African Methodist Episcopal University 34 Camp Johnson Road, Monrovia, www.ame.edu.lr firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of the Chairman Board of Trustees African Methodist Episcopal University
February 21, 2023
The Board of Trustees of the African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU) has learned and read with grave concern the story carried in the February 17, 2023 edition of the Analyst Newspaper of what it alleged was the resignation of the President of the University, Rev. Dr. Alvin E. Attah. The Board wishes to deny categorically that it has received any letter of resignation from its President, Rev. Dr. Attah E. Attah. As such, the Board has not acted on any such alleged non-existing letter of resignation by the President of AMEU. Even more disconcerting is the further allegation made by the newspaper in the referenced news story that AMEU has already commenced seeking applications for a new President to conduct the affairs of the University.
The Board states in the most unambiguous term that it would have had to meet and discuss not only the “Public Service Announcement for Immediate Release”, emanating from and over the signature of Mr. G. Melvin Taylor, Acting Public Relations Officer of the National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE), approved by Professor Edward Lama Wonderer, Director General of the National Commission on Higher Education, and examine its legality or illegality, both in respect of the authority of the Acting Public Relations Officer, acting in concert with the Director General of NCHE to sue sponte and of their own accord initiate and issue such far reaching policy with severe implications and consequences for the nation’s higher education, and to take such action with immeasurable national consequences without a policy statement, action or resolution from the Board of the Commission.
Moreover, the AMEU Board of Trustees, the policy making body of the University, would also have had to meet to discuss any acceptance of the alleged and speculative resignation letter of the President of the University, as well to make decisions on any further course of action needed to betaken for the protection and continued smooth operations of the University. 1he publication was made in the absence of any evidence of a meeting having been held by the Board of Trustees of the AMEU to discuss any of the issues stated in the Analyst’s speculative and false news story. Certainly, at the very least, one would have expected that the. Analyst newspaper would have conducted an investigation into the matter of such speculation, since there was no evidence to Support the assertions made in the news story, and made contact with the appropriate authorities of the University to ascertain, firstly, what was the reaction of the University relative to release by certain personnel of the National Commission on Higher Education of the Public Service Announcement, and secondly, whether the speculation about the resignation of the University’s President was correct and the Board of Trustees response to the alleged resignation of the University’s President.
The Board of Trustees emphasizes that while the Constitution, statutory laws and decisions of the Liberian Supreme Court have stated unequivocally Liberia’s protection of freedom of the press and Liberia has subscribed to a number of international treatises and protocols stating the nation’s intention to adhere to the principle of freedom of the press, none of those instruments accords to the press the unrestricted dissemination of false and malicious statements and stories which are totally lacking in truth and devoid of any investigations. Indeed, none of those instruments, whether they be the Constitution of Liberia, the statutory laws, or the Opinions of the Liberian Supreme Court gives to the press the right to indulge in speculations on the sole basis of hearsay, without investigations or quest for the truth or to proceed with any such publication without any attempt to contact an affected or accused person, or the appropriate University authorities as to the authenticity of the hearsay information, which has no identified source or sources, and especially where such publication or allegations have the propensity to injure or defame innocent persons and the institutions. The least that the news organ in question could have done was to contact the President of the African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU) of the speculative story before proceeding to publication, so as to obtain the true status of the information which the paper alleged it had.
Further, the University has a structured and professional process for the appointment of a President of the University and other senior ranking personnel of the University. Thus, a letter of resignation by the President of the University would have to go through such process so as to ensure that any such action conforms to the rules laid down in the process, that the operations of the University are not disrupted, and that the University is fully protected by any such event. It is saddening that the Analyst newspaper did not deem it befitting, as part of its code of ethics and media responsibility to probe into any of those processes and ascertain whether any of those processes had been activated in view of the Public Service Announcement issued by certain personnel of the of the National Commission on Higher Education before the newspaper proceeded to publish its speculative, untrue and potentially damaging story.
The Board of Trustees of the University is currently giving further study and analysis of the false story and the consequences it has for both the University and the University personnel affected by the story, and it will determine on an appropriate position that will serve not only to protect the University and its core of respected, professional and dedicated staff and officials, but also as a future deterrence to any such maliciously designed speculative, untrue and unauthenticated story. The Board of Trustees of the University affirms that Rev. Dr. Alvin E. Attah still enjoys the confidence of the Board and herewith remains the President of the AME University.
Rt. Rev. Dr. Paul J.M. Kawimbe Chairman, Board Of Trustees
……….Pursuit of Excellence