New Castle, Delaware--The Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) says it is not perturbed by the gibberish spewed recently about the Association’s role in contemporary Liberia by the Deputy Minister of Information for Press and Public Affairs at the Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT), Eugene Fahngon.
ALJA asserts it is not troubled by Mr. Fahngon’s characterization and loose talk, because the Deputy Minister is a political nonentity; and he lacks credibility. ALJA emphasized that Mr. Fahngon’s diminishing relevance as a government’s spokesperson makes him a distraction in the Weah administration; and the least of ALJA’s concerns.
The Deputy Information Minister in a recent rant characterized the Association and its National President, Moses D. Sandy, as enemies of the George Weah administration. Also, he via a Facebook post wondered if members of the Association are “carton pushers” in the Americas. The Association says Mr. Fahngon’s description of its National President and members of the Association as foes of President George Weah and the Liberian government is a further attestation of his divisive style of public relations.
The Association asserts Mr. Fahngon’s unfounded claim is a contradiction of the truth about ALJA and Mr. Sandy. The Americas based Liberian Journalists clarified that neither they nor their National President is an enemy of President Weah and the Liberian government. ALJA said contrary to the exposed falsehood spread by the unpolished and conflict-ridden Deputy Information Minister, ALJA and the Liberian government remain partners in progress working for a stable and peaceful Liberia.
However, ALJA maintains that irrespective of the cordiality which subsists between the Liberian government and its National Leadership, the Association’s continuous assessments of happenings in the country and its criticism of the brazen thievery in the public sector coupled with the government’s policies, and actions and inactions that are inimical to the peace and stability of the country will not be compromised.
ALJA says just as it has done for the nearly two years since the ascendency of the Weah Administration to the political leadership of Liberia, it would continue to commend and criticize the government whenever the need arises, but the Association will in no way become a public relations arm of the Liberian government.
The Association further states that if maintaining the stated neutrality in the mind of Deputy Minister Fahngon equates to being an opposition of the Liberian Leader and his administration then so be it.
Meanwhile, ALJA has renewed its call to President Weah and the Liberian government for the immediate dismissal of the Deputy Information Minister. The Association says it wants Mr. Fahngon replaced because he is a non-governmental material. ALJA says the inexperienced and controversial Deputy Minister is misplaced at MICAT; and his days of public service in the Weah administration are now numbered.
The Association says the foremost statutory duty and responsibility of the Information Ministry is to project a positive image of the Liberian government at home and abroad; and help consolidate the nation’s peace and stability through the effective interpretation and propagation of the government’s messages.
But regrettably the Association notes, Mr. Fahngon does understand this critical responsibility; that’s while he dabbles into every matter in the country. As a result, ALJA says the arrogant Deputy Minister is unknowingly undermining President Weah; the CDC led government, and the peace and stability of Liberia by putting the President and the government at loggerheads with their citizens.
Commenting on the Deputy Minister’s recent characterization of ALJA members as “carton pushers”, the Association said while the majority of its members are highly educated and well-established in a number of professional fields, it is unfortunate that the Deputy Minister, out of ignorance, chose to denigrate thousands of Liberians in the United States who earn a decent living by doing blue collar jobs to support their families in the US and send remittances to Liberia.
The Association says it respects the fact that while Mr. Fahngon lived in the United States, he worked at an African grocery shop in West Virginia where he sold produce and provided janitorial services. ALJA said it considers that ‘dignity of labor’ and find it hypocritical that the Deputy Minister is now referring to Liberians doing blue collar jobs as ‘cartoon pushers”.
In a related development, ALJA has described as nonsense, unfortunate and malicious Deputy Minister Fahngon’s recent labeling of the Association’s National President, Moses D. Sandy, as an operative of the Political Leader of the Opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC), Alexander Cummings.
ALJA said while Mr. Sandy appreciates the contributive roles Mr. Cummings and opposition politicians are playing in sustaining the current peace and stability in Liberia, he is neither a covert nor overt operative of the ANC or any political party in Liberia.
ALJA says it is challenging the Deputy Information Minister or any of his surrogates to prove the allegation. The Association says it would wholeheartedly welcome the publication of any information that links Mr. Sandy or any ALJA executive to the membership of any political party in Liberia.
Mr. Fahngon was one of several individuals recently singled out by the US government for engaging in divisive rhetoric that could undermine the country’s fragile peace. He was subsequently suspended by President Weah
Akai Awuletey Glidden
National Secretary General