Crisis Hits Liberian Community in Canada

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Mr. Kiadii: “We want to inform the public that Leo N. Johnson is not the president of FLAC."

The chairman of the organizing committee of the ensuing elections of the Federation of Liberian Associations in Canada (FLAC), Theophilus Kiadii, has warned his colleague, Leo N. Johnson, from impersonating as president of the organization.

FLAC is a Liberian-based Canadian not-for-profit corporation established by an Act on July 30, 2018.

Kiadii has said that the organization does not have a legitimate president as is being insinuated. Rather, the organization is heading to elections, from whence the leadership will be announced and charged to spearhead the activities of Liberians in that part of the world.

The elections organizing committee chairman’s clarification was precipitated by recent remarks that Johnson made at a meeting with Liberia’s deputy Foreign Minister, Marwine Diggs, where he introduced himself as president of FLAC.

Johnson was in Monrovia as head of a delegation of Empowerment Squared, a Liberian/Canadian-based organization that has planned to construct a public library and business incubation center in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.

A local newspaper in which Johnson termed himself as FLAC president, put the Library project at half a million United States dollars.

But just over a week after Johnson’s statement, the organization has accused him of  ‘impersonating,’ as he is not the president of the group.

According to Kiadii, “it is completely erroneous, and therefore, misleading as Mr. Johnson is not, and has never been a president of FLAC, so his claim to the position is illegal.”

“We have also filed in all of our tax returns, so they are not eligible to use our name. If you are a not-for-profit organization, the Canadian government will not force you, however, they will not do business with you under their law,” Kiadii said.

He said that the Federation is currently undergoing change under a transitional leadership team, of which Johnson is not even a part.

Mr. Kiadii has therefore called on Liberian based in Canada that would be going for election on November 30, 2019, to elect a legitimate president that will lead the organization in the coming years, “because we don’t recognize the Johnson leadership.”

Mr. Leo Johnson: “I’m the legitimate president.”
“We want to inform the public that Leo N. Johnson, who claims to be president, is erroneous and misleading. We are therefore calling on the general public as well as our compatriots in the diasporas not to do business or any interaction with this Johnson because he is masquerading illegally,” Kiadii said.

Kiadii added, “Johnson is a very good gentleman, and I don’t have any personal problem with him; he is also one of the hard-working guys in the organization, and even worked with us to establish the constitution. Our problem has to do with the level in which he has taken the institution with regards to the federation.”

He, therefore, used the occasion to call on all Liberians living in Canada to come together and build a strong organization, “because it is now time that we build a strong community that will seek the interest of not just Liberians in the diasporas, but fellow Canadians, and as well as in Liberia and other parts of the world.”

These developments bring to the fore the leadership crisis that has engulfed the Liberian community in Canada and which continues to deepen as the legitimacy of who leads the organization remains in limbo.

Two groups are tussling over the leadership of FLAC.

Established since 2015, FLAC is yet to be led by elected officials as the interim leadership, headed by Francis Hinnah, has since expired.

Though given one year with some objectives to accomplish, Hinnah and his team failed to achieve any of those and even failed to take the group to election.

Predicated upon this, the group unanimously dissolved the interim leadership and set up a transition team that is conducting elections later this month.

In response, Johnson debunked Mr. Kiadii’s accusations against him, noting, “I am the legitimate head of the association.”

In what he termed as a high-level timeline of the association’s activities since it’s founding, Johnson said that Kiadii is one of six people who are confusing the association.

He added that the membership of FLAC has since mandated the interim body to ensure that elections are held, a process that is well on course as oppose to Kiadii’s assertion that a transition body was set up.

“By consensus, everyone agreed that the membership of FLAC should hold election following the convention in July 2018. The motion was made and passed unanimously mandating the interim leadership to implement the decision.”

He said that one month after the convention, a letter was circulated by Kiadii, who had just returned from Liberia and did not attend the convention in Canada, that the interim leadership of FLAC has been overthrown due to overstaying their mandate and their refusal to register the organization with the government in Canada.

According to him, they proceeded and registered the organization as a nonprofit, listing themselves as board and trustees, and openly said they will hold the organization hostage with the registration documents until their demands are met.

After a series of efforts by various Liberian Community leaders individually and collectively, Johnson said: “Our brothers who are basically six people in total, have used the issue of registration as a bargain to take power. They have basically told everyone that the only acceptable solution for them is for the interim leadership to resign and turn over things to them unilaterally without any democratic process.”

As a result, Johnson added, the interim leadership proceeded with the preparations for elections as was mandated in July 2018, and invited them to participate, which they refused. The election was held in Windsor where nine of 12 Liberian communities participated and elected the first official leadership for the federation, which brought “me to power as president of FLAC.”

