Liberia: ‘No Intention to be Vice President’ – McGill Speaks Out; Provides Clarity on Corruption Statement
MONROVIA – The Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill, has dispelled suspicions that he is eyeing the seat of the vice presidency and subsequently succeeding President George Weah should he win the 2023 presidential elections.
The suspicion on Min. McGill’s ambition arose from the multiple goodwill gestures and scholarships in Bong, Nimba, Bassa, and Gbarpolu Counties.
There have also been several posters and bags of farina bearing the face of Min. McGill and President Weah.
However, speaking to FrontPageAfrica in an exclusive interview, Min. McGill said his gestures are driven by his solidarity with the downtrodden, especially when he looks back at where he came from.
“I suffered; my parents were poor. My mother struggled with me, she was a very poor woman so I know what it means to be poor, therefore, I always want to identify with these people now that God has blessed me in this manner. It is never my intention to deface the Vice President. We have a very good relationship, he said.
He said his gestures which are always approved by the President is intended to portray the President as a people-centered President who cares about the masses.
“It is all about the Pro-poor Agenda, it is about projecting the President. I do not carry my name when I go to these counties, I always let them know that President Weah sent me. I’m here to work for the President. The reason why you don’t hear me mentioning the Vice President’s name is that we cannot project her over the President. My work is to ensure that the agenda of the President comes to fruition,” he said.
McGill added: “I am doing nothing wrong in Bong County. my mother was a Kpelleh woman, the Vice President’s parents and my mother are from the same region. I am not doing anything to undermine the Vice President. The election is not about the Vice President it is about the President.”
McGill: I Don’t Support Corruption
Also speaking on the recent video making rounds on social media in which Minister McGill is heard saying that “Even if I steal government’s money and give it to the Liberian people, that’s a good thing…” he said his statements were misconstrued.
“For the records, I do not support in any shape and manner corruption. I am one of those ministers on records that I do not hold a foreign account and I am open if GAC wants to do an audit, I am open. My frustration is that everything you do as an official of government people think it is government money,” he said.
He said he was speaking from a context where he was encouraging officials in government to always go back and help their people while at the same time lamenting there will always be criticism from the opposition when they see officials giving back to their people.
“The officials in the past government, they had money. They didn’t do anything for our people, now that we are going back to our people, they accuse us of stealing or using the government’s money,” he said.
He said the Weah-led government is taking a very strong stance against corruption evidenced by the passing of the New Liberia Anti-Corruption Act.
“I will be stupid, extremely stupid, especially for the position I serve, and knowing the President that I work for is very opposed to corruption, will make a statement that government officials are allowed to steal government money, especially after the passage of the New LACC Act,” he said.
The Minister promised to be clearer next time in his messages to the public because, according to him, as a public official the worst is to allow people to interpret you wrongly, especially those in the opposition.
“I have learned that as an official we need to be clear in how we present our messages, and next time I will be clearer, but I didn’t mean what is being interpreted in the public. It’s a misrepresentation of the fact and that is the disadvantage of being a public official.”