Go Up, Antoinette Sayeh, and Teach Your Fellow Liberians, the World the Virtue of Integrity and Hard Work!

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We have decided to devote this final Editorial of the week to three causes.

The first is to celebrate an outstanding Liberian and African daughter, Dr. Antoinette Sayeh; second, to pray that what she is being recommended for will materialize; third and most importantly, to help the Liberian and African people to understand, accept and take seriously the critical meaning and virtue (advantage, benefit) of INTEGRITY and HARD WORK.

Why are we focusing upon and honoring Antoinette today? Lest we forget, this is not the first time the Daily Observer has honored this Liberian woman. In 2007 we named her Person of the Year after she and her successor, Augustine Ngafuan, succeeded in enabling Liberia to meet the requirements of HIPIC (Heavily Indebted Poor Countries), leading the International lenders to cancel the US$4 billion debt our country had owed over many years.

Today we honor her consistency in serving both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over more than two decades.  We must also remember that when President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf appointed her Finance Minister in early 2006, Antoinette did not say “This is my time to get rich”, then proceed to do all kinds of bad things to achieve that greedy and grievous (terrible, shameful) objective.  We do not have to remind our readers about the many senior and not so senior officials who, during the Sirleaf administration, simply went after the money, in some instances tens of millions of it, and got off scot-free.

NO! Dr. Sayeh played well her part in serving her country diligently, efficiently and honestly; and after little over two years, having accomplished her main goal—wiping out the US$4 billion debt, she gracefully bowed out and returned to her job at the World Bank.

Next thing we knew, she was called by the Bank’s sister Organization, the IMF, to take charge of its entire African portfolio.  She performed this, too, with distinction for over 8 unbroken years.

That is why the IMF’s most senior official, its Managing Director, Madam Kristalina Georgieva, this week proposed the appointment of Dr. Antoinette Sayeh as Deputy Managing Director of the IMF, effective March 16, 2020.  The appointment is subject to the approval by the IMF’s Executive Board.

This nomination of Dr. Sayeh has nothing to do with politics.  Let us also point out that the Liberian government had absolutely nothing to do with it!  The GOL did not even know about it until they saw it our Business Reporter David Yates’ story in the Daily Observer last Wednesday morning, February 26, 2020.

Reporter Yates said in his story that the IMF Managing Director, in announcing Dr. Sayeh’s selection, said “we are welcoming back a dear friend and member of the IMF family.  Antoinette is very well known and highly respected, having served as Director of the African Department between 2008 and 2016, where she led a major transformation of the Fund’s relationship with our African member countries.  Antoinette demonstrates a rare combination of institutional leadership, deep analytical capacity, and an unwavering commitment to fairness.  I have always been impressed by her genuine care for the wellbeing of the people we serve and her ability to place them front and center in our efforts.”

Daughters and sons of Liberia, yea Africa, you have heard it all!  We plead with you, urge each and all of you, in whatever vocation or capacity you find yourselves, to emulate Antoinette Sayeh’s example of competence, diligence, efficiency, fairness, integrity and service.  All of you who emulate this, Antoinette’s great example will go far.

Remember what we said in yesterday’s Editorial, quoting Solomon in the Book Proverbs: “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.”

A prominent Liberian politician, who was one time a student leader and devotee of Albert Porte, the constitutional analyst, pamphleteer and agitator with the pen, said last night as we discussed Antoinette Sayeh that he could not understand why so many Liberians in high places go after money, money, money.  They seemed to have forgotten that so many Liberian big shots who got rich in government service, and even others who made money on their own, have been forgotten; yet one of the poorest Liberians in material terms, Albert Porte, is passionately (fervently) remembered by Liberians.  “It wasn’t Albert Porte’s money, for he, his wife Bertha and their 11 children hand none.  But we remember Mr. Porte because of his integrity, his courage and tenacity in speaking and writing about the things he cared about—truth, justice, fairness and good governance.  And where are Liberia’s onetime rich?  Gone, forgotten, or not remembered in any positive way.

We once again wholeheartedly commend Dr. Sayeh for this nomination and hope, pray and trust that the IMF’s Executive Board will approve Managing Director Georgieva’s nomination.

We call on all African young women and men to read about this great African woman, Dr. Antoinette Sayeh, and emulate her enviable example.  She is one of the few Africans with a PhD who has done something tangible with this terminal degree.

46 COMMENTS

  1. She could be a good leader for Liberia tomorrow with such wealth of experience, but the voters could prefer senator Prince Johnson as always.

