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Friday, April 19, 2024

INFORMATION MINISTER SPEAKS ON OPPOSITIONS CRITICISM, CALLS FOR CIVIL DISCOURSE

Date:

LIBERIA – The Minister Of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Ledgerhood J. Rennie has said that the Government of Liberia remains open to criticisms and has urged opposition politicians to query the Government on real issues rather than being trivial.

For Minister Rennie, the calling of names, the innuendos, and the insults have no good impact on the progress of the country, stating that it doesn’t even send a good message to the young generation.

“You don’t have to be appointed a political leader to be exemplary. The onus is on all of us to ensure that peace and tranquility reign; respect for each other, and that’s why I have always said let us lift the debate, let us discuss the real issues, and leave the names calling, the insults and the innuendos,” the Minister added.

Speaking Wednesday on a local radio talk show in Monrovia, Minister Rennie, who is the official spokesman of the Government of Liberia, said that government officials have not been going the way of the opposition because of the moral standards of the offices that they are under as public servants.

The MICAT boss stated that when the opposition writes they do not criticize the Government on policy matters, “they call us rogues and thieves,” adding that Mr. Alexander Cummings of the ANC is on record for calling us, rogues and thieves.

Minister Rennie is of the opinion that such a characterization of government officials by members of the opposition is wrong, stating: “You think my family likes me to be referred to that way?”

“But I don’t get back on the radio to talk back because we are in public office, we hold ourselves to a higher standard when they go low, we go high,” Minister Rennie stated.

He asserted that President Weah is the most insulted person in the country, noting, however, that the President continues to stress peace, “even when having a cabinet meeting, he will say let’s allow them to say whatever they want to say.”

Commenting on the president’s recent trip, which many opposition politicians criticized due to what they termed as “his long stay from the country,” Minister Rennie indicated that there is no law that prohibits the President from being away from the country for a protracted period of time.

“I spoke with the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of the Republic of Liberia and he challenged them and said let them show the law,” Rennie added.

The MICAT top official then said that it was unfortunate for people to label the country as being on autopilot when the President was away, citing that “we live in a digital age and, as such, it is unfortunate for people to think that when the President is away then there is a lack of leadership.”

According to the Minister, the President has his able lieutenants, “the Vice President is in the country, and he left the acting Chairman of the Cabinet, so the President was in consultation with them every day.”

He said: “Today we are in a digital age where you don’t even have to be physically present in your office to perform your office duty,” stating, “COVID-19 has given us a new way of working smart; the President doesn’t have to be in Liberia at his desk at the Executive Mansion or where he resides to perform his duties as President.”

Rennie mentioned that when the Liberian leader was away, he solved several problems, referencing the issue of LISGIS, among others.

The Minister asserted that President Weah took leadership of the LISGIS problem, by asking Vice President Taylor to get involved and she immediately got involved the whole issues associated with the status of the census were addressed and today the process is ongoing and we are getting favorable results.

Minister Rennie explained that many people think that the President should be present when something happens, “then it means the problem is solved,” adding, “when the problem can be solved without the President, let it be solved.”

“What you need is the solving of the problem because when the President is there and the problem is not solved, people are still going to shift blame and say the President was there and the problem was not solved,” Minister Rennie noted, (LINA).

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