February 9 Press Briefing

Monday, 9th February 2009

Members of the Press:

•    The President, you may know by now, has made a number of appointments in Government. Prominent among the appointments last weekend is the Mayor of Monrovia, Mary Broh.  Mrs. Broh, like other nominees, is subject to confirmation by the Liberian Senate, where applicable.

We are hopeful that based on the urgency of the tasks of the Mayor of Monrovia, the Liberian Senate will in due course invite Mrs. Broh for confirmation. The Mayor-designate has in the meantime been carrying out familiarization tours of some of the areas in Monrovia visited over the weekend by President Johnson Sirleaf. The President, you may recall, reminded street peddlers and owners of makeshift structures that Government would demolish the structures to give the city a facelift. That process, it is our understanding, has already begun.

•    The President is very pleased with the current rehabilitation exercise of roads taking place in the city of Monrovia and other parts of the country and is encouraging Liberians to continue to cooperate as implementation continues. I believe you have already begun experiencing congestions in a number of areas resulting in delays. We beg for your understanding as construction workers implement this phase of Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, better known has LIFT LIBERIA.
Our people are excited about this aspect of the development process, and we urge you, members of the media, to take some time in your respective institutions to highlight the transformation that is taking place in the country’s road rehabilitation and other development programs.

•    Let us now comment on media reports emerging from Grand Cape Mount County regarding the reported use of more than USD$7,000 from the County’s Development Fund to settle the rental obligation of the county’s superintendent. Contrary to media reports allegedly quoting the Superintendent that the President has authorized the disbursement of the amount to settle rent obligations, the President did not authorize anyone to withdraw any amount from the CDA of Grand Cape Mount to settle rent obligations. The County Development Fund is purely intended for the use of the political subdivisions of the country to develop their areas. The settlement of rental obligations, in our view, certainly does not fall under that category. The Ministry of Internal Affairs is looking into the report and should be providing you with more details on what may or may not have transpired.

•    The President has received with deep sadness news of the death of one of Liberia’s most respected journalists, Bill Frank Enoanyi, who passed away on February 8.  She deeply regrets the untimely homegoing of this great son of our land. His death is a tremendous loss to the country. Mr. Enoanyi’s contribution to the development of the country, through his advocacy for peace, will forever be cherished.  He was indeed a true professional whose contribution to the literary work of our country will leave an indelible footprint on the literary history of Liberia. We, on behalf of the President, extend our heartfelt sympathy, particularly to Mrs. Elizabeth Enoanyi Hoff and all members of the bereaved family for the irreparable loss. It is our prayer that God will grant the bereaved family solace and the fortitude to endure this sad day.