|EDUCATED PRESIDENT: "Our President is educated, not somebody who doesn’t know much. She is a Master’s Degree holder from Harvard University, one of the most prestigious universities. She ought to know that ministers don’t go on administrative leave”. |
Prince Y. Johnson, Political Leader, National Union for Democratic Progress
Source: FrontPage Africa
“Our President is educated, not somebody who doesn’t know much. She is a Master’s Degree holder from Harvard University, one of the most prestigious universities. She ought to know that ministers don’t go on administrative leave”, the former warlord declared as his admirers and supporters applauded him.
Johnson who briefed his supporters when he paid his first visit to his former Caldwell base Thursday in 18 years said Sirleaf was on the wrong side of dismissing her cabinet two weeks ago.
“I strongly believe that sending that sending the ministers on leave was completely wrong”, Johnson said, raising the contention that the ministers are not civil servants.
On the eve of her departure for her annual medical check-up in the United States, a presidential directive issued during an emergency cabinet meeting November 3, 2010 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs resulted into the President’s action that called for her entire cabinet to take a compulsory and surprising leave, an action that remains to be debated.
The Nimba County Senior Senator said best practice demands that she should have either fired or kept them than to send “them on blanket leave”.
Though the President, since her return over the weekend, began restructuring her cabinet Wednesday by reappointing some of them to their previous posts, her decision also came under strong criticism of one of her ‘on leave ministers’.
Describing it as painful situation that befell him and his colleagues, ‘On leave’ Labor Minister Taiwan Gongloe in a lengthy criticism of the President’s decision which has become the latest debated issue in the country said the sending of all the cabinet ministers on compulsory administrative leaf at the time that there is a general perception that there is a high level of corruption in government created more room for the public to view all affected ministers as corrupt officials. “This for me is painful” he added.
Turning to her many international commendations, Johnson said, “They parade themselves around the world as the best leader with international acclamation but when you are not popular at home, even if you are abroad, it is useless.
The President’s decision has left a divided public which has one portion saying it is part of her presidential discretionary power while another portion describes it as too much humiliating for them.
While designated deputies have been authorized to act in the affected ministers’ stead, Sirleaf during the November 3rd meeting urged those who will remain on the team in the next phase of her Administration to be strong.
Sirleaf had told the Ministers that the reason for demanding their mass administrative leave was based on her administration’s crucial stage as it enters a critical stretch that would afford her the opportunity to start with a fresh slate going forward.