Liberia’s Ambassador to the UK, Dr. Mohammed Sheriff, tells BBC and gets promptly ‘recalled for consultation’
By Observer Staff
Liberia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Dr. Mohammed Sheriff, told the British Broadcasting Corporation’s ‘Focus on Africa’ program (aired at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, September 20) that he believes President Charles Taylor has changed and should be freed and allowed to participate in political activities in Liberia.
Ambassador Sheriff made the remark to BBC’s ‘Focus on Africa’ host Audrey Brown on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
Amb. Sheriff, a medical doctor by training, said he believes the Taylor issue ought to be addressed by Liberia’s political parties, implying that it is not up to the Liberian government.
Ms. Brown reminded the Liberian ambassador that one of the conditions of Mr. Taylor’s confinement is that he is not allowed to participate in any way in political activities in Liberia.
Amb. Sheriff responded that President Taylor has served his time, learned his lesson, still has a loyal following in Liberia and should be allowed to return.
Ms. Brown further reminded the Liberian envoy that Taylor was a former president.
Amb. Sheriff revealed that it was in fact Mr. Taylor’s wife, Jewel Howard Taylor, who upon Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s request during the 2005 presidential elections, delivered vote-rich Bong County to madam Sirleaf, which Amb. Sheriff said helped Ellen win the presidency in 2005.
Asked by the BBC host whether he or his government was afraid of Mr. Taylor, Ambassador Sheriff replied in the negative.
Questioned further whether as Ambassador to London he had been to visit Mr. Taylor at his place of confinement, which is also in London, Mr. Sheriff said he had not.
When the Observer contacted an official of the Liberian government on Thursday evening (Sept. 21), said official told this paper that the government was apprised of Mr. Sheriff’s remarks to the BBC and that he had been “recalled for consultation.”
Meanwhile, the interview has been stripped from BBC’s radio rotation and its corresponding online platform.