The outspoken former Labor Minister, Tiawon Gongloe who publicly spoke out against the compulsory administrative leave of the entire cabinet ordered by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf refused to rejoin the cabinet after the President begin the restructuring of her government.
According to Information Minister Cletu Sieh, the former Labor Minister was offered another ministerial position but he refused to accept and rejoin government opting to go into private sector to practice law. Minister Gongloe is a lawyer by profession who partnered with Cllr. Beyan Howard before he was arrested by the former Liberian President now in the Hague, Charles Taylor for his human right advocacy during Taylor dictatorial rule but later fled into exile.
Minister Gongloe drew feud when he lashed out against the President decision to send her entire cabinet on Administrative Leave. The minister argued that sending the entire cabinet on Administrative Leave was troubling and bad for the country, emphasizing it sends a bad signal and cast a dragnet of collective guilt on all cabinet ministers giving the impression they are all corrupt including those ministers like him who lived to the letter of the President’s declared principles when she first constituted her government that public officials who desired to make profit should go into the private sector but if they chose to serve in government, they must put the purpose of their country above themselves. The only income I lived on is my US$2,000.00 salary, I did not have share in any business or doing business of any sort, all because I chose to live by the President’s precept laid down during the sitting of the government, minister Gongloe told a gathering at the hattai center ( Center for the Promotion of Intellectual Development-CENPID) on Carey Street upon his return from Europe where he was representing the Liberian government. Former Labor Minister said it was troubling that the President won’t have the spine to reprimand those government officials who she saw was corrupt and inefficient but would rather use a dragnet of collective guilt of all ministers just to get rid of those who she wanted to let go.
Political observers and pundits believe Minister Gongloe refusal not to rejoin the government is a tactical decision to rebuild his image and reputation smeared as a result of being a cabinet minister in the Sirleaf administration which has come to be plagued with corruption and inefficiency, counter productive to what he stood against during the Tolbert, Doe, and Taylor administrations. The Minister move is long over due but he just couldn’t find a way leave the government then but this latest fracas as a perfect opportunity to exist the government to rebuild his reputation. Minister Gongloe recusal brings to three the cabinet ministers who chose not to rejoin the government. The other two ministers who resigned earlier include Foreign Affairs, Banke King Akerele and Miatta Beysolow of the Ministry of Commerce both ministries which to date are yet to be filled.
According to reliable information, some ministers who are rejoining the new administration are only accepting their appointments to regain their status and image refurbished after which time there will be mass resignation from the Sirleaf administration. Our sources say some ministers we will see tendering their resignation include, Amara Konneh, Samuel Koffi Woods among others, says our source.