Grand Bassa County Authorities Reject President Weah’s Nominee

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Dr. Nathaniel Gbessagee, unanimously rejected by authorities of Grand Bassa County, as well as the GBCC Board of Trustees

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.

Authors

14 COMMENTS

  1. The County Authorities do not have the power to “reject” a person appointed by the President. They should stop trying to elevate themselves to the Liberian Senate. If they believe that President Weah did not follow the law when he appointed Dr. Gbessagee, let them take legal action to challenge the President’s action. They County Authorities should also understand that the power to appoint the college’s president belongs to President Weah, not the county authorities.

    • You are right… i just do not get it? the purpose is to educate and run the institution properly…
      Dr. Gbessagee has all the quality of that… let’s stop promoting people who will not do us good interms of Education.

    • Mr. Kollie please read the Act that created the College. The president do not have the sole authority to appoint anybody by himself. The Act said-” They said the Act provides that President Weah, “with the consent of the Board of Trustees”, should appoint the president of the college” So Mr. Weah did not read the Act, so these people are in their right to reject the President’s appointment. Also did you read what Dr. Gbessagee did when he was appointed by President Sirleaf- “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.” So why will anybody want to employ a corrupt person into a young community college with that kind of record. I think the Grand Bassa County authorities and their representatives have the power to reject any appointment that is not done according to the Act that created the college, also it is a local college-county issue, so if the authorities do not correct it, how is it going to be done. Liberians put too much power in the central Government, at leased someone have taken some stand.

      Ernest B. Johnson Lanham

    • YES THEY DO! Please continue to give the President Mis-information about appointees. Do you think the a President, all by himself, is making these appointments? This is wrong and has to stop. This is the reason why Decentralization is so important.

  2. Mr. President, if the people of Grand Bassa County do not trust Mr. Gbessagee, please reconsider your appointment of him. First of all, it has been proven that this gentleman cannot be trusted morally or ethically. We the people of Grand Bassa County do not want this man at the College because he has bad influence on our people and the institution of learning of this caliber. Ethically this man is not fit for this position in your government and our county. Thank you for your kind consideration.

  3. Use your real name Mr. Or Ms. Richards. Accusations without facts. Oppressive and suppresive actions by you and others will only expose you. Where were you when your fellow bassonians were being robbed of their earn salaries by those in charge for years, until Gbessagee corrected it. Where do you stand now when people in authority goes into people pay and take out whatever because they are broke and the victims are afraid to speak up because of the fear of being fired for nothing. Are you mad because he remover ghost names. Ethical… Hmm I’m from Bassa and I know the facts. He is great for the college.

  4. The issues of Dr. Nathaniel Gbasagee and the Grand Bassa COMMUNITY College is worrisome and a repeat of the same partisan politics coming from the Liberty Party that continues to undermine the development agenda of our beloved County.
    How can you leave the crust of the matter and begin to delve into frivolous issues about what is obtaining at the college.
    According to credible information Dr. Gbasagee was suspended during the last days of President Sirleaf. His suspension for what ever reasons is still subject to an independent panel of investigation to substantiate any act that he may have been accused of for which he was suspended.
    Dr. Gbasagee was suspended but is still receiving salaries and other amenities that are duely accorded the college’s president. Do you see that something is amiss? What is his wrong? Why should you punish another son of the soil who have come to contribute his quota to the educational development of our beloved County? If he is evil enough and can not be pardon then who is the judge? The Board of Trustees or the Liberty Party elements of the Caucus who think they can woo the Superintendent into falling at their whims and caprice?
    Now haven’t said that let me come to the issues. President Weah simply reinstated Dr. Gbasagee to his post as President of the college haven not seen any real concrete reason to justify the suspension of the college’s president.
    You claim that the President is in error. If you want to push logic in the case then we think that the Board of Trustees of the.college has become a party to the ongoing conflict and therefore can not be trusted and consulted concerning this matter.
    I think Dr. Gbasagee should be allowed to assume his position without any interference.
    Otherwise, All the parties involved in the College’s leadership conflict should recuse themselves and allow a new dawn for its smooth operations.

  5. Mr. author, please edit your writing. First, you misspelled the superintendent’s name terribly. Second, Nyonblee Karnga, Vincent Willie and the superintendent are not considered “unanimous” in a caucus comprising of 8: 2 senators, superintendent and 5 district reps. News flash: 3 out of 8 can’t be majority. Thanks.

  6. Liberians quick to make people king . Why should the president appoint everybody? The people at the hcollege know what is good for them. Just because this man has PhD does not make him an administrator. Why is he hiring his relative? This the same nonsense about appointing the know nothing people got us in he mess with LEITI. Useless man like gabriel Nyenkan will destroy that place.

  7. Grand Bassa County – The Board of Trustees of the Grand Bassa Community College (GBCC) headed by Joseph T. Isaac announced during a press conference in Buchanan the suspension of the college newly appointed President, Dr. Nathaniel Gbassaygee.

