Jonathan Paye-Layleh’s Response to Observer Editorial Calling on Him to Return Home

Jonathan Paye-Layleh, BBC correspondent in Liberia

Good afternoon, Mr. Best and the Daily Observer family.

Just to say today’s editorial of the paper has got me elated and inspired, and my spirit lifted. I truly feel a part of an institution that opened my eyes to the journalism profession. I am touched by the historical accounts and comparative analysis as outlined in the piece.

I have always made it a point to mention how without my acceptance at the Daily Observer in March 1987, I probably would not have gone on to become a known and respected figure in society; I would  probably have ended up doing something or nothing else.

God knows why Mr. Best decided to give me a try. And I am glad I have not been a disappointment to him, the institution and this noble profession. Take the glory, KYB.

Of course, I do consider returning home as I continue a struggle to, in a peaceful, respectful but persistent   way,  seek a simple explanation from Mr. President to his rather damaging allegations that have only put my life at risk with some of his by-all-means supporters.

But I am of the conviction that tough times don’t last, tough people do.

Thanks very kindly for this insightful editorial. I feel truly honored.

Best regards



  1. Mr. Paye-Layleh, I say thanks to the all Mighty God, you can trade ‘jabs’ with president Weah. I m wondering if you could do same with with Charles Taylor, while you were behind the IRON CURTAIN (greater Liberia 1991 to 1994). At least greater improvement is been made toward press freedom.

    • Bah, why don’t you just go back to Guinea and let us be in our country. I am tired of your Guineans trying tomake our country muslim.

  2. A rather stupid comment from Mamadu Bah or whatever you call yourself. Are we still in the days of greater Liberia? Liberia has moved on from those dark days. Any attempt to revert to the ugly past will be fiercely resisted.

  3. Mamadu Bar is a pseudo name that doesn’t represent any true character of some one wanting to contribute to the national recovery program in our country. Bar should just follow his cattle’s back to Guinea , his proud country of origin where he will find many of his kinds to appreciate nomadic life style. Bar, we are not raising cattle’s here and would encourage you to pay more attention to your cattle raising profession instead of melting to our internal politics.

  4. Stop being a Coward by running away from a mere response from President Weah. His response was no threat to you and your noble profession. You have been a moderate and sound reporter for the BBC. You were always careful with your choice of words during your reporting
    On the civil crisis. Why now turn this little of nothing into a chase on your life. President Weah is a harmless man and I believe he will always be harmless as a President. No way possible you could have enjoyed such press freedom you are enjoying now under this administration and its predecessor who set the path so that you can practice your profession in peace and harmony unlike other despotic regimes like the Doe and Taylor’s regimes of human carnage. Read my words, there will be no president in liberia that is ever going to implement the conclusions and proposal of the TRC. Save your breath on that issue because it is a recipe to tampere with our thin peace and reconciliation that are gradually getting thick and strong.Go back home and be a positive or stay and grow old and tired in the USA.

  5. Facts and logic are seldom deemed weighty in our national conversation; hence, often, partisan propaganda gets away with portraying rascals as heroes…

  6. To Ms. Agnes ,Mr. Kulee Kerculah and Mr. Philip WWW III, I read all three comments made on me by the three of you regarding my citizenship, religion and my ‘Nomadic heritage’. I m not angry though, because the three of you are not respecting the very constitution of ‘your’ country. No individual can make a person a citizen for a country, but the constitution of that country. The same constitution that makes former foreign minister Monnie Captan citizen of Liberia, even though his father came from Syria; Kwame Clement-Liberian born Ghanaian , the late Charles Gbeyon (slain Journalist); is the same constitution that makes me a Liberian.

    If my name was Steve Biko, John Nzambe, etc… it wouldn’t matter how far away my father came from, and had me in Liberia, you guys wouldn’t have had any problem with me. Because my name is associated with Muslim, I’ve been attacked by my fellow Liberians. I m an African like you guys, just 350 miles away from Monrovia, black like anyone of you. If you guys have your way, Barrack Houssain Obama would not have become president in America. Because he has a Muslim name, and a Muslim father like me.

    You guys should please go and have some educations and let us all help built Liberia.
    Thank you Mr. Sylvester Gbayahforh Moses. ‘The fact and logic are deemed weighty in our national Coversation’

    • Look, it makes no sense to attack one’s religion. How fair would it be if someone attacks your religion because you disagree? It’s just dumb, and unenlightened.


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