House Speaker J. Alex Tyler’s reshuffle wave has creamed the “renegade lawmakers” who planned a failed plot to unseat him.
In keeping with Rule #7 of the House of Representatives, the Bomi County Representative yesterday announced a major reshuffle of Statutory and Standing Committees affecting co-chair, chairman and members, respectively.
The new committees’ chairpersons and members are expected to serve for three years, according to the House Rules and Procedures.
Some of the Representatives got their first wish and some got their second or third wish. Some didn’t get any of their wishes. But House Speaker Tyler gave the 71 members, excluding himself and the Deputy Speaker, but counting the vacant seat for the Representative of Rivercess County District # 2, new and old assignments.
In his appointments, Speaker Tyler gave the plotters a chance to operate from the back seats, a move considered as their ‘reward’ for staging a failed removal plot against him.
Prior to yesterday’s reshuffle, the Speaker was being threatened with removal for his alleged involvement in a US$25,000 corruption saga.
He is accused of soliciting the amount from the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) to a local lawyer as payment for legal service rendered during the nationwide consultation on the draft Oil and Gas law.
But most of the new chairpersons, co-chairpersons of Statutory Committees as well as chairpersons, co-chairpersons on Standing Committees were those who pledged their loyalty to Speaker Tyler, evidently by affixing their signatures on a resolution adopted to support him amid the plot for his deletion.
The Speaker’s axe fell on three of the Committees in the leadership — Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning; Foreign Affairs and Rules, Order and Administration.
Tyler’s longtime friend, and mastermind of the failed plot, Margibi County Representative Emmanuel J. Nuquay, has been removed from the Chairmanship of Ways, Means and Finance and was appointed as member on three committees; Post and Telecom, Human and Civil Rights and Resettlement, Repatriation, Relief and Re-adjustment Committees.
Montserrado County lawmakers, Edwin M. Snowe and Henry Fahnbulleh, considered architects of the Speaker’s dethronement plot, were removed from the positions of chairmen on Rules, Order and Administration and Foreign Affairs, respectively.
Lofa and Maryland Counties’ Representatives Moses Y. Kollie and James Biney are the new chairmen on the Committees on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning and Foreign Affairs; while Jeh Byron Brown is the chairman on Rule, Order and Administration.
Snowe is now a member on Health and Social Welfare, Foreign Affairs and Maritime Committees, while Fahnbulleh is a mere member on Foreign Affairs; Public Utilities, Information, Broadcasting, Culture and Tourism as well as Good Governance and Government Reform.
The Speaker also made some major overhauls on three key Standing Committees — National Defense; Education and Public Administration and Agriculture, Forestry & Fishery.
Maryland County Representative Dr. Bhofal Chambers replaced Bong County lawmaker George S. Mulbah as chairman on National Defense; Rep. Matthew Zarzar of Sinoe County substituted Montserrado County lawmaker Bill Tweahway as chairman on Education; while Rep. Fofi Saah Baimba of Lofa County replaced Montserrado County Josephine George Francis as chairman on Agriculture and Forestry.
Representative Gabriel Nyenka was awarded the ‘lucrative’ committee of Lands Mines, Natural Resources and Environment, a committee he is providing oversight on at the moment based on his persistent defense of Speaker Tyler.
The rest of the committees can be viewed on the center-spread of the newspapers.