  2. What or which good leader for Liberia tomorrow? A woman (like myself) who was appointed as Minister of Finance with millions of US Dollars getting missing on a daily basis to pay Ellen’s war debts, the purpose for which she was appointed by Ellen?

    Its a pity that some people get so unnecessarily excited about these crooks simply because they have worked or are about to work with international institutions.

    Did Ellen not work with these very institutions and with the help of these very excitements from some people, ended up appointing her son and her friend’s son at the Central Bank to print illegal and unauthorized money? Antoinette is just another crook who does not have this country at heart, but rather interest in her selfish vanities.

    • Dear Kou Gontee,

      Why do you always have problems with people of great professional integrity and national and international pride?

      Just read the news article. Is the Daily Observer lying to their readership in this recital? Then challenge the newspaper and stop spewing hatred and misdemeanors on an honorable civil servant of the international community.

      She served as Finance Minister for Liberia within a short period of time with one mission: Obtain the HIPC point for the Liberian colossal debt burdens to be waived to enable postwar Liberia to embark on sustainable development. When she accomplished her mission, she bowed out.
      She knew the nuisance of working with a people practically traumatized from a fratricidal protracted war. She didn’t want to be castigated vainly as you are doing, that’s why after her mission, she left.
      Had there been mismanagement during her term as you are claiming, the international community would never have waived Liberia’s $4 billion debts.

      By the way, know that she will be the second (2nd) African, after current president Alassane Ouattara of the Ivory Coast, to ever occupy the post of Deputy Managing Director for the IMF. Isn’t it a pride to celebrate instead of slandering an honest and hardworking woman? Liberia will not stay as it is. It will one day be a country of laws where such vain slanderous attacks will be met with severe lawsuits. Can you prove that she participated in paying Ellen’s war debt?

      I understand you are paid to do this job under a pseudonym but please, have some regards for some other personalities.

      • Petarus, and Alston, that´s the inferiority complex with most of you that because one may have been “the second (2nd) African, after current president Alassane Ouattara of the Ivory Coast, to ever occupy the post of Deputy Managing Director for the IMF” he or she is not corrupt or indecent to the marrow of her bone!

        Have you forgotten how Antoinette went to the Ministry of Finance, and the people expected her to be a great finance minister, but to only find out that all her time at the ministry was nothing but millions of dollars getting missing right under her nose?

        You talking about “position”. What about the former head of the very IMF Strauss Kahn who the French people thought would have become their next President, but only found out later how indecent he is when he was caught on camera raping an African girl working at the hotel where he lodged!

        Again, I ask you, was not Ellen Johnson Sirleaf the first African woman who served as Director of the Africa Bureau at the UN? But what you people witness was corruption from her desk through her families, and cronies, coupled with disappearances, and whistleblowers found dead and dumped behind her office!

        Again, Antoinette is a corrupt rascal; and the Liberian people better know that now than later. She should be asamed of herself having accepted the post of minister of finance to carry out corruption to inflate her bank account, and pay Ellen´s war debts!

      • ”Just read the news article. Is the Daily Observer lying to their readership in this recital?”

        . Petarus, all the angelic character they have tried to convince the public she is, did you see them state anything about her maladministration and corrupt management at the Ministry of Finance? No.

        They will never, once she has paid them to write this PR ON HER BEHALF on the eve of the Board of the IMF approving or rejecting her nomination. That is all this useless editorial ”out of the blues” is about!

        Now, never forget this… Not knowing that editors and reporters are WORST LIARS THAN POLITICIANS, is what this quoted aforementioned statement of your reflect. I challenge you Mr. Editor or reporter to dispute what is been exposed here of this former finance minister of Liberia.

        • Now you are addressing the issue in the right way. I think that’s how we should proceed; challenge the veracity of the story and the editorial board instead of attacking the individual who did not write the article.

          • Petarus, I am not Madam Gontee nor am I a female as Madam Gontee. I have read this story and I do share the views of Madam Gontee against Antoinette Sayeh. Get that straight.

            Secondly, it is THE RIGHT of one to direct his or her attack or criticism at whichever target he or she chooses (whether the publisher or the one promoted by the publisher). Just as Madam Gontee has criticized Antoinette Sayeh, I have also commented on Antoinette Sayeh’s corrupt character.

            It is Antoinette Sayeh’s right to prove me wrong or prove Madam Gontee wrong. But I bet you she cannot, because what both of us have exposed here of her personality and character is true and correct and replete in the Liberian media.

