Power TV Reporter Mrs. Estelle Liberty Kemoh, who was allegedly insulted verbally by Information Minister Eugene Nagbe during the reception following President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Annual Address on Monday, has expressed disappointment with the incident and is demanding an apology from the Minister.
Mrs. Kemoh, popularly known as Estelle Liberty, told the Daily Observer in a phone interview yesterday that she saw the Minister’s action as an attack on her personality with the intent to lower her self-esteem as a reporter.
She said female journalists must be treated as professionals and not subjected to assaults, insults or any form of intimidation on the job.
Mrs. Kemoh said the incident took place in the presence of her husband which was humiliating and made her feel bad about the situation, “because I was on duty when Emmanuel Capehart was threatened by Minister Nagbe for interviewing an opposition lawmaker on state radio LBS.”
She said Minister Nagbe went out of bounds when in answer to the simple question of what happened that made him so furious, he shouted back at her, “Go and ask your boyfriend.”
“I felt insulted by his statement,” Mrs. Kemoh said, “especially coming from a government minister.”
Meanwhile, Minister Nagbe’s alleged action has been condemned by the Female Journalists Association of Liberia (FeJAL) and the Reporters Association of Liberia (RAL), with a complaint of the incident before the Press Union of Liberia (PUL).
FeJAL in a statement condemned the attack saying it “out-rightly denounces the irresponsible and unruly attitude of Mr. Nagbe,” adding, “FeJAL therefore demands a prompt public apology to Madam Kemoh and to the leadership of the association…”
FeJAL said Mrs. Kemoh’s assignment at the National Legislature, and having served as president of the Legislative Reporters’ Association of Liberia (LEGISPOOL) means “she has professional engagements with almost all legislators and there should be no childish and irresponsible statement against her reputation.”
The Reporters Association of Liberia (RAL) expressed serious concern over the allegation of verbal assault on Mrs. Kemoh, and described it as “unjustified and provocative.” RAL also called for prompt investigation into the matter by the PUL.
The complaint is before the new administration of PUL president Charles Coffey, who is reported to have said the Union is investigating the case to serve as a deterrent to future offenders, whether in government or the private sector.