‘ECOWAS Will Come After Trouble Makers’

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Mr. Osunlalu, representative of ECOWAS Ambassador to Liberia.

— Assures Representative of ECOWAS Ambassador to Liberia

A representative of the Ambassador of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to Liberia on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, assured national security personnel in Monrovia of organization’s preparedness to go after anyone who would make an attempt to destabilize the country’s peace.

Ambassador Lola Osunlalu’s warning came barley a day after the scheduled dialogue between President George Weah and organizers of the planned June 7 “peaceful protest” ended in a situation of misaligned expectations.

Although Amb. Osunlalu did not identify any group as the would-be troublemakers, he assured the officers that ECOWAS is prepared to come after anyone that would want to destabilize Liberia’s peace.

He gave the assurance when he proxied for the Ambassador Babatunde Olanrewaju Ajisomo at the 25th anniversary of the Liberia National Law Enforcement Association (LINLEA), held at the Monrovia Christian Fellowship Church in Monrovia.

Osunlalu also cautioned the law enforcement officers not to engage in any activity that would tend to undermine the peace Liberia is enjoying. “Countries in the sub-region are not willing to accept any more refugees,” he noted, “so do not join anything that will take Liberia back to war.”

He then called on them to promptly inform ECOWAS about anyone wanting to participate any act that could undermine the country’ hard earned peace.

“Do not listen to them, but please let us know of anyone that would wants to use you to destabilize your own country’s peace and security. Let us know their plan. Do not join them, but do expose their plan to us,” Osunlalu said.

Also, the president of LINLEA, Cecil B. Griffiths reminded his audience that those political leaders and the managers of the country’s resources need to promote peace, social justice, human rights and accountability.

Griffiths, himself a former police officer, said that impunity undermines democracy to the extent that the economy will continue to decline if the government does not take serious actions to combat corruption.

“And you can imagine warlords, ex-rebel generals demanding a seating lawmaker to report to them. This is what impunity does,” Griffith told the cheering officers.

LINLEA is a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization established in March 1994 to represent the interests of Liberian law enforcement personnel, both current and retired officers from immigration, fire service and other related security personnel and private security guards to provide a national platform for the exchange of information, analysis and recommendations on the security sector governance.

Through its core program, LINLEA promotes and enhances professionalism in Liberia’s security sector, monitors compliance with accepted standards related to professional conduct and respect for human rights, advocates for improved working environments for security sector and protects the rights of Liberian enforcement officers.

20 COMMENTS

  1. This is what Liberia needs, tough action that will not tame but bring us to our senses. Enough is enough, let these would be criminals leave the poor Liberian alone to go on with their lives

  2. punishment stops the criminal/rogue from harming anyone else. Crime is the act of free will, so executing a rogue publicly is just as it is to kill a beast. Aristotle’s (384–322 B.C.)

  3. The people of Liberia will not listen to representatives of institutions who have and continue to encourage former and present leaders to siphon the country’s limited resources with impunity.

    For example, Liberians have yet to read or hear any statements about the number of commercial houses our current President built within less than twelve months.

    Neither did representatives of these institutions say anything when the former President awarded 66 fraudulent concessionary agreements to corporations as per 2014 Audit Report.

    Only when Liberians are beginning to ask their leaders to account for the country’s limited resources, these representatives want to advise people.

    I guess for these representatives the former and current leaders did not breed chaos when they stole Liberia’s limited resources.

    The June 7 Protest organizers will try and prevent those individuals who want to prevent our people from asking their former and present leaders for Liberia’s limited resources.

    Thanks,
    J Yanqui Zaza

  4. Mr. Zaza,
    You’ve made some interesting points. I would like to know if you could elaborate on some of the issues you have raised.

    You stated that Weah has constructed a number of commercial houses in recent months. I too have heard that such commercial buildings have been built by Mr. Weah. The clarification I yearn for is this:

    Did Weah use his own money to construct the commercial buildings or not? Is there any evidence that Weah used the country’s meager resources to construct the buildings?

    Also, without mentioning ECOWAS by name, you stated that “representatives of these institutions didn’t say anything when Johnson-Sirleaf awarded 66 fraudulent concessionary agreements to corporations as per 2014 Audit Report”.

    Question: Do you think that ECOWAS’s action would have been justified if the organization (or institution as you call it) involved itself in the internal affairs of the country when Johnson-Sirleaf awarded the contracts?

