“I expect another great Gibson McCook Relays with high quality performances and an efficiently executed relay carnival. The cool weather recently is cause for us to be wary and it is hoped that coaches and managers will institute measures to reduce injuries. We are disappointed with the absence of the defending boys 4x400m and 4x800m champions St Elizabeth Technical and hope that whatever the issues are they can be resolved soon”, said Wilks, who is hoping to have a full National Stadium today. With a very busy schedule leading to the national high school championships, it will be very interesting to see how the various teams use their athletes with the Digicel Grand Prix – powered Eastern Championships following closely on Tuesday, Anthrick Corporate Area Development meet on Thursday and the Carifta trials on Saturday and Sunday. High school athletes will be involved in some 11 championships events, while there will be two among the clubs and institutions. Despite the absence of St Elizabeth Technical, competition among high school boys teams will not be affected as the likes of Calabar, Kingston College, Jamaica College, Wolmer’s Boys and St Jago are expected to battle out for the top spots in all relays. Among the females Holmwood Technical following their strong showing at the Milo Western Relays, will be hoping to continue that trend where they will be strongly challenged by Edwin Allen, Hydel, St Jago and Vere Technical. As usual it will be the high school boys, who will take the track first with preliminary round action in the 4x400m relays. The final is scheduled as the final event on the programme at 9:30 p.m. Once again the high school team with the best overall performance will be awarded with the Teddy McCook Trophy, while Digicel will be giving out awards to the top male and female high school teams. HIGH QUALITY PERFORMANCES All roads will be leading to the National Stadium today as one of the most popular track and field events on the calendar, the Gibson McCook Relays will take focus. Scheduled to start at 9 a.m. this will be the 41st staging of the event, which will bring top action from junior and senior athletes alike. The senior athletes will be trying to impress the selectors for spots on the team to the World Relays scheduled for The Bahamas later this year, while high school athletes will be seeking psychological advantages going to the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Athletics Championship slated for March 28- April 1. Chairman of the organising committee, Professor Rainford Wilks is expected another excellent staging of the meet.
Ever since Mr. Christopher Neyor published his Open Letter to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf last week, there has been a torrent (flood, violent flow) of accusations and counter accusations among government officials and even sponsored by the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.We think this is most unfortunate, for it is tantamount to “washing our dirty clothes” in public, which is totally unnecessary. Only people in slums, who have no washing facilities within their homes, do that—and most do so in the back, not the front yard.But here we are—Mr. Neyor and the government itself, spilling it all out there, on the front pages of the newspapers, and on the airwaves, too!Whom is this hurting? Not Mr. Neyor, who has already, by his Open Letter, opened himself up to a barrage of revelations, criticisms and attacks, true or untrue; not President Sirleaf, who has already reacted in a somewhat restrained fashion—only because she was approached for her side of the story. No, it is hurting Liberia and her government. We say that because here we had critical negotiations between two sovereign governments, Kuwait and Liberia, having taken place, only see some of these exposed in public—and not simply that, but exposed in a vicious and acrimonious manner.Question: When will we ever be able to get the Kuwaitis to sit with us again in any negotiations for any reason? But doing what we have done, we have created in the minds of many governments and international institutions serious apprehensions about how serious, sensible, mature and considerate we are when dealing with development partners.Let us return to Mr. Neyor’s Open Letter and reflect on what the Daily Observer and other parts of the Liberian media have been arguing about the importance of transparency in government.We have constantly frowned upon shady deals in government circles, of many GOL Ministries and Agencies of not coming clean to the media and the public, yea the Liberian people, about what government is doing. This seems to have been going on from the very beginning of the operations of this most vital sector, petroleum and the company that manages it, the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL). That is why it was possible, in the very beginning, for one Nigerian businessman to walk away with US$250 million without investing a cent in Liberia. All he did was to buy one of the oil blocks, then resell it to Chevron and walk away with that staggering amount, made off of Liberia’s resources, without the Liberian people knowing anything about it. The President has had to higher several persons to head both the National Oil Company itself and its Board of Directors. After she removed Dr. Foday Kromah she appointed Mr. Neyor and after him Dr. Randolph McClain. As for the Board, it was first headed, under Ellen, by Mr. Clemenceau Urey, who was summarily removed to install her son Robert Sirleaf. That appointment was greeted with an avalanche of local and international criticism, but she remained stoic about it until she could no longer withstand it, and replaced him with her Legal Advisor, Counselor Seward M. Cooper.It seems that even up to this day the public has little knowledge of the workings of NOCAL. This newspaper has reliably learned that there is still very serious speculation about exactly WHO is running NOCAL, even as we know that Dr. McClain is still its President and Counselor Cooper its Board Chair. Is there, as is being talked about behind the scenes, an unseen hand calling the shots at NOCAL?We have indeed heard at least one name, but for legal considerations, we dare not mention it.Here again we reassert the need for transparency and accountability in government, to save the President herself and her government from the exact same situation that gave rise to Chris Neyor’s Open Letter.Here again we are confronted with stark reality of the Biblical dictum: “The truth shall make you free.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)