Drawing Lessons From the Henry Costa Fiasco

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This newspaper, the Daily Observer, has consistently cautioned this government against official behavior of a kind which drags the country’s reputation as well as its leadership into disrepute. There is perhaps no better example of such behavior than the recent fiasco and humiliation if this government stemming from its handling of the Henry Costa request for asylum in the neighboring Republic of Sierra Leone. From all indications, the fiasco appears analogous to a failure of intelligence aggravated by incoherent pronouncements by top government officials on the situation as it unfolded.

In the first place, Henry Costa, according to various legal experts, had committed no criminal offense and those charges announced on national radio were at best laughable and bogus. Why, for example, did the Government of Liberia not much earlier proffer criminal charges against said individual since it claimed to have had incontrovertible evidence of his alleged criminal acts?

This newspaper is aware of reports suggesting that the fiasco was a botched operation intended to seize Henry Costa and whisk him off to Liberia before word of his arrest could get out. Further, just why would Government officials inform the public that Costa’s extradition to Liberia was imminent when it had not in fact filed an official extradition request before the Government of Sierra Leone. Additionally, were government officials not cognizant of provision of international laws in this regard prohibiting the repatriation of individuals fleeing persecution to countries

That individuals around the President could not provide, or failed to provide him such advice that would have steered him away from the path of official embarrassment such as the one experienced recently, is not only disappointing but completely unacceptable. Those so-called intelligence experts, especially those of his kith and kin, are misleading him down the path to self-destruction and, at the end of the day, he will be left alone to meet his fate.

President Weah has to realize that he has to step up to the plate and provide effective governance and good leadership to this nation. To do so he will have to part company with some of his ‘trusted advisors’ whose advice have wrought him so much public disfavor and mistrust. He has since promised that during his State of the Nation address, on the fourth working Monday of January, he will lay to rest many of the vexing problems on the minds of the public.

Currently, speculations are rife that the appointment of a new Agriculture Minister is but an indication of changes to come with new changes expected to be announced. The speculated changes, according to sources, are due to pressure from traditional friends who have called for a change of guards including its ethnic make-up as a precondition for providing the much-needed assistance to resuscitate the nation’s dying economy.

The new Agriculture Minister has solid credentials and vast experience in international humanitarian affairs and it is by no means surprising that she, prior to her appointment had focused her attention to the growing of the nation’s staple, rice. She could certainly bring much of her expertise to bear on her new assignment. But with Agriculture accounting for less than three percent of the national budget, it remains to be seen just how effective she would be. It also remains to be seen just how she is going to respond to such challenges.

Her longevity in government, amidst such challenges, will to be a litmus test of President Weah’s commitment to turning things around for the better by his selection of competent individuals of proven integrity to serve. This newspaper is certainly aware that decisions President Weah needs to take in order to turn things around will certainly be painful; yet he must, because time will not wait for him. He should remain unmindful of the damage caused to his image by the Henry Costa fiasco in which he has been negatively portrayed in the international media.

He will have to come to grips with the imperatives of justice including the exigency of establishing an international criminal tribunal for Liberia in order to combat and address issues of impunity. President should draw lessons from this going forward.

15 COMMENTS

  1. I hope they will take up time to read what you have written here.
    They think we are playing football. Had it not been for the book people, would football had been structured in such a way today, such that one can fairly and decently earn living from it at any level, from a linesman to the coach?
    N’importe quoi!

  2. So, Mr. Editor (John H.T. Stewart), when Russia and Switzerland recently REJECTED the USA’S REQUEST to return a fugitive (eg.Edward Snoweden a US citizen) such ”dragged the USA’S reputation as well as its leadership into disrepute”?? And such was ”a humiliation analogous to a failure of intelligence aggravated by incoherent pronouncements by top government officials on the situation as it unfolded.”??

    I bet you HAVE REALIZED your very stupid and prejudicial argument , considering the fact that the USA has the greatest intelligence and governmental leadership sophistication and power on the surface of the earth!

    You are really stupid, Mr Editor, a stupidity which has nothing to do with your incompetence, bias, and prejudice against this government driven by the humiliating defeat your candidate old and ugly corrupt Joseph Boakai suffered from the tsunamic victory of President George Manneh Weah!!

