Daily Media Summary, Nov. 13, 2013

The Bureau of Public Affairs

Ministry of Foreign

Monrovia, Liberia




Today’s top and dominant story captured in the papers  is the untimely tragic death of the Deputy Bank Governor for Economic Policy, Theophilus Bettie, which took place on Friday, November 8, 2013, while attending a bi-annual conference of the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) in Lagos, Nigeria. There are also other dominating stories in today’s edition of our summary.





Financial Specialist Falls


The In Profile Daily newspaper reveals that the Deputy Governor for Economic Policy, Theophilus Bettie, met his demise on Friday, November 8, 2013, while attending a bi-annual conference of the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) in Lagos, Nigeria. The cause of his death has not been disclosed.   The body of Theo (as he was being affectionately called), was flown home late Tuesday, November 11, 2013, by a flight chartered by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).   CBL Executive Governor, Dr. J. Mills Jones, board members and employees, some government officials and other sympathizers including relatives had converged at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) early Tuesday because the body was expected at 4pm, but flight arrangement at the expected time could not materialize. Despite the change in the flight arrange, most of those who had converged at the RIA remained resolute and sleepless until the chartered flight bringing the remains of the late Deputy Governor touched down at 11:35 pm. Sympathizers including Governor Jones could not hold back tears, with some fainting, as the body was being off loaded from the plane and taken into a Stryker Funeral Home vehicle. Thereafter, a brief occasion was held at the RIA’s official lobby, where the Nigerian delegation led by the Director of Monetary Policy/CBN, Moses Tulay, and some relatives of the deceased were received by the CBL family and other sympathizers. Before reading a letter of condolence from the CBN Governor to the CBL, Tulay said he and other three persons including a medical doctor, a nurse and a WAIFEM representative made up of the delegation. Besides, a twenty-one-year-old daughter of the deceased came with them.  According to Tulay, the Central Bank of Nigeria family and the people Nigeria, express deep sorrows and extend condolence to the bereaved family, CBL and the government of Liberia.  He then presented to the bereaved family, medical documents (content not disclosed) of the deceased.  According to the paper, CBL Governor Jones, in a letter, appreciated the CBN Governor through the delegation and WAIFEM for the role they played before and after the death of Theo. Governor Jones said the death of the Deputy Governor is not only a loss to his family, but also to Liberia and the West African region as whole.  The CBL boss recognized Nigeria continuous efforts towards Liberia rebuilding process, and affirmed the CBL’s stronger collaboration with the CBN.   Speaking with journalists following the occasion, Dr. Charles Clarke, former Unity Party chairman, said the death of Theo is a blow to Liberia because he (Theo) was a financial specialist. Besides, Dr. Clarke noted that Theo lived a dedicated life and so he will be missed by people who interacted with him.  The body of Theo was escorted and deposited at the Samuel Stryker Funeral Home in Sinkor, where it remains until funeral arrangement, the daily discloses.

Related Caption: Several Saddened By Deputy Central Bank Governor’s Death (Heritage), We Regret – Nigeria Consoles CBL & Others Over Bettie’s Death (New Democrat)


Other Stories

H’rights Commission Holds Technical Forum

 The Independent National Commission on Human Rights will today Wednesday, November 13, 2013 begin a three- day national palava hut technical forum  in Monrovia.   The three- day forum which takes place at the Monrovia City Hall is expected to bring together chiefs, historians, civil society organizations and stakeholders from the 15 counties of Liberia.   According to the Independent National Commission on Human Rights’ Oversight Commissioner for Rivercess, Grand Bassa and Sinoe Counties, Thomas Bureh, the gathering is a follow-up to the October 19, 2013 launch of the palava hut forum held in Zwedru City,Grand Gedeh County by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Commissioner Bureh told the In Profile Daily that the forum gears towards understanding applicable methodology at the community level in the resolution of conflicts or disputes.   According to him, the commission following the forum in Monrovia will conduct a nationwide dialogue where victims and perpetrators will interact in the spirit of promoting national healing and reconciliation.   Commissioner Bureh said although it is part of the mandate of the commission to implement the recommendations of the former Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the country, however, with this forum, it is going beyond that by implementing some of the TRC’s mandates that weren’t fully implemented, the In Profile Daily newspaper reports.

