Credible information reaching The Monrovia Times has revealed that President George Manneh Weah has mandated the Board of Governors of the Booker T. Washington Institute to with immediate effect reinstate the Institute’s Suspended/removed Principal Harris Fomba Tarnue.
Since the suspension/removal of Mr. Tarnue by the Board, there have been a series of public outcries for his reinstatement on grounds that he was illegally removed by the Board. Callers on various Community Radio Stations in Margibi County and community members have been calling on President George Manneh Weah to reinstate Mr. Tarnue.
The Monrovia Times was earlier hinted by a source close to the President that the President mandated the Education Minister Dao Ansu Sonii to reinstate Mr. Tarnue but he did not adhere to the President’s mandate something the Board Chairman John Youboty and Margibi County Superintendent Jerry Varnie denied.
Days after, the Booker Washington Institute Workers Union (BOWIWU) announced plan for a go slow to draw the attention of the President and other stakeholders in order to make a determination on the issue.
On Thursday, June 13, 2019, the Union embarked on what they termed as an indefinite go slow and later threatened to carry on a total lockdown on Thursday, June 20, 2019, if nothing was done to address their concern.
According to them, Mr. Tarnue was illegally removed by the Board whom they said does not have the power to remove and Principal of the Institution rather it is the President who has the appointing and dismissing power.
During the afternoon hours of Thursday, June 19, 2019 the news for the reinstatement of Mr. Tarnue hit Margibi County especially Kakata thus putting members of the Workers Union in a jubilant mood.
It was later confirmed by the President of the Union, Foday Rogers that President Weah has mandated the Board to reinstate Mr. Tarnue on the School’s Campus at about 11:0’clock on Thursday, June 20, 2019 in Kakata, Margibi County .
With this decision, the Union’s President on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, announced that the Union has with immediate effect cut off the go-slow action it embarked on about a few days ago over the “illegal suspension/removal” of Atty. Tarnue.
“Yes as you can hear and see the euphoria, we have been reliably informed that Mr. Harris Fomba Tarnue has been reinstated as Principal and Executive Officer of BWI” he said.
According to Mr. Rogers, the reinstatement of Mr. Tarnue is a new dawn for workers of the BWI and Liberia in general on grounds that it will prove to people that people cannot just malign character because they have an ulterior motive.
He said if Liberia must be developed then people who have the pedigree of work should be given the opportunity and the chance to prove their potential. Mr. Rogers termed the reinstatement of the Principal as a victory for the Union on grounds that its members have cried wide, debated the on radio, in the bus and everywhere saying that the President of the Republic of Liberia has the sole authority to appoint and dismiss Principal of BWI because all members of the Board and the Principal were appointed by the President.
“So we were saying that the procedure that led to the Mr. Tarnue suspension was illegal and that has been proven today” he asserted.
When asked if the Union will continue the go slow, Mr. Rogers is quoted as saying ‘no we have immediately announced the suspension and the end of the go slow with immediate effect’.
Foday Rogers then called on all workers of the BWI to return to their areas of assignment on Tomorrow June 20, 2019 because what they have been advocating for has already happened. He also thanked President Weah for the judgment stating that he didn’t make a mistake praying God’s wisdom upon him in order to adjudicate many of the illegal things that are happening in other areas.
He, however, reiterated his call for the dissolution of the BWI’s Board of Governors stating that there are people who should not be on the Board because when they remain on the Board problems will continue to shoot out.
It can be recalled that Mr. Tarnue in May of 2019 received letters from the Board of Governors signed by the Minister of Education, Professor Dao Ansu Sonii suspending and at the same time relieving him of his post based on a resolution from the Board.
In the resolution, the Board accused Mr. Tarnue of “nepotism, administrative improprieties and gross disrespect” to the Board of governors. Mr. Tarnue in response described the Board’s decision as being preconceived.