      • Petarus, you know nothing actual about HIPC and this is why you have naively attributed Liberia’s debt relief to Antoinette Sayeh during whose tenure as the Minister of Finance (2006 to 2008) Liberia had NOT EVEN STARTED the process of debt relief viz the HIPC. Petarus, etc.,

        The process of the Liberian HIPC debt relief began YEARS AFTER Antoinette ended helping herself and paying Ellen’s war debts.

        That is, such process began and got completed LONG LONG LONG AFTER THE DEPARTURE OF ANTOINETTE SAYEH, and DURING THE TENURES or Ngafuahn , Konneh, and Kamara, and with the PRO WORK by Tipoteh regarding him allowing himself to be used by Ellen for her fake ”Poverty Reduction Program” which inter alia qualifies an HIPC Country for debt relief or cancellation.

        . And even with this cancellation of debt or debt relief viz HIPC,, the new or successor government was doomed to inherit and ”Experience Huge Deficit of US$41 Million … US$41.81 million – the biggest in the 11-year leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ” with Ellen and her children and cronies at the CBL printing clandestine money.

        • Kou, don’t blame me then. I am commenting based on information provided by the Daily Observer. If your account is correct, it means the newspaper is misleading its readership. Just read the article, Kou. I am not the one to be insulted.

          However, let me frankly tell you what I make of you:
          – You are not the person using this name;
          – You are an agent working for the Weah’s government;
          – You say terrible things without proofs to blindly mislead our already naïve and unschooled populace;
          – You hate EJS, her children and other cronies maybe simply because they did not give you the job you wanted or so;
          – You think you should have some rights and privileges denied you and so you have great animosity in your heart for a group of people in Liberia;
          – Lastly, you bear immense hatred, grief and bitterness in your heart against even your own people. Learn to forgive to move ahead!

    • Dear Compatriot Kou Gontee,

      Instead of slandering another fellow Liberian who has contributed significantly in service to Liberia and the world, please tell the public how you, Madam Gontee, have this country, Liberia, “at heart.” Otherwise, should your name surface someday as a servant in the public space, you would be greeted with the same disrespectful comment as Kou Gontee is ” just another crook who does not have this country at heart, but rather interest in her selfish vanities.”

  3. “Da real” “Virtue of Integrity and Hard Work”. You are really making fun or mocking either Antoinette Sayeh or the Liberian people. A corrupt Antoinette Sayeh on record of been the worst fincance minister in Liberian history? Mr. Editor, you must be out of your mind to publish such misinformation for someone who we already know is as corrupt as the very Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who imported her to aid and abet her Ellen in looting our national treasury!

  4. I support Kou Gontee’s position philosophically. Gontee does not say that Sayeh is uneducated neither does she suggest that Sayeh is subhuman. Far from it! Gontee is cognizant of Sayeh’s work experience. What Gontee points out is that Sayeh has done “some funny things” at the Finance Ministry in the past. Gontee is fully aware of the fact that all of us have a checkered past, I totally agree. So why should Gontee be blamed? Should she not disclose something that we don’t know? We operate in the court of public opinion. In this public court, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. Personally, I am happy to hear that an educated Liberian female has been nominated to hold a top IMF position. I will be unhappy or perhaps disappointed if it can be shown that Sayeh didn’t do a good job at the Ministry of Finance during the Johnson-Sirleaf years.

    I mean no harm, no disrespect.
    Peace.

  5. Again, Again,
    Dr Sayeh is up there,but who will she give the money to for the development of Liberia? Who has the Know-Hows to develop Liberia?
    Ellen could also not move Liberia forward because the Know-How is not in the country. High School dropouts do not have the Know-Hows needed to develop.
    Liberia needs Know-Hows, Skillsets else only Ghana, Guinea, IvoryCost, etc will make good use of her but Liberia.
    Dr. Sayeh has no power to give you free money or free bag of rice Liberian; stop dancing.
    NO Economist can develop Liberia. Liberia must produce and export to develop.
    Stop dancing.

    One post asked a very smart question:
    Can Liberia develop without Technology? Ofcourse NO!
    Asking such question shows how Liberia is massively illiterate.

    Only the best of our educated with the needed Know-Hows, Skillsets can move Liberia forward; YES “da book we le eat”
    Why Dr. Sayeh is not in government?
    Why Dr Weeks of UL is not working at UL?
    where are the others? Is the government looking for tthem

    For me, I swear to God, leave me out. I will wait.

    • My Beloved Mr. Curran,

      You once professed your religious background on this blog for which I hold you in high esteem. Unfortunately, this is the second time I am reading from you say, “I swear to God”.

