"Dr. Conteh's Appointment Is irreversible," Says Chairman Bryant


By: Josephus Moses Gray

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

September 17, 2004


The visitor to the University of Liberia (UL) and Chairman of the power sharing National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL), Charles Gyude Bryant said the appointment of Dr. Al Hassan Conteh, president of the University remains bold and unchanged.

"Give Dr. Conteh a chance to work, I read his work with the international community, European Union, World Bank, Universities in the United States, and he has the capacity to mobilize the University," Chairman noted when he addressed a major news conference on 14 September in Monrovia.

Addressing a news conference at the Executive Mansion on wide range of national and international issues, Chairman Bryant said Dr. Conteh was appointed in keeping with the law, indicating that the process was expanded after he constituted a search committee in line with international standards to vet the name of a qualified and competent candidate for the UL presidency. "I did not hand picked him to be president," Chairman noted.

According to Chairman Bryant, the UL Board of Trustees, nominated Dr. Conteh, and submitted his name for appointment after an unanimous vote of 18 to zero was taken.

Speaking further, Chairman Bryant said: "We must learn to respect the protocol that we signed… the protocol states that I would nominate a president and the Board approves and I would appoint."

Prior to the news conference, Chairman Bryant said he had a good meeting with the Acting President of the University, Dr. James Kollie. He said that Dr. Kollie would work with Dr. Conteh while a transition is being put into place, adding that upon his return from the United States, the government and the University family will induct Dr. Conteh into office.

Our biggest problem in Liberia according to Chairman Bryant is that, "we don't give people change to perform their duties." He continued, "before an appointee takes a seat, the person is crucified."

Additionally, Chairman Bryant said, "let us stop this dirty talks about Dr. Conteh that he is a Muslim and not a Liberian, others say he is corrupt, but let me tell you that Mandingoes are Liberians. Dr. Conteh is a good man, I beg you, please give him chance to perform." Chairman Bryant warned individuals against inciting people to engage into violent protects because their personal interests are not protected, with reference to the recent incident at the University. Chairman Bryant also said Liberians are doing harm to the nation by publishing lies and sending same to the outside world.

He went on to say, some people are trying to provoke him into violence but said all private and human rights will be respected. He further said all Liberians have the right to speak all the time but reminded them of the abuse of free speech.