Liberia: Former Muslim Student Leader Slams Sen. Konneh Over Divisive Comment

A former Muslim Student Leader has Gbarpolu Senator Amara Konneh over his recent comment that insinuates that Muslims are being overlooked for ministerial positions by the ruling Unity Party (UP). 

Anthony L.M. Boakai, Sr. former Interim President of the University of Liberia Muslim Student Association (ULMSA), not only described Konneh’s comment as annoying, but he added that it is divisive and selfish because religious affiliation is not a requirement for appointment in government.

The February 5th edition of the Oracle Newspaper quoted Senator Konneh as saying, “None of the 15 cabinet ministers appointed so far to head ministries is a Muslim.”

In his reaction through a statement released on Wednesday, Boakai said Konneh’s statement is a clever attempt to politically market himself for future ambitions at the expense of the Liberian Muslim Community which is unfortunate.

“If Senator Konneh meant well for Liberian Muslims, he would have sought an audience with President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, to whom he has unlimited access, instead of using the media to vent his purported anger,” he said.

The former student leader, who is also the publicity Committee Chair of the National Elder Council of the Unity Party, said going forward, if Senator Konneh intends to advocate on behalf of Liberian Muslims genuinely, he should lobby with President Boakai behind closed doors which is more effective than media publicity. 

Boakai, an instructor of Communications at the African Method Episcopal University (AMEU), said he was constrained to respond because the Senator’s assertion is not supported by logic or constitutional provision and that the need to re-direct his advocacy cannot be overlooked.

He said there is no need for the Senator to be reminded about the ongoing religious violence in Nigeria, Gaza, and other parts of the world and that Liberia, which is now enjoying a nascent democracy, cannot afford such menace at this point.