Werner Trapped by Lawmakers’ Vote of No Confidence

Lofa County Sen. Tengbeh Chair on Lands, Mines and Energy Committee.

An authoritative source within the leadership of the Senate yesterday disclosed that Senator George Tamba Tengbeh of Lofa County, has written the Senate plenary announcing the withdrawal of his motion for reconsideration filed last Thursday in favor of Education Minister George Werner.

The motion was intended to halt the passing of a vote of no confidence against Minister Werner for his utterances and a social media post deemed detrimental to the development of education in the country.

The secretary of the Senate, J. Nanborlor F. Sengbeh, could not be reached for content of the Tengbeh letter, but the President Pro Tempore confirmed that the Senate had indeed received the communication.

The Senate last Thursday cast a vote of no confidence against Werner for utterances and a social media post attributed to him, which the Senators said were against the promotion of education in the country.

The Senators’ decision was prompted by a letter from Montserrado County Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherif, in which she accused Werner of demeaning the country’s education system as its commander-in-authority with comments such as, “da education we will eat,” which was printed on his Facebook.

In her letter dated August 21, Senator Doe-Sherif accused Werner of posting on Facebook that debates could be a setup by the meritocratic elite to show case how educated and knowledgeable they are in order to eliminate those that are perceived to be uneducated.

“To the book people, education does not promote equality and shared prosperity, ” according to Senator Doe-Sherif’s letter quoting Minister Werner.

The letter further quoted Minister Werner as stating on Facebook that “debate does not make sense and in other words, it is ‘tabata’ (according to him in Kru origin.)”

In their marathon debate in their unlit Chamber, the Senators did not hide their anger and asked that Werner offer an open apology and admonished him to stop discussing national issues in the social media as a government official.

But apparently, Werner was prepared to let it go without attempting to put up a defense, and it was at that juncture that Protempore Armah Jallah requested plenary for a senator to second a motion for execution, where they decided the fate of the unrepentant Werner.

Minister Werner’s comments on his Facebook page was in apparent defense of Coalition for Democratic Change standard bearer, Senator George Weah, whose absence from a recent Presidential debate in Monrovia sparked public comments that he might have deliberately decided to stay away to avoid humiliation because of his poor English skills.

Meanwhile, divided opinions on the Education Minister’s Facebook comments continue to be  intensely discussed on local radio talk shows as well as in the public domain.

In another development yesterday, a heated debate ensued at a hatai center on Carey Street, almost resulting to a fist fight over a reported statement by Senator Weah in Bong County where he accused Vice President Joseph Boakai of urging voters not to vote for a footballer, which Weah described as “racism.”

The opposing groups, however, reconciled over glasses of hatai, and the topic returned to football and its well loved high money earners.


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