Division in the Senate, A Self-inflicted Woe

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Weighing the first branch of government in terms of performance and responsible conduct, the public at some point has been seeing the Senate in high esteem.

Unlike the House of Representatives where some lawmakers, both current and past, have been accused of compromising their integrity for cash, many people have referred to the Senate as a “house of elders” with most of its members seen as people of independent minds who could assess issues on the basis of merit and make decisions that actually favor the country.

However, this seems not to be the case any longer as this upper House of the National Legislature is now divided against itself with members accusing one another for unethical behaviors least expected of them.

It all started in the recent decision taken by the Legislature to impeach former Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh, during which some Senators were said to have allegedly received bribes to vote in favor of removing the Associate Justice.

Senators Sando Johnson of Bomi County, Conmany Wesseh of River Gee County, Oscar Cooper of Margibi County and others contend that some members of the Senate allegedly received not less than US$50,000 to vote for the removal of Ja’neh.

These Senators have also gone ahead to accuse the Senate Pro-Tempore, Albert Chie of tampering with the ballots cast during the voting on March 28.  According to Senators Sando Johnson and Oscar Cooper, the Pro-Tempore, instead of displaying the ballots in an open chamber for all to see, he concealed it and the ballot box was not sealed as required under the conduct of a transparent election but opened.

They also accused Pro-Tempore Chie of taking the ballot box to his residence after the vote cast; something which leaves them doubtful that the process was transparent.

Those discontented Senators have gone further to challenge their Pro-Tempore to display the ballots in the open to identify each person’s vote by his/her signature and county.

The Senators have also described the action to impeach Associate Justice, Kabineh Ja’neh as “unconstitutional,” noting that it was done on the basis of satisfying the Executive.

Also in a recent broadcast on a local radio, Senator Sando Johnson also accused Pro-Tempore Chie of grossly insulting him and ordering him (Senator Johnson) to be investigated for “Gross disrespect.”

Senator Johnson on the radio vowed to demonstrate an equal reaction in case Pro-Temp Chie repeats what he (Johnson) alleges him of.

Since these bitter exchanges erupted in the Senate, the respect it once had has begun to dwindle.  Public reactions monitored on the radio and social media have given a tainted picture of the Senators as people without integrity but gluttons who are there to seek their personal interest against the state.

In fact Senator Oscar Cooper, following the impeachment, was on the media saying that the Senate is no more a place of integrity but of compromise, and that he was going to reach out to his constituents in Margibi to inform them that he can no longer fit in that branch of government that should be independent of the Executive.

Our reporter, Hannah Geterminah, in her report on April 10 said the Senate was divided against itself with some accusing others of carrying on an unconstitutional impeachment, in violation of the Liberian Constitution.

The demeaning situation unfolding in the Liberian Senate does not only impact the members, but the entire country as well.  We believe that with this unfolding event, investors will have the fear to come to the country since members of the Liberian Senate can attest to bribes that have been reported over a period of time in the Legislature.

While the negative consequences of the Senate’s action may reflect on the country, its members must also remember that they are stabbing themselves in the neck.  

The wise saying goes that “Respect is not demanded, but built.” One social issue facing Liberia is respect for the rule of law and for leadership — to the point that, without any courtesy, people go ahead nowadays to approach their leaders in manner unbecoming of a civilized society.

The conduct of the Legislature now backs this social issue, and there is no doubt that they are losing respect from the citizens; something we at the Daily Observer can candidly say that it is a SELF-INFLICTED WOE.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Let’s remind ourselves that accuracy (getting the facts right) is the gold standard of journalism; thus, can someone provide evidence that each convicting senator received US $50, 000? Or was this number just picked out of the hat to slander them, because they went against the grain of sabotaging the new government?Seemingly, few in our media space have gone rogue, putting partisan agenda above the common good. And until appeasing agent provocateurs masquerading as journalists ends, they might foment another chaos.

    In heaven’s name, folks, freedom of expression has limitations and responsibilities. For example, as we speak, the Mount Everest of Democracy, America, finally got their tormentor Journalist Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, when British police arrested him this morning inside the Ecuadoran embassy in London where he lived as an asylee since 2012. Perhaps, Liberian journalists should take note of what Prime Minister Theresa May told the House of Commons after the arrest: “No one is above the law”.

    • Not only is “no one above the law,” as you correctly remind us, Mr. Baghdad Moses. But equally, there’s no statute of limitation on crimes against humanity. Something akin to the heinous and murderous role you played during the fiendish and tyrannical Doe regime. And between your revulsive and nefarious type and the journalists you disparage, people would rather those journalists any day. So start praying.

  2. Flomo Smith, Hilary Snyder, Bob Jones or any silly alias you want to use is your business, veteran agent provocateur. Lies are so much part of your MO that you sound as if former senior officials at NSA during my tenure – September 1980 to July 1986 – aren’t in Monrovia.

    Moreover, many younger folks reading your rascally repetitions of misinformation wouldn’t even guess that I also worked as Minister of National Security and later Security Advisor to the President of the IGNU, Dr. Amos Sawyer. Friends of mine suggested a demagogue whose childhood neighbors and school mates say won’t change from self-centeredness and peddling opinions as facts should’ve been ignored long time ago. I refused! With reckless and unreliable narrators of your type running roughshod, silence will only carry us closer to the brink.

    • Mr. Baghdad Moses, are you suggesting by the above tomfoolery that “Flomo Smith, Hilary Snyder and Bob Jones” are one and the same individual? What could be so petrifying or fearsome about a Sylvester Baghdad Moses, for anyone to be morphing and transmogrifying from one alias to the other to elude what, or possibly who? Such consideration of oneself is called delusion of grandeur. My understanding was that you had stopped indulging “viazed” a long time ago. Or have you resumed the habit again? You must very idle in retirement in that regard. Hope you could get busted one day, so as to experience what you put other people through in your NSA days before sending them to their early graves. Such grandiosity!

  3. Alias multiple personalities is so shameless that catching him in a libelous lie means nothing; produce evidence for the US $50, 000 paid to each Senator? The question boils down to this, from a student at UL to Senior Citizen, how have you benefited from inciting commotion apart from getting the gullible caught up in a mess?

    • Now it appears your buffoonery about my use of multiple aliases to counter your diabolical vitriol here is increasing with each passing day. Now you are insinuating I am senator Wesseh? Sen. Wesseh did not back down from tyrants like Doe and Taylor but inconsequential rat like you, he will hide from?

      With such level of grandiosity you really need psychotropic medications to keep you stable, if you’re not already prescribed some. Once again you better quit whatever the intoxicant, because it is surely enhancing your lunacy and it shows. The nerve!

  4. Yeah, right, if I’m mistaken about the identity of a veteran agent provocateur with a pen, then, I wonder who is in Cloud 9. This dialogue may be a joke for you, not to me.

    Little did I know that someone would spend almost a lifetime inciting and undermining governments with tragic consequences, yet have no remorse of conscience. As a matter of fact, it won’t surprise me to hear that you and likeminded have been busy in the past week planning April 12 demonstrations: Leopards don’t change their colors. But be careful, otherwise, one day you will be caught and tried in court by your peers.

  5. Sylvester Baghdad-bob Moses, I guess I’m not the ONLY ones who sees you by that nomenclature. Ha! Hypocrisy at its peak. By the way, I’m not an alias – I represent me, myself and I.

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