After All, This, Too, Is Liberia!

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Simply for daring to state her observation that the country, Liberia is not being properly managed or governed she has attracted the bloodhounds and they appear to be stopping at nothing. And they have come charging at her under a whole range of aliases and subterfuges, suggestive of one thing. That is they are downright cowards who have no beliefs, their only motivation being, the lure of money, nothing more, nothing less.

They are virtual hyenas but unlike hyenas who give themselves away by their bloodthirsty cries, these ones are silent stalkers prowling in dark areas and feeding in the dark on the bloody carcass of the Liberian state. That the Liberian nation and state appears to be dying is becoming clearer by the day. Nothing seems to be working, government agencies appear to be working in an uncoordinated fashion. It is as if there are no rules with everyone appearing to be doing his/her own thing.

These are very troubling concerns which should claim the attention of every well-meaning Liberian. Thus, it is by no means surprising that these developments have claimed the attention of Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee and she did not bite her tongue to, in her own words, declare: “We have a dysfunctional country. I’m sorry, and Liberia is not functioning the way she should function”.

President Weah is largely to blame for this, in the opinion of a growing number of Liberians.
He had the opportunity to take a fresh start by conducting an audit of the past government in order to determine exactly where we were in terms of our finances. But he failed to do so, declaring instead that his priority was not that of the nation but was instead the protection of the interests of President Sirleaf.

And President Sirleaf had left behind a sorry tale of corruption and plunder of the state coffers by her sons, cronies and other favored officials. The US$10 million from CHEVRON, which she had that organization turn over to her son was just one of many. Then the looting of NOCAL under the watch of her son, the looting of US$30 million provided by late Libyan leader Mommar Khaddaffi for the Foya rice project, the illegal printing of more than 16 billion Liberian dollar banknotes; were all issues on which President Weah could have stood to indict President Sirleaf.

However, he chose not to, but to cover her up instead. And in the eyes of the public it meant collusion.

Probably that can partly explain why the criminal trial of accused former officials of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) appears to be staggering here and there and experiencing hiccups. In the final analysis as the public sees it, no one will be held to account. It is often argued by supporters of this government that the mess in which the country finds itself today was inherited from the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration.

In view of what has been outlined previously, the situation is largely true. However, it should not be forgotten that, for twelve years, President Weah and his Congress for Democratic Change was the foremost and largest opposition party in the country. During the 12-yr period, 2005-2017, President Weah served in the Senate for at least three years.

There he had the firsthand opportunity to learn the inner workings of government. It is highly likely that during his tenure, a bogus concession agreement was signed into law. Even before then, his party held the largest number of seats in the Legislature and those 66 bogus concession agreements signed into law under President Sirleaf must have received their endorsement.

It was widely expected that, given President Weah’s tenure and experience at the Legislature, that he would have come naturally to leadership and the governance it entails. And he also came to power with a majority of parliamentary seats held by his party. Additionally, he appeared never short of goodwill of opposition lawmakers.

On hindsight, the speed with which they passed the failed Eton-EBOMAF loan agreements into law suggests they could have similarly passed into law a bill to prosecute former officials including President Sirleaf herself, if forensic audits revealed any acts of corruption.

They could have, at his urging, passed into law an act establishing a War and Economic Crimes Court for Liberia. However, it did not happen, neither did it figure on President Weah’s list of priorities — top amongst which was and perhaps remains the protection of President Sirleaf from answering to corruption charges.

In view of the above, there can be no acceptable excuses for President Weah’s apparent failure to provide leadership to a nation so desperately wanting for good governance and the upturn in lives that such would engender and is that which remains a huge expectation of the Liberian people. And the failure to deliver on promises and fulfill expectations is what appears to be haunting this government most.

What Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee said is no strange thing or nothing new. It is a matter being widely discussed in the public, especially President Weah’s silence in these times of crisis. Efforts the government claims it is making to bring relief to ordinary people has been plagued by corruption. Now the public is left wondering just what has happened to the US$ 30 million COVID-Relief Intervention IMF loan.

The General Auditing Commission has announced that it is to shortly conduct an audit of the COVID-19 funds. It is welcome news but, what will become of the final report when it is eventually prepared, is hard to tell. The Liberian people will of course not be surprised should a number of officials be held liable but end up getting off the hook or going scot free.
Judging by the way the missing 16bn case has twisted and turned, nothing can be ruled out. After all, this too is Liberia.

