Journalists Banned From Speaking To Education Minister In Nimba…As Minister Concerted

By Solomon T. Gaye

The County Education Officer (CEO) of NimbaCounty recently prevented reporters from speaking with the Minister of Education, George Werner on issues of importance to the county while on a week-long tour in Ganta City.

According to our correspondent, the CEO, Mr. WlehSillah allegedly invited some officers of the Liberia National Police to stop the journalists from speaking with Mr. George Werner or even going close to where he was seated.

“Don’t go near the Minister, but if you force it, I will order police to get you from here,” he intimidated.

Minister George Werner and his entourage entered Nimba from the southeastern part of Liberia, where he has been touring several schools before arriving in Ganta to tour the Child Friendly School Campus.

The recent distribution of schools’ grant in Nimba was marred by fraud according to reports noting that certain percentage of the grant was deducted from each school, but due to the unfriendly posture of the CEO, journalists were unabled to get clarity on that issue which has raised a serious concern in the county.

Hearing of the Minister Werner’s visit to the county, journalists were interested in speaking with him in order to have clearer picture of what has been obtaining in the county as it relates to the county’s educational system.

After the tour, the team of journalists drove in the same convoy with the Minister to a nearby restaurant, but while trying to get closer and wait until the Minister gets through with his refreshment, the CEO,     Mr.WlehSillah came and he insisted that journalists should not enter the compound of the restaurant where Mr. Werner was.

In confirmation with the CEO’s actions, Minister Werner said he did not want to speak with any member of the press for some reasons.

“I don’t want to speak with any journalist on my tour before the Legislators ask me,” Minister Werner told reporters after they were being stopped by the CEO.

It was speculated that Minister Werner might haves instructed the County Education Officer to prevent the journalists from getting closer to him.

There have been many educational issues in Nimba since the new education policy which led to the closure of schools in Liberia was introduced.