Presidential Axe Falls At Public Works
-Asst. Min. Reffell Victimized
-Where Are The Others?
Perhaps, many took President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for granted as usual when she recently ordered the return of all government officials to Liberia, whether on private or official visit, in an effort to form a formidable force against the raging deadly Ebola virus which is claiming precious lives in the country.
Others may have returned following the presidential decree quietly and have joined the fight, but there were those who also chose to ignore the proclamation, including Assistant Public Works Minister for Administration, Madam Lauretta E. Reffell, perhaps to test the resolve of the aging Liberian leader.Although it appears the Sirleaf regime is having difficulties to identify all defiant government officials, as evident of the fact that it is yet to release listing of those who are still out of the country, the Public Agenda Newspaper has managed to discover one, in person of Madam Reffell who is currently in the United States of America on private visit.
Madam Reffell who is being caught up in ‘crossfire’ as victim of the Ebola war left Liberia for the United States since and has been absent from work as of August 11, 2014 and expected to return September 2, 2014 under the pretext of seeking medical treatment and at the same time attend funeral service of a family member.
But whether the presidential decision would be upheld or not, is what everyone is looking up to now, because critics say, most of her decisions are often undermined by friendship, including the fight against corruption.
However, a dispatch from the Executive Mansion dated Monday, August 25, 2014, as follow-up to her directive regarding restrictions on travel of government officials, including their return within a week for those who were out of the country, Madam Sirleaf has instituted latest measures that take effect immediately.
According to dispatch, the Liberian leader has directed that all officials occupying ministerial level positions or equivalent (senior and junior), Managing Directors, Deputy/Assistant Directors or equivalent, Commissioners, etc. who violated the orders “are hereby relieved of their positions.”
“All public servants not occupying ministerial level positions but are holding important public offices will be removed from the payroll until their return,” the latest action of the President noted.
According to the Executive Mansion, it should be noted, however, that special authorization was granted to a few with doctor evidence of urgent and specialized medical treatment; while the same applies to very few who were directed by the President to undertake specific critical assignments.
Those who managed to survive the President’s decree include Cllr. Seward Cooper, Madam Yusador Gray, Mr. Richelieu A. Williams, Cllr. James Verdier, Madam Cyvette Gibson, Dr. Amos Sawyer and Mrs. Rosetta Jackollie.
In another development, the Liberian leader has directed that all government officials who are recognized by the National Elections Commission (NEC) as provincial candidates during the upcoming senatorial elections are also relieved of their positions immediately upon the release of NEC’s final candidate listing.
Meanwhile, Pres. Sirleaf commends and appreciates all government officials and senior level public servants who observed the orders and returned to join the fight against deadly Ebola virus disease.