-Warns Minister Fahngon against undermining national peace and unity
The leadership of the Association of Liberia Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) says it is not willing now or ever to compromise the interest of the Liberian masses, and will therefore, remain “very vocal on national issues,” especially those ones that continue to subject the ordinary people in abject poverty and perpetual deprivations.
The group said it will continue to speak against societal ills, especially the uncontrollable waves of corruption that is currently ongoing in the country.
“We maintain that irrespective of the cordiality, which subsists between the Liberian government and its national leadership, the Association’s continuous assessments of happenings in the country, and its criticism of the brazen thievery in the public sector coupled with the government’s policies, and actions and inactions that are inimical to the peace and stability will not be compromised,” ALJA said in a statement.
The statement, released late Wednesday, June 20, 2019, was provoked by a stinging attack from the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government, when its official spokesman, accused the group’s members of being enemies of the George Weah administration.
Eugene Fahngon, Deputy Information Minister for Press and Public Affairs, in his rant via the social media (Facebook), did not only characterize the Association and its national president, Moses D. Sandy, as enemies of the government, but went further to brand the organization’s membership as a bunch of “carton pushers” in the Americas.
But ALJA said in its yesterday’s statement that it is not perturbed by the “gibberish spewed” of Minister Fahngon, while terming him as a political nonentity, who lacks credibility.
“ALJA asserts it is not troubled by Mr. Fahngon’s characterization and loose talk, because the he is a political nonentity; and lacks credibility,” it said, adding that Mr. Fahngon’s diminishing relevance as a government’s spokesperson makes him a distraction in the Weah administration.
Members of the Association have stated that neither they nor their president is an enemy of Weah and his government.
“Contrary to the exposed falsehood spread by the unpolished and conflict-ridden Fahngon, ALJA and the Liberian government remain partners in progress working for a stable and peaceful Liberia,” the statement said.
It added that this does not in any way means that the group will compromise its stance on national issues.
“Just as it has done for the nearly two years since the Mr. Weah ascendancy to Liberia’s presidency, ALJA would continue to commend and criticize the government whenever the need arises, but the Association will in no way become a public relations arm of the Liberian government,” the statement said.
The organization frowned on Mr. Fahngon’s divisive style of public relations as was further attested by his social media rants.
The Association further states that if maintaining the stated neutrality in the mind of Fahngon equates to being an opposition of Mr. Weah and his administration, then so be it.
Meanwhile, ALJA has renewed its call to President Weah to immediately dismiss Fahngon. The Association also wants Minister Fahngon replaced, because he is a “non-governmental material because of his inexperience and controversial nature, which clearly indicate that he is misplaced at MICAT.
“We are very sure that Mr. Fahngon’s days of public service in the Weah administration are now numbered,” the group said.
The foremost statutory duty and responsibility of the Information Ministry is to project a positive image of the Liberian government at home and abroad; and helps consolidate the nation’s peace and stability through the effective interpretation, and propagation of government’s messages, a duty MICAT is deviating from.
“Regrettably, Mr. Fahngon does not understand this critical responsibility that’ is while he dabbles into every matter in the country,” the statement said.
Due to Mr. Fahngon’s arrogance, ALJA said is not only undermining the president and the CDC-led government, but the peace and stability of the country, because Fahngon is putting the president and the government at loggerheads with their citizens,” the statement added.