The Port Users (PU) organization of the National Port Authority (NPA) is expected to bestow honor on the entity’s suspended Managing Director (MD), Madam Matilda Parker, as the “Original Face of NPA.”
The program is scheduled for Saturday, October 10, at a local resort where an array of NPA staff and other partners are expected to grace the occasion.
The PU said for the past six months since Madam Parker was suspended by President Sirleaf on allegations of corruption, they have observed what they referred to as a serious “standstill at the port not in relation to violence, but a strong acknowledgment of her absence.”
PU also indicated that Madam Parker has worked over the years to transform the NPA into an “attractive, peaceful environment and furthermore made impressive progress in terms of shipping services alongside social corporate commitment to seaport communities and revenue generated when Ebola struck the country.”
“Although we are aware of her suspension for alleged acts of corruption, we strongly warn the public not to be prejudiced and to refrain from the usual perception of the accused being guilty before commission of any crime is proven through a court of competent jurisdiction,” PU said in a statement.
The PU recalled that Madam Parker was highly praised in the President’s 2013 annual message for her “remarkable work” done on the nation’s port facilities to counter the lack of maintenance over decades which left the seaports in poor condition.
They further recalled that the President highlighted the success story of the NPA indicating that, “impressive progress” has been made in the areas of development, operational activities and revenue generated under the stewardship of hardworking Matilda W. Parker.
The PU stated that Madam Parker has been a target of “false accusation by internal and external detractors who fail to live up to the people’s expectations and are now finding every means to besmear (disgrace) the hard earned character of this illustrious daughter of the soil.”