Some workers of the Booker T. Washington Institute under the banner “Booker Washington Institute Workers Union” (BOWIWU) on Thursday, June 13, 2019, embarked on what they termed as an indefinite go slow in demand of the reinstatement of the “suspended/removed” Principal of the Institute Harris Fomba Tarnue.
The President of the Union Foday Rogers told newsmen on Thursday that the go-slow will continue until President George Manneh Weah can make a determination on the “illegal suspension/removal of Mr. Tarnue.
“We are not looking at the individual, we are looking at the legality; the Principal of BWI is not like the Principal of any high school around here” he explained.
Mr. Rogers narrated that the charter that created BWI charged the Chairman Ex-Officio which is the President of the Republic of Liberia with the responsibility to nominate would-be Principal of the Institution and in such case can dismiss or suspend him/her (Principal).
He said Minister Dao Ansu Sonii who is the member ex-officio usurp the function of President Weah by suspending Atty. Tarnue based on what he calls secret resolution signed by a “few members headed by the Chairman of the Board of Governors, Mr. John Youboty leaving out the Ministers of Labor, Youth and Sports, Public Works and the Chairman emeritus respectively.
He, at the same time, recommended that the Board be dissolved and people with good intent be maintained while people who are a recipe for chaos be removed on grounds that the Board is troublesome.
Mr. Rogers described members of the Board who visited the Campus on the day of the go slow as being unserious stating that they did not meet the aggrieved workers but rather talked to the students on the day of the go slow.
“After we publicized our go-slow action; after exhausting every mean available to us from the President to the Minister of State, the Legal Advisor and so forth we did a resolution in our general assembly, as you may be aware the general assembly is the highest decision making body of the Workers Union so overwhelmingly it was voted that we should give two days publicizing perhaps the Board will come in or the Government and through the offices of the Minister of State could come in and we did it and the Board never call us, they never came to us. This morning when they got here they invited the students and they went and talked to the students” he added.
He meanwhile averred that they as workers are resolute and are prepared to resist anything that the Board wants to take to them.
The decision of the Workers, however, prompted some members of the Board of Governors including its Chairman John Youboty to pay a one day visit and held meeting with students and some faculty members of BWI on Thursday, June 13, 2019.
The intent of the meeting according to Mr. Youboty was to talk to the faculty to ignore the Union President and continue their work stating that there is no tension on the Campus.
“There is no tension on campus, a handful of people who have been teleguided as you can see 90% of the people are here so he’s being misled he is the only one that goes on Radio and talks here and there.”
Mr. Youboty also clarified that while they were in the auditorium the Board asked for the President of the Workers Union (Mr. Rogers) and he (Youboty) heard that Mr. Rogers was not around. He called on the students and the workers to maintain the peace on campus.