President George Weah has constituted a Special Presidential Task Force to retrieve all government-owned vehicles still in the possession of former government officials.
President Weah has mandated the former officials to submit within two weeks the vehicles to the Special Presidential Task Force, an Executive Mansion release said late last night.
Those named to the Task Force are Benedict E.E. Reeves, Chair, with other members including Patrick Sudue, Inspector General of Police, Sam Worzie, Garmondeh Glaydor, Isaiah T. Harris, Fleet Specialist and Robena L. Brown.
According to the release, President Weah has also directed that all former officials who had purportedly purchased vehicles from the General Services Agency (GSA) to submit these vehicles to the Special Task Force for verification.
President Weah has further directed that the vehicles should be submitted to the Special Presidential Task Force on the Executive Mansion grounds.
The submission of the vehicles, the release said took effect immediately after the President made the pronouncement upon his arrival in the country on Friday, February 23, from his first foreign trip that took the President and 23-people delegation to Paris, France.
The circular has accordingly mandated that failure on the part of former officials will result in the forwarding of their names to the Minister of Justice for prosecution.
The President’s Wrath
Some former government officials who did not heed the order of President Weah to return government vehicles that were assigned to them could face his wrath after his two weeks’ ultimatum expires, which took effect as of Monday, February 26.
Though President Weah did not indicate how many vehicles are involved, he said some former officials of the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf-led administration are still in possession of vehicles assigned to them while serving in government.
He warned them to turn over those vehicles, an order he had stated prior to his inauguration on January 22.
President Weah declared this after he returned home following his three-leg successful visits to Senegal, Morocco, and France.
At an intercessory service held for his safe return home at the Dominion Church in Congo Town, Monrovia, President Weah said, “Our government is having a problem and these are just simple problems.”
“People who worked with the former government are hiding and scrapping vehicles they used in the past government. They are stealing all the cars leaving this new government with the burden to buy new vehicles. What is a car that you cannot be honorable enough to leave behind?
“All of you who took government properties, you have two weeks to bring them back. If not, we will come for them. You have two weeks,” the President threatened.
He added: “We have to be true to our government. I am glad that I am saying it in a church. You got two weeks or we will come for them to be used for the benefit of our country.”
The ultimatum comes amid efforts by the Director General of the General Services Agency (GSA), Mary Broh and her team to retrieve GOL vehicles and other properties from past officials.
This is the second of such an ultimatum as the GSA had initially issued a similar caveat for those former officials to turn in government properties. The initial call might have fallen on deaf ears, but the reiteration by the President seems to add some weight, many officials say.
Many believe that President Weah is gradually realizing that, in spite of his overwhelming victory, it will take tough decisions and measures, sometimes against his own kith, if his administration is to succeed.
Weah’s declaration comes amid speculations about his tenacity, ability and courage to make tough decisions. Although some have considered him politically strong but ineffective, others say his success would definitely boil down to radical decisions and measures.