Monrovia – Just before 4pm Monday, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor arrived on the grounds of the Capitol Monday to attend President George Manneh Weah’s third annual message, bring relief to her peers in the Senate having jitters over whether or now she would show.
The VP entered the capital grounds in her private vehicle minus the motorcade and protection details that usually accompany her.
For days she has accused the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning of deliberately withholding money for her office’s operation. In the days leading to Monday’s address, the Vice President had been unhappy over treatment she has been receiving from certain members of the President’s inner circle.
Last weekend, Senator Sando B. Johnson(NPP, Bomi), an executive member of the National Patriotic Party (NPP), speaking on behalf of Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor at the CDC’s national retreat over the weekend, said the Vice President has assured that she remains committed to the supporting the government’s pro-poor agenda, but has demanded that she should be respected at all times.
“As a standard-bearer and vice President of the Republic of Liberia, she will do all she can in her power to ensure that is supported. However, she wants me to quickly inform you that in the discharge of our duties, we must be able to show some level of respect at all times,” he said.
The NPP is a member of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
Senator Johnson spoke on behalf of the Vice President at the CDC’s national retreat which was held at over the weekend.
He said respect must be shown not only to Vice President Taylor but also to the Office of the President and all other high-ranking officials of the government.
“As a standard-bearer and vice President of the Republic of Liberia, she will do all she can in her power to ensure that is supported. However, she wants me to quickly inform you that in the discharge of our duties, we must be able to show some level of respect at all times.”– Senator Sando Johnson speaking on behalf of Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor at a CDC retreat over the weekend
His comments come in the aftermath of a damning assault on the vice president by the lead Talk show Host on Freedom FM 87.9, a radio station owned by the Deputy Director for Operations of the National Security Agency (NSA), Sam Saryon.
Speaking on Thursday, January 23 edition of `the show named and styled ‘Freedom Morning Rise,’ Sekou Sheriff accused VP Taylor of allegedly undermining the government of President George Manneh Weah.
According to him, the Liberian Vice President is a “self-seeking and wicked individual” that continues to allegedly sponsor series of protests planned by the Council of Patriots (COP) to “undemocratically undermine and remove a sitting government”.
“A ‘Feminist-in-Chief’ cannot suppress, neglect and preside over the flagrant disrespect of a female that is a Vice President! A true and genuine reconciler cannot be the chief messenger and conveyor of hate and division.”– Senator Abraham Darius Dillon, Montserrado County, Liberty Party
In a FrontPageAfrica interview last week, the VP expressed regrets that things are not going well between she and President Weah, point some blame to many of those in the president’s inner circle. “I believe that the inner wrangling and power struggles around the Presidency are cause for the lingering uneasiness between the President and I, a situation which makes others to believe that my position as an elected Vice President can be treated with disdain and disrespect.”
The VP said she had expected that the both of them would be working closely together, as we did in the campaign. It is now public knowledge that I am outside of the inner circle. My expectations were that the president and vice president would work very closely together. I have to look back at our history and the relationship between Ambassador Joe Boakai and Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The two of them worked together very closely.”
Prior to Monday’s address, a Senate Special Committee constituted by Pro Temp Albert T. Chie to delve into concerns of Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor and revert to the wisdom of Plenary for possible redress, announced that it would report its findings on Tuesday, January 28, 2020.
The committee which comprises of Sen. Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence(Liberty Party) as Chairperson, Sen. Varney G. H. Sherman(Unity Party, Cape Mount), Sen. Commany B. Wesseh(Unity Party, River Gee), Sen. Sando D. Johnson(NPP, Bomi) and Sen. Abe Darius Dillon(Liberty Party, Montserrado County), is meanwhile urging the Vice President to end her boycott and attend Monday’s Annual Message of President George Manneh Weah.
The committee, in a statement, says while it will ultimately speak through its report next Tuesday, it has prevailed on the Vice President to attend the President’s annual message on Monday, January 27th and return to work as we resolve these concerns, in line with its oversight responsibilities.
On Monday, shortly after the President’s message, Senator Dillon threw pointed jabs at the President for proclaiming himself Feminist-in-Chief while indulging differences with his vice president.
Said Senator Dillon: “A ‘Feminist-in-Chief’ cannot suppress, neglect and preside over the flagrant disrespect of a female that is a Vice President! A true and genuine reconciler cannot be the chief messenger and conveyor of hate and division.”