The growing speculation concerning the removal of House Speaker Bhofal Chambers has finally come to reality as some members of the House of Representatives have hinted The Monrovia Times about their intention to oust the speaker.
On Friday, September 7, 2018, the bailiwick of the Capitol Building were seen politically charged with unusual segmented meetings being held by some lawmakers after attending a special session which was initiated by Speaker Chambers.
Though the Special Session was held behind closed door (Executive) with the media not being a part, The Monrovia Times has reliably gathered that the meeting was aimed at resolving some issues of financial benefits that should have been provided to each member of the House for staying additional two weeks after the Legislature had officially closed for recess.
With such unfinished business with the speaker, some lawmakers who spoke to The Monrovia Times off the record and begged to be anonymous, expressed dissatisfaction about the situation with some stating individually that,
“my expectation about the House is gradually weakening because I can’t see the money or brown envelops the people talk about when I was outside this legislature.”
Many critics of Speaker Chambers, have complained that he is making the House of Representatives dry monetarily and is refusing to subscribe to the tradition of the body.
For the past 12 years, members of the Legislature prior to having an extended session received some undisclosed financial compensation from the president’s office. Also, the president in order to fast-strike some bills or agreements whether it is in the public interest or not, infuse some cash to lawmakers to get bills or agreements legislated; something which is considered highly unconstitutional by political pundits but was a frequent practice of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf led government.
On Thursday, September 6, 2018, during the holding of the House of Representatives plenary session, Montserrado County District # 7 Representative, Solomon C. George openly accuse Former Speaker Edwin Melvin Snowe of masterminding Speaker Chamber’s removal.
According to him, the Bomi County lawmaker along with Representative Jonathan Fonati Koffa of Grand Kru County were the ones instigating the plot to remove the speaker.
Representative George was seen speaking directly to the Bomi County lawmaker while he remained tightlipped to respond the allegation.
Efforts made by members of the media to ascertain details about the removal plot against the Speaker prove futile as Representative Snowe remains mute on the matter.
But speaking to Legislative Reporters in an unofficial manner (not a press conference) over the weekend, Sinoe County Representative, Nagbe Sloh confirmed the plot against removing the speaker, stating that “they are only waiting for the president’s arrival into the country to decide the speaker fate.”
According to Representative Sloh, since the ascendency of Speaker Chambers not much has been done in seeking the welfare of members of the House.
Though Representative Sloh wasn’t clear in his definition of “welfare,” he said he along with some members of the House of Representatives are galvanizing forces to remove the speaker; but it will be based upon their meeting with President Weah.
It can be recalled, former Speaker Snowe in early 2007 was removed by his colleagues (lawmakers) due to some disconnect between him and former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. In 2016, the successor of Speaker Snowe, Janika Alex Tyler was also removed after it was reported that the relationship between him and the former Liberian leader became sour.