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Avoid Acrimony Between and Among Liberians

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Prior to his historic ascendency to the coveted Liberian Presidency, and during the 10, October, 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections, which were followed by the 14, November, 2023 Presidential Runoff polls, Joseph Nyuma Boakai, consistently told the Liberian Nation and the World that, when elected, he would lead the country by positive examples.

Another commitment Ambassador Boakai made to the Liberian Nation prior to his election as President of Liberia relates to upholding good governance, characterized by the rule of law, transparency, accountability and probity and the creation of the necessary atmosphere wherein every Liberian citizen, no matter his/her socio-economic, regional and/or political background, and without any molecule of fear or favor, would be accorded the opportunity to thrive whether in the public or private sector.

Indeed, we, at The INDEPENDENT Newspaper strongly believe that it is predicated upon the above-mentioned salient assurances, and many other campaigns promises that led to Ambassador Boakai’s presidential victory.

Undeniably, Liberians voted for a new political order wherein the constitutional, fundamental and other basic rights of all and sundry would be guaranteed, upheld and fully respected at all times.

This is why, we, at The Independent, are very shocked, stunned or astounded that President Boakai would engage in any act or acts that seek to undermine the rule of law.

That the Honorable Supreme Court of Liberia, in its recent ruling, described as “ultra vires,” President Boakai’s decision to appoint officials to the National Lottery Authority, Governance Commission, National Identification Registry and the Liberia Telecommunication Authority, leaves much to be desired. According to legal scholars, ‘ultra vires’ is the exercise of power beyond one’s control.’
Using Article 89 of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia, and Article 56, as its reliance, the Supreme Court made it abundantly clear that nominating persons to the persons to the petitioners’ position while their tenures are still in force and unexpired is tantamount to their removal from office.

Not only that, the Honorable Supreme Court, in its opinion, ruled that “the nominations giving rise to these petitions are hereby ordered revoked.”

This is also why we are surprised that President Boakai who, in his reaction to the ruling of the Nation’s Highest Court, embraced the court opinion would appoint some of the same people whose previous appointments led to the Court’s hearing of the matter to the very Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA), as Acting members of the LTA Board of Commissioners as the president slammed with suspension the LTA previous Board of Commission that emerged as winners in the Supreme Court recent ruling.

In his previous reaction to the High Court’s ruling on appointment to tenure positions, President Joseph Nyuma Boakai was quoted by the Executive Mansion as saying straight adherence to the rule of law is fundamental to strengthening institutions and building democracy.

However, it is our candid view that the decision by President Boakai to suspend the very Board of Commissioners of the LTA that sought legal redress with the Supreme Court in which the President’s action was adjudged as wrong and ultra Vires on allegations of corruption and other acts of malpractices at the LTA, raises more questions than answers, to say the least.

One wonders when President Boakai got to know that the operations of the LTA were characterized by suspicion of corruption which may not be far from activities ranging from dishonesty, exploitation, sleaze, bribery, and fraud.

President Boakai’s appointing of Acting Board of Commissioners of the LTA including some of the individuals who were nominated to tenure positions at the very LTC raises more questions than answers.

This is why we think President Boakai needs to rethink his appointment of the Acting Commissioners at the LTA.

In other words, President Boakai must put into practice or demonstrate to the Nation his consistent assurances during his election campaign era to lead the country by positive examples aimed at consolidating its hard-won peace, development and progress and avoid any situation that may trigger acrimony between and among Liberians.

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