      By reminded of what the Scripture says:
      “Again, you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. Matthew 5: 33-37

      Don’t let the Liberian frustration lead you to grave sins. It’s better to save our soul then lose all earthly and moreover, heavenly treasures.

      Good Evening, senior brother!

  6. Comrade Petarus Dolo is 101% Biblically correct, no ifs or buts! We beg the Most High God to forgive our transgressions. We sin every day. It’s because of His omnipotent grace that keeps us going.
    No argument!

    Peace

  7. The editorial didn’t only showcase Dr Sayeh’s capacity for the # 2 slot at IMF, a big deal for struggling Mama Liberia, but also went effusive about her honesty. And considering nothing substantial was adduced to back the latter, Mme Kou Gontee had a right to challenge and disprove the ethical claim. However, she too failed to provide convincing evidence for the allegation of guilt by association.

    Let this be a cautionary tale for all of us: Get enough reasoned support for or against any proposition.

    That said, unarguably, Dr Sayeh makes all Liberians proud; anyway, should some start writing her for a run in 2023? I don’t think so – nor does she. Her rush to bolt before EJS could get a proper grip on the steering of the ship of state spoke volumes of a professional disinterested in the politicking. We Liberians shouldn’t fool ourselves; our rude irresponsible behaviors have made the Presidency an unattractive frightening place to be.

    • Mr. Moses, my criticism of Antoinette IS NEITHER as a result of her association with the corrupt regime of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, NOR ANY ASSOCIATION she has or may have had with anyone or Ellen Johnson Sirleaf!

      While it is true Antoinette was a stooge of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf during her tenure as the minister of finance between 2006 and beyond, Antoinette’s PERSONAL selfish, unprofessional, unpatriotic, corrupt and incompetent maladministration at the ministry of Finance IS REPLETE IN THE PRESS AND WITHIN THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE PUBLIC! Your obsession with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her war which had you people packing away from power, blinds you to this truth, fact and reality, hence your illusion about ”guilt by association”!

      So, your claim about ”failure to provide convincing evidence for the allegation of guilt by association” is totally unnecessary and poor, and cannot pass the scrutiny of commonsense or conventional wisdom, not to talk about, logic, deductive or analogical reasoning!

      For with millions of US Dollars of state funds missing on a daily basis within especially the Ministry of Finance, with no one been held accountable, or prosecuted, it becomes natural, moral,and legal that the minister proper of the ministry (in that case Antoinette) is either an accomplice or the very one carrying out such corrupt and criminal acts! THIS HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH ”GUILT BY ASSOCIATION”!!! And you know it!

      And these corrupt and criminal acts under the nose of Antoinette as THE minister of Finance is replete in the Press And you know it as well as the general public! Your obsession with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her war which had you people packing away from power blinds you to this truth, fact and reality!

      • Another thing Mr. Moses, you mentioned ”should some start writing her for a run in 2023? ” That futile endeavor began some time ago and not just now!

        Blind to the intelligence of ” how and through whom elections are won, and especially politics in Africa, these very mentality of people, perhaps doing this PR for Antoinette Sayeh, foolishly had the wishful thinking that THE MAJORITY of Liberians had not understood DURING THE TWELVE YEARS OF CORRUPT ELLEN that IT IS NOT about university credentials nor heading or working with international and supranational organizations which makes a FINE LEADER.

        Hence, as it ended with Dr. George Kieh, who line Kwame Clement thinks national politics is the same as student politics at LU, these very mentality of people after getting frustrated from THE ELECTORAL INVINCIBILITY AND OF THE CDC, went into oblivion.

        In short, Antoinette would be a very big political fool to subscribe to any rant about she ever becoming president whether through A SELECTORATE OR ELECTORATE,

        For even if all the journalists, policy wonks, pundits, pollsters, fixers, and spin doctors stupidly decide to support a person as Antoinette to run whether in 2020 0r 2023 for a legislative seat or the presidency, BULK OF THE VOTERS …THE MASSES, THE ACTIVISTS, AND THE INTERMEDIARIES, do not ”know her” and cannot ”know her” even in a decade from now!

        • Excuse me Kou, I do not mean harm or so, but your concluding paragraph tells me you are naïve to African politics.
          I don’t wish for it but if Maiden Sayeh were to decide to run for president of Liberia, she would win a landslide victory (period). Take my word for it!

          • Petarus, if what you are saying is logical or has anyplace in objective political reasoning, THEN WHY Ellen Johnson Sirleaf did not beat Taylor on July 19, 1997 in that election, and had only 10 percent of vote!

