Liberian Journalist Tokpah Tarnue Wins Integrity Icon 2021


MONROVIA – Liberian Journalist Tokpah Tarnue, who is based in Lofa County, has been named Integrity Icon Of the year 2021, ahead of five others icons by Accountability Lab Liberia.

The award is set for individuals who have demonstrated honesty and whose integrities have set a high standard, worth emulating by the public.

Journalist Tarnue was named first among others to include, Joseph Bryant, who came second place, Sam M. Dikoah, a Liberia National Police Officer, who came third, a classroom teacher Siaka Paul, coming forth, a female Kulubo G. Davis also took the fifth place while Emmanuel Tuloe, was awarded Social Icon.

Tarnue, like other Icons, was selected based on information gathered from citizens about his role-play at the public level in helping to shift society positively without being biased or void of corruption.

His work as a journalist in North-Western Liberia, according to some of those quizzed, was factual and balanced and void of being influenced by anyone.

At the award ceremony, Wednesday, December 8, held at the campus in Monrovia, US Ambassador accredited near Monrovia, Michael McCarthy called for concerted efforts with the government to enhance good governance and cultivate the spirit of democracy, as the Summit for Democracy draws closer.

“When this week Submit for Democracy draws to a close, it will usher in a “year of action” ahead of an action” ahead of a second summit in late 2022,” Ambassador McCarthy said.

“This year of action will be an opportunity for civil society and the private sector to work with the government to make progress towards commitment that will fortify good governance and cultivate a democracy that delivers for all Liberians.”

Ambassador McCarthy expressed confidence that the Integrity Icons will contribute efforts towards the continued promotion of a culture of integrity in the country.

He said integrity, as of of adherence to ethical values and principles that prioritize the public interest over private interests, is a critical ingredient that breeds good governance boosts civic confidence, and enhances inclusive prosperity and stability.

However, he noted that those names as Integrity Icons by the Integrity Lab Liberia, have demonstrated qualities, that many others also hold similar values.

“They courageously model integrity in their personal and professional lives. In small and large ways, they are helping to strengthen a national culture of integrity,” Ambassador McCarthy noted.

The US Ambassador accredited near Monrovia lauded Integrity Lab for the continued step taken to name and fame outstanding public servants.

Ambassador McCarthy further noted that the United States is proud of its longstanding support towards Liberian efforts to promote transparency and accountability.

He said the US Government has worked closely over the years, with Liberia’s integrity institutions like the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, to uncover and investigate corrupt practices.

“We have partnered with civil society organizations to include Accountability Lab, to strengthen grassroots efforts to push for accountability and shine a light on corruption,” Ambassador McCarthy averred.

“USAID just announced a new project that will further support these efforts.”

For his part, Journalist Tokpah Tarnue, in his acceptance speech, said he is being celebrated because of what people have seen in him.

According to the Liberian Journalist, if Liberia must be developed, the issue of integrity must be prioritized.

He urged his colleagues who also received awards for displaying integrity, to live an exemplary life of what the awards demonstrate.

According to Tarnue, it was important to continuously foster the issue of integrity within their communities and Liberia at large, as recipients of the honor.

Tarnue noted: “These values must be highly considered, especially during political times, when the country is geared toward election process, as a way of defining people based on genuine issues and policies and not taking them as enemies.”

Accountability Lab Liberia is a non-profit organization working in the fields of active citizenship and good governance and its principal public service campaign, Integrity Idol has been renamed Integrity Icon.

Integrity Icon is a campaign that the Lab has run since 2014 after being launched in Nepal.

The grassroots program celebrates public servants of integrity and has since expanded to Liberia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Mali, Uganda, South Africa, and most recently, Mexico.

For the past four years, Accountability Lab Liberia launched Integrity Idol Liberia now Integrity Icon (IIL), continues to promote citizen engagement and demand for individual integrity to strengthen government-citizen relations in Liberia.

This project builds upon the belief that the national social contract requires both public officials and citizens fulfilling their respective duties to ensure efficient public service delivery, inclusive development, and holistic accountability.

This begins with a clear understanding of why integrity in government is essential to the effective and accountable functioning of the governance process.

Integrity Icon is also a national movement to celebrate honestly and encourage public servants across the country. It also aims to reframe debates around corruption by ‘naming and framing honest public servants, rather than naming and shaming wrongdoers.

The campaign begins with a launch that invites the public to nominate outstanding public servants in various government sectors who demonstrate honesty and integrity under difficult circumstances through the Lab’s extensive youth networks to ensure that nominations are submitted from all corners of the country.