‘I Was Fired Because I Didn’t Allow Dishonesty’

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The recently dismissed Nimba County Assistant Superintendent for Development, Teeko Toezoy Yorlay, has attributed his removal to what he described as his refusal to accept dishonesty and being used to facilitate the pillaging of the county’s resources.

Mr. Yorlay was few weeks ago dismissed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf based on a recommendation from Internal Affairs Minister Morris Dukuly, days after the House of Representatives declared a ‘vote of no confidence’ in the leadership of the county.

The Plenary decision relative to the ‘vote of no confidence’ was taken when Mr. Yorlay and his former boss, Superintendent Fong Gamaie Zuagele appeared before that body to respond to allegations contained in a letter from Nimba Electoral District #9 Representative Richard Matenokay Tingben.

Rep. Tingben alleged that the county local leadership is “disrespectful and arrogant and was undermining development.”

During the hearing into the allegation, which was attended by Minister Dukuly, members of the Nimba Legislative Caucus stated that Mr. Yorlay had publicly referred to them (Representatives) as ‘cockroaches’ that are bent on prowling the county’s resources.

But Yorlay, in a statement released recently, brushed aside the charges of ‘disrespect’ leveled against him and said, “I was fired because I did not allow dishonesty, corruption, as the norm to go on in Nimba County as part of the system.”

Teeko: “I have now accepted the fact that I am not in the Nimba County Administration to stop people’s whatever operations, because I could not accept to be used, misused and abused as an instrument to facilitate pillaging of the already limited county resources.”

Yorlay indicated that he is glad that the County Legislative Caucus did not accuse him of any wrong doing, “but said I was dismissed for not stealing from the Nimba people.”

“I was dismissed because of boldface and inflated lies. I had problem with some of our lawmakers when I felt that as Assistant Superintendent for Development, and not Assistant Superintendent for Underdevelopment, when acts of transferring County Development Fund (CDF) into Pocket Development Fund (PDF), were being exhibited.  This was an act that I could not countenance or tolerate,” Mr. Yorlay maintained.

He noted that it was good for him to say this, “but when I kept the feet of contractors to the fire with consistency and persistency to complete projects for which they had been paid money, I was celebrated by many Nimbaians, including some lawmakers. When my own office staffers had to be incarcerated on my orders to ensure that projects they had received money for before I took office needed to have been completed by them, I was again celebrated by many Nimbaians, including our some of the lawmakers.”

He reemphasized that all of the time, he was being celebrated that the funds involved were below US$100,000, but when an officer of the county used on a single day allotting US$300,000 to buy over 68,000 gallons of fuel, which that person could not report even 1,000 gallons, and used US$59,000 for spare parts just to report that the parts were dropping on the way to Nimba, and “we chose to take serious administrative action.  That is when I was declared disrespectful and satanic.”

“But this too is Nimba—a county where the lawmakers feel that speaking against graft, waste and abuse can only be rewarded with lies leading to dismissal. This is the new strategy of how Nimba will be built. The tactics is to weed out people who detest graft, waste and abuse while pillaging of the recourses is given a green card to burgeon and Nimba will thereafter grow,” former Development Superintendent Yorlay wrote.

Regarding allegations that he referred to lawmakers as cockroaches, he explained that as antecedent to the appearance of his former boss, Supt. Zuagele, and me at the Plenary of the House of Representatives, I was asked by a journalist at Radio Saclepea as to whether we will be freed from the seven-count allegations levied against us by the Nimba Legislative Caucus.

 I responded this way: “If our Lawmakers complained us to their fellow lawmakers and they and their colleagues will serve as complainants, jurors and the judges on this particular case, I doubt seriously as to whether we will be freed as it is said that cockroaches can never be found innocent in the midst of the fools”. This is how I used the word ‘cockroaches’ but not to intentionally insult the county’s elected officials.

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