Liberia: Marvin Cole Uses Minister McGill’s Name to Threaten Local officials with Dismissal in Bong County
Gbarnga, Bong County – One thing that is very common in Liberia is that in every administration there is an individual or group of individuals known for having much influence on the presidency in terms of making key decisions such as appointments of government officials.
These individuals are the brains behind all appointments in government, and people lobbying for public jobs have to meet these individuals before getting presidential appointment.
During the regime of former President Charles G. Taylor, few names were known to have an influence on the President including Kadiatu D. Findley, Grace Minor and others. People even wanting to meet the president personally had to first meet these individuals.
When it was President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s tenure it was her sister Jeanie Bernard, Morris Saytumah and a few who were known as confidantes to the President and could get the ears of the President on issues.
Since the election of President George M. Weah, it has been widely reported that the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel F. McGill, is one of that very influential figures in the George Weah-led government in terms of ensuring that the appointments made by the President to a larger extent come from the recommendation of the State Minister.
Along with few others including Finance Minister Samuel Tweah, Mayor of Monrovia City, Jefferson T. Koijee, Minister McGill is the main man cutting the cards when it comes to presidential decision making.
It is now an open secret that many people troop to the house of Minister McGill on a daily basis lobbying to be appointed into public positions and in the same vein, protégé of the Minister of State are said to using his name at many institutions to threaten oppositions and other individuals with dismissal.
Representative Cole Uses McGill to Threaten opposition
In Bong County, the lawmaker of electoral district #3, who won on the ticket of the Coalition for Democratic Change based on empathy from the public following his dismissal as Mayor of Gbarnga City by President Sirleaf accordingly upon the recommendations of then-Representative Prince K. Moye, is said to be heavily threatening oppositions and other local officials with dismissal using the name of Minister McGill.
Frightened local officials told FPA that Representative Cole in recent months has been resisting dissenting views against him by threatening to inform Minister McGill and ensure the dismissal of those differing with him on issues.
Superintendent Esther Walker felt into the Cole dismissal dragnet after she indicated that the re-election odds were against President Weah ahead of the 2023 presidential elections at a program in Gbarnga.
Angered by Superintendent Walker’s comments, Representative Cole threatened that he would ensure Minister McGill submits the Superintendent’s name to President Weah for dismissal. “I would ensure that the superintendent is dismissed. I have the necessary connections with the right people and the Superintendent Walker should just consider herself ‘former superintendent’.
Recently, Mr. William B. S. Kollie, regional cultural inspector for Bong, Nimba and Lofa, was dismissed by the Minister of Internal Affairs after Rep. Cole openly stated at a public gathering that he would ensure the former Bong County Inspector is dismissed. The lawmaker made the statement after Kollie had differed with him on his stewardship as lawmaker of the district.
FrontPageAfrica couldn’t confirm whether Kollie’s dismissal was influenced by the Minister of State, but the lawmaker and his supporters celebrated Kollie’s dismissal on social media.
Some local officials in Bong County who said they are afraid to speak publicly on Representative Cole’s threats of dismissal confided in FrontPage Africa that the lawmaker has been using the name of the minister to threaten them with dismissal and at the same time ‘extorting money from them’ to retain their positions.
When FrontPageAfrica contacted the lawmaker Saturday to respond to allegations against him, he declined to respond. Also, the Minister of State couldn’t be reached up to press time for comment for comments regarding Kollie’s dismissal.
Bong County is not strange to such threats of dismissal of local officials. During the by-election that ushered Senator Henrique Tokpa, officials of the CDC threatened local county officials with dismissal if they did not support the candidacy of Representative Cole who was contesting the senatorial election.