Liberia: Information Minister Apologises to a Reporter He Abused

Liberia’s Information Minister, Eugene Lenn Nagbe, who abused Mrs. Estelle Liberty Kemoh, a reporter of Power TV, has expressed regret over his action.

On January 23, 2017, moments after President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had delivered a state of the nation address at the Capitol Building in Monrovia, Nagbe got into an altercation with a Member of Parliament, Moses Kollie. When Mrs. Kemoh tried to enquire from the minister about the cause of the quarrel, he flared up and retorted; “go ask your boyfriend.”

The incident was condemned by media organisations across Liberia with Infinity Broadcasting, Managers of Power TV lodging a formal complaint with the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), Liberia’s umbrella media association.

The minister however rendered an apology to the journalist at a meeting called by the PUL on February 7, 2017, to settle the matter.

“It was anger that drove me to do what I did; I am sorry for there is no justification for my actions,” Minister Nagbe said.

Mr. Nagbe also indicated that he holds the media and the work it does in high esteem.

Mrs. Kemoh told officials of the PUL that she has accepted the minister’s apology.

PUL president, Charles Coffey, told reporters that Mrs. Kemoh has also agreed for the organization to drop its request for the Minister to provide a written apology to Mrs. Kemoh’s family, the PUL and the Female Journalists’ Association of Liberia (FEJAL).

The MFWA welcomes the remorse that the Minister has demonstrated and the forgiving spirit that Mrs. Kemoh has shown. We also commend the PUL for the successful mediation and amicable settlement of the issue. We call on media professionals to remain resolute and assert their rights at all times.