    Secondly, do you think it is dead wrong for ECOWAS to warn the Liberian people about any trouble that could plunge our country into another senseless uncivil war?

    Zaza, I am profoundly concerned about the economic situation of Liberia. But, I am also concerned because I do not want to see a repeat of the mess our country went through. During those ugly war years, innocent people (including my older sister) died, the institutions of government crumbled, Liberians went through hell in foreign nations, etc.

    What in your opinion could be done by Weah in order to turn things around? Or do you think that Weah’s political enemies are clandestinely undermining Weah’s government? Lastly, it seems that you have strong reservations about ECOWAS? Why?

    I am not questioning your patriotism. You have a right to express yourself! If you will recall, I asked you similar questions when we operated on the Liberian Forum many years ago.

    • Wonder if Mr. F Hney was in school, and the article presented before him , and was asked to present an independent thoughts on the article. Will he be looking on the paper of Zaza in order to write out his thoughts ? Like you rightfully said that you do have a right to express yourself, but do that to the article before you concerning: ECOWAS Will Come After Trouble Makers. What’s your independent opinion or thoughts on that article ? Go ahead young man, you are now in class , and stop looking at someone else’s opinion. But write yours independent thoughts or opinion down . Express yourself of the article. Thought so that you wouldn’t.

  5. ECOWAS is the supranational organization for the whole of West Africa. ECOWAS is more than a Justice Ministry. This is why it has the largest and the strongest military alliance in not only Africa, but especially in the subregion of West Africa. You people are ignorant of such simple elementary knowledge, but you want to bore people with your rants.

  6. Let this guy shut up. Is he now the new Lord Almighty in Liberia? We have a justice ministry. Let him go and get Boko Haram.

    Is he aware that we are a independent country and the constitution Grant’s the right to protest?

    These are the Nigerians who abandoned 250,000 ECOMIG children in Liberia.

  7. Liberia is the only country we have, the Liberians have suffered so many things that are immeasurable. Therefore, we are not willing to go back to such setback and frustration. Let me strongly warn all of you who are propagating this chaotic and disastrous act in the name of constitutional right, if any trouble sparks up from this so call save the protest your family will face penalty of what you’re starting. God bless Mama Liberia.

  8. Hi Mr. Kandajaba-Zoebohn Zoedjallah and Mr. F. Hney,

    President George Weah has many experienced and competent advisers, people that have worked with him over the years. They have their philosophically, which might be different from mine. In any case, I have offered many recommendations since Mr. George Weah became our President. I do not think he has interest in any of my recommendations.

    For instance, he and I have different view about accumulating wealth. In explaining his view about wealth accumulation, he stated that people who are educated and do not have properties are stupid. Specifically, he stated that progressive people in Liberia are stupid and are trouble makers because they have lived in Liberia for a long time and they do not have properties.

    Such a view is not different from the view of some Monrovia-landlords. Many influential Monrovia-landlords continue to delay or prevent prosecuting former government officials. In fact, Monrovia-landlords have persuaded many Liberians to believe that stealing is good.

    Now, let us look at some of the things President Weah has carried out that support his view/philosophy.

    President Weah stated that the country is broke, but he has failed to institute one of the measures (prosecution) that deters and prevents corruption. He and his advisers state that any attempt by the Weah government to institute a program of prosecution would be considered unfair and unprofessional.

    (1) For instance, most of the L$18.1 billion banknotes came within the years of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, therefore, her government should be responsible to account for most of the L$18.1 billion. Worse, the Presidential Investigation Team (PIT), headed by the Minister of Justice, Mr. Musa Dean, reported that the Central Bank of Liberia infused or deposited L$22 billion new banknotes into the currency circulation between 2016 and 2018.

    Interestingly, the Presidential Investigation Team (PIT) and the foreign investigating Team (KROLL) stated that they did not verify whether the Central bank of Liberia infused the L$18.1 new banknotes into the currency circulation, and the Central Bank of Liberia did not allow them (investigating Teams) to get information from the (9) nine commercial banks of Liberia, etc., about the L$18.1 billion new banknotes.

    (2) The 2018/2019 budget , for example, has interesting arrangement. The Weah government reallocated $51 million from other industries to the construction industry, thereby, undermining the Liberian economy.

