Gov’t Brands US Representative’s Observation “Untrue”

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The government of Liberia has branded US Representative Chris Smith’s recent statement on Liberia’s worsening political situation as “untrue and a hearsay.”

Reacting to Congressman Smith’s statement that Liberia’s political state of affairs is deteriorating, Information Minister, Eugene Nagbe said the lawmaker’s position does not reflect the true picture of the state of democracy and governance in the country.

“Public comments and positions of important United States officials, particularly members of the U.S. Congress, carry great weight and do directly impact lives and livelihoods; they impact policies; they shift and shape the political landscapes in small countries like ours. In the current geopolitical environment, one statement from a U.S congressman can turn tides, negatively or positively, in our emerging democracy, “Min. Nagbe said.

The minister further emphasized that Congressman Smith’s statement is based on allegations from the International Justice Group (IJG), a non-partisan US-based non-governmental organization, which is not credible.

Min. Nagbbe said the US lawmaker should not have taken the allegations from the IJG seriously because its leadership and rank are neither neutral, objective nor disinterested arbiters in the Liberian politics.

“The group, whose avowed objective is to see the current regime swept from power, cannot be taken at face value by those who want to see Liberia’s fledgling democracy get consolidated. The IJG is headed by many opposition politicians, including its Executive Director Jerome Verdier, a founding member of the now governing party, the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC). Mr. Verdier has taken strong, false and sometimes angry positions since his falling out with the CDC; his partisan comments should not form the foundation of the position of a United States Congressman,” said Minister Nagbe.

“The public position a U.S. Congressman issued carries a lot of weight. Concomitant with this great power is an even greater responsibility which bestows the onus on you to ensure that whatever public comments or positions are taken regarding small countries like Liberia are rooted in the truth, and issued with a full and fair comprehension of all of the evidential facts surrounding the political and economic situation we face today,” he said.  “It’s a responsibility that comes with power; a responsibility that should not and must not be shirked nor treated casually,” he added.

It can be recalled that Congressman Smith issued a statement recently, stating how human rights advocates are “increasingly alarmed by the deterioration of civil and political rights and the corruption that is occurring in Liberia under President George Weah.”

The US Congressman added that he was also concerned by allegations surrounding Monrovia Mayor Jefferson Koijee and the thuggish behavior of the Congress for Democratic Change Security Force he heads.

“Credible allegations of serious human and civil rights violations — including attempted murder, rape, unlawful arrest, detention, and torture — have been attributed to Mayor Koijee by the International Justice Group, a US-based non-government organization,” the US congressman said.

Meanwhile, the US Congressman has also endorsed the upcoming Weah Step-down Campaign led by opposition politicians who run the group the COP.

Fully aware of this planned protest, the US Congressman cautioned the Liberian government to respect the rights of the protesters and provide them the necessary space and security to conduct their protest peacefully.

“Especially in light of our historic ties to Liberia, the United States Congress will be closely monitoring the mass public demonstration that is scheduled to occur on December 30 in Monrovia, and I call upon the government of Liberia to respect the free speech and assembly rights of Liberian citizens.  Anyone who suppresses these fundamental rights, or engages in ongoing corrupt acts, may very well become subject to targeted Global Magnitsky sanctions,” the US Congressman said.

“The Magnitsky Act, which applies globally, authorizes the U.S. government to sanction those who it sees as human rights offenders, freeze their assets, and ban them from entering the U.S,” he added.

Minister Nagbe has extended Congressman Smith an open invitation and other members of the US Congress who are longtime friends and advocates of Liberia to visit the country and ascertain for themselves the real situation on the ground, which according to him is a world apart from the fictitious, selfish accounts of the IJG and other defeated opposition elements that have now morphed into pseudo civil society groups.

In his communication to Congressman Smith, Minister Nagbe told the US lawmaker that since the incumbency of President Weah, there have been three critical elections in Liberia, which the opposition won two out of the three, following a heated contestation.

