-Accuse Speaker Chambers of ‘Bad Leadership’
At least 10 opposition members of the House of Representatives have expressed their disappointment and frustration over the distribution of offices in the state-of-the-art Capitol Building Annex of the House of Representatives, and have accused Speaker Bhofal Chambers of “bad leadership.”
The enraged lawmakers said Speaker Chambers has convinced them that those lawmakers who did not illegally break into offices to acquire office spaces into the main building of the Capitol Building in January, 2018 upon their induction as Member of the House of Representatives of the 54th Legislature, would be prioritized in the distribution of office spaces in the new Capitol Building Annex.
They argued that the Speaker further persuaded them to temporarily acquire offices on the ground floor of the Capitol Building where the bathrooms are closely opposite or adjacent their offices, something which is not only annoying but also offensive.
Speaking on behalf of the “angry lawmakers,” Montserrado County District # 1 Representative Lawrence Morris (Independent) told journalists in his office yesterday that the situation was discussed and the Speaker announced that besides prioritizing lawmakers who are on the ground floor, the leadership will also be prioritized.
“Unfortunately, gentlemen of the press, those of us whose names were on the list to be transferred in the new Capitol Building Annex were scratched out.
“The Speaker later told us that all the female lawmakers should be prioritized… but there were some female lawmakers who broke into offices to acquire office spaces into the main building of the Capitol Building. Does that mean those who were involved should be considered?” he asked rhetorically.
“Also, there were some male lawmakers who broke into offices to acquire office spaces in the main building of the Capitol Building but are still being transferred to the new Capitol Building Annex,” he said.
He added: “So, it means we will remain in the tight ground floor offices but we don’t have problem with that but we just want to register our extreme dissatisfaction in the Speaker for not being a man of his words.”
Rep. Morris is the Chairman on the Standing Committee on Resettlement, Repatriation, Relief and Re-adjustment (RRRR) and former Ambassador of the Mano River Union (MRU) to Liberia.
Rep. Morris indicated that they are “done” because the offices at the Capitol Building Annex have already been distributed.
A member of the House’s Leadership, who preferred anonymity, told the Daily Observer that the decision of the House’s Leadership to allow their colleagues to remain on the ground floor after being promised better and very spacious office spaces, is tantamount to instigating a coup over the removal of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
Sources said the Chairman of the House’s Rules, Order and Administration, Rep. Mariamu Fofana, has already distributed the keys of 42 offices to 42 Representatives, but when our reporters visited the office of Rep. Fofana, requesting the list of the names of the 42 offices distributed, a male staff, who declined to call his name, said “the list is still being compiled because some of the lawmakers who were assigned keys in the new Capitol Building Annex have declined to move in.”
It may be recalled that the construction of the state-of-the-art annexes at the Capitol Building at the cost of US$12.9m, which was funded by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), were dedicated on Thursday, July 19, 2018.
The new Capitol Building Annexes were constructed under the project titled, “The Grant Assistance Project.” The Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China was the owner responsible for the Project.
Chinese firm Jiangsu Jiangsu Construction Company constructed the Annexes, while another Chinese company, the China International Engineering Design and Consultant Company Limited, supervised the engineering component.