-As Weah Seeks ‘Skilled Individuals’
By T. Saye Goinleh
Liberians and other nationals are now insinuating that the decision by President George Manneh Weah to nominate a sitting lawmaker to the Supreme Court’s bench and supporting a Representative to contest the Montserrado and Bong Counties Senatorial By-elections seem like the country is facing brain-drain.
Dr. Antoinette Sayeh, Fmr MoF Beatrice Munah Sieh, Frmr IG LNP Dr. Korto, Fmr, MOE
Cllr. Frances Johnson-Morris, Frmr. MoJ Kofi Woods, Frmr, MoL Dr. Jones, Frmr Gov. CBL
Ngafuan, Fmr DoB, MoF, MoFA
It is also reported that the Liberian leader is contemplating on nominating two current Representatives to the vacant positions at the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) and the National Port Authority (NPA).
It is now alleged that the Liberian leader is of the opinion that no one is qualified outside of the Legislature to occupy such positions, making many to wonder whether the country is suffering from brain-drain.
Brain-drain is the departure of educated or professional people from one country, economic sector, or field for another usually for better pay or living conditions.
In 2005 when the now Liberian leader attempted for the first time to contest the Liberian Presidency, he told Liberians that he was going to bring in the ‘Best Brains’ if he were to be successful in winning the elections and govern the country a journey that did not go his way.
When former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf took over the mantle of leadership for Liberia back in 2006, she brought on board some individuals who were deemed qualified and knowledgeable as ministers and heads of agencies of the Liberian Government mainly from the diasporas.
Following that decision by the then Liberian leader, there were criticisms from many quarters that her government was suffering from brain-drain because in the views of some Liberians, she didn’t had people to take on the jobs locally.
The former President at the time appointed several individuals including Dr. Antionette Sayeh as Minister of Finance, John Morlue, Auditor-General, Dr. Mills Jones as Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia. She also named Olubanke King-Akerele, Foreign Minister, Beatrice Munah Sieh, Director of the Liberia National Police, Cllr. Frances Johnson-Morris, Minister of Justice, Brownie J. Samukai, Defense Minister, Chief Justice Johnnie N. Lewis, Dr. Joseph D. Z. Korto, Education Minister, Samuel Kofi Woods, Minister of Labour, Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, Director of Budget and Dr. Johnny McClain as Minister of Information among others.
Today, the irony of the situation yesterday is that President George Weah instead of importing Liberians from outside of the country, he is encouraging sitting lawmakers to contest for other legislative seats during by-elections and at the same time nominating elected legislators to positions in the Judiciary and Executive branches of the current government.
Most disturbing and frustrating is that what Liberians are hearing from their ‘third ear’ is that the expected and pending by-elections in Sinoe County created as a result of the nomination of Senator Joseph Nagbe to the Supreme Court bench, Representative Crayton O. Duncan of Sinoe County electoral District Number One is being tipped to contest for the vacant Senatorial seat.
This will eventually produce another empty seat in the Lower House if the Sinoe County lawmaker becomes victorious by winning as Senator for the county in the impending by-election after a vacancy is announced by the Senate and the National Elections Commission (NEC) notified.
It has also been noticed by some sober-minded Liberians like former Information Minister Dr. Lawrence Blopleh that the Weah’s administration is bringing on board many young people who are either immature or ignorant to administrative procedures and sectorial governance.
Constitutionally, many Liberians say it is not a violation on the part of President Weah to support an incumbent lawmaker to throw his or her hat into the ring during by-elections, while others are of the contrary view that because of expediency based on the economic instability in the country, as the CDC administration has always insisted that it took over a broke country, there was no need to create more elections in the midst of poverty.
Many Liberian political pundits with their third ear widely opened are pointing that if what they are getting is true that Representative Dixon Seboe of Montserrado County District Number Sixteen is poised to be nominated as Commissioner-General of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) to replace Madam Efrieda Stewart-Tamba which if considered by President Weah, then two by-elections will take place in the county this year.
“I think the Liberian leader (President Weah) is simply trying to grab more seats in the Upper House (the Senate) for the CDC because there the Party has senators on Capitol Hill’’, one political commentator hinted the New Republic.
“In my view, the CDC Administration is quietly suffering from ‘brain-drain’ by borrowing from other branches of government to fill in the gap because it doesn’t want to choose people from the former ruling party (UP) or the opposition bloc’’, another politician who preferred not to be named whispered in a low tone.