Liberia’s Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor has expressed her disappointment that the Code of Conduct (COC) is being disregarded as was done during the administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
In an interview with state radio ELBC 99.9 FM, Madam Taylor said Liberia has come a long way and, as such, democracy will only have its real meaning when laws are respected and followed.
“I am sad on hearing that the Code of Conduct is again not respected. People trucking voters to counties where they want to contest is a very ugly thing. Imagine how vocal we were in 2017 against former President Sirleaf’s administration when the law was disobeyed intentionally. We can’t be doing the same thing and expect a different and desirous result,” she said.
The VP, who is recovering from the deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Accra, Ghana, frowned on those using money to disfranchise many others due to ignorance or poverty.
“Those who are trucked lose two things: They lose the decision-making power in their own constituencies, and the right to complain about poor leadership in their own constituencies. The original constituents of the areas to which they were trucked will to continue to suffer from bad leadership,” she said.
About whom she supports in Bong County in the upcoming December 8 Special Senatorial election, she refused to name anyone but promised to speak upon her return and verify the list of candidates contesting for the Senate seats in the various counties.
VP Taylor is on record for falling apart with Henry Yallah, the incumbent Senator of Bong County who is seeking reelection.
In her past speeches at programs and rallies in Bong, VP Taylor openly said that she and Senator Yallah can neither agree nor work together any longer, and as such she will campaign against his reelection.
“If you think you are a good leader or have done enough, let your platform or what you have done speak for you, not by trucking people to increase a voting number in your favor on elections day,” she emphasized.
Death of LRA senior staffs and IAA boss
VP Jewel Howard Taylor said she is deeply troubled that Liberia, having suffered many years of bloodshed, is still experiencing losses of innocent lives through murder.
“The boss of the Internal Audit agency (IAA), Emmanuel Nyeswa was my cousin. I deeply regret the mysterious, cruel loss of his life but, at the same time, call on President George Manneh Weah to ensure that there is speedy investigation for each of the mysterious deaths. It is not a good sign for us as a country for four professional people to die in so cruel manner and in a few days,” she noted.
VP Taylor said the image of the country is at stake and other people from outside, mainly investors, would find it worthless to visit Liberia to do any business.
“My deepest sympathy to all of the families who have lost their loved ones through those mysterious ways. We are with them, and we all want justice to prevail,” she said.
On her health
The Liberian Vice President said she was tested positive for COVID-19, but as the choice was hers, she preferred receiving her treatment in Ghana rather than Liberia, her home country.
“I have asthma and with COVID-19 coming in, my condition was critical. I chose to come to Accra to do my treatment and I am thankful that my government did all it could to get me here safely for treatment,” she acknowledged.
Taylor said she spent 35 days in the intensive COVID-19 Unit (ICU) in Accra and she has been struggling to gain the balance to breathe normally.
“With asthma being the underlying sickness and pneumonia also confirmed, it is only by the grace of God I am alive today and talking to you this morning on the national radio of our country.”
She said she is happy that God has given her yet another chance to live and do what He wants her to do for her people.
“I received my own death news from the rumor mongers. They said I am dead but the Bible said those who believe in God shall see signs and wonders. I have never planned any evil against anyone, and so God is always doing what He can do for me. I know that my assignment on this earth is not yet over,” Taylor said.
She thanked all the Pastors around the world, including Liberia, Ghana, the United Kingdom (UK), the United States of America (USA) and many others who said prayers in their silent chambers on her behalf to recover.
She said her recovery is now at 70 percent and, upon getting the approval of her doctors in Ghana, she will return to Liberia.
The recent Surcharges, need for revenue generation
VP Taylor, on the crisis surrounding the recent surcharges that led to the increase in the costs of voice calls and data, said it was an unfortunate experience but happy that the government saw reasons to do what is right and in the best interest of the country.
“My granddaughter of 14 called me and asked: ‘Grandma, why are you there looking at the people increasing the prices of calls and data?’ All I told her was that I was not at home but I, too, wished that something was done about it to help alleviate the fear that more hardship was necessary for the already suffering population.”
“It should be the government’s priority to do what is right for its people. Government is not to be responsible for the suffering of its own people who instituted it,” she said.
She recommended that the government should consider increasing taxes on cigarettes and imported alcoholic beverages rather than creating problems through the telecommunication sector. She further recommended that tourism needs to be given attention in order to expand the government’s revenue collection.