‘I Will Not Take Brown Envelope’

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Former Chief Justice of Liberia, Cllr. Frances Johnson Allison, has vowed not to compromise the interest of the Liberian people by taking “Brown envelope” when she is elected.

She made the vow on June 2 when she walked into the offices of the Daily Observer to declare her intention and preferment by the Alternative National Congress (ANC) to contest in Bomi County in the Senatorial election.

Cllr. Allison, who is also former chairperson of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) and the National elections Commission (NEC), won the senatorial space unopposed on the ticket of the Alternative National congress (ANC) for Bomi County on Monday, June 30, 2014.

Speaking to the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview on Wednesday, Cllr. Johnson Allison said she is the best alternative for the people of Bomi in terms of good leadership and that she will not be carried away by the norms and tradition of the infamous “Brown envelop. “I’m the best option and I’m telling them to put their trust in me,” she said.

“I have lived long enough, I have had opportunities and experience, and if I were someone who could get flipped over night, it would have shown long time ago. I have gone to very high places, and I was not tempted by the trappings of those positions,” she asserted.

“Can you imagine someone who was Chief Justice before, the first female Chief Justice of the Republic of Liberia? I went to the National Elections Commission (NEC), Ministries of Justice and Commerce and Industry, all those places are places that if you want to be corrupt or you have the inclination of corrupt attitudes, by now my name would have surfaced somewhere with allegations and proof,” she said.

Cllr. Allison asserted that in all of those high profile positions and offices, she did not become corrupted. “So I don’t think that the Senate, if I’m successful to get there, will [cause] me to change,” she said.

“I’m saying to the people of Bomi that they should give me the chance because I represent the best alternative for them in terms of good leadership; I’m the best option and I’m telling them to put their trust in me,” she added.

She also said she is a woman with certain principles which she believes she will not easily set aside for any other thing.  “I’m a good steward of people’s affairs; I’m the best hand that you can put this county into because I have the reputation and track record of and being a good steward. I will take care of their affairs, I will not compromise anything. I will not take brown envelop under the table,” the formr anti-corruption boss emphatically said.

 “I’m bringing good leadership — selfless, people centered, a leadership that seeks the interest of the people and not me. This is the kind of new approach of leadership that I want to bring to Bomi County.

She said there is a need for her to be given the opportunity to show her talents and contribute her own quota to her beloved county, noting that others have been there too long and “we need fresh ideas as to how to govern the county.”

“They may have done what they could, but I think after you stay somewhere for too long you run out of ideas. You need new thinking, new approaches to some of the old problems. So I think that with my background and experiences, the wealth of experience that I have gained over the years, if I bring those kinds of experiences to the table, will help to move the county forward and could make a whole lot of difference.

Cllr. Allison, who said she is joining party politics for the first time said: “I’m so pleased and excited that I was able to reach this stage in my political sojourn and political venture that I have finally reached the place where I have gone through primary and come out successfully in my first political move.”

She noted that she decided to go into partisan politics because she believes that the governance of Liberia needs all of the best skills and talents, and all of the best qualities and best characters that are available.“I think I have something to contribute to the governance of my county.”

Meanwhile, there are eight candidates aspiring for the senatorial seat in Bomi County so far — three females and five males. The position is currently occupied by Senator Lahai Lassanna.

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