District No. 4 is Not an Urban Area

Montserrado District #4 Representative Henry Fahnbulleh has refuted claims that his district is an urban area.  Speaking to In Profile Daily recently, Fahbulleh argued that the district cannot be termed an urban area because his district still lacks access to water, good roads and other social services.   He cited the Omega Community as one of those areas in the district that cannot be termed “urban.”  He then expressed the hope that the leadership of President Sirleaf will bring relief to his people.  Fahnbulleh used the occasion to call on residents of his district to put national interest first and forget about bad politics, adding, “If we continue to use our sons to say things that they know nothings about, Liberia will not move to another level,” The In Profile writes.

JFK Management Clarifies Deathtrap Fence Saga

The Management of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital has sharply reacted to an article  “JFK Fence a Deathtrap” and published in the November 11, 2013  Edition of this paper that the cracks found on the fence were not due to neglect as was reported.  The Management said rather, it was due to erosion of the soil resulting from illegal sand mining in the area.   The management also used the occasion to caution and warn those who risk being affected to keep away to avoid trouble should the fence fall.   Earlier, the management implored those in the habit of “digging sand from under the fence” to desist from such acts as they pose a serious risk to life and property, the In Profile Daily newspaper reveals.

Brumskine Bounces Back?

He announced his resignation from active politics immediately following the 2011 General and Presidential elections and thereafter disappeared in oblivion, but The New Dawn has been hinted that Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, the man who pulled huge surprise in the first found of polling in 2005, may make a comeback in 2017. Cllr. Brumskine’s Liberty Party is neither denying nor confirming this information, but said it could not rule out any option or possibility of its former standard bearer returning to vie for the presidency for the third time. Liberty Party National Secretary-General Jacob Smith, told this paper on Tuesday, 12 November via mobile phone Brumskine has lived an exemplary life in his political career and such, if the people wanted him for the 2017 presidential race, the veteran lawyer will not turn down the demand of the Liberian people, the New Dawn asserts.

GOL, China SignUS$36m Agreement

The Government of the People’s Republic of China through its Embassy near Monrovia has signed a US$36 Million agreement with the Government of Liberia, as part of a US$100m commitment signed in 2012 between the two governments, covering four projects. Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, Zhao Jianhua, said the Government of the People’s Republic of China was simultaneously working on four projects, which include the proposed Ministerial Complex, renovation of the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, construction of annexes to the Legislature and the Monrovia Vocational Training Center or MVTC, respectively, which he said, is nearly completed, the New Dawn newspaper reports.

LPRC To Increase Storage Capacity To 65,000 Metric Tons

The Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) under the leadership of T. Nelson Williams has embarked on a process to increase storage capacity from 45,000 to 65,000 Metric tons before 2015. The project for the rehabilitation and expansion of the Product Storage Terminal (PST) on Bushrod Island has already begun, the New Dawn writes.

Pres. Sirleaf Receives Letters Of Credence From Swedish Ambassador

The Analyst newspaper reports that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has received the Letter of Credence from the Kingdom of Sweden’s new Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Liberia, Her Excellency Sofia Strand. According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader, speaking during the presentation ceremony at her office, said she was pleased to receive from the new Swedish Ambassador her Letters of Credence, emphasizing how much Liberia values the long, historic relationship with Sweden. President Sirleaf recalled relations between the two countries which have transcended ordinary friendship. “Our bonds were cast out of the crucibles of industrialization of the mid-20th Century and molded by the alluring imperatives for modernization and national development,” she stated.

Market Women Praise Pres. Sirleaf

Market women in the Mount Barclay area, on the outskirts of Paynesville, have thanked President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for providing them the enabling environment for doing business. Speaking through their chairlady, Ms. Christiana Miller, the women said President Sirleaf has elevated them not only as cross-border traders but farmers as well – a transformation they say has greatly impacted their lives and families.  She said extending their market business to farming was made possible through the assistance of President Sirleaf fellowship trip with Malawian market women. According to an Executive Mansion release, Madam Miller was speaking at the commencement of the harvest of a rice farm under the auspices of the Sirleaf Market Women’s Fund (SMWF) – an NGO that promotes Liberian market women through empowerment, The Analyst newspaper says.

