President Ellen Sirleaf has relieved several high-profile officials of government of their posts, while reshuffling others as she announced “a team,” which she presumed will take her government to the finish line come 2017.
Prominent among those relieved of their posts are embattled Minister of Public Works, Dr. Antoinette Weeks and Mr. Ambrose Nmah, Director-General, Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS).
The President also reshuffled Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale, outgoing Minister of Health and Social Welfare who has been on the bang-wagon since the inception of the Unity Party led government in 2006, and Education Minister, Madam Etmonia David Tarpeh.
President Sirleaf also appointed several of what she calls “potential and result-oriented individuals” including Dr. Elizabeth Davis-Russell, president of Tubman University; William Gyude Moore, Project Coordinator in the office of President Sirleaf; Mr. Christopher Sellee, Deputy Presidential Press Secretary; and many others.
Minister Gwenigale and others, including junior officials of government were relieved of their posts by the Liberian President on Sunday November 16, 2014. She made the pronouncement through a state of the nation’s address from her Foreign Ministry office.
William Gyude Moore replaces outgoing Public Works Minister Antoinette Weeks, while the president of Tubman University located in Harper Maryland County, Dr. Elizabeth Davis-Russell, replaces outgoing Education Minister Etmonia David Tarpeh. Civil Service Agency Director General, Mr. George Werner, who himself is embattled after it was alleged that he masterminded a massive dismissal of civil servants, replaces Minister Walter T. Gwenigale.
During her pronouncement to the nation on Sunday afternoon, President Sirleaf said even as government continues to combat the Ebola virus and strive to achieve the national objective of zero-new-cases by Christmas, government needs to also attend to what will be a difficult job of recoveries.
These have to do with, she said, “recovery to the health care system so that we deliver health care services all across the country and are better prepared for any epidemic of the size and scale of Ebola; recovery to the economy so that we are repositioned to produce more opportunities and afford decent and better living conditions for all our people; recovery to governance so that notwithstanding the superficial differences which haunt the body politic, we can still remain enjoined behind the common purpose of national healing and reconstruction.”
The President noted that this requires a team that is adaptable, responsive, disciplined, loyal, and focused – a team that understands the prevailing challenges, and is resolved to respond by taking appropriate risk to get things done on time. “It is my job to continuously vet and ready such a team for the challenges we currently face and those that lie ahead…” adding that members of her new team “are transferred or reassigned, signifying our recognition of their capabilities and performance.”
The rest, she said, “are dropped from where they served, but will be given appropriate opportunities to continue to serve the country.”
“We are not short on expectation that going forward, each working day – indeed each working hour – will be spent not only on catching up and continuing with the transformational agenda of the country but also to exploring creative new approaches by which we deliver on the agenda within the limited time of our stewardship.
“My hope is that this team will take us to the finish line. But make no mistake: As Captain, I will not hesitate to change anyone who fails to meet our expectations,” the President said.