19 COMMENTS

  1. To Whom It May Concern:

    I and my organization Bassa Heritage Music Association, a Canadian registered nonprofit group since 2010 has been in partnership with organizers of Canada Day, City of Toronto, Ford Fest, Archie Alleyn Ensemble, Scarborough Music Festival et cetera. Hence we do not recognize these individuals or groups purporting as FLAC, an umbrella association of Liberian organizations in Canada. They do not represent my group and there’ exists no memorandum of understanding whatsoever between them and my organization.

    Signed: Henry Wallace Jr.

  2. Why Liberian everywhere full of power greed, attracted to politics, why you guys fighting over an organization that is not profitable , Liberian should learn how to reason together,
    The same issues going on in Liberia, every part Liberia is having political unrest.
    Some people are just power driven, and for personally, I just remind every Liberian living abroad, don’t forget that we’re immigrants, maybe you don’t have intention to go to Liberia and live, our major concern is to seek the best opportunity education can provide and one day return to Liberia and share your experience from abroad,

    • My brother, tell me about this!! Both sides need to see reason and come together, put aside their pride, greed and forget about the “I’m right and you are wrong mentality “ to solve this problem. It’s not healthy for us. We need a united FLAC and not a divided FLAC where both groups are claiming legitimacy.

  3. Between Kaidii and Johnson lies a mystery. The mystery of course, is the missing truth. One of the gentlemen is perfidious! It is possible for the two men to be engaged in telling false narratives. In any case, the truth must be known. Observer Daily News can do a follow-up. In fact, Observer Daily News should investigate!

    In and of itself, the planned charitable construction of a public library in Paynesvlle, Liberia is welcome news. Liberians who live in Canada deserve praise, plenty of it. May God bless the Liberian community of Canada. Building a library in Liberia is an act of creativity. Bravo!

    Liberians need public libraries throughout the country. The construction of public libraries throughout the country will help in terms of driving down the high illiteracy rate in Liberia. Besides, the existence of libraries throughout the country will help to lower unemployment. Libraries cannot run themselves. People work at libraries in order to provide help.

    Finally, the infighting between Johnson and Kaidii must stop.

    Peace.

    • As a former president of my community in Canada. We have tried everything to resolve this matter amicably with no luck. For this reason, I encourage the Liberian government and every organizations out there to please don’t associate with FLAC until both factions can resolve their differences first. We need a united voice for us to be successful and to make Liberia and Canada proud.

      Regards, Nate.

    • Hney, you should be ashamed of yourself for trying to manipulate the Liberian community in Canada; now Kaidii may have attempted to exposed your baggage. And you’re asking the Observer to investigate? Shameless. You have brainwashed Johnson in an attempt to hijack Liberian voices in Canada in order to satisfy your ego; but Canada is not Ghana and you should be thankful you can enjoy Canadian generosity and democracy like everyone else. Your style for selective politics and handouts have always been your baggage. Back then you may have succeeded in brainwashing Liberian community on Camp Buduburam and sold out that ill-prepared leadership to a Ghanian, then Camp Manager who railroad voices of Liberian destitute especially after the infamous military raid on the Camp. You were resisted though! But again you got push back from people like us when you and your cohorts attempted to deny Counselor Jerome Verdier from addressing the UN and government delegation about the severity of the issues at hand in relation to the raid amidst a popular call for the Counselor to present those silent voices…
      For me FLAC is fraud and undemocratic as long as its foundation and structure were selectively designed with an intent to claim representation of Liberian community in Canada.
      Hence my org in Canada can only be a part of any such formation, FLAC for instance if the moral compass reflects the following principle to begin with ‘means must justify the end’

  4. Okay brother Wallace. I accept.
    Reminder: The Daily Observer spells the last name of Francis as Hinnah, not Hinneh. Not a big deal at all.

    Peace

  5. There is a legitimate FLAC and it is the one that is registered with the federal government of Canada. Liberians should be aware of people engaging in illegal and fraudulent activities.

  6. I read the story and it is well balanced. It tells the full story. It seems there is no biases because an insider from the other side, name withheld, told me almost similar story as it is narrated in the Daily Observer. I am one of those who have been curious to know the full story for the split.

    Funny Liberian story. One man felt offended to relinquish power after his mandate was done and wanted to finish a job but in the wrong way( Constitutional and fundamental issues). When the smart guys saw the Weah’s mentality group running, they left them sky-high and prepared bedrock for them to land on their return- while they were merrymaking a document was being prepared to nullify them lol. What a hard lesson. I hope all of us can go back and review the dynamics of a team and the moral and ethical responsibilities of team players. We need to understand democracy, consensus, accountability, responsibility, accommodation, reconciliation, emotional intelligence and most of all the reason constitution of an organization is established. If we define some of these ingredients and understand why we need them in social groups, we will do better.