Min. Nagbe further told the lawmaker that all of the elections were described by the government bilateral and multilateral partners, including his (Smith) government as free and fair.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Apparently Min. Nagbe thinks lies and flimsy disinformation out of his mouth is sufficient to persuade Rep Smith and the United States government about the violence and suspicious murders in the country. Min. Nagbe, says “there has been three elections since the CDC came to power” but he failed to account for the violence meted against opposition party members by CDC hooligans on behalf of CDC and the government. This government is a complete failure by any measure of governance. Weah is not fit to be president. In a short two years, he has run the country into the ground.

  2. Whether the IJG people are notorious influence peddlers as Minister Nagbe implies or whether municipal elections were held democratically in Liberia under Weah’s watch, it’s undeniable that the current economic situation in Liberia is not going too well. Minister Nagbe has a moral responsibility to admit that things are not as good as most Liberians would like to see. The shortage of money is irrefutably a bad economic omen. FACT: Some diaspora Liberians who recently sent Christmas money to their relatives in Liberia via Western Union were unable to get their money because there’s no money.

    There seems to be another unsolvable conundrum…… restructuring in the government of Mr. Weah. Example, Nagbe served in a Ministerial capacity in Johnson-Sirleaf’s government during her 12-year reign. So maybe, Nagbe was retained by Weah because of experience, although I am not sure about that. But, it’s about time that someone new had been brought on board. Appointing a new person to the position of Minister of Information will be seen as a way of restructuring. Whether Minister Nagbe has served the republic honorably or not, a new face is needed.

  3. Phil George

    Your statements often sting like a bee, but the truth is the truth brother.

    Nagbe is playing the exact role for which Weah hired him.

    If one examines the makeup of the Weah’s cabinet or the entire formation of his government, he or she will discover that it is saturated with his tribal elements especially in certain key areas. Why is it being organized this way? In the first place, Weah’s perception of the presidency and the nation state is power is exclusively the realm of the president, and since he (Weah) hails from the Kru tribal group, the distribution of wealth, privileges and power must be largely centered only in the hands of his kinfolks.

    In this regard, they would protect him tooth and nail even if the odds become clear as they are now, he is incompetent to lead the nation and his policies are inimical because he has placed his reckless ambitions above the national interest, still his tribal politicians will blindly defend him.

    This behavior is often referred to as the “Winner-take-all mentality.” It is wrong because it perpetuates a system of bad governance in that it puts certain selective individuals in very strategic positions for which they have not the requisite education.

    Moreover, tribal politics promote socio-economic disparities in that it marginalizes members of other tribes simply based on where they find themselves on the demographic spectrum. And, it has also been considered one of the foremost reasons Africa as a whole remains underdeveloped.

    I end my short-piece with this observation. There is a strong correlation between the Doe government and that of Weah’s. Doe was very tribal and he plagued the civil service with tribal hiring practices. Observers stated after Weah came to power his government would become an exact copy of Doe’s government; I could not quite understand what the logic was.

    However, the image is finally becoming clearer that if a nation puts an uneducated tyrant in power, he would eventually become tribal, iron fisted, and rule with brutality because he is lowbrow! Doe was not an intellectual and democratic material. He was an illiterate dictator who hailed from the lower ranks of the military, and so he brought his core values right into his presidency. The rest of the story is not a topic for this short-piece.

    • Right to be anonymous, is the Justice Ministry Key? Or are the Deputy Minister of Finance and the boss at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kru? Is the Minister of Agriculture, Kru? Is Liberia’ Ambassador to the UN, Kru?

      When Sawyer and you political cockroaches violated the constitution in November 1990, did you hypocrites not share all the minutes amongst yourselves, and ended up selling the Liberian embassy in France?

      When Taylor was President, was his first Lebanese Cousin Movie Captan not the Minister of Foreign Affairs, with his cousin John Tate Police Director, while his Congor kinsman appointment CBL Governor?

      Who was the NSA Boss, Senior political and legal advisers? Were they not her children, siblings, with her children at CBL and Nocal?? An old rascal as you apologizing the nonsense from that Lebanese kid.

      • There was no constitutional “violation in 1990,” Mr./Ms. Blunt. Rather, the Liberian government was deposed by one of several marauding bandits who installed no immediate governance or caretaker structure thereafter, thus exposing Liberians to a specter of wanton genocide at the behest of those rival factions.

        That appalling situation drew regional and international attention, thus necessitating your referenced intervention as the most pragmatic life-saving resolve in interjecting order and sanity into the ensuing chaotic free-for-all situation, the lack of which would have racked our often referenced carnage toll to perhaps more than a quarter million.

        And that resolve for your belated information by the way, was never at the behest of Amos Sawyer and cronies, as is often portrayed by detractors like you and think-alike forever bemoaning lost privileges with the deposed regime. That intervention happened to have been organized and sanctioned by regional and international stakeholders, and especially local political party leaders and civil society organizations seeking and end to the virulent mayhem that had beset the nation. There could have been no other mandate greater than that under the circumstances.

        And the cardinal reason why Amos Sawyer became the chosen one at that Banjul Conference, was not out of any selfish ambition as such, but rather a huge personal sacrifice.

        The term of reference as you will recall, mandated that the interim government would rule for just one year, within which it would organize elections for a replacement government. It may baffle you to know that not many of our usual self-seeking politicians were willing to sacrifice their long held ambitions for a one year rulership. There where Amos Sawyer availed himself as the “sacrificial lamb” to save the day, which was endorsed by his colleagues by acclamation. No shenanigans, no double-crossing, nothing of the like.

        Records will attest to the fact that what was intended to be a one year rulership, devolved into a nearly seven-year span, courtesy of Charles Taylor, with his insatiable demands from one peace conference and accord to the next for a governance structure of his liking. 16 such debacles in total and under different interimships as part of those demands would come to pass.

        The purpose of this historical vignette of sorts, is simply to disabuse the pockets of sophism often attributed to the man and the interim presidency he presided over. Perhaps it might also amaze you to know that every succeeding government including even the current mess of a government in Liberia, has sought his guidance every now and then. And he will tell you, “sometimes they take it, sometimes they don’t take it.” Such is the man.

  4. What does Liberia need presently to normalize its economic flow? The billions Liberian currency, 4 of which the nation’s congress has approved for printing. I need only Liberian dollars to supply my grand children. How much do you have? The political urgency right now in Liberia is need for a stabled, peaceful nation to focus on reconstruction of our infrastructure which has not yet been done post war. If we are late for your airplane’s flight than you bet its been too long to re fix Liberian structures thus making you late for your flight back to the U.S.. The United States dollars is not a work for free currency. Neither is it a pay for power commodity. We should advocate production in Liberia to make jobs available to Liberians. This way, Government will be more symbolic in having Liberian leafs available locally. In as much as Liberians should protest in peace, there should be some reason for protesting. If the reason is economic, pay Liberians + officials salaries and wages, especially those who support the protest, in Liberian currency only and see how they will spend the Liberian dollars to improve the economy they say they can fix. You do not need the U.S. currency to grow or cook cassava leaf. You do not need to march the streets to petition the Legislature to impeach the President if you feel he is unfit. As a fact, the Liberian Lawmakers should have acted ever sense if they felt the President should be removed. Why than did their counties put them in power? “Step down” is not Liberian. It was introduced during the war to help international peacemakers help us remove tyranny in our Liberian nation. There is no more war in the nation. Where is the stepping down coming from? You can protest all you need to. If we as a people do not have reasons, with senses for moving any leader, than we are not wise. If you have reasons with sense, you are on your own and you know that we have the law -the court house, election in the executive and legislative with the silent majority watching for trouble makers. You should follow the appropriate levels and avoid casualties. Give me enough reasons why you protesting, other wise go enjoy your holidays for yourself. I only need Liberian money to enjoy my own. I do not need your American money.
    Do not answer me. If you call me back, you will pay something.
    I told you that I am gone for long.

  5. Has George Weah eyes to see and ears to hear? I hope he uses those senses now to know what is coming for him. The Kru Defense Force (KDF) and the dreaded City Mayor. will not help him when his back is against the wall. When the international people found instances of human rights violation and crimes against humanity, they will build their case against you until you are arrested. History is a good teacher.
    Enjoy 2020, Mr. President, Dr. Weah..

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