Liberia: Protesters Demand Bassa University President's Removal
The President of the Grand Bassa University, Dr. Samuel Monwell, has been asked to resign over “poor administrative practices that have seen the university’s nursing department being closed by the Liberian Board of Nursing and Midwifery (LBNM).
The protesting students, while making their demands, blocked the makeshift bridge which is the main route connecting Buchanan to Pensberry, where the University is located. As a result, classes and administrative activities were disrupted for the entire day.
The students claim that Monwell is responsible for the economic crisis at the university’s nursing department, the worst since its establishment a few years ago.
“We have come to demand the immediate removal of Monwell as President of our university on grounds that he's damaging the image of our school,” said Tyrom Gofa Dopoe, spokesperson for the protesting students.
Dopoe cited Monwell's alleged failure to improve the nursing department; thus, forcing the LBNM to come in and close it, as just one of the many reasons that forced them to push for the president's resignation. The LBNM envisions itself to be the ultimate authority in regulating the nursing and midwifery profession in the county and to lead nursing and midwifery development to their highest level of excellence for the health and safety of the public.
The mission is to protect the public's health and safety by providing reasonable assurance that the people who practice Nursing and Midwifery are competent and ethical practitioners with the necessary knowledge and skills required by their titles and roles.
He lamented that the LBNM shut down the university’s nursing department for obtaining a score of 69%, considerably below the 80% criteria set for nursing colleges across the country.
“The letter that the Nursing Board sent denied the college [from operating] any Nursing/or Midwifery educational and clinical activities (capping, oath & honor, graduation). Can you imagine, Monwell disgracefully and single-handedly withdrew over US$30,000 in the name of purchasing a new bus but, surprisingly to the public he bought a deathtrap called a bus, that ran for six days and has been damaged.”
“The bus purchased by the local authority of this government is being used as a private car of Monwell, while students are struggling to pay L$250 daily to be on the University Campus, which is a clear indication of bad leadership.”
Dopoe, in his petition, also alleged that Monwell disrespected the free tuition pronouncement by President George Weah adding unnecessary fees to poor student bills.
Meanwhile, the protesting students were later calmed down by Grand Bassa County Attorney Randolph Johnson, who told the protesters to take their petition to the County Administration.
“I have come to talk with you, the protesters, to kindly meet the County Administration for dialogue and find the solution to your problems. Stopping your colleagues from learning won't solve the problem,” Johnson said.
“We agree that you all have some legitimate issues that you are pushing, but remember that the rights of others are being impacted, which doesn't augur well for us.”
Johnson’s statement helped to calm the protesters, who agreed to meet the County Authorities. However, Grand Bassa University Administration is yet to respond to the allegations.