Several Bong Local Officials “dismissed” for not Joining the party
Many local officials in Bong County have lost their jobs and have now been replaced by stalwarts of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) allegedly on orders of electoral district #3 Representative, Josiah Marvin Cole. Their dismissal comes in the wake of recent veiled threats by Vice President Taylor to dismiss non party members from positions in government.
Some of those replaced by CDC partisans are the Labor Commissioner of Bong County, Jackson Kwegbian replaced by CDC Sayblee Weyea, Agriculture Coordinator for Bong County, Roland Varkeh replaced by CDC Kollie Nah, the County Inspector, replaced by CDC Victor Wesseh and Commerce Inspector replaced by CDC Pauline Sarlie.
“The fact that some of you who sitting here, are not members of the Coalition, but we have nothing in our hearts against you because I would have removed everybody, replaced you with people I trust and believe would work with us, because you would have done same to me had you been in power” adding, “this is my time, because I served as opposition for 12 years,” Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor told the residents recently in emotionally charged remarks.
Residents believe it is because of the Vice President’s inclination to dismiss local officials who are not part of the CDC that Rep. Cole gained strength to replaced those he had targeted. Some maintained that the Vice President has the Constitutional right to bring on board those she satisfied with.
The Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor has also asked local chiefs to join the ruling CDC or be replaced.
Mrs. Taylor who also suggested that it is biblical, unacceptable, why two cannot walk together if they do not agree; asking members of the local government in Bong County to either join the ruling CDC or be replaced. In justifying her stance on the matter, Vice President Howard Taylor sought reliance from the Scriptures, quoting from the Book of Amos 3:3, which states, “can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?”
Mrs. Taylor informed the chiefs that the CDC will be holding political meetings and these gatherings must be attended only by the partisans. Mrs. Taylor further told those inducted officials that it is unbearable for the government to work with people with whom she does not share the same political philosophy.
“The Bible says can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction. For us to agree, we must be on the same side so if you think you cannot make it, tell us, we will find somebody else to replace you.
Similar actions were taken during the Unity Party (UP) regime where people were made to join the ruling establishment at the time. “You all will join because other people joined the UP so I am waiting for you to travel to your districts to tell me you have joined the ruling party,” Mrs. Taylor ordered the chiefs.
She maintained that trust is paramount and she would not be confident to express herself in the midst of non-members of the Coalition.
It was shortly after the VP statement, that Rep. Cole took the decision to unilaterally remove those officials from their respective posts, thus sending a clear message of competing poles of power with President Weah on one hand and Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor on the other hand.
According to a prominent lawyer (name withheld), the power to appoint and dismiss public officials rests squarely in the purview of the President and not that of the Vice President nor that of a member of the Legislature, the lawyer observed. It can be recalled that Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor publicly apologized to President Weah following reports that she and President Weah had been at odds over her unapproved frequent travels abroad
But with this latest dismissal action which some Bong County officials claim is instigated by Vice President Taylor without the approval of President Weah, it appears that Vice President Taylor’s apologies to President Weah, may have been insincere according to the officials.