LWSC Assures Constant Water Supply To Monrovia

The Managing Director of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) has assured residents of Monrovia that there will be no shortage of water in capital. Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Liberia News Agency Tuesday, Mr. Charles Allen Jr. disclosed that LWSC has since March this year increased its output 6 million gallons of water per day, the Analyst Newspaper writes.

LAGAN ASPHALT GROUP Conducts Road Quality Seminar Today – To Ensure Standard, Specifications

LAGAN Holdings, a unique combination of companies and one of he largest privately owned and operated civil engineering construction companies based in the United Kingdom conducts a two-day seminar in Monrovia. The seminar commenced Wednesday November 13, 2013 at a local hotel. Making the disclosure at a local hotel in Monrovia on Tuesday November 12, 2013, Gerhard Hartleban, Associate Director for International Business Development and Country Manager of both Sierra Leone and Liberia said the venture is a very important project the team is working on. He said LAGAN as an Irish company and TLC from the United Kingdom and along with SGS brings to Liberia an outstanding seminar when it comes to road quality and safety, The Analyst newspaperreports.


PUL Wants Court’s Action Dismissed


The Press Union of Liberia (PUL), has prayed the Civil Law Court to deny and dismiss the purported petition filed recently against the Union by two members of the Union who were disqualified prior to the PUL’s cancelled election. In response against the lawsuit, the Respondents called on the Civil Law Court to deny what it calls the so-called Petitioners with cost of court against the petitioners; and, grant unto Respondents all and any further relief that the court may deem just and equitable in the premises



Executive Mansion Clarifies Motocade Issue


According to the Inquirer newspaper, Executive Mansion has commended the Joint Security for the weekend arrests of individuals, including security personnel of Liberia and Sierra Leone suspected of drug trafficking.  According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader expressed her satisfaction over the swift action of the Joint Security which led to the arrest of Perry Dolo and Cyrus Siewion of the Liberia National Police, a Sierra Leonean military officer, a businessman, a taxi driver, and ex-military personnel, at the Tiene Checkpoint, along the Liberia-Sierra Leone border. The release also clarified that Police officer Perry Dolo is not the Head of the Presidential Motorcade of the Liberian President, as was reported. The Presidential Motorcade is a combination of the various security vehicles, which is headed by the Executive protection Service (EPS). Furthermore, the release indicated that the vehicle marked “POLICE ESCORT,” which was reportedly used by Police Officer Dolo to transport marijuana, was an escort vehicle which was decommissioned returned to the Liberia National Police over two years ago, and replaced by a vehicle marked only as “PRESIDENTIAL ESCORT,” This vehicle is used by the police to control traffic ahead of the actual Presidential Motorcade. Meanwhile, the Executive Mansion has frowned on drug traffickers and instructed the Joint Security to increase its vigilance in bringing all drug dealers to book, the paper narrates.


Boost For Mental Health …As Ministry Receives Drugs


The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has for the first time received a shipment of mental health drugs from the government of Liberia since the Liberian civil conflict. MOHSW recently received a shipment of over a $100K worth of much needed mental health drugs which are earmarked to be distributed to health facilities throughout the country. However, the Ministry through its Legal and Senior Public Health Specialist Assistant Minister/DCMO Preventive Services Tolbert G. Nyenswah has called on Liberians to see mental illness like any other sickness that can be treated and stop referring to those with mental conditions as crazy people, theInquirer newspaper reports.


Liberia Gets US$50 Million To Bolster Electricity Supply


Liberia, with the backing of the African Development Bank(AfDB), has garnered support for a far-reaching renewable energy investment plan with US$50 Million from the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) Program to Scale up renewable Energy in Low Income Countries (SREP), The Reporter (TR) has gathered.