The Press Union of Liberia says it is concerned about reinforced hostilities against the media from within the power cycle of President George M. Weah.
PUL President, Charles Cuffey
On Wednesday, 19 December 2018, Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel D. Tweah vowed to “weaponize” government’s base so as to make it capable to deal with what he described as “mistruth and falsehood in the media.”
“We’ll weaponize through the case to go and deal with mistruths and falsehoods in the media,” the Minister told ‘militants’ of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change at an event which scores of members of the former ruling Unity Party defected to the now governing CDC.
“Such posture and rallying of young fanatics put journalists at Frontpage Africa at risks and is entirely a big step to downgrade media favorability in the public,” the PUL stressed.
The threat is a second contained in official responses to an FPA investigation which speaks of a fraudster’s effort to robe the country of over US$32 million being thwarted at last minute due to alarm from the international banking community. The paper is reporting multiple layers of corruption, fiscal mismanagement, kickbacks and waste resulting in millions of dollars in losses from the Liberian government coffers in just the first year of the Coalition for Democratic Change government.
Presidential Affairs Minister, Nathaniel McGill had on Monday, December 17, 2018 threatened to jail Journalist Rodney Sieh.
Nathaniel McGill: “I think Rodney Sieh, the press and the FrontPage Africa is a criminal entity bent on tarnishing the good reputation of people…. if it is proven that I motorized the payment, I’m going to resign from the government but if it is not proven, Rodney Sieh will go to jail because I will not allow people to tarnish my reputation. I worked for my reputation.”
In the wake of the latest all out combustible official deportment against the media in Liberia, the Press Union of Liberia is reminding President Weah of his commitment to uphold civil liberties including respect for the free press.
The PUL is calling on President Weah to advise his assistants to end their inflammatory comments and actions against the media because these negative energies undercut the country’s democratic gains.