Liberia: Party Politics Taking over at Nat’l Port Authority; Workers Urged to Ensure Sen. Dillon is Unseated in Midterm Election
Monrovia – As the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) gears up for its mass rally this Saturday, the Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA), Bill Twehway, has made a rallying call to employees of the NPA to turn out in their numbers to support the party.
Mr. Twehway is also a ranking member of the ruling CDC.
Since the CDC’s embarrassing defeat at the hands of Senator Abraham Darius Dillon and the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) in 2019, the party has launched a campaign to reclaim the senatorial seat.
And it appears that the party is determined to go the extra mile in achieving that ultimate goal, evidenced of a video that is making rounds on social media.
In the video, the Managing Director of the NPA is seeing instructing employees of the NPA to not only attend the upcoming CDC rally, but to canvass for the party to ensure that it recoups the senatorial seat that is now being held firmly by Senator Dillon.
“I’ve got big work for us to do that has to do with recapturing Montserrado…Saturday, the sign we will show will tell the whole world that Montserrado is coming back to us, so I’m expecting you on Saturday to turn out…” he urged.
Mr. Twehway’s surprise and unprecedented action at the compound of the NPA comes just days after his party completed the recruitment and installation of zonal heads ahead of the midterm senatorial elections.
Speaking further, he promised that officials of the NPA will soon begin the distribution of the party’s T-shirt to workers for the rally on Saturday.
“We will start getting T-shirt from tomorrow, and we are not only getting that T-shirts because we want T-shirts. We are getting that T-shirts so that we can make sure that we get back our senatorial seat in Montserrado County.”
Mr. Twehway, once a member of the House of Representatives (District #3, Montserrdo County) of the 53rd Legislature, was soundly beaten by Rep. Ceebee Barshell in the 2017 Presidential and Legislative elections.
“I’ve got big work for us to do that has to do with recapturing Montserrado…Saturday, the sign we will show will tell the whole world that Montserrado is coming back to us, so I’m expecting you on Saturday to turn out…”Bill Twehway, Managing Director, National Port Authority
Twehway was first appointed by President George Weah as Director-General of the Liberia Institute of Public Administration (LIPA) after the CDC ascendancy in 2018.
He soon replaced the embattled Deputy Managing Director, Celia Coffey-Brown, who, until Twehway’s appointment had been acting as Managing Director.
For the record, Twehway is President Weah’s first proper appointed Managing Director of the NPA. However, since his appointment, he has come under increasing criticisms for running the NPA, which is regarded as the gateway to Liberia’s economy, in an unorthodox way.
Duped “Gbehkubeh Jr”, Twehway is being alleged of recklessly spending money generated from the NPA on his party, as well as running the entity on a partisan basis.
In 2019, Twehway was criticized for issuing a check of US$30,000 to United States-based Liberian musician Edwin Darlington Tweh (alias D12) for performing his ‘Born To Win’ song for four minutes at Liberia’s 172nd Independence Day Celebration.
D12 was invited by the Liberian government to perform at Liberia’s 172nd Independence Day Celebration held at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
He was hand-picked by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to perform before President George Manneh Weah, who is one of his biggest fans, and other dignitaries and foreign guests at the Independence Day Celebration.
The US$30,000 Ecobank check to D12 reads: “For service rendered to the NPA from August 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020”.
A photograph of the check went viral on social media on Friday, September 13, 2019.
And in a statement posted on Facebook, Malcolm Scott, Communications Director of the NPA, Confirmed the payment and issuance of US$30, 000 check to the D12 Music INC.
Twehway’s latest action are already being met with stiffed criticisms.
Martin Kollie, a former student leader and an advocate for good governance termed the NPA’s Managing Director’s decision as a tragedy.
“The gateway to Liberia’s economy has become a political ground under Bill Twehway. He is conscripting employees of the NPA. TRAGEDY,” Kollie wrote on his Facebook page.
Back in August 2019, following Dillon’s victory, a memo from some NPA workers, who are members of the ruling CDC surfaced online calling for forming a party cell within the port facilities.
On Wednesday, August 14, some workers of the NPA, under the banner: “National Port Authority, Nationalists Congress CDC (NaPANCO—CDC)” posted a memo calling all CDCians and other workers, who aren’t members of the party, to a NaPANCO-CDC NPA Chapter meeting.
Of the four contact numbers that were on the memo, three refused to speak, the holder of the number that ends with ‘446’ confirmed the authenticity of the memo and stated that the meeting was “successfully held.” The gentleman on the line refused to call his name.
The main body of the memo reads: “Greetings from the Board of Directors and the Leadership of the National Port Authority Nationalists Congress CDC – NPA Chapter.
We write to inform All Partisans and interested members of CDC within the NPA that there will be a General Meeting on Friday, August 16, 2019 at 1:0’clock PM at the NPA canteen.
The purpose of this meeting is to organize a stronger base of the CC within the NPA in the wakeup calls from the National Chairman of the Party for reconsolidating and re-strategizing for future elections.”
This move by the CDC deciding to begin to use Government premises for political purposes ruling party is a bad precedent and is in utter disregard to the letter and spirit of the Code of Conduct. The formation of such partisan groups at government institutions has a clear objective of targeting those employees of government who may not join such groups.
By using public facilities for such purposes is a clear violation of Section 8.1 of the Code of Conduct, which states: “Public Officials and Employees of Government shall use Government facilities, including residential property, equipment, money, vehicles, computers, internet, and telephones for official purposes only.”