IREDD Director Feels Threatened, Seeks Police Protection

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Harold Aidoo, executive director of the Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD), has called on authorities of the Liberia National Police (LNP) to provide him security on grounds that “some unknown persons have threatened to take away my life.”

Aidoo recently informed newsmen at his 16th Street Sinkor office in Monrovia that some clandestine actors are after his life because of his advocacy work in civil society over the years.

According to him, one person he suspected of being a “paid agent” tracking his movements was among some of the commercial motorcyclists, “but community members have always been there protecting me and my family whenever the suspected agent made an attempt to get at me.”

“This is scary; we need to sound the alarm so that government’s security apparatus can take clue and act, before it gets too late,” Aidoo lamented.

Police spokesman, H. Moses Carter, assured the public of police full protection for all, “because, this police is professionally trained to protect the life of everyone, including Mr. Aidoo.”

He has been among those critical voices speaking against societal ills with his main work at the 54th Legislature.

IREDD usually provides periodic grades for lawmakers based on their performances in their respective constituencies. One of his recent works was the 2019 first quarter Legislative Performance Report on the 54th Legislature.

The report provided citizens with accurate, objective, and comprehensive information about the performances of their elected leaders, using indicators drawn from their primary constitutional mandate (lawmaking, oversight and representation).

With support from partners, IREDD over the years has been monitoring the work of the legislature and individual lawmakers.

The report, according to IREDD, covered the period of January 15 to March 19, 2019. It also provided some analysis on the overall governance of the legislature, and the effectiveness of legislative committees.

Although much legislative work is conducted in committee rooms, where bills are reviewed, amended, budgetary decisions are made and important oversight duties are performed, the report described as ineffective the House of Representatives in responding to critical national issues.

The report recorded nine lawmakers as ‘bobos’ due to their failures to partake in the legislative debates during plenary sessions.

Those Representatives pointed out were George Boley of Grand Gedeh County (People Unification Party); Nathaniel N. Bahway from Grand Kru County (Liberian National Union); Francis Saywon Young of River Gee County (Movement for Economic Empowerment); Mambu Sonni of Grand Cape Mount County (Liberty Party) and Morris Lawrence of Montserrado County (Independent).

Those from the Liberian Senate include: Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson (Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction); Senator Marshall Dennis of Grand Gedeh (Coalition for Democratic Change); Senator Edward Dagoseh of Grand Cape Mount County (Unity Party); Senator Thomas Grupee of Nimba County (Unity Party).

The attitudes of those lawmakers were unearthed in IREDD’s first quarter monitoring report for 2019 covering the period of January 15 to March 19, 2019 in Sinkor as released by its Executive Director, Harold AIDOO.

IREDD also branded members of the House of Representatives as being ineffective in responding to critical national issues; where the Minister of Finance and Development (MFDP) and the Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) were invited to discuss the performance of the last two fiscal quarters of the current National Budget. The House failed to pass decision on three critical communications on the fiscal quarters performance, written by Representatives Francis Dopoh, Dixon Seboe, and Ben Fofana.

The report further called for the review of the House Standing Rules on attendance so as to penalize individual lawmakers, who are suspected of being in the constant habit of leaving session after roll call, and those who have become known for their lateness.

The IREDD report recommended that the leadership of the House of Representatives and Senate should take steps to improve the level of transparency and openness in the decision-making process.

Particularly, IREDD called for the adherence to legislative rules on record of the vote to improve transparency in vote-taking on legislation and national decisions.

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