            Or why George Weah beat everybody (including Ellen supported by major political parties and the international community) in the first round of 2005 election and even in the second round, but was cheated. Or WHY George Weah beat Boakai and the rest of the candidates in 2017?

            If Ellen who was at the time no stranger in the muddy waters of Liberian politics, and an acclaimed expert and a senior PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL civil servant of the UN could not win a common 11 percent of the vote, and Taylor who was so hated by the so called book people of Liberia and the very UN went trashing Ellen, do you think a political nobody or a typical politically unknown person as Antoinette Sayeh could ever stand a chance in any election anytime soon in Liberia? You people just conclude for concluding sake.

  8. Mme Kou Gontee

    First, what an irony you said, “Antoinette’s personal selfish, unprofessional … is replete in the Press” when the brouhaha here centers on an editorial. Second, you didn’t indicate relevance of “Your obsession with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her war which had you people packing away from power…” regarding a man who was hired from another country solely for his professionalism six months after the coup; dismissed six years later; reinstated a year before the 1989 Invasion; and rehired as National Security adviser after Ellen’s “war”.

    The above-mentioned reasoned pointers show that the swipe at me just like your accusations against Dr. Sayeh are more speculative than factual. Because you couldn’t have been serious about relying on press reporting, or supposedly public perception not confirmed by statistics. I’m usually at loss when highly educated people become flummoxed by reasonable skepticism even though high school students are taught to anticipate objections of readers therefore must fully support their statements.

    You and I have bigger dreams for Liberia that dwarf our disagreements on evidence, Logic and reason. We are against unconstitutional regime change and for stability, which is the only guarantee for national development and prosperity. And for a security officer who worked from 1966 to 1980 within a traditional civil service setting in a multiparty democratic system, “power” with its political association is an alien concept. I thank God for my formative years as a security professional…

    • Mr. Moses, we could ”not indicate relevance” or burrow into your aforementioned we have in quotation, because besides a matter of clarity, or reference, such is irrelevant here!!

      Now, if what we have pointed out whether about this editorial, you, Antoinette, or anyone, were a matter of ”speculation’ as you are not surprisingly pretentiously claiming here, then neither law nor morality would be those dictates or decisive determinants which make no distinctions between direct and circumstantial evidence as to the degree of proof required.

      For each (circumstantial evidence and direct evidence) is a reasonable method of proof. That is, each is respected for such convincing force as it may carry.

      And this will also always be the case as long as there exists a logical and convincing connection between the facts established and the conclusion concurred!

      Accordingly, just as despite the fact politicians are often seen and known to be rascals, but nevertheless they are always our leaders, so too despite the fact journalists (the fourth estate) must never be seen as angels, it is through them the public is able to receive the facts!

      And it is because of THIS INFALLIBILITY on the part of the Fourth Estate, whether the objective mind or the subjective mentality generally always receive any information or ”facts” with a reasonable amount of SKEPTICISM, and then makes sound judgments and reasonable conclusions, as we have done here based on both direct and circumstantial evidences!

      That said, neither you nor Antoinette, or even this editor can deny the fact that what was written in the press about millions getting mysteriously missing under the nose of Antoinette as finance minister were mere defamations, since of course, she never sought any legal redress against ANY of those news reports replete in the press about her corrupt conduct as minister of finance!

      Nor is it not a fact that you once upon a time worked with a regime which the corrupt Ellen Johnson Sirleaf war sent packing, thus making pellucid the existent logical and convincing connection between the FACTS (eg. REPORTED millions got mysteriously missing under Antoinette’s administration, etc UNCHALLENGED IN COURT) established and the conclusion concurred regarding our assertions here whether about you, this editor, Antoinette, or anyone!

      • Kou,

        You know book ooooh!
        But some of us did not really understand all that you said here. Please help me understand these points:
        Are you saying because Maiden Sayeh did not come out publicly to refute a rumor is synonymous to her acquiescence of the allegation/s?
        Also, did the Daily Observer ever report on corruption case/s involving Maiden Sayeh during her time as Minister of Finance?

        Please, I had not been closely following politics in the past in Liberia. Can you tell me under which minister the HIPC was reached?
        Did the Daily Observer lie attributing the success of the HIPC to Maiden Sayeh?

        I would be very happy if you were to provide answers Madam Gontee because I really want to know the truth about Maiden Sayeh.

  9. Mme Kou Gontee

    I spent five years of my life learning to not sound so melodramatic under any circumstances; have a great weekend, dear.

    • After spending five years of one’s life learning to not sound so melodramatic under any circumstances, it amazes anyone (as I was) to see the very individual making a mountain out of a mole.