    Why would the President focus on the construction industry? First, the construction industry is opaque and it is difficult for examiners to review budgetary allocations and actual expenditures. Second, the international lenders prefer poor countries to allocate a significant amount of their resources to roads, bridges, etc., but a minimal amount allocated to food production and housing project.

    The million dollar question is, if the cost of housing and cost of food make up a significant portion of the cost of living, why allocate a minimal amount to food and housing?

    (3) Why is President Weah refusing to provide his bank statements? The bank statements would show if he had money before he was elected?

    Okay, let us review the functions of ECOWAS.

    I have posted Mr. Zoedjallah’s assertion to help us all understand the importance of ECOWAS. And he wrote, “ECOWAS is the supranational organization for the whole of West Africa. ECOWAS is more than a Justice Ministry. This is why it has the largest and the strongest military alliance in not only Africa, but especially in the subregion of West Africa. You people are ignorant of such simple elementary knowledge, but you want to bore people with your rants.”

    Is ECOWAS responsible for security issue and economic crime? Or is instability bred by political conflict alone? Better yet, is it possible to separate economic conflict from political conflict? I do not think so.

    Therefore, if ECOWAS chooses to be a disinterested party when bureaucrats are breeding chaos, it should not become active when people rise up to call for accountability and transparency.

    Thanks,
    J. Yanqui Zaza

  9. Mr. James Davis,
    You seem to be preoccupied with one thing only: My personal analysis of what the author states. The question is why do you make this specific issue a personal burden of yours? By the way, you’re dead wrong!

    So far, over 6 commenters have stated their views. None of the commenters has responded directly to the issues that the author had discussed or raised.

    Let me respond to your curiosity. I express my views based on the fact that I operate in the court of public opinion. As such, it is not illegal for me to challenge anyone who misspeakes or whose views contradict mine. Remember, in the court of public opinion, one’s views are expressed freely.

    The issue of school that you’ve mentioned is insignificant.

    Okay James?

  10. Zaza,
    A good portion of the money that’s spent by the government goes directly to the legislative branch of the government. The spending spree by the Liberian government started when Johnson-Sirleaf became president. However, there is a proposal out there for salaries of the legislators to be slashed by at least 40%. If the proposal goes through, some money will be saved.

    I do not disagree for roads to be constructed. It’s been over 170 years since Liberia declared independence. Roads are an absolute must. But I have problems with the education sector. More spending is needed in order to train school administrators and teachers. My background is in the area of Management and Education. Hopefully, when I arrive sometime this year in Liberia, strenghening the education sector will become my pet peeve.

    Lastly, I think some Liberians are hung up on Weah’s personal finances. I think the economy and other areas of government are more important than Weah’s personal finances. The Liberian economy will not transform overnight if Weah discloses his financial statements.

  11. J. Yanqui Zaza,
    “The people of Libraria will not listen…”
    Who made you the spoke person for the Liberian people?
    Some of you just jump on Facebook to express your simplicity, as per your limitations. If it was not for ECOWAS/ECOMOG, Liberia would have become a mass grave in 1990.
    Instead of being so obsessed about the personal resources of President Weah, you should be discussing the National Security issues raised in the ECOWAS Ambassador’s Statement.
    You guys should limit your rudeness and disrespect to President Weah, who have given you the right to insult him. Next time, before you decide to disrespect a member of the International Community, you should reflect on the number of, Nigerian, Ghanaian, Sierra Leonean, Senegalese and etc., Who lost their lives to save Liberians, in what became known to the world as a, “SENSELESS CIVIL WAR.
    Many of you are just useless and ungrateful idiots.

  12. Mr. F. Hney,

    You stated, “Lastly, I think some Liberians are hung up on Weah’s personal finances.” I think Liberian people should use all measures to make sure that no one uses the country’s resources for his/her personal benefit. If you believe that President Weah did not use the country’s resources to finance the building of his commercial properties, then you should advise him to submit his bank statements.

    Liberians, including you, Sir, should end the practice of allowing individuals to steal Liberia’s resources with impunity. So, please join those Liberians that are ready to end that practice. That is one of the reasons why many Liberians are supporting the June 7 Protest.

    Thanks,
    J. Yanqui Zaza

  13. Mr. Zaza,
    With regard to Weah’s personal finances, there’s too much conjecture, but no evidence. Some critics tell us that Weah bought a private jet plane and a yatch. But, once again, there is no evidence whatever. If it were true, I would be very supportive of that idea.

