Senate Angry, Disappointed

Over President Sirleaf’s Executive Order

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Angry and disappointed members of the Senate yesterday voted unanimously to mandate their respective committees to investigate President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Executive Order 84, which reduces the country’s Inshore Exclusive Zone (IEZ) from six nautical miles to three.

The Senators did not mince their words when they described the President’s reported action as “ill-calculated and unnecessary.”

“Besides the fact that such is going to put our fishermen at the mercy of international fishing companies, one wonders what benefit the country stands to gain, not forgetting of course, the security implication,” Senate chairman on Security, Intelligence and Veterans Affair Stephen Zargo said during a brief debate.

The Senators also wondered why the President decided to remove the Bureau of Fisheries, which was created by an Act, and placed it under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Maritime Affairs (LMA), an institution whose mandates are restricted to ships flying the Liberian flag.

“If the Bureau of Fisheries was created by law and received the passage blessing of the Legislature, the President has no right to issue an Executive Order. We have to tell her so that firstly our legal people will do the investigation and advise us,” Sinoe County Senator (Cllr.) Joseph Nagbe said.

The Senate’s action was prompted by a communication from its Committee on Lands, Mines, Energy and Natural Resources, headed by Grand Kru County Senator Albert Tugbe Chie, in which he requested Plenary to mandate its relevant committees to investigate the issue of the reduction of Liberia’s Inshore Exclusive Zone and the transfer of the oversight of the fisheries sector from the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) to the LMA.

“It is currently being argued that this action, when enforced, will shrink by 50 percent the area reserved for small scale Liberian fishermen, put them out of business, and will severely impact the livelihoods of these fishermen and their dependents,” Senator Chie noted in his May 22 communication. He added that many experts believe the reduction of the IEZ will greatly benefit foreign industrial fishermen, leading to over exploitation of Liberia’s near-shore fish resources, negatively impact food security, “and will be counter-productive to the growth of the Liberian economy.”

According to the Grand Kru County lawmaker, “some of Liberia’s international partners, such as the European Union (EU), have criticized the move by the Executive Branch of Government, citing its cooperation with Liberia through the EU-Liberia Sustainable Partnership Agreement to promote responsible fishing as enshrined in the FAO’s (Food and Agriculture Organization) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing.”

The communication was sent to the Committees on Agriculture, Judiciary, Security, Lands, Mines, and Energy, and Maritime to report within one week.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Now you people are seeing how and why Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the most dangerous president Liberia has ever had and why NEITHER THE UNITY PARTY NOR ANY OTHER PARTY (or Brumskine Liberty Party, Cumming´s ANC) bent on seeking this woman´S interest after she is stripped of powers SHOULD BE VOTED INTO OFFICE IN OCTOBER 2017.

    What Ellen is doing is what despots and tyrants do when they must leave power: They change laws to suit their personal interest in order to be in control after they have left power.

    Besides the shares Ellen would have in those foreign companies, not to talk about “our fishermen being at the mercy of international fishing companies, we do not need to tell you about the national security and intelligence implications to the detriment of our nation´s stability, political independence, and territorial integrity!

    NOW GO ON ENDORSING ELLEN´S BOAKAI AND THEIR UNITY PARTY WHICH HAS NOTHING TO SHOW BUT UNTOLD CORRUPTION, CRONYISM, SUMMARY EXECUTIONS, DISSAPEARANCES, AND CHANGING LAWS TO SUIT HER PERSONAL INTERESTS AFTER SHE HAS BEEN STRIPPED OF POWERS. LOOK WHO SHE APPOINTED TO HEAD THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN. LOOK WHO SHE APPOINTED AS HEAD OF THE NEC! GO ON ENDORSING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Ellen single – handedly runs the government, therefore, blaming a political party (UP) she simply used (like every other relationship such as allies, friends, colleagues, aides, etc.) in pursuit of power and wealth is unfair. Tellingly, after tiptoeing on the graves of a quarter million people to reach the presidency, she didn’t only abandon the Executive Mansion, but is now reportedly bankrolling another party (LP) with money needed to provide opportunities, and basic services for the marginalized of our country.

    Truth be told, EJS never cared for the Voiceless; fishermen, and so on. So she takes care of those with Voice, for example, wastes a third of annual budget on the governing elites, and bribes the intelligentsia in order to have free rein over Liberia. This is how big bad bullying students behave behind the school yard; they beat weaker students, and bribe stronger ones. Hence, by defanging the Legislature, Judiciary, Faith – based institutions, Civil Society, and the Intelligentsia with emoluments and flattery, she skillfully succeeded in undermining constitutional checks and balances without which democracy loses, and despotism/ dictatorship wins.

    Fortunately, Liberia is lucky to have courageous members of the Mass Media. Otherwise, instead of just life – denying pervasive poverty, runaway corruption, and the occasional applications of security sector violence, her covert thugs would’ve been murdering citizens in broad daylight. And, ironically, the Legislature enabled her to get away with those inequities, thus it is heartening to know that senators have finally realized that she is being playing them for fainthearted fools. Of course, the populace would like to see how much resolve their senators intend to demonstrate on this issue, that is.

    PS
    Blame the overconfident arrogant captain for the sinking of the Titanic, and not the harried subordinate sailors. EJS’s bad governance got Liberia in the current mess. She abandoned UP’s progressive platform on her reelection in 2012, which provoked the frank 2013 Independence Anniversary oration of Chairman Sherman that earned her revenge. Lets, follow the facts, folks, without fear or favor “for the truth shall set you (us) free.

