Opposition enjoys the opportunities belonging to the suffering masses.

“On the other hand, emphasizing the importance of adhering to the President’s mandate, the CDC Chairman reminded officials of government thus: The National Executive Committee of the CDC, moving forward, in support of the President’s statement to officials of government that ‘There will be no room for errors’, will help monitor the performance of government officials, constructively criticizing, praising or requesting the President to dismiss where necessary,” Morlue added in his press statement.

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