    • MR. Siboe Doe again. The editorial made a point that the regime at first failed to present an official diplomatic request through the proper channel, before informing its citizens that the Henry guy will be extradited. The regime even went further to inform the general public about date and time the Henry guy would be handed over to the authorities of the regime. It was not until the Sister-State made it clear that they do not take orders from any state or county . In the case of the US and Switzerland both countries went through the diplomatic channels. On the other hand, the regime was educated by the nation’s Sister-State on how diplomatic channels work. The campaign season is over and done with, that was 2017. Only Mr. Siboe Doe is left in the campaign season of 2017. It was really a Fiasco that the regime is unwilling to learn from.

  3. Petarius Dolo, after researching Zoedjallah´s claims against the editor, I found out these below on Switzerland and Russia..

    Most of you around here are mere gullibles led By such gullibles as this fat Kpehseh John H.T. Stewart.

    “Putin refuses US request to extradite Snowden

    Russian president denies secret services contacted the former NSA worker, calls him ‘a free man’

    25 June 2013, 9:10 pm” New York Times

    “Switzerland rejects US extradition of Roman Polanski. Authorities in Switzerland have decided not to extradite film director Roman Polanski to the US to face sentencing for a case dating back to 1977.12.7.2010

  4. There is a parable that says that when comparing animals with blood, you don’t mention snails.
    Whenever we attempt to use analogy in a situation, beware of the etymology of such word and how it relates to the situation at hand.

    Analogy dwells on a correspondence or partial similarity; a thing which is comparable to something else in SIGNIFICANT RESPECTS.

    Therefore, in what way should we compare the situation at hand here with geopolitical issues involving superpowers like the USA and Russia?
    Is the Liberian government at loggerheads or in any conflictual or competitive situation with Sierra Leone in any way?
    Do you know the genesis or mobile of why Switzerland rejected the extradition of Polanski?

    Please spell my first name correctly next time Garsuah.

  5. Brother Dolo,
    I usually agree with you on a lot of things. For instance, your zeal to lift Liberia out it’s troubled economic and political mess is a plus for you. Like you, most educated Liberians wish we’ve had a better Liberia. God willing, we will get there.

    However, on the line of making comparisons, it should be understood that it is not immoral or unethical for comparisons to be made whether they are local, geopolitical or Sub-saharan. Comparisons are usually made in order to get a valid point of view across to an individual or to a greater audience. Mr. Garsuah’s finding corroborates what my Zoedjallah had argued last week. You may not agree with the two gentlemen. That’s fine. You are not obligated to say yes or no to anyone in the court of public opinion. Lastly, you make comparisons too. Example, just recently, you stated that you are very impressed with the progress that’s being made by the Ghanaians, Ivorians and other West African countries. That was an implicit comparison. But I agreed with your observation from East to West. You’re there. You have a first hand knowledge of the development protocol.

    I don’t know Mr. Garsuah. I am very certain he did not deliberately misspell your name. We as humans commit errors, Freudian slips, etc.
    Garsuah, I can’t tell you not to make errors. Never. Who am I! Just be careful next time with the spelling of PETARUS!

    I enjoy the two of you. You can disagree every minute, if you want. Let’s not go the negative route.

    Peace

  6. Correction:
    Should be….
    1..Out of its troubled… and

    1. Should be Mr. Zoedjallah and not my Zoedjallah.

    JM is responsible. He wants to write a book about me. My nerves are unhappy.

  7. Dolo, you will have to attach a ”handle” to my name (eg. God Pa Garsuah) when addressing us. Now, international politics is the struggle for power where the norm, practice, and or tradition, is that competing national interests, rival national wants,opposing sovereign needs, and rival sovereign interests! Accordingly, ”loggerheads” is a misnomer!

    THEY (Liberia, US, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, Russia) ARE ALL SOVEREIGN COUNTRIES within the comity and community of nations, with EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION over their respective territories! They are not at war, but disregarded COMITY and applied REJECTION OF RETURNING FUGITIVES. Now you see the similitude, equivalence, the parallel,, the correlation, hence, the why the scenarios are analogically ”comparable”, Petarus.

  8. Dolo, you will have to attach a ”handle” to my name (eg. God Pa Garsuah) when addressing us. Now, international politics is the struggle for power where the norm, practice, and or tradition, is that competing national interests, rival national wants,opposing sovereign needs, and rival sovereign interests CLASH EVEN DURING THE APPLICABILITY OF COMITY! Accordingly, ”loggerheads” as used here by you is a misnomer!

