Former River Gee County Senator, Nathaniel Williams has blasted President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf over her recent comment on the ongoing saga between the Director of the Executive Protection Service (EPS), Othello Warrick and the Liberian media.
Speaking at a mass meeting held by the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) to address the President’s comment over the Warrick, Media saga, Mr. Williams called on Madam Sirleaf to apologize to the media for her recent comment.
The former lawmaker said the President has disrespected the media in the strongest term something for which she must apologize and described Director Warrick’s statement against the media as irresponsible.
The President was the first leader in Africa to sign the Freedom of Information Act and the recipient of the Friend of the Media Award. She later signed the Table Mountable Declaration and promised to repeal all anti-media laws.
But the former lawmaker has questioned Madam Sirleaf as to whether this is the way of repealing the anti-media laws when her security chief threatened journalists and she supports him by saying that she’s enjoying the media blackout.
Former Senator Williams said given President Sirleaf’s strong stance on press freedom and free expression which she used during her days as opposition he thinks the President would have issued a strong statement against her security chief’s statement but rather tends to support Warrick’s stance against the Liberian media.
Among other things, former Sen. Williams condemned Warrick’s statement against the media in the strongest terms and called on him to retract it or be dismissed by the President. “That idiot must retract his comments,” Williams said referring to Warrick.
Recently, as Liberian journalists and friends of the media converged in the port city of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County to commemorate World Press Freedom Day under the theme, “Media-Security Relations,: An Imperative for Consolidating Peace in Liberia, the Director of the EPS, President Sirleaf’s Executive Mansion elite security guard threatened Liberian journalists to be careful in questioning the integrity of Liberians including himself as the EPS will go after journalists who will question his integrity.
He at the time referred to Liberian journalists as terrorists and that the journalists have their pen but they (security) have their guns.