Author

  • Anthony Kokoi is a young Liberian sports writer who has an ever-growing passion for the development of the game of football (soccer) and other sports. For the past few years, he has been passionately engaged in reporting the developments of the game in the country. He is an associate member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL). He is a promoter of young talents. He also writes match reports and makes an analysis of Liberian Football.

4 COMMENTS

  1. You have put it quite frankly and objectively, Abenego. It is troubling to see that Leymah would attract all the insults and demeaning comments simply because she dared to raise her voice and give a description of the current state of governance in Liberia. What is ludicrous is that people like us who dare to agree with Leymah have been insulted as well. These people who passionately insult other people because of views expressed are forgetting to know that Liberia belongs to ALL Liberians, and the same way they are passionate about Liberia is the same way other people OUGHT to be passionate about the progress of this country. Do not be surprised, Brother Abenego, if these “bloodhounds” should come charging after you and insulting you with passionate ferocity.

    In their attempt to belittle Leymah, some of them make the charge that she has done nothing for her country. Did these people know that Leymah, through her Gbowee Peace Foundation, is sponsoring hundreds of underprivileged Liberian children to go to school? Did these people know that, through the initiatives of the Gbowee Peace Foundation, young Liberian girls are provided opportunities to attend college abroad?

    Let us all get to know that nation building is an enterprise that thrives on the ideas, actions and skills of citizens. In the process of building this nation, every citizen has the right to CRITICIZE government policies and to suggest alternative ideas in the interest of moving Liberia forward. If you feel very strongly that another person’s criticisms are unfair or ideas expressed are unworkable, challenge the person to a debate and prove how the person’s criticisms are unfair or ideas unworkable.

  2. Propaganda and criticizing oneś government are two different acts. Leymah Gbowee is engaged in the former. DID YOU HEAR LEYMAH GLOWEE WHEN THE NATION WAS AT THE POINT OF MASSIVE DESTRUCTION WITH CoP AND THE LOSERS OF THE LAST ELECTION? LEYMAH IS ON A SILLY MISSION.

    You see what they did to Wilmont Paye because of his conviction in one becoming president via majority opinion, and not via a hidden agenda at the risk, cost, and expense, of the people and the growth and progress of the nation.

    This is politics; of course bad politics! They will unreasonably disagree,! They will criticize and condemn everything, not because they are interested in the welfare of the people and the development of the country.

    Have you forgotten what Amos Sawyer, Charles Taylor and Ellen Johnson said when they wanted power? You see these other ones today telling the electorate that all of the unprecedented developments being carried out by President Weah in just two years are not necessary.

    So Alston this, and her previous are pure stupid propaganda and no mere criticism from Leymah. She is a wolf in sheep clothing. The losers of the election and their supporters will unreasonably disagree, criticize, and condemn, everyday.

  3. The author of this article just failed to be objective in trying to catalogued the numerous problems fronting this administration or the state.
    He is suggesting that because this administration failed to audit the past is one or the major reasons for the mess Liberia is now encountering; that assertion is very wrong. The records of the past government performance and action and activities are available, that is the reasons when the former president is called for comments on her administration performance, she always referred people to the records.
    If the 66 concessions agreements were bogus, does the author understand the meaning of bogus? If it is discussed in this context, then there are no agreements, then these concessionaires should be driven from Liberia. If the government at the time decided to examine itself by hiring an independent firm to do so, and the report says you could have gotten better agreements from the concessions, then the lazy intellectuals/politicians got the copy and start heralding it around, it that a document that any professional of repute should be playing without crediting the author of it. Shamr on you.
    Was the printing of the 16billions authorized? You being a judicial reporter heard what the secretary of the Senate and secretary of the House of Representative said, but because some people temple with the cookies being kept in the jar, that was meant for all, so they decided to use others as scape goats, SDT can relate to that.
    To say all the problems this administration is encountering is because the” mess” its inherited is wrong. Who did EJS blamed for the puddles it inherited? It took the bull by the horns and started to solve problems and not crying, Mr. Abnego Davies.

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