    During the press conference held in the office of the county superintendent on November 17, Mr. Isaac and Senator Jonathan Lambert Kaipay disclosed that Dr. Gbassaygee has been suspended for six months.

    “By Monday (November 20) there will be an interim President to run the college,” Mr. Isaac said on behalf of the board.

    The decision, he said, was due to “administrative and financial problems that need to be settled within the six-month period.”

    “We need to put some systems into place before calling Dr. Nathaniel Gbassaygee back to the college,” he said.

    “This college needs to move forward and if the college is to move forward, there should be systems put into place.”

    Members of the county legislative caucus and superintendent Joseph Levi Demmah expressed unanimous confidence in the board’s decision and said they are “willing to work with the board to keep the college moving forward”.
    May 15, 2018
    Dr. Gbassaygee was appointed five months ago by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf replacing Madam Augurine Herring, who served as interim President for over nine months after the sacking of Dr. Levi Zangai.

    Before the board’s move to suspend him, Dr. Gbassaygee came under pressure to layoff 44 persons he hired to work for the college. But he refused.

    The wife of Dr. Gbassaygee was amongst those recruited.

    Employees of GBBCC told FrontPage Africa, he should have respected the board’s decision.

    Sources within the college say the board was infuriated because he didn’t seek their consent before recruiting additional employees.

    The college already had 98 workers before 44 were added, something the board describes as “over staffing the college”.

    Financial crisis has often rocked the only tertiary learning institution in the county causing delays in paying staffs’ salaries and frequent go-slow actions by teachers that consequently prompted protests by students.

    In a recent press conference, the suspended GBCC President told journalists that he opened additional offices for the “smooth operation of the college”.

    Dr. Gbassaygee is yet to respond to inquiry from local journalists following the board’s recent decision against him.

    This is not just rejecting Weah appointee but this problem was there before weah coming into power, the news above from Front Page Africa can make you to know. We said change not continuation of Ellen’s Administration. So please don’t sit else where and discuss what you don’t know and more over nobody against Weah in Bassa, but rather against bad governance which is not good for our growing democracy.
    You all know what happen at the Ministry of Commerce, where one of the deputies Minister was suspended by the President for time indefinite. Liberia First, power to the people is the slogan, so for one person business you will stop the majority from learning? I say no. Let us think outside the box commenters.

  8. Does this “Dr. Gbessagee” guy even have a doctorate degree as purported? The last time we checked, this guy was moonlighting between various universities in the states, struggling with courses in mass communication. All of a sudden he emerged with a PhD in social works? Must be his wife’s work he used. But all that aside, the president of a college or university in any county, especially one of our public community colleges must be someone honorable, reliable, trustworthy, of outstanding character and respected by the locals, especially the leadership representing that population. After all this is the group of people, the leadership of the county that individual will be working with in running the affairs of that college. It is astounding that Dr, Nathaniel Gbessagee’s name would be associated with administrative malpractice, unilateralism, but especially corruption and nepotism. Dr. Nathaniel Gbessagee, of all people? This man who had paraded himself always as a paragon or model of excellence when it comes to leadership, good governance, social justice, fair play and workers’ rights? Another example that “talk is cheap!”

  9. When two male elephants duke it out in order to win the love of a female elephant, the grass and nearby trees parish.

    In this situation, the students, faculty and staff are the grass and little trees. Unfortunately, there is a likelihood that the above identified pool of people will suffer the consequences of the fight that exists between Weah and those who oppose Gbassagee’s tenure at GBCC.

    Of course, Weah has the right to make appointments. But, in order to be seen as an effective leader, the president must consult with people. There are four components of being a good leader. Consultation is one of the components. Now, the question is this: Did the president consult with anyone before Gbassagee’s appointment was made? I wasn’t there when Gbassagee was named. It would be preposterous to say that Weah did not consult at all. So let’s give Weah the benefit of the doubt.

    On the other hand, what’s about those who oppose Gbassagee’s appointment? Who are they? Do they have a right to challenge the President’s authority?
    The opponents of Gbassagee are patriotic Liberians. The opponents have a right to collectively voice their displeasure or unhappiness as long as it’s not being done disrespectully. In democratic societies, such issues arise. The issues are usually dealt with by employing a technique called friendly persuasion.

    Weah’s appointed negotiator (whoever that person is) must meet with Gbassagee’s opponents in order get this issue resolved quickly. We Liberians do not want to see the grass and small trees dead. Friendly persuasion! Get around a table in a sisterly or brotherly fashion to negotiate. Put aside all grudges. Negotiate in good faith. Respect for the individual is important. Be cool on both sides.
    Just a thought, not a sermon. Peace.

  10. Thanks Mr. F. Hney for that very sound advice, one sure-footed way out of poverty is workforce development. So rather than continued politics, let the matter be amicably resolved.

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