    THEY (Liberia, US, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, Russia) ARE ALL SOVEREIGN COUNTRIES within the comity and community of nations, with EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION over their respective territories! They are not at war, but disregarded COMITY and applied REJECTION OF RETURNING FUGITIVES. Now you see the similitude, equivalence, the parallel,, the correlation, hence, the why the scenarios are analogically ”comparable”, Petarus.

  9. Well noted “god pas”.

    Let me bring you up to date on something by setting example on myself. I am a poor boy from a poor family. I have known where to put my feet at sometimes in life.
    God created us with 5 fingers that are never equal. We need to make use of our God’s given right judiciously. When God created the world, he loved His creation to date. But he chose a people, the Israelites. Even from those people, he chose some families.

    Though you are a sovereign country like Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ghana or the Ivory Coast, when push comes to shove, where does your sovereignty lead you if you cannot even feed, protect, defend and provide healthcare for yourselves?

    First thing first, let’s learn to feed ourselves by equal distribution of our God’s richly endowed resources, provide securities at our land, sea and air frontiers, have respect for each other by upholding basic human rights.

    We are all equal under God but in a family, there is a father, mother and children. Everyone knows his place and role, so is a country and the world.
    If we want our sovereignty to be recognized, respected and known by all, let’s learn to go nuclear to obtain such respect.
    Remember General Noriega? Panama was a sovereign country, but the USA invaded it and brought that general to book.

    Wake up brother. Let’s learn to harness our resources first before we talk about sovereignty.

  10. My first laugh this morning is the Zoedjallah mandate… “put a handle to Garsuah’s name”. Zoedjallah, that’s funny. Dolo, it’s all a joke.

    Have a good day gentlemen.

  11. Petarus Dolo

    Petarus: Thanks a lot. I do read your many comments, and it appears to me like you are quite a very insightful person.

    You made me to ponder over the question that you asked, “Though you are a sovereign country like Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ghana or the Ivory Coast, when push comes to shove, where does your sovereignty lead you if you cannot even feed, protect, defend and provide healthcare for yourselves?”

    Wow! this is a question to ponder over. Keep up the commentaries and do not let personal attacks detract from your good messages.

    • Madam / Sir,

      I am indeed honored to read you, not because of the praise for my commentaries but because you understand the predicament we find ourselves in as a people.
      Together, let’s force this positive change.
      It is high time we sat idly and allowed pigheaded people to blindly lead people like you and me.
      It is high time we all waded into the plains of the coastal land and the forests of our highlands, mindful of the risks to be incurred, to make our people to understand and take the rightful decisions for the common good of all.
      It is high time we condoned evil, mediocrity and mischief while we sit and look on mesmerizingly.

      Talk to someone, especially people in your inner circle, to lead the change for our country. Yes, we have competent Liberians to lead a positive change in Liberia. If you do not know one, I recommend Alexander B. Cummings. We can make a good start with him whence the children of Liberia will no longer be judged on their tribal or political affiliation, religious or cultural background but on the content of their character. This, I firmly hold, is possible with you.

      Good morning Madam / Sir.

  12. John H.T. Stewart seems to believe his opinions more than the facts. If Henry Costa hadn’t committed a crime, he w’ld have stayed. His Costa line suggests a Jekyll and Hyde personality: A man with attributes of a great journalist who allows anti-establishment animus to force him into making Faustian bargain. The truth of the matter is that our fragile postwar country can’t afford the constant commotion agent provocateurs – like a rascally Henry Costa – see as a solution to further pursuit of fame and fortune via political power.

  13. ”A man with attributes of a great journalist who allows anti-establishment animus to force him into making Faustian bargain.” Mr. Sylvester Gbayahforh Moses, your foregoing statement here in quotation is the weird personality of all of these political masquerades with the likes of John H.T.Stewart been the typical!

    They do not hesitate to sell their conscience for even crumbs or jealousy. And they are very lazy and dull politicians or at least followers.

    They and their dilapidated Boakai expected an incumbent Ellen to use her incumbency power to spoon feed them with presidential electoral victory even when it became clear to all that the electoral political calculus of the nation’s national hero George Manneh Weah had out smarted every other Liberian politician at home and abroad.

    In other words,that the likes of John Stewart (who hated Commany Wisseh because Wisseh did not elist him Stewart for a communist training in EASTERN EUROPE in the 70s), would support a foolish little boy as Henry who is like a janitorial rag for a Benoni Urey, really makes your DESCRIPTION of their Jekyll and Hyde personality and the Faustian bargain essentially TIMELY.

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