By Atty Philip N. Wesseh (PNW)
Because of the tone of this article, before, I delve into the subject matter; let me first express my apology to my late grandmother who told me many years ago, to always be courteous whenever I am dealing with “big, big people,” as a sign of respect. She said to me those days that no matter my anger, disagreement and displeasure over the behavior or attitude of these ‘big, big people”, I should guide against acts or expression that would cast aspersions on them.
However, as it’s often said that “bad sore needs bad medicine or treatment,” and so is it today as I may be a little discourteous and seemingly disrespectful in commenting on what I see as an unpleasant relationship between the Superintendent of Sinoe County, J. Milton Teahjay, my former schoolmate in New Kru Town and Rep. Matthew Zarzar, a friend of mine many years now.
When my late grandmother spoke about the issue of “big, big people,” she was really making reference to people who are called to public service and have gained some statuses, as well as those who command the respect of the society for their role the society. Besides, she was also making reference to elders who are held in high venerability by members of the society.
While I remain grateful to my late mother for her admonitions during my childhood, today, I beg her indulgence in her grave, to forgive me for departing from some of the good things she taught me about decent and polite choice of words in such a matter. I have to depart because, I feel that what is obtaining between the two government officials, despite, being members of separate branches of the government, is not healthy for the development of the county, especially so when the county is expected to host this year’s Independence Day Celebration.
It is common knowledge that sometimes ago the Superintendent was held for contempt by the House of Representatives for a matter growing out of reported confusion between him and the lawmaker in the county. Obviously, the situation between the two at the time brought some divisions among some citizens of the county, as one group supported the Superintendent and another group the lawmaker.
Regrettably and unfortunately, these two officials are again in another row. Yesterday, while en route to work, I gathered from LBS morning news that there is a problem between the two again over the issue of the budget and some activities of the pending July 26 celebration in the county. While I do not wish to dwell on the allegations and counter allegations by the two officials, I am deeply concerned about this because it has the propensity to create unnecessary bottlenecks to the county’s development initiatives.
At this time when all efforts should be the county’s leadership to ensure the success of the celebration, these officials are again at each other’s throats. The business of public service is a place for service in the interest of the people and the county, and so if individuals called to serve act in a way and manner detrimental to the aims and objective of public service, then, there is a need for concern.
Why is it that these two individuals do not see eye to eye? Why do they continue to ostensibly show that there is a serious rift between them, as this does not exist among or between other officials of the county? Why are they working diametrically opposite, when they should be working together, cooperatively for the good of the county?
I ask these questions because I do not understand why Mr. Teahjay, who is vicegerent of the President in the county, and Rep. Zarzar, one of the lawmakers in the county continue to be at loggerheads.
Although the two are in two different branches, they have to work together to get the people of the county’s business done. This is not about individual’s interest, self-aggrandizement or egocentrism, but the interest of the people of the county. The very Constitution which is the organic law of the country, acknowledges the separation of the branches of the government’; it stresses that these have to “coordinate” for the effective, smooth and efficient running of the government. It means that each needs the other. But the way the Superintendent and the lawmaker are acting, suggests something unpleasant.
Let me say that the behavior of these two is infantile, uncivilized and counter-productive to the governance process. It is sad to note that these officials of government are not aware that they are part of a great county, or political sub-division of the country.
Frankly, if I had my own way, the two would have been replaced to send a message to others that public service is not for children or foolishness, as well as personal; assignation or attacks. But again, this is a constitutional issue. The lawmaker was elected by his people, while Teahjay was appointed by the President, and that it is only the people that elected Zarzar can have him removed, while similarly, it is only the President who has the power to remove Teahjay to avoid the continued disgrace and shame the county continues to face because of the two men’s behavior and attitude.
Until these two officials can realize that this kind of foolishness and childish play is counter productive and would continue to cause opprobrium to fall on the county and its people, I REST MY CASE.