-MOI Director Urges Liberians
By T. Saye Goinleh
The Director of Information, Records and Documentation at the Ministry of Information, Culture Affairs and Tourism (MICAT), Elvis F. Towalid is encouraging Liberians to take advantage of the Freedom of Information Law (FOI) to receive whatever information they need from any government ministry and agency that they can use.
According to Towalid, people often give misleading information on various radio talk shows and the social media without cross checking their facts thereby leading them to willfully or ignorantly tarnish the hard-earned characters of people in the society as well as those in government’s officialdom.
Speaking in an interview with reporters on Monday at his MICAT’s office on Capitol Hill, Director Towalid said the Freedom of Information Act which was signed into law on September 16, 2010 provides all persons the right to access public information.
“FOI is a fundamental human right guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR), as is also enshrined in the constitution of the Republic of Liberia’’, Towalid declared.
He warned against people who are in the persistent habits of negatively providing misleading information on social media and using other platforms to denigrate some heads of government institutions likes-wise prominent people in society without establishing proofs.
The MICAT’s Official further narrated that Liberia joined ninety other countries around the world to pass this instrument on the “freedom of information’’ thereby making Liberia the first in West Africa to ascribe to this important protocol.
It can be recalled that in early 2011, an “Information Center’’ was created with a director to ensure the supervision and full compliance of the law within the Ministry of Information and is being overseen by the Deputy Minister for Administration who serves as government’s Freedom of Information focal person on the international scene.
Towalid was quick to point out that the FOI Law is meant to promote and protect the effective, equitable, and affordable exercise of the rights of citizens in accessing materials which help strengthen democratic accountability, promote political participation, increase transparency, reduce government’s abuses and create effective ways of balance allocation of benefits accrued from the natural resources of the people
The New Republic Newspaper is an independent newspaper established in 2009 by a Liberian journalist, Alphonso Toweh with many years of experience for the key purpose of reporting a balanced coverage of events as well as promoting Liberia’s image locally and internationally.
Toweh has been working for Reuters News Agency as its correspondent since 1998 to present. In addition to that, he has served as correspondents for the following magazines: West Africa New African, Africa Week and African Observer.
More to that, he worked for Radio Deutche Welle radio in Germany, Radio Netherlands and contributed to CNN, BBC News hour, BBC TV as well as Africa Confidential and Sunday Times in London.
The paper has no political affiliation nor ethic lineage. The focus and primary commitment is to ensure the sovereignty of Liberia and unity for Africa. It seeks to foster human rights and freedom of the press.
The New Republic is a liberal paper dedicated to upholding the tenets of democracy. It believes that state can not only create the political, social, economic and cultural spirit, but also to ensure that all human beings, irrespective of any affiliation is able to achieve its highest human potentials.
The paper strives for free speech and equal opportunity for all. Importantly, it believes that the nation must intervene judiciously in the economic life, in order to minimise the adverse effects of free enterprise and ensure that less privileged people have reasonable and fair access to the basic necessities of life. By this, it would help reduce some level of threat.
New Republic brings huge commitment to its readers and offers the nation the type of media that will advocate for the people and nudge our nation on the path of development and social re-engineering