In a major step to battle corruption in her administration, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has suspended 46 government officials, including her son, for failing to declare their assets to anti-corruption authorities.
Her son, Charles Sirleaf, one of three of the president’s sons appointed to government posts, was suspended from his position as Deputy Central Bank Governor.
The list also includes several deputy ministers and provincial superintendents.
AFP reports that a press release by the Presidency says their suspension would take immediate effect and would remain in force until they have met the assests declaration requirements.
“President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has, with immediate effect, suspended 46 government officials for failing to declare their assets to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission. The suspension will remain in force until President Sirleaf receives confirmation from the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission that they have met the assets declaration requirements.”
Before being reinstated, the suspended officials will have to pay the government an amount representing the value of their salaries and allowances for the period of suspension, it said.
Sirleaf is Africa’s first elected female president. She won a second term in 2011 elections and tackling corruption is still one the most pressing issues in the country. Corruption is seen as a big obstacle to development in Liberia which remains one of the world’s poorest countries nearly a decade after the end of a devastating 14-year civil war.
The issue of public declaration of assets is one that has been severally resisted by top Nigerian leaders including the President, Goodluck Jonathan. However, the actions of Liberia’s President brings its importance again to the fore.
Do you think it is important for public office holders to declare their assets? Does this help in fighting corruption?
Also, Sirleaf’s act of not sparing her son from the suspension is one that has been lauded by leaders across the world. Political office holders in high positions are known to give favour to their family members, often overlooking their wrongdoings.
What do you think about the her act of suspending her son? Do you think Nigerian leaders should borrow a leaf from her actions?
Please share your thoughts.
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