Dismissed or Resigned: Can the Executive Clarify the Myth Surrounding Klayee?

Bishop John Allan Klayee

The abrupt statement by the Executive Mansion on Tuesday morning informing the public about the dismissal of the Managing Director of the Liberia Airport Authority (LAA), Bishop Allen Klayee, has triggered a deductive argument now without a premise.  Supporters of the President have thanked him for the decision that the Executive Mansion says is “Administrative,” while the opposed are seeking clarity from the President why Klayee must be dismissed or asked to resign.

Upon announcing the decision on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, closed sources hinted the Daily Observer that the dismissal or resignation, whichever it was, was triggered by failure of the LAA Director to sign or approve a concession at the Roberts International Airport, which he believed would have not been in the interest of the entity and the country in general.

Sources hinted that the deal has the backing of the Executive and involves a Qatar company that wants to handle the airport’s ground service operations.  Giving the ground handling to a foreign company, the source said, would strangulate the RIA and, because of this, the Director objected to the deal allegedly backed by the President.

On the other hand, the counter argument has alleged that Klayee allowed foreigners, mainly Indians whose country has been severely hit by the Coronavirus in recent days, to flow into Liberia. Some have gone as far as accusing Klayee who is also a high-ranking clergyman of bringing in more of his church members to the job at the RIA; an alleged act they claim would generate sizable tithes and offerings for the Bishop.

The ensuing argument, therefore, put the public in the position to ask their leader what is behind the dismissal or forced resignation of Bishop Klayee.  The request for clarity in the matter is in no way a disrespect to the President whose constitutional power, according to Article 54 of the Liberian Constitution, gives him the right to appoint and dismiss anyone.  The “Administrative” reason accompanying the decision, however, sets the basis for anyone to claim either side of the argument; which may be a hasty generalization.

While Administrative reason remains a regularly used phrase in the area of Public Administration, it is sometimes good that the administrator presents the truth and facts surrounding a certain decision especially when that decision has the propensity to raise eyebrows of suspicion for wrongdoing.  

Holding firmly the expressed desire of the President to fight corruption, one side of the argument in the Klayee’s dismissal scenario squarely implicates the President of a clandestine deed that would taint his character if not handled properly.  Besides, the information surrounding the decision taken against Klayee can easily erode the good image the government wants to build to convince investors to come here.

We believe the Executive needs to pull the bull by the horn to make some clarifications because it is the head.  For the dismissed LAA Director, he worked at the will and pleasure of the President as far as the Constitution is concerned.  Moreover, he would not have been expected to come out with any contrary view against the President’s statement and decision because of security reasons.

The Daily Observer, therefore, requests kindly the Executive to go beyond the “Administrative Reason” provided as reason for Klayee’s dismissal, since this is creating suspicion over the credibility of the President.  Furthermore, clarity in the argument will help trace the cause of the rise in cases of the Coronavirus disease since Klayee has been accused of handling the airport carelessly.  Though he has his constitutional right to remain silent, it is our hope that with this damaging nature of the argument, the Executive can clarify to save its image from speculations and hasty generalizations.