  10. Petarus, news reported in print and broadcast IS NOT RUMOUR. And you know it! So people buy newspaper, listen to broadcast news on radio, and watch TV news to listen to and watch rumour according to Petarus Dolo?

    Not only Daily Observer but also all the other major news outlets… both print and broadcast in Liberia reported on the disappearance of millions at the ministry of finance between 2006 and 2008..

    Liberia’s Ministry of Finance under Augustine Kpehe Ngafuahn 2008 to 2012by Jun 29, 2010 Liberia qualified and reached the “completion point” under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and was granted a total debt relief of US$4.6 billion.

    THIS WAS FAR FAR FAR after Antoinette ended her assignment of paying Ellen’s war debt and left the ministry of Finance for good! The DAILY Observer is simply doing a PR for Antoinette Sayeh.

  11. Thank you for your clarification. I will undertake my investigation to learn the truth.

    However, from my few years of experience as Accounts Administrator for 2 different NGOs and knowing how the UN Systems operate, I doubt your declaration on the professional morality of Maiden Sayeh. Had it been the case, she could NEVER had been proposed to that position. Let’s see if she would not be confirmed.

  12. Petarus, make no mistake about that, unless an act of God, Antoinette will be confirmed. But for anyone to see those who serve at the UN or other public international organizations (eg. IMF, World Bank, etc) as any better than politicians or bureaucrats working or serving in governments, he or she is badly mistaken. They are more corrupt than politicians or bureaucrats in governments.

    Take for example Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Liberia), Alasan Ouattara (Ivory Coast), and Tejan Kaba (Sierra Leone), three of whom while serving at the UN planned, fomented, incited, financed and equipped rebels against their respective democratic elected governments simply because they wanted to become Presidents to steal from their respective countries.

  13. Mme Kou Gontee

    With this clarification regarding your rationale, perhaps you should review the entire conversation thread. Because, the disagreement between us, for example, wasn’t whether international public servants – including Dr Sayeh – are more effective national leaders than local politicians, or civil servants. Instead, it’s the fact that you failed to convince me of her selfish, corrupt, unprofessional, and unpatriotic behaviors at Finance Ministry. Apparently, that provoked you into going off tangent on an ad hominem argument. And, amusingly, I’m yet to be persuaded.

  14. Mr. Moses, your being ”convinced” or ”persuaded” does not matter, especially upon your inability to counter why Antoinette chose not to sue for defamation as expressed and implied in your statement here in quotation ” Because you couldn’t have been serious about relying on press reporting, or supposedly public perception not confirmed by statistics.

    Mr. Moses, with this reality of your inability to counter or successfully dispute our claims, and the fact that neither you nor your desire to be ”convinced” or ”persuaded” matters, not to mention you having declared your vow ”not to sound so melodramatic under any circumstances”;, we had no other recourse, but to have you, viz this subject, bulldozed and abandoned into oblivion!

  15. Mme Kou Gontee

    Talking of my “inability to counter why Antoinette chose not to sue for defamation” is comical when you have the onus – just like any accuser in court or wherever – to prove your case against her. By the way, I’m using this matter to make two significant points. First, habit of well-meaning folk making hasty generalizations on little or no evidence, and, second, commenters or debaters deviating from the issue under discussion to attack contrarian voices.

    To be fair, frankly, it has nothing to do with you per se.

    But for a country where false representations about the Tolberts’ profiteering from increase in the price of rice set in motion series of events which culminated into a genocidal ethnic conflict, all of us should exercise caution. I worked 14yrs in the security apparatus of Sierra Leone before returning home to serve another 14 yrs in ours. The nonchalance with which few of my countrymen made major false allegations against each other and some were quick to take (mortal) offense for any real or assumed slight worry me even today.

  16. For a clean African to get a job like this is near impossible then how come a so-called corrupt African is getting the job…this is nothing but a cheap smear against an outstanding woman…

  17. VOA

    Liberia’s New Finance Minister Leaves World Bank Job

    October 31, 2009 09:26 PM

    Liberia’s incoming finance minister worked for the World Bank for 17 years before being tapped by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to be only the second female finance minister in Liberia, after the president herself. As she prepared to depart the World Bank for her new position, Antoinette Sayeh said combating corruption and winning international confidence will be among her priorities.

    World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz praised Antoinette Sayeh at a farewell gathering in Washington. He said, although Liberia faces many challenges, the country was in good hands with the selection of Sayeh as finance minister.

    “Liberia is blessed, as some other countries are blessed, to have an extraordinary World Bank staffer, who is prepared to give up all the comforts of Washington life – all the great restaurants, all the great colleagues and offices, all the good athletic facilities, lights, running water – to go and serve her country,” he said.

