The LNOC election is in accordance with laws governing the International Olympic Charter, which calls for the election of Executive Members of National Olympic Committees after every quadrennial (four years). The 2020 LNOC Elective Congress, held at Bash Bar & Restaurant on Saturday, March 6, 2021, brought together members of the LNOC Executive Committee, Presidents of more than twenty member-federations, the Minister of Youth and Sports, D. Zoegar Wilson, and the media. The President of the LNOC, Philipbert Browne, after observing that the number of participants constituted a quorum, called the program to order, and a roll-call was done by the Assistant Secretary, Ahmed Togba.
The Secretary General, Frederick Pratt, distributed copies of the LNOC’s quadrennial report to the participants, and comprehensively read the entire report, with a member of the body bringing his attention to a minor typographical error. The Treasurer General of the LNOC, Boie Korvah, also provided a comprehensive financial report covering their four years in office. Both reports were endorsed and adopted by the general body. President Browne, presiding, announced that it was time for all those with financial obligations to the Committee to bring forth their payment.
Newsmen were informed that each member-federation of the LNOC pays US$50 as due fee, with an accumulative US$200 for the entire four years. There were little murmurings in the hall, but with the waiver power vested in the President and, with kindheartedness, he approved a waiver for all the federations, but with a caveat that they needed to live up to their responsibility if the LNOC and their respective federations are to move forward. However, the hall went mute when the President asked the Secretary General to provide the list of those who applied for the vacant positions to be contested for, as the SG informed him that “no one applied to run against anyone in the Executive Committee”.
Reaffirming their trust, confidence and approving their consent to the continuation of the Browne-led leadership of the LNOC, former Table Tennis player of the national team of Liberia and the longest serving Chef de Mission of the Olympics Committee, Edwin Goodridge, for and on behalf of the entire membership of the LNOC, casted a white-ballot in favor of Mr. Philipbert S. Browne and his entire team, giving them the gavel of authority to steer the affairs of the LNOC for the next four years. Among those retained in their positions are Philipbert S. Browne, President; Cllr. Sylvester Rennie, Vice President for Administration; Malcolm Joseph, Vice President for Operation; Frederick Pratt, Secretary General; Ahmed Togba, Assistant Secretary General; and Boie Korvah, Treasurer General.
In remarks, the retained President, Philipbert S. Browne, thanked the LNOC congress for believing in his leadership and promised to live up to their expectations. He lavished praises on the Minister of Youth and Sports for always opening his doors to receive the LNOC. “Even if he will not solve the problem, Minister Wilson will make you feel good with his kind words, and gives you the courage to keep pushing,” Mr. Browne said. Speaking to LNOC’s member-federations, Mr. Browne emphasized on living in the confines of the Olympic laws, noting that he intended to resign during this year’s congress, but the news was greeted with stiff resistance from almost everyone.
“We can’t continue like this; there are other competent and qualified individuals who need to be given the chance to showcase their ideas too. “We cannot be accusing politicians of holding on to power, while we too are not giving others the chance to serve. Even though I am not holding unto power because you are the ones electing me all the times, I think the LNOC needs a new breed of leaders, so that we who have served can be duly retired and others with new skills can take over,” Mr. Browne noted.
According to him, the LNOC is constitution is currently under review, and when adopted he will resign and give the chance to another person to head the NOC of Liberia. He lamented the few number of women holding positions in the LNOC executive, as well as the leaderships of member-federations. He encourage all the federations to incorporate at least 40% 0f women into their leaderships, and called on his fellow LNOC executive members to also take his recommendation into consideration.
President Browne entreated leaders of various federations to take advantage of the COVID-19 vaccination, as they may be required to provide evidence of their vaccination before they can be accepted to attend international events.
The Minister of Youth and Sports, D. Zoegar Wilson, in remarks, extolled the LNOC for holding its congress in a successful and fruitful manner, noting that since they took over the Ministry of Youth and Sports there has been a cordial relationship between the ministry and the LNOC. He said he looked forward to a continued cordial working relationship between the two institutions, as well as the relationship between the LNOC and local federations.
“It is through team work that we are all here today, and we must continue in that path. As Mr. Browne said, serving as a twin father today, I will be here for a while and then go to witness the LFA Congress as well. I wish you all the best,” Minister Wilson noted. The event was climaxed by the LNOC COVID-19 Awareness Campaign team making a presentation on the danger of the pandemic and how to take measures against the killer disease. The team consisted of presenters from the LNOC awareness team and the Ministry of Youth and Sports’ Bureau of Sports, with the Assistant Director of Sports, Kesselee K. Kanneh, making a detailed presentation on the matter.