‘Leaders Must be Kindhearted’

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Monrovia Ducor Lions CLub president, Mr. Momo Cyrus, addresses the audience.

— MDLC President Cyrus urges

The president of the Monrovia Ducor Lions Club (MDLC), Mr. Momo T. Cyrus, has said that leadership is about seeing the needs of the people, especially the vulnerable and the less fortunate ones, noting that leaders must be kindhearted. According to him, for one to become a true leader of the people, the person should open his/her eyes to issues that affect the people and find solutions to those problems. A leader should be cognizant of his environment and its people, he said.

He spoke over the weekend at a program marking the installation of the new MDLC leadership, during which he and other elected officers took over the mantle of authority of the Lionistic year (2019-2020). The well attended ceremony brought together national and regional leaders, and members of other Lion clubs.

Mr. Cyrus, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Security Expert Guard of Liberia (SEGAL), said was not only speaking to the consciences of his fellow Lions, but also to the consciences of national leaders.

“I have come to realize that, to serve others, as a leader, you must open your eyes to the realities of the day; the realities surrounding you,” he said. “This is meant to say that if you care, you will be aware. Opening your eyes to the needs of the downtrodden and underprivileged is the beginning of kindness.

“I therefore, want to use this platform to admonish all Lions in this hall to begin opening their eyes to the needs of other people, which is indeed the right thing to do.”

He said that his ascendancy to the leadership of MDLC teaches a lesson that leadership in Lionism “is not how long you have been a Lion, but how well you have served.”

“Three years ago, I took oath to be a Lion and tonight I am being installed as president for this club. Therefore, I pledge my time, money and talent to my club and Lionism at large tonight.”

Since becoming a Lion and prior to his ascendancy, Cyrus has been decorated with awards for his ‘enormous contributions,’ not just to the MDLC, but to the service of humanity.

“I and my co-workers will seek to be visible with projects, henceforth. We have envisaged few projects intended to be undertaken during our tenure. The new leadership firstly intends to unify all MDLC members and settle all misunderstandings that exist among or between fellow Lions,” he said.

Mr. Cyrus said that there is a discussion underway to have MDLC’s signage placed at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) in Margibi County. It is anticipated that the signage will be placed at the arrival section of the newly constructed terminal.

“We also seek to establish a vigorous public relations program to help provide the visibility that our club needs. We also intend to establish a harmonized operational plan. We will also seek to strengthen MDLC through the involvement of more young people,” Cyrus said.

Through MDLC, Cyrus has said that he, personally, will undertake a project to build a three-bed-room house in Voinjama, Lofa County, for the blind—a project that is estimated at between US$12,000 and US$15,000.

ECOBANK-Liberia Executive Director, David K. Thompson, addresses the Monrovia Ducor Lions Club

The guest speaker of the program, ECOBANK-Liberia Executive Director David Kweku Thompson, said that institutions like MDLC need more funds to meet the ever increasing demands of humanitarian services.

In order to meet its financial targets, the group needs to be innovative in raising the requisite funds to cater to the needs of their targets. It was on this basis that he spoke on the topic, “Fund Raising in the Digital Age.”

Thompson said that Liberia’s mobile penetration level is increasing on a daily basis and those who want to appeal to the consciences of the Liberian people to give to worthy humanitarian causes must be able to prepare themselves for the digital age — which future is banking.

“You must be able to open bank and mobile money accounts so that those, who want to give can do so conveniently through the bank without any stress,” he said.

Other corps of officers who were installed were James Wallace, 1st vice president; Miata Kuteh, 2nd vice president; Bhatur Holmes-Varmah, 3rd vice president and Hawa Kiadii, secretary.

Others are John Wangalo, treasurer; Priscilla E. Quaye, tamer and Jallah G. Zuma, tail twister.
However, three new members were inducted and have officially become members of MDLC. These include Normanlyne B. Barclay, Alice D. Weefur Cooper and Grace S. Harris.

New members of the Monrovia Ducor Lions Club being inducted

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  1. Washington (Globe Afrique) – Liberia is slowly inching towards state-sponsored terrorism and violence against its citizens. Fatou Bensouda, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), stated, ‘when passions run high during elections, and people do not act with restraint, this may lead to large-scale crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC. In such a case, the office of the prosecutor will not hesitate to act under the criteria defined by the Rome Statute.

    She went on to say, “Political leaders are equally obliged to ensure that the electoral process and elections proceed calmly and that they, their supporters and sympathizers, refrain from any violence before, during and after elections.”

    President Weah
    Liberia is a party to the Rome Statute. And, Article 15 of the Rome Statute allows ICC Prosecutors to investigate allegations of crimes based on information from victims, nongovernmental organizations or any other reliable source.  Moreover, the ex officio provisions of the Statute give victims and survivors a role in the ICC process by enabling them to trigger investigations.

    Over the years, the ICC has conducted investigations and prosecutions of crime against humanity, war crimes and aggression in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Darfur, Sudan; the Central African Republic, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Mali, and Burundi. Madam Bensouda added, “Anyone who incites or participates in mass violence, by ordering, soliciting, encouraging or otherwise contributing to crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC is liable to prosecution before the Court.” And no one should doubt the determination to investigate such crimes.

    Statements by Koijee Are Deemed State-Sponsored Atrocities and Terrorism
    Recent activities and statements made by leaders of the ruling party, particularly, the mayor of Monrovia, Jefferson Koijee, where he stated, “Make no mistake to think that because we bear certain titles or bear certain space in government, that po
    sition has taken from us our true identity.”

    The mayor went on to say, “…any day that would be announced by anyone (referring to protestors), we want to say to you that similar day would be announced by us. And wheresoever they are, we would also be there, and we would meet in flesh and blood.” It’s quite apparent that the young and inexperienced mayor fails to realize that his statements are treated as state-sponsored or supported atrocities.

    If one were to couple the mayor’s statements with recent acts of violence, this would lead to a decision by the ICC to open an investigation into violence in Liberia because it falls within the category of crimes against humanity which will lead to future prosecutions of state-supported atrocities. Failure by the President of Liberia to forcefully and publicly reject and sanction the mayor may be deemed as silent support of Koijee.

    Proposed Ban on Jefferson Koijee from Entering the United States
    On another note, Liberians in the United States are gearing up to petition the U.S. State Department to prohibit Jefferson Koijee and other political party members of the ruling party from entering the U.S. for fear that they are sponsoring domestic terrorism in Liberia.

    According to 8 U.S. Code Subchapter 2, Subsection 1182 of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, any person, including government officials who endorses or espouses terrorist activity or persuades others to endorse or espouse terrorist activity are inadmissible to the United States.

    “Terrorist activity” is defined as any activity which is unlawful under the laws of the place where it is committed (or which, if it had been committed in the United States, would be unlawful under the laws of the United States or any State) including a violent attack upon the liberty of a person.

    According to an official at the U.S. Justice Department, who wishes to remain anonymous, the United States government and members of the United States Committee on Foreign Relations are c
    losely following events unfolding in Liberia. Globe Afrique will continue to monitor these events as they unfold.

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    Mitch Rodinski
    Mitch is a political journalist who is passionate about understanding governments in Latin America and Africa. Mitch holds a graduate degree in journalism from Cornell University. Mitch covers LATAM for Globe Afrique and will continue to focus on developments in fragile countries.

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