    Wolfowitz described the work facing Sayeh as challenging, but said the World Bank would encourage governments and other institutions to give her a chance to succeed.

    For her part, Liberia’s incoming finance minister described the challenges facing Liberia as monumental, and she praised Liberia’s new president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

    “It’s a broken country. It’s broken in all sorts of ways. The infrastructure is just the physical destruction, but values, what people aspire to, what young kids grow wanting to be, all of that has changed for the worse,” she said. “And those are the harder things to fix. But we have an occasion in a very strong leader, who herself has gone through all sorts of experiences, has been prosecuted and knows what it is to suffer. And so, she very much wants to do the right things for Liberia, and I’m honored that she’s asked me to join her team to help.”

    Sayeh is among several other former World Bank officials who have chosen to serve their respective countries, including Nigeria’s finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and Afghanistan’s Ashraf Ghani.

    Sayeh says her priorities are getting Liberia’s financial house in order, restoring the country’s credibility with the international community and fighting corruption head on, which she noted has become a way of life in Liberia. She says Liberia would need the support of the international community.

  18. Where is Kou Gontee?
    You are not “gon” why Gontee? You should be Laytee! (rire)
    Please read the article above, Kou.

    • Petarus, have you not seen the abundance of similar news about Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the international media, to the extent that she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize? But the reality was that she was embroiled in corruption and killing whistleblowers with their bodies dumped behind her office window, with the Auditor General Morlu telling her and the world that her government was the most corrupt government in the history of Liberia.

      Antoinette Monsio Sayeh her first Minister of Finance from 2006 to 2008 had an exchange with the auditor General of Liberia John S. Morlu 11 while she Antoinette was Finance Minister. See below the exchange, and be your own judge and see if Antoinette is not just another corrupt individual.

      ”In 2007, I made a simple request to the Minister of Finance for the financial statements at the start of the audit. I received a letter from the Minister of Finance lecturing me about the difference between Government financial management and private sector. Yes, in Liberia, everyone knew auditing and financial management more than me. For them, John Morlu II was just an ‘idiot’ imposed on them by the European Union. The Minister of Finance wrote me and said, “GOVERNMENTS DO NOT PRODUCE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.” I wrote her back and said simply, “by your letter you have shown your ignorance of financial management in Government. Please find attached the Financial Statements of the Government of Ghana and a link to the Financial Statements of the Government of Maryland and the U.S. Department of Justice. I shall frame your letter for posterity.” THE PERSPECTIVE MAGAZINE DECEMBER 8, 2013

      The second Minister of Finance in the Ellen Sirleaf Government condemned me, the GAC and said I have crucified him. He condemned my professionalism and trashed the HIPC audit reports, because he said he was not in the “movie” so how he is held accountable for actions in the movie. He was politely reminded that it is true he was not in all sections of the movie but he was in the part that had to deal with expending of the “general claims” money, which at the time constituted 20% of the national budget. But here was the funny part. While he was condemning me and the audits, he packaged all the audits, wrote a cover letter, signed the cover letter and put them all in a big envelope and sent it off to the World Bank and IMF asking them to accept and approve for $4.9 billion debt waiver.

      • Kou, you are sounding very very great indeed. But please tell me, based on what you qualified the Weah’s administration as the best in Liberia?
        What are your political and philosophical orientations?
        What do you want to see changed in Liberia and how do you want it/them changed?

        I would really love to continue exchanging with you to learn a lot from you. I hope you will have the time and patience with me.

        Good morning.

        • Petarus, thanks for the compliment.

          But let us not allow compliments or sentiments to DERAIL us from the subject matter of our ongoing exchange with your “RUN AWAY TRY” about your Petarus´ TOTALLY UNRELATED UTTERANCE about ” Weah’s administration , and political and philosophical orientations”.

          Our discussion is about THE FACT, TRUTH, AND REALITY, when it comes to: Antoinette Monsio Sayeh´s competence, or “Virtue of Integrity and Hard Work!”

          Now, with the proof we have provided below that Antoinette is as corrupt as ANY corrupt government official or ANY corrupt international civil servant, as reflected in her exchange with former Auditor General John S. Morlu while she was Minister of Finance of Liberia (2006-2008), you must tell your audience and me what you think she is especially regarding this CORRUPT AND INCOMPETENT, AND UNPROFESSIONAL “IDEA ” OF HER´S in block letters below, SIMPLY BECAUSE SHE WAS FINANCE MINISTER AT THE TIME, PAYING HER BOSS´ WAR DEBTS:

          “GOVERNMENTS DO NOT PRODUCE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.”

