The ongoing row between the National Elections Commission (NEC) and the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC) is indeed symptomatic of the malaise, dysfunction and incoherence that appear to be traits of governance under the leadership of President Weah.
There are signs, increasingly visible nowadays, that suggest President Weah may not be in charge and is instead being led by clueless but greedy individuals imbued with a reckless but dangerous “Might Makes Right”, mindset.
Such is being reflected in the statements and pronouncements by top ranked officials.
Minister of State Nathaniel McGill, widely known to be bereft of previous substantive political experience and a virtual neophyte in matters of national governance is again in the news.
His recent remarks question the motives of those flagging breaches of the Code of Conduct (CoC) since, according to him, it had been violated on several occasions before with impunity. By his utterances and actions, he is conveying an impression to the public that portrays President Weah as no more than a titular head of state and that he, Nathaniel McGill, is indeed the true leader of this nation and not President George Weah.
This does not and will not augur well for President Weah. Judging from past experience, the relationship between the pair may likely come to a head similarly as was the case of former Defense Minister Gray Dioh Allison and President Doe.
What President Weah appears not to understand is that many of the officials closely surrounding him have by now, acquired so much wealth in so short a period that they now feel embolden to challenge, impersonate or outrightly usurp his authority.
Thus, he should not find it surprising that more of such challenges to his authority will become more glaringly visible by the day.
Take for instance the ongoing row between the PPCC and the NEC, arising over issues of integrity. Going by the exchanges between heads of both institutions as carried in the media, the head of the PPCC, Roseline Kowo, insists on strict adherence to established principles, policies and practices relative to public procurement.
The Chairperson of NEC, Davidetta Browne Lansanah, otherwise insists that the procurement contract for Elections materials be awarded to a foreign company, Unique Enterprises, known to be importers and suppliers of electronic equipment and not election materials.
And rather than having the company go through a competitive bidding process, the NEC Chairman appears hell bent on violating the law.
The public is left asking what clothes the NEC Chairperson with such reckless temerity that she would deliberately elect to violate the law. In truth, PPCC head, Mrs. Roseline Kowo, knows what she is talking about, given her experience as a former procurement official.
From what it appears, NEC Chairprson Lansanah is confused not knowing what to do.
The just ended Voters Roll Update (VRU) process stands out as the most corrupt in the history of NEC since 2005 and NEC Chairperson Browne Lansanah appears hellbent on deliberately violating the law in what the public perceives as an attempt to “fix” the December 8 elections.
But she ought to remember that her insistence on violating the law may be sure to invite public excoriation and opprobrium because the public appears convinced that the lure of huge kick-backs is the main factor driving Chairperson Lansanah’s frenzied quest to award a procurement contract to an unqualified vendor outside the competitive bidding process.
Chairperson Lansanah is said to be a longstanding member of the CDC, and personal friend of President Weah although it remains unclear whether she is yet an active member of the ruling party.
But whether or not she is an active member of the CDC, she is under obligation to respect the law in the discharge of her duties. That means strict adherence to the law is not only required but also expected of her.
In this regard, Chairperson Browne Lansanah is urged to adhere to the law, remembering that time is her greatest enemy.
If she allows matters to proceed along the course she is pursuing, she can rest assured that, as sure as night follows day, there will be pushbacks and most likely repercussions which could possibly prove to be her undoing and that of the government itself. A word to the wise is sufficient!