MONROVIA, Montserrado – On Tuesday, September 11, when the national team was set to play Nigeria in a match that would honor President George Weah, a leaked internal document from the National Oil Company of Liberia showed that employees were told to leave at 3:00 p.m. to attend the game.
Zoegar Wilson, Liberia’s Minister of Youth and Sports, had announced that Weah’s famous number 14 jersey would be retired from all national teams at a ceremony during the Tuesday game with the Super Eagles.
“It is a way of paying respect to a man who has taken the nation’s flag at the highest level in football,” Zoegar added.
The NOCAL memo was written by Lester Tenny, vice president for technical services. He wrote, “As per the directive of the government, all offices will be closed by 3:00 p.m. due to the presidential football match to commemorate Weah’s official retirement from football.”
The Bush Chicken could not reach Ministry of Information officials to confirm that the directive applied to all government agencies.
Tenny did confirm to The Bush Chicken via phone that the leaked memo was valid. He said NOCAL normally requires employees to begin work at 9:00 a.m. and end at 4:00 p.m. each day.
“So, the National Oil Company of Liberia decided that today, employees will work from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to enable them to watch the match, where the president will retire his number 14 jersey,” Tenny said on Tuesday evening.
He clarified that employees were asked to forgo their regular one-hour lunch to compensate for leaving one hour earlier than usual. However, the memo did not specify those details.
“The posting of the memo will make us to be more skeptical and careful of everybody in our midst,” he said.
Tenny said he was disappointed in the employee who posted the internal memo on Facebook. However, he said NOCAL would not take any action against whoever leaked the memo to avoid allegations of witch hunting.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah