President George Weah has with immediate effect, suspended two deputy directors of the National Bureau of Concessions (NBC) for “administrative reasons.”
The suspended officials are Daddy Gibson and Nathaniel Bracewell, deputy director-generals for administration and concessions, respectively.
According to the release, President Weah also suspended the two men for “falling short of respect for the constituted authority of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led government.”
It can be recalled that the two suspended deputies on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, reportedly assaulted the director-general Gregory Coleman, and spewed numerous invectives at him. It was also reported that the two men allegedly invited thugs, among them, were people believed to be CDC partisans, specifically those from the party’s Youth League.
In his letter, dated August 1, 2019 to employees, Coleman said the employees were not under any obligation to report to work unless there was a guarantee of calm and stability at the NBC’s central office in Monrovia.
“It saddens me to inform you that I was physically attacked and feloniously restrained by my two deputies: Daddy Gibson, deputy director general for administration and Nathaniel Bracewell, deputy director general for concessions,” Coleman said.
He continued: “As chief executive officer of the NBC, I cannot guarantee the safety of employees under these conditions, as such; employees are advised to remain on the premises based on their personal comfort levels, as there will be no administrative action taken against anyone who feels unsafe due to the prevailing situation.”
He added that when he was allegedly attacked by his deputies, he contacted the Minister of Justice, Cllr. Frank Musa Dean, who called on the Liberia National Police (LNP) Inspector General, Patrick Sudue, to dispatch police officers to the grounds of the NBC to restore order.
Coleman previously served as Inspector-General of the LNP during the administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
It has been observed that, upon ascending to the Presidency, Weah opted to include some who are not members of the CDC, including officials of the erstwhile Sirleaf administration. However a number of those remaining non-partisans who hold senior positions in the Weah administration have been and continue to be harassed by agents of the ruling party, provoking said officials to resign or, in the case of Coleman, put such harassment on official record.
Credible sources recall that the former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, B. Elias Shoniyin, resigned his post over issues of lack of cooperation and disrespect coming from other senior and junior members of the Foreign Ministry. Shoniyin bowed out in typical diplomatic fashion, citing no specifics, just “personal and professional reasons”. However, sources say that prior to his resignation, he communicated his plight to the President of Liberia, who did not respond to Shoniyin’s communication.
Milton A. Weeks, former Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, also not a partisan of the CDC, was pressured to resign his tenured post, even though he had occupied the post for only two out of a five-year tenure. Sources say he refused to commit the CBL to a sovereign guarantee for the controversial ETON Finance loan deal, which the Weah administration tried to secure in its first three months, after the President took office in January 2019.
Of all the heads of ministries, agencies or commissions from the Sirleaf administration that were retained in the Weah administration, those who have so far survived are mostly south-easterners according to a prominent legislator (name withheld) hailing from that area.
A number of those retained are listed among other new appointees — all from Southeast Liberia — in a February 19, 2019 article by Dr. Kadiker Rex Dahn, titled: “No Liberian Is More Liberian Than the Others”. In the article, he describes the trend of the Weah administration as “regional or geographical nepotism”, calling it “a deficiency in the George Weah-led Government.”