The Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) says the recent elections of the Ministers of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT), Eugene Nagbe, and Labor, Nato Lighe, Sr. as well as other political appointees in the Johnson-Sirleaf Administration to senior posts within the ruling Unity Party (UP), constitute a flagrant violation of the Liberian government’s Code of Conduct, according to a release signed by ALJA president Moses Sandy.The Association said the elevation of Ministers Nagbe and Neto, as well as Director Bangole, to high profile positions in the UP would pose serious conflict of interest for them in the execution of their statutory duties in government. ALJA wondered what will be the disposition of Minister Nagbe, who is the Liberian Government Chief Spokesman, and his peers when confronted with critical national matters that hinge on the interests of the government and the UP as well as opposition political parties.ALJA maintains that the elections of these government officials to positions in UP undermine the principle of good governance and universal best practices. The Association in a press release issued on July 24 called on President Sirleaf to swiftly correct the political blunder. Ministers Nagbe and Lighe were recently elected UP Secretary General and Deputy Vice Chairman respectively. The MICAT boss and the other party executives were elected at the recently held convention in Gbarnga, Bong County. During the Convention, the General Services Agency (GSA), Deputy Director for Administration, Cole Bangole, was also voted Vice Chairman for Inter-Party and NEC Affairs. ALJA called on President Sirleaf to muster the political will to request the three senior public officials to immediately resign from their elected posts within the ruling party, or be dismissed from government because their recent elections contravene Section 5.1(A) of the nation’s Code of Conduct, which regulates the activities of political appointees in government. Section 5.1(A) of the Code of Conduct states “All officials appointed by the President of the Republic of Liberia shall not: (a) engage in political activities, canvass or contest for elected offices; (b) use government facilities, equipment or resources in support of partisan or political activities; (c) serve on a campaign team of any political party, or the campaign of any independent candidate.” The Code of Conduct was legislated and passed into law in 2014. The law which seeks to control and minimize malfeasance in Liberia’s public sector, was signed by President Johnson-Sirleaf.Article 90(c) of the Liberian Constitution states, “The Legislature shall, in pursuance of the above provision, prescribe a Code of Conduct for all public officials and employees, stipulating the acts which constitute conflict of interest or are against public policy, and the penalties for violation thereof.”ALJA described as inconceivable President Sirleaf’s decision to sit by and allow her government officials to proceed with the gross violation of the law she helped create, during the UP convention in Gbarngba. The President is the principal signatory of the Code of Conduct. The Association said Minister Nagbe’s ascendency to the position of Secretary General would create a serious credibility problem for the Johnson-Sirleaf Administration during the 2017 electoral period if the situation is not promptly revisited by the President. The Association said 2017 would be a critical era in Liberia’s quest for a peaceful and stable society; and the administration must exert every effort to curtail acts such as the UP’s recent gross violation of the Code of Conduct. Meanwhile, ALJA is urging the concerned public officials and all political appointees in the Liberian government to avoid tendencies that are contrary to peaceful coexistence in Liberia. ALJA is a conglomeration of current and retired Liberian journalists residing in the Americas. The Association was founded in 1998 and it seeks to foster peace and unity among its members. ALJA is also dedicated to the advancement of press freedom through media development and training, and the principle of good Governance in Liberia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Liberia’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Professor Al-Hassan Conteh, has paid tribute to the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives in the search of lasting peace and security in the world.A dispatch from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja says the Liberian envoy recognized in particular the important role and sacrifices of the Nigerian military in maintaining national and global peace and security.“The Nigerian military has taken a vanguard role restoring peace and stability in West Africa. My sister here [the Sierra Leonean High Commissioner] mentioned Sierra Leone and of course I can mention the same about Liberia. You know the history [about ECOMOG’s intervention],” the Ambassador said. Ambassador Conteh made the commendation when he delivered his goodwill message during the observance of World Peace Day held in Abuja last week at a continental hotel.The program was hosted by the Coalition of Civil Societies in Nigeria with a focus on ‘All Civil Society Conference on Peace, Security and Military Relations in commemoration of the United Nations World Peace Day.’ Speaking on how civil society and the military can collaborate, Ambassador Conteh said the civil-military collaboration must also address problems of abject poverty, extreme hunger, mass unemployment, and political marginalization. Ambassador Conteh insisted that civil society must continue its work with the military to confront insurgencies and armed conflicts which are the causes of wanton global fatalities: “Civil society and the military must complement each other to ensure a stable and violent-free world.” He warned that if this must work, governments must provide the enabling environment for peace to thrive. He also said civil society must be in the vanguard to mobilize other relevant stakeholders to work for peace: “This is a collective responsibility that all stakeholders must steadfastly support.” Ambassador Conteh, who also delivered the goodwill message on behalf of the Dean of the Diplomatic Community, stated that he and his fellow envoys remain unflinchingly committed to supporting and promoting peace and security: “We will continue to work with every segment of the Nigerian society through joint actions and partnerships that are mutually reinforcing to institutionalize the culture of peace in Nigeria, Africa and the world.” Citing the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Armed Conflict Survey, the Liberian Ambassador noted that there are currently 42 armed conflicts around the world, ranging from civil wars, insurgencies to other forms of violent unrests.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
By Yuri Kageyama THE ASSOCIATED PRESS YOKOHAMA, Japan – Mazda unveiled a new hybrid vehicle on Tuesday that uses hydrogen fuel to power an electric motor. The Japanese automaker said it will be available for leasing in Japan next year. The Mazda Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid, shown to reporters ahead of its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month, operates on a rotary engine, which runs almost silently because it doesn’t have pistons like standard engines. Hydrogen is combined with oxygen from the air to power the vehicle. It emits only water, rather than pollutants that have been linked to global warming. The new hybrid runs on hydrogen stored in a tank, but it can switch to gas when hydrogen runs out. Like other global automakers, Mazda, an affiliate of Ford Motor Co., has been working on hydrogen vehicles as consumers grow more interested in automobiles that don’t rely on fossil fuels. Ford’s 12-passenger shuttle bus powered by a 6.8-liter internal combustion hydrogen engine is operating at Orlando International Airport in Florida. Ford says its hydrogen technology is closest to mass production. The Michigan automaker said it could bring internal combustion hydrogen technology to market within five years but is dealing with fuel storage limits, public fear of hydrogen and availability at filling stations. Mazda officials said the latest hydrogen hybrid is an improvement over its previous hydrogen vehicle, leased since 2006, extending its run on a full tank of hydrogen from 62 miles to 124 miles. The new car also has a lithium-ion battery that drives the motor and recharges itself using energy from braking, further conserving on electricity. Mazda refused to say what supplier was providing the battery. Mazda Motor Corp. said it has no plans to lease the car outside Japan. The leasing fee will resemble the predecessor at about $3,500 a month, according to Mazda, so it’s aimed at government and ecological organizations. At its research facility in Yokohama, Mazda also showed a “concept car,” or show model, called Taiki, that it said was inspired by flowing wind. Its curvaceous surface creased with swooping lines, the slinky car looked like a metal stingray. Laurens van den Acker, general manager of design, said the sportscar highlights the Hiroshima-based automaker’s innovation in design. Its shape developed from studies of sheer fabric fluttering in the wind, and its interior was based on “koinobori,” or carp-shaped decorations of cloth that Japanese put up to sway in the wind to celebrate Children’s Day, a national holiday, said Chief Designer Atsuhiko Yamada. “Air is a very important substance, but it is invisible,” he said in explaining the design challenges. Mazda has been marking growing sales at a time when some automakers, including Ford Motor Co., has been struggling to make a turnaround amid faltering sales and cost cutting. Mazda’s global sales for the current fiscal year is expected to be up 4 percent to a record high 1.35million vehicles, surpassing the company’s previous record set in 1990, as it boosts vehicle sales in North America and Europe, offsetting flat sales in Japan.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!