Sen. Smith Resigns as River Cess Caucus Chair, Citing Disrespect

CESTOS, River Cess – River Cess’ Senator Wellington Geevon Smith has resigned as chair of the county’s legislative caucus due to being disrespected during the recent appointment of local officials in the county.

Smith told DCN, a local radio station in the River Cess, that he was never consulted on the recent appointment of 16 local officials in the county by President Joseph Boakai. He described the situation as disrespectful and a procedural error.

He told The Bush Chicken via phone that he would not continue to preside over the county’s caucus when anyone can submit lists to the president without acknowledging his office.

He blamed the county superintendent, Byron Zahnwea, for masterminding the listing of appointed officials, which he said was different from another list that had been agreed upon.

He said the original listing was singlehandedly altered by Zahnwea, given his proximity to Melvin Cephas, the deputy director of the National Transit Authority, and Cornelia Krua Togbah, the deputy minister of state, both of whom are close to the presidency.

“There is no way a president will determine people within the county without the advice and consent of the Senate,” he said. “I am not talking about any list that Byron sent to the Executive Mansion that was announced without my consent.”

Meanwhile, the superintendent denied being involved in changing the names of officials to be appointed, but he said he was happy to work with anyone appointed by the president.

“All those appointed are from River Cess, and they are all qualified,” Zanwhea said. “As long as they are our own brothers and sisters, I can’t and will not oppose their appointment.”

In addition to the claim of disrespect as a reason for his resignation as caucus chairman and distancing himself from every proceeding for the confirmation of the local officials, Senator Smith also cited procedural error in the appointment. For example, he said Paul Sayuah, appointed Morweh district commissioner, should instead be district superintendent.

On Thursday, June 27, River Cess’ second district representative, Steve Tequah, announced on his verified Facebook account that the River Cess Citizens Union has rejected the senator’s resignation.

“This is to inform our citizens that our caucus chair in person of Senator Wellington Geevon Smith’s resignation is rejected,” the statement reads. “And he’s officially informed and mandated to resume office as it is so ordered.”

Featured photo courtesy of Senator Smith’s Facebook page

Eric Doue

Eric Opa Doue is a co-founder of Echo Radio Station, which does a series of programs in Bassa, Kru, and simple Liberian English. Under his leadership, Echo Radio was selected as one of the Moody Radio global partners for training opportunities in 2013 and 2014. Eric was one of a handful of reporters who received training from Internews in 2015 on humanitarian reporting during the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. He holds a diploma in Journalism, from the Ghana Institute of Journalism.

The Bush Chicken is a young operation and we need your support to keep bringing you great content. Please support us.

Monthly   Yearly   One time

Gold Level Supporter—$250/year
Silver Level Supporter—$100/year
Bronze Level Supporter—$50/year
Or pick your own amount: $/year
Gold Level Supporter—$250
Silver Level Supporter—$100
Bronze Level Supporter—$50
Or pick your own amount: $
Contributions to The Bush Chicken are not tax deductible.

Related posts