    The truth of the matter is that Liberian Presidents need a jet plane. In America, there’s Airforce One. It’s a Presidential plane, paid for by the taxpayers of America. Why not Liberia?

    In a heated climate of falsehoods and speculation, Weah’s critics are doing all that’s possible to convince all of us to believe everything we’re told. No. Things don’t work out like that. On the upside, I will be concerned and disappointed if the allegation of theft which surrounds Weah were true. Until it can be proven with a gargantuan mountain of evidence that Weah used the country’s money to buy a private jet and a yatch, I will not join the blame game.

    The chicken and the egg.
    Which of these two came first?
    Answer: The chicken

    In the above scenario, the chicken in Liberia is the economy! No ifs or buts. Of course, the egg’s role cannot be minimized. The egg is the financial statements that people demand. If the economy of Liberia and the financial statements of Weah are put on the skill, the economy will outweigh the financial statements. That’s why I believe we ought to work hard in order to fix the economy. In Liberia, jobs are needed. The opposition parties aren’t doing anything to create jobs. The opposition parties fan the flame of unrest, falsehoods and speculation.

    The planned June 7 march is a form of expression. I am not against many forms of expression. I am against a form of expression that turns violent. Example, in Charlottesville, Virginia, a planned march was allowed to be held. Unfortunately, as protesters marched, things quickly fell apart. A car plowed into a body of people. A lady got killed.

    The June 7 planned march will proceed. Marchers should be told to refrain from all forms of violence. If anything goes wrong, don’t play the blame game.
    We’ve had too many problems in the past. I hope the marchers will be civil from beginning to end.

  14. Come on. I know we Liberians don’t respect ourselves. But what these so-called Diplomats think they are? Is that what they do in Ghana , Nigeria or Senegal, making all these reckless statements. This will end one day.

  15. Mr. F. Hney,

    Sir, you stated that it is irrelevant for the June 7 Protest Organizers to ask President Weah for his bank statements to support his assertion that he did not use government money to build his commercial properties.

    More so, the June 7 Protest might disrupt President Weah’s efforts to improve the economy of Liberia. Trying to provide a better explanation of your view you have provided the statements below:

    YOU STATED:

    “The chicken and the egg.
    Which of these two came first?
    Answer: The chicken”

    “In the above scenario, the chicken in Liberia is the economy! No ifs or buts. Of course, the egg’s role cannot be minimized. The egg is the financial statements that people demand. If the economy of Liberia and the financial statements of Weah are put on the skill, the economy will outweigh the financial statements.”

    Sir, if the “egg” represents financial statement and “chicken” represents the economy, then I think the “egg” comes first. Why do I disagree with you?

    This is my reason. Investors do not invest in an economy of a nation, company, etc., if the country’s financial statements are questionable. More so, if the head of a country or the chief executive of the company has character problem, any good investor will search for an alternative.

    Thanks for allowing me to share my views with you.

    J. Yanqui Zaza

  16. Mr. Zaza,

    Let’s look at America for a second. Almost 3 years in his presidency, Trump has been reluctant to show his W-2. The pressure is being intensified by the democrats in order for Trump to cooperate. So what happens next? The courts will most likely step in. The manner in which Trump’s documents are being asked for is the right way, the democratic way. Americans are not demonstrating in the streets. Sooner or later, Trump will relent.

    The American Economy:
    The economy of the US is in full gear. The stock market is in good shape. There are thousands of unfilled job vacancies. Local streets are being maintained. Grocery stores are stocked up every day. Electricity beats on a 24-hour basis. If one does not pay his or her utilities, the lights will go.

    Okay. The Liberian economy needs to be fixed. The Liberian economy is priority number one. Weah’s financial statements will not feed or employ thousands of young men and women. The planned march will not solve an inch of our country’s economic woes. The political opposition parties are actively at work fanning the flame of falsehoods. Example, Weah has a yatch. The sad truth is no one sees the yatch. Where’s the yatch?

    I do not want to be misconstrued. All presidents must come clean. However, the opposition collaborating parties do not have a contrast at all. Example, the opposition has never told you how they will slash the paychecks of all lawmakers or whether it’s a good idea for public schools to be stocked up with computers.

    The constant drumbeat of Weah is this and that will not add up to a hill of beans. By doing this on a daily basis, the collaborating parties dig themselves a big hole. They lose credibility because of their low energy.

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