    We give ourselves more work when we choose to disobey or go astray- both the good people and the bad people suffer- both parties have a lot of energy to waste on things that shouldn’t be. If patience was exercised by everyone, the wasted energy would have carried all of us- the Liberian Community a long way. Hope Leo and Hinneh can find a way out of this to ask for mattresses to lay over the bedrock for soft landing rather than getting angry and acting out.

  7. Most Liberians are the direct opposite of why Liberia was established. Liberia will remain as it is until radical thinkers move in with sophisticated brains to control the unsophisticated ones.

    We have similar problem in another local community in Canada where former officials refused to handover holdings or documents to the newly elected officials. The past leader sat in a general meeting and said he has the holdings for the Association but will not give to the newly elected leaders. We have tried every way to tutor the past officials to see reason to handover, but everything has failed, except that no legal path has been pursued. They are feeling like a winner at the moment- Well,probably hijacking is allowed and it is a way of life in the jungle ( Survival for the fittest),but it is not permitted in a civilized society- We live in a country that is legislated and governed by law and we will see how long the happy hijacking moment last- watch out because we will endeavor to manage some of these problems in a more sophisticated radical fashion. I see the Federation’s action as an inspiration.

  8. It is sadden that few disgruntled Liberians can hold all Liberians in Canada hostage for their selfish goals. Mr. Kiadil and his few idiots are not representing nothing nor organising any election for the FLAC leadership. How can the claim anything FLAC when they don’t have any membership. They have done nothing for our communities here in Canada other continuously misrepresenting us and causing us and our leadership unnecessary headache.
    Leo Johnson and his Corp of elected officers are our legitimate leaders. We elected them just few months ago in Windsor in a convention that was attended by representatives from all corners of Canada. Mr. Kiadil and his group of trouble makers were invited to contest any position(s)they wanted. They refused to turn up because they know they could not win any position in our organization. Leo and his Corp of officers were duly elected by all Liberian Associations in Canada.

    To the Daily Observer Newspaper, your caption on this story is very wrong. There is no crisis in the Liberian community in Canada. We are fine. By this story, You are creating the crisis by legitimizing this nonsense of
    Mr. Kiadil and his group of noise makers. At the end of it all, Liberia stand to lose. These people have nothing to offer other than this noise they are causing. We organized ourselves in Canada in order to help our dear Liberia in whatever little way we can. We don’t have time for noise makers as you .There is something called investigative journalism. Before printing this erroneous caption about us, you could not asked some questions?

    You should had done some background investigations on this trouble maker. Mr. Kiadil has residency status in Canada, but does not even live here. He lives right there with you in Liberia. How can he be our leader when he does not even live here. He is only here now to cause trouble and make some noise. Pretty soon, he will run back to Liberia.
    But we urge all Liberians in Canada to stand up to these thugs. You don’t own us. We have chosen our leaders and we dare you to misrepresent us. By falsely and maliciously stealing our registration documents does not entitle you to anything FLAC. WE hereby warn you and your five other impersonators to stop. This is a country of laws. You can not keep backstabbing us and think you will go free. A hint to a wise is quite sufficient. But you are not wise, and pretty soon, you and your five disgruntled Liberians will soon face the weight of the law for your behaviours.

    • All of you need to come together, sit around the table to find a solution to this problem. The claim and counter claim will do us no good. Somebody has to be the bigger person and reach out to solve this problem…that’s leadership.

  9. Can’t you See something Seriously is Wrong with our Nation and Its People!!!??? …Look at the situation back home, and in the diaspora. Leadership struggles in In Liberia! … Leadership Struggle in the West and Europe! … I am sure if Liberians are in Heaven,there must be problem there too! … As for heaven all of us know how satan was kicked-out of heaven! …A Nation and people that refuses to do the rightthing, there will always be a deaster! … Greediness,selfishness,bigorty, hatred and lack of love for nation and for one another! …Until we can unite and “Cleanseed” our Nation, it will only get worse!!!! May God, Grace and Mercy heal our land!

  10. Liberian in Canada need to be aware that fraudulent behaviour as such should not be rewarded. An organization like FLAC fundamentals purpose is to unite Liberians in Canada to have one mighty voice, with such intent, all of it doings must be transparent and in accordance with moral compass to the highest. Instead it’s doing exactly the opposite! An unconstitutional “selection” rushed with smokes still in the air regarding it legitimacy should have been a red light to pause and follow an ethical path. Instead things was rush to fulfill egos and ambitions of the very accused. This unethical behaviour have brought disunity in cities, defeating the very core purpose of FLAC. Note: All Liberian in Canada nationality/reputation is put to question if things are not handle delicately to resolve this issue. If we start up wrong we definitely will end up wrong. All organizations must unit, have a sit down and put an end to this embarrassment/soon to be stigma!

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