          When the truth is that governments produce financial statemets as proven to her By the then Auditor General John S. Morlu 11 in this response:

          “I wrote her back and said simply, “by your letter you have shown your ignorance of financial management in Government. Please find attached the Financial Statements of the Government of Ghana and a link to the Financial Statements of the Government of Maryland and the U.S. Department of Justice. I shall frame your letter for posterity.”

          That is precisely, specifically, primarily, and SOLELY, what you should address, since you were putting your neck on the chopping board for that corrupt Antoinette Monsio SAYEH.

          AGAIN, your run away tactic about “Weah’s administration , and political and philosophical orientations” has no Place here.

  19. Ma Kou,

    I am not an intellectual coward. I always stand by what I say.
    I posted a right of reply some days back. If you did not read it, I would like you to read an excerpt above of it before I can objectively answer your questions and give my points of view on some issues. I still stand by my words: If Maiden Sayeh is as corrupt as you claim, she would not be confirmed in that position.

  20. Petarus, do not get “carried away” By ANYONE been confirmed or approved in or to whichever high ranking position whether in government or within high profile international institutions!

    Heads of positions such as the IMF, World Bank, etc.etc. or Executive Boards (eg. IMF Board, etc.) PREFER STOOGES!!

    STOOGES are By nature, character, and mindset, typical opportunists, chronicly corrupt, and are unprincipled!

    Just as Antoinette was appointed as minister of Finance of Liberia By corrupt Ellen, to pay her war debt; because of course, a Dr. Togba Nah Tipoteh appointed as Minister of Finance, or JOHN S. Morlu 11, would have not become her stooge to pay her war debt, so she could not appoint such professionals, so too, the current head of the IMF and of course its Board prefer an Antoinette Monsio Sayeh a professional stooge who is ready to dance to their corrupt tune and dictations!

    AGAIN, let this mindset of Antoinette that: “GOVERNMENTS DO NOT PRODUCE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS” always remind you that she is another corrupt and incompetent stooge; hence you do not get “carried away” By ANYONE been confirmed or approved in or to whichever high ranking position whether in government or within high profile international institutions!

  21. Well sister Kou, let me be a little blunt to you.

    If you want to beg, find someone who knows the techniques of begging.
    Liberia had just come out of war. We needed seasoned professionals to first get the debt burdens off our back to embark on reconstruction. The best candidate, for me, was Maiden Sayeh.
    Your Tipoteh and Morlu were going to be big deceptions. Why can’t Weah name either of them as finance minister if they are so prolific?

    When at the helm of leadership, especially a nation just from war where such leadership was a major player, not every expenditure can go into the books.
    Maiden Sayeh was in a state of dilemma. She entered before realizing what she had gotten into, both from her boss and the people she was serving. As a mission woman, she could not bow out immediately. She therefore stayed on board to accomplish her mission, after which she left on a friendly note.
    Can you provide proof of Maiden Sayeh being involved personally in a corruption case? No. Can you provide proof that the government was involved in malpractices? Yes, of course. Even a Liberian of 5 can do.
    Had Maiden acquiesced to malpractices in government, she couldn’t have bowed out. She could stay hanging in there to continue to “chop”.
    Remember, she is not a politician.

    Are heads of IMF, World Bank, etc stooges as you claim?
    I will emphatically reply by a BIG NO. They are not, if not they wouldn’t lead nations. They are international civil servants at the command of various donors.
    Donor countries, organizations and families always define the use of their funds beforehand. To benefit from their funds, you must met their requirements. The job of the leaderships of those organizations is to ensure donor requirements are met. Why call them stooges if we can not produce to have reserves from which we can inject into our economies during economic downturns or natural disasters?

    As much as I disagree with some of the preconditions to benefit from their financial aids, I disagree that the international civil servants in those organizations are stooges to whosoever. Also, I know the morality of some international civil servants are not exemplary in their countries of origin, but you must know that friendships and lobbying play important roles in human relationships at every level.

    Maiden Sayeh is as WHITE as a snow, leave her alone!

  22. Miss Gontee and mom frere Dolo,
    How far do you have to go in order to quit talking about Miss Sayeh? I hate to see two good people argue over something that leads to nowhere. Quit doing that. Both of you are good contributors in our neighborhood. Let’s move on!

  23. Mr. Hney, firstly, the argument between Petarus and I ended after I proved him and others (including this editor) WRONG!

    ACCORDINGLY, it is my patriotic obligation