Liberia’s Foreign Minister, Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan has tendered in his resignation under a circumstance many say is filled with ambiguity and suspicion.
Although the former minister did not state specifically why he’s tendering his resignation, he however indicated in his letter to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, copy of which the Inquirer obtained on Sunday, October 4, that the action was based on his intention to be an active part of the 2017 Presidential and General Elections.
Ngafuan noted in the resignation letter that he has on many occasions made his position unequivocally clear two years ago. He said, “I made it unequivocally clear about two years ago that I did not intend to be inactive in the 2017 Presidential and General Elections, which depending on how it pans out, will determine whether our country will progress or retrogress”.
With barely two years before the 2017 Presidential and Legislative elections, Ngafuan said his decision was also predicated upon a legislated Code of Conduct providing for the resignation of all Public Officials and Employees, not later than two years before elections.
The former Foreign Minister noted that he does not concur with the provision of the code of conduct which essentially states under 5.1 section (a) that any Minister, Deputy Minister, Director-General, Managing Director and Superintendent appointed by the President pursuant to article 56 (a) of the Constitution and a Managing Director appointed by a Board of Directors, who desires to contest for public elective office shall resign said post at least two (2) years prior to the date of such public elections, but noted he was resigning in obedience with the provision as a law-abiding citizen.
“I must stress that I do not concur fully with some of the provisions cited above; however, as a law-abiding citizen, I do not intend to disobey the law,” Ngafuan said.
The former Foreign Minister who also served the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Administration as Director of the Budget and Minister of Finance said, “I have therefore determined that my continued service in the government in the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs will have the net effect of legally making me politically inactive, an outcome that conflicts with my intention for the future.”
Mr. Ngafuan said it is in light of the aforementioned, coupled with his desire to keep his political options open, that he has tendered in his resignation from the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia effective October 10, 2015.
He claimed to have had a frank and cordial discussion with President Sirleaf on the rationale of his decision and she has gracefully accepted his resignation.
However, it remains uncertain whether the controversies surrounding the Japanese rice scandal was not one of the factors that have precipitated his resignation.
It is not known as where the former Foreign Minister is heading to but there are speculations that he is heading to the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) of Senator George Weah.