Grand Bassa County authorities have rejected President George Weah’s nominee from serving as president of the Grand Bassa Community College (GBCC).
The President recently appointed Dr. Nathaniel Gbessagee as president of GBCC. But the county authorities, including the legislative caucus, the superintendent and GBCC’s Board chair Dr. Joseph Isaac, who is also president of the African Methodist Episcopal University, rejected Dr. Gbessagee’s appointment.
On April 25, 2017, just over a year ago, Dr. Gbessagee was appointed by then President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to the helm of GBCC. According to an Executive Mansion release at the time, Dr. Gbessagee replaced Madam Augurie Herring who has served as Interim President of the College since the removal of Dr. Levi Zangai.
It is not entirely clear what prompts such unanimous resistance to President Weah’s apparent nod of approval for Dr. Gbessagee to continue at the helm of the college. However, barely two months into his appointment by President Sirleaf in 2017, Dr. Gbessagee was accused of arbitrarily hiring new staff and awarding them higher salaries than the range for their positions. It was reported at the time that Gbessagee employed his son-in-law, one Roosevelt Henskey, as the Dean for the Business Department. According to the report, Henskey was “receiving a salary of US$1200, unlike other deans, who only make about US$600.”
However, in a joint resolution issued on Monday, May 14, 2018, the county authorities contended (argued, opposed) that President Weah was in total violation of the Act of Legislature that created the GBCC in 2011. They said the Act provides that President Weah, “with the consent of the Board of Trustees”, should appoint the president of the college.
Contained in a resolution signed by Senator Nyonblee Karngar Lawrence, Superintendent Janjay Daikpoh and Representative Samuel Vincent Willie of District 4, is a recommendation for the immediate withdrawal of Dr. Gbessagee’s nomination.
They also recommended that the college’s current president, Dr. Samuel Reeves, remain in his post for a period of three months to enable the Board vet and submit to President Weah three names for consideration.
Since President Weah nominated Dr. Gbessagee in March, GBCC has been engulfed with continued crisis, which has resulted in its closure.