Weah’s First Rattan: A Lesson to VP Howard Taylor?

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By Reuben Sei Waylaun

President George Manneh Weah over the weekend struck his first disciplinary cane after suspending Deputy Commerce Minister Jemama Wolokollie for showing gross disrespect and shared arrogance to her boss, Professor Wilson K. Tarpeh, Liberia’s newest Minister of Commerce and Industry (MOCI).

Weah-Howard Taylor

No doubt, the pairs (Ministers Wolokollie and Tarpeh) have been at each other’s throat in recent weeks as temper is said to have flared over some alleged dubious business dealings with an unidentified Lebanese merchant in the country, a situation which is reported to have led to a serious bitter disagreement between the two CDC officials.

Minister Wolokollie, seriously furious over the manner in which her boss (Wilson Tarpeh) handled the situation, took the matter to the airways and discussed him in an unpleasant and disparaging fashion, and it seems her action did not go down well with their overall boss, President M. Weah, who also took the matter to the Government’s recently held Buchanan cabinet retreat, where he warned serious punitive action against public officials who will not respect their bosses.

Minister Tarpeh for his part also officially complained Minister Wolokollie on her reported misconduct toward him.

“President George Weah has with immediate effect suspended Hon. Jemama Wolokolie, Deputy Minister for Small Business at the Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry for time indefinite for acts of insubordination and unprofessionalism,” Executive Mansion release announced a fortnight ago. Adding “The President emphasizes the need for all Deputies to accord the highest respect and courtesy to their leaders; and refrain from taking internal disputes and/or disagreements to the public space for redress.  The President further encourages all subordinates to practice utmost professionalism in conducting their duties and the need to follow the proper channel in addressing disputes with their leaders.”

At the same time, President Weah has called on members of the cabinet to be proactive and stressed the ardent need to work in the interest of the Liberian people.

“We need to adopt expediency in our mode of work. We came here to work for the people, not for ourselves; I will not appreciate delays,” the Liberian leader emphasized.

The President’s action came barely few days after he issued the caveat to his cabinet officials in the Southern port city of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.

Weah Indirect Warning To VP Taylor

At the same time, while the public continues to judge the ramifications of the President’s action, observers say his action may be an indirect warning to VP Howard Taylor who, for her, has been reportedly at odds with the Liberian Chief Executive for her reported lack of consultation and excessive foreign travels.

VP Taylor, though she has apologized to her boss, according to an insider, is still not on good terms with the President, and that President Weah’s first disciplinary rod, analysts say, “is a serious warning for the VP to be mindful of her steps as failure on her part to walk in chalk line with her boss could trigger a major insurrection within the Coalition for Democratic Change(CDC).”

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