-- Over ‘opulent’ display of wealth by two government officials
A senior and mid-level official of government have been scolded by the youth league of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change for what the group described as “reckless display of wealth while the vast majority of the people struggle for better living conditions.”
The CDC Youth League’s criticism was directed at J. Emmanuel Potter, who works at the Ministry of State as Assistant Chief of Staff for Logistics, and the Commissioner of the Liberia Maritime Authority, Lenn Eugene Nagbe.
Potter’s criticism comes after he was seen in multiple Facebook videos last week washing or popping several bottles of champagne on a luxurious Audi Q7 vehicle, which claimed was a gift for his wife. Nagbe was chastised for uploading several pictures of himself “eating luxurious meals” at some of the country’s premier restaurants with the caption, “Food versus Man.”
Both men’s actions, according to the CDC youth league, do not only exude opulence but incentivizes insensitivity, and inhumanity as well as sheer arrogance, and total disrespect to the vast majority of Liberians who voted the government they are enjoying to power, yet “they struggle to afford a daily meal.”
Meanwhile Potter, in defense of his action, said, “I will build a house for my family and buy them whatever they deserve in this life. I am an honorable Assistant Minister.”
The post contained a number of invectives directed at talk show host, Henry Costa, who raised a moral about the Potter’s video.
The CDC youth wing further raised concern about how Potter, “who could not afford a US$2,500 vehicle years back”, could acquire such wealth in less than three years to be displaying and popping champagne over a luxurious Audi Q7 vehicle.
“The Youth League sees this recent action as a flagrant disrespect to our people and a complete contradiction to the philosophy and ideology of the mighty CDC. We refuse to have an Assistant Minister who earns around US$2,000 USD to be parading with a vehicle with such a high cash value, to the point of insultingly pouring champagne on it. This raises suspicion,” CDC Youth League said in a statement.
They added [We] want to ask the President [George Weah] to investigate Potter's display of such affluence which, we think, is at the peril of the ordinary people. Said investigations need to be conducted as we strive to live within the confines of the Pro-Poor Agenda.
According to them, they have no interest in how Potter expends his ‘salary’ but their quest is to remind him that the CDC’s government is a government of the ordinary people intended to uplift the lives of the ordinary masses.
“This is why we are called the People’s Party and governing on the mantra of the ‘Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity’. The essence of the Pro-Poor agenda is to alleviate the vast majority of our people from the poverty line to an appreciable living standard but not to enrich an individual to the detriment of our people,” the ruling party youth wing added.
As for Commissioner Nagbe, the CDC Youth Wing accused him of not only betraying the essence of the Pro-Poor agenda but engaging in acts that are raw provocation and sheer arrogance of the living conditions of the people.
The statement added the action by Nagbe undermines the sense of belonging that the party has envisaged for the people as a grassroots movement especially when the President “is making a serious effort in the fight against the COVID-19 and, at the same time, endeavoring to address the economically challenging situation of the citizenry.”
“It bewilders us that people like Eugene Nagbe and Emmanuel Potter will engage themselves in extravagance while the masses of our people still struggle for better living conditions,” they continue. “We call on all our partisans and well-wishers to remain focused and not succumb to the reckless display of overnight luxury on the part of Potter and Nagbe who have betrayed the essence of the Pro-Poor agenda and engage themselves into a flamboyant lifestyle which is an utter provocation and irresponsible. We sincerely expect his lieutenants to realistically buttress his effort instead of flaunting with such a luxurious life.”
Meanwhile, all efforts made to contact Nagbe did not materialize as his phone rang without answer, while text and WhatsApp messages sent were not replied.