Youth & Sports Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe has said that it is unacceptable for any Liberian to encourage any act of vandalism in sports.
Minister Nagbe told journalists last Saturday at the Samuel Kanyon Sports Complex that under his leadership, no Liberian will be allowed to use violence to get an objective achieved in the on-going County Meet.
He said the theme of the 2014 National County Sports Meet is to celebrate the uninterrupted ten years of peace in the country, and therefore all actions must be geared towards that.
Minister Nagbe noted that statements of threats from an alleged member of the Montserrado Legislative Caucus (on the radio) to use force or to interrupt the soccer match scheduled for January 12, between Grand Gedeh and Lofa demonstrates their unwillingness to let other Liberians enjoy peace.
“We set rules and regulations that govern the County Meet,” Minister Nagbe said, “and we conducted workshops for all county leaders and their sports officers before the meet.”
Minister Nagbe said technical visits were also made to the four host counties.
“The rules and regulations were published and made available to all participants,” Minister Nagbe said.
He explained that the Appeals Board of the County Meet’s membership includes Liberians of integrity, and named members as Mr. Chuchu Horton, Prof. Wilson Tarpeh and Minister Julia Duncan Cassell.
“The committee carried its work and rendered its decision based on the available information in a case which Grand Gedeh filed against Maryland County, concerning a player reported not to be a Liberian,” Minister Nagbe said.
He said the protest was handled by the committee in the spirit of the game.
“I am from Maryland County and the case affected Maryland County. Rules and regulations about the game must be respected.
“If in the past decisions were made outside the rules, let it be known that we are setting a standard for the right thing to be done,” Minister Nagbe said.
He regretted that there are certain Liberians who tend to heap abuses and make unwarranted charges against others before investigating the facts.
Minister Nagbe said those who allegedly made statements on radio to the effect of encouraging violence should be ashamed of themselves.
“It is critical to adhere to rules and regulations developed to ensure the success of the County Meet,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister Nagbe appealed to journalists to investigate matters before assuming in their conclusions of the misapplication of funds provided by government for a particular purpose.
He said the ministry has not misused any amount in the US$1.1million (NOCAL provided US$500,000) that the Liberian government provided for the hosting of the county meet.
“All our transactions are done by check and they are available for verification,” Nagbe said.
He also refuted allegation that companies outside Liberia were used to purchase jerseys for the tournament at the expense of Liberian companies.
“We used the PPCC and Liberian companies used went through the rules by law,” Nagbe added.
Contributing, Mr. Chuchu Horton appealed to Liberians not to engage in any act of violence but should rather allow the theme of the tournament to guide the progression of the Meet.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Internal Affairs assured Liberians that the on-going meet will proceed as planned, without violence or any intimidation.