Liberia: Bong Lawmaker Taunts Dismissed Agriculture Minister
Gbarnga, Bong County – Bong County Representative Josiah Marvin Cole has taunted Dr. Mogana Flomo saying that dismissed former Minister of Agriculture deserved to be removed from his post by President George Weah because he lacks the academic credential to warrant an appointment.
Rep. Cole said the former Agriculture Minister lied about his academic credential during his confirmation by the Liberian Senate.
“I strongly believed that Mogana Flomo doesn’t have a doctorate degree. He lied to the Senate during his confirmation,” Rep. Cole said.
The lawmaker was addressing allegations linking him to influencing the dismissal of the former minister.
Asked whether he played a role in Dr. Flomo’s dismissal, Rep. Cole said: “I am not the President who appoints and dismisses. I don’t have appointment power. But if I were President George Weah, I would have dismissed Mogana Flomo ever since because he’s an academic flop.”
Continuing, he added: “Dr. Flomo’s dismissal brought disgrace to Bong County because as the only government official from Bong County in the George Weah-led government, he failed to live up to expectations.”
Rep Cole is, however, recommending to President Weah, Dr. Roland Massaquoi to be appointed the next Agriculture Minister.
Cole believes, Dr. Massaquoi, a former Minister of Agriculture, has all it takes to propagate the agenda of the Pro-poor government.
Flomo’s dismissal has been generating mixed reactions in Bong County with many citizens expressing dismay that not a single minister from Bong County is in the George Weah-led government.
On June 29, the Executive Mansion announced the dismissal of Dr. Flomo and others but gave no reason.
Despite the explanation from government circle, sources say Flomo’s dismissal was in the making ever since he fell out with Bong County lawmaker, Representative Melvin Cole – the man who reportedly lobbied to get him the post.
Flomo is not regarded as a partisan of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), a factor that lessened his influence in the cabinet and relationship with President Weah. And when he opted to reject the employment of scores of partisans recommended for employment by Rep Cole, a feud became imminent.
There were frequent jibes coming from supporters of Rep. Cole aimed at Dr. Flomo; some of the comments suggested that Flomo’s days were numbered at the Ministry because he was “disrespecting the people that made him”.
At the same time, according to inside sources at the Ministry, Dr. Flomo became unpopular with the Executive Mansion because he often rejected requests to expend donor funds in a certain way that he saw as a variance to stated regulations.