  3. That is so true bro. Moses. Ellen brought the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to Liberia.
    The TRC, in its findings of all those who were part and parcel of the war, decided by disqualifying
    Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf from holding public office for 30 – 35 years. Where were the Liberians?
    They did read the TRC Decision? Why then did they vote her into the Presidency of the country
    she brought the war and destroyed?

    President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is working as if she is only person who can be President of the
    country. It is like saying; wait, the coming administration will have nothing to do when I am
    finished. Yes indeed! You are right! The and foremost thing the next President will do is to
    repeal the Code of Conduct and restore to Liberians their rights to run for any office of their
    without any bigotry bopttle-neck in their way like the Code of Conduct that the Supreme
    Court endorsed.

  4. What candidate Joseph Boakai and those numerous senators and representatives of the ruling Unity Party SHOULD BE telling voters now is boasting about THE ACHIEVEMENTS the UNITY PARTY has made during their first and second terms of twelve years, and not giving the Liberian people such flimsy and childish excuses.

    Equating the sail of a ship with the running of a government by and through a political party from which two pres pro tempos and two speakers ruled alongside an incumbent president from the very ruling party should not be coming from anyone who has headed that NATIONAL intelligence institution which owes no loyalty to the President but rather to the constitution, just as is the case with those senators and representatives of the Unity Party owing absolutely no loyalty to the President but rather to the Liberian constitution!

    With all due courtesy, S. Gbahyahforh, had any prophet told me that you would also fall for that bull crap deceptive excuse by ranking officials of government and of the UNITY PARTY who have over-benefited from the corrupt policies of the UNITY PARTY I would have not believed him or her.

    IN NATIONAL POLITICS, WHEN À POLITICAL PARTY FAILS ON ITS CAMPAIGN PROMISES, THAT PARTY IS PUNISHED DURING ELECTIONS! JUST TAKE A THOUGHT AT JOSEPH BOAKAI”S LACKADAICAL UTTERANCES ON “EXPATRIATES” ÀND ELLEN’S DEDEBA AND SEE WHAT SHALL BE THE REACTIONS OF THOSE UNITY PARTY SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES!

  5. Actually, friend and brother, Mr. ZoedJallah, the metaphor “ship of state” is likened to the state, example Liberia, or the running of its affairs. As a matter of fact, our presidents have used the comparison in some speeches. It isn’t my invention, and to pretend otherwise would be plagiarism. This means “Titanic” is just apt in that context.

    That said, what has never been in dispute, though, is that EJS is a dictator, and dictators care less about parties after consolidating omnipotent power. That’s why she allegedly ordered the then police director to interview Joseph Boakai at home rather than talk to her own Vice President after the National Chronicle broke the story about a supposedly interim govt. arrangements in the US to replace her.

    As a pro – reconciliation security professional, my hope is for the elections’ results to reflect the true votes of the electorates to avoid chaos, and for them to not blame others when their choices do mess up again. And I’m not that delusional to presume that my preferred party, candidates, or opinions matter in the elections. That’s why I don’t write articles, but respond with comments on those written by others. Of course, as the impressible Winston Churchill reportedly said, “I won’t be neutral between the fire, and fire brigade” – No siree!

  6. Let’s see what our legislator will do in face of the blatant violation of the division of labor and responsibility… The ball is in the legislative court. Let’s see. For once, earn you respective keeps. We await.

  7. Comrade S. Gbahyahforh Moses,

    Both in terms of pragmatism and been principled, voting to power an incumbent ruling party, for a third term (18 years) and a possible 24 years, with the very party HAVING NO ACHIEVEMENT TO SHOW after 12 long years in power is convincingly what is “UNFAIR.”

    Such are only seen in one party polities, countries, or states. So what you people are advocating is that if (God forbid) Boakai happens to emerge victorious and becomes another “dictator”, his successor in his party should come and give us such a irresponsible excuses we are hearing from Boakai and the Unity Party or any other party which may be the ruling party.

    One pleading for equity should come with clean hands, and no one (whether a Party or an individual) should benefit from his, its, or her, own wrong! The voters shall never let Boakai and his Unity Party benefit from their own wrong.

  8. Comrade S. Gbahyahforh Moses,

    Both in terms of pragmatism and been principled, voting to power an incumbent ruling party, for a third term (18 years) and a possible 24 years, with the very party HAVING NO ACHIEVEMENT TO SHOW after 12 long years in power is convincingly what is “UNFAIR.”

    Such are only seen in one party polities, countries, or states. So what you people are advocating is that if (God forbid) Boakai happens to emerge victorious and becomes another “dictator”, his successor in his party should come and give us such irresponsible excuses we are hearing from Boakai and the Unity Party or any other party which may be the ruling party.

    One pleading for equity should come with clean hands, and no one (whether a Party or an individual) should benefit from his, its, or her, own wrong! The voters shall never let Boakai and his Unity Party benefit from their own wrong.

    Reply

  9. This is about the rights of Liberia/Liberians. No President should unilaterally change Liberia’s Coastal Boundary/Exclusive Zone. This decision by our President, should be immediately overturned by Liberia’s Supreme Court. Liberia’s COASTLINE/BOUNDARY extends as far as 12 miles and beyond; in some cases. Lady Sirleaf should change her decision/mind. It’s in the “BEST INTEREST” of Liberia/Liberians. Thanks!

  10. The Supreme Court would be a waste of time and it’s a risk to trust those ELLEN’S appointees who believe they owe obedience and loyalty to her and not obedience and loyalty to the Constitution.

    All the Legislature has to do now to reverse that so called executive order is to pass a bill clarifying the law on the matter and if the President vetoes the bill, the Legislature overides her veto by a two third majority of both the House and the Senate. And that will teach her and her VP Boakai a very good lesson!

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