Information Minister Eugene Lenn Nagbe has expressed regret over his repulsive behavior towards Power TV reporter, Mrs. Estelle Liberty Kemoh.
His statement came after he held a meeting with officials of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) to which the case was officially reported for redress.
PUL president Charles Coffey told reporters that Mrs. Kemoh had accepted the apology but the PUL requested the Minister to provide a written apology to Mrs. Kemoh’s family, the PUL and the Female Journalists Association of Liberia (FEJAL).
Coffey said after the Minister admitted his error and expressed remorse and Mrs. Kemoh accepted, the PUL was left without any option to go forward with the case.
“It was anger that drove me to do what I did,” Minister Nagbe was quoted as telling Mrs. Kemoh. “I am sorry for there is no justification for my actions.”
Satisfied with the Minister’s apology, Mrs. Kemoh said the decision to accept the minister’s apology was supported by her husband.
Describing the experience with the Minister as her baptism by fire, she expressed appreciation to individuals and organizations that stood behind her, including Power TV, PUL and FEJAL.
Reflecting on what she has learned from her experience, Mrs. Kemoh urged her fellow journalists, particularly members of FEJAL, to remain focused because there is power in togetherness.
The incident took place on Monday, January 23 on the grounds of the Capitol Building shortly after President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf delivered her state of the nation address when Minister Nagbe got into an altercation with Rep. Moses Kollie and an LBS reporter who was interviewing the Representative about the President’s address.
An attempt by Mrs. Kemoh to enquire from Minister Nagbe what had given rise to the argument was met by an outburst of insults from the Minister to the female television reporter. He told her to “go ask your boyfriend”.
Legislative reporters with their microphones and recorders ready, picked up the news and by the next day Minister Nagbe had become a poster character for crudeness as many individuals and organizations blasted him for his shocking behavior. “It was never heard off that a lady journalist was ever treated like that in the history of Liberian journalism,” many people said.
A close friend of Minister Nagbe told the Daily Observer yesterday that with the case now settled he hoped Nagbe, who began his career as a journalist from the trenches of difficulty, has learned his lesson, and as President Sirleaf told a group of convicts when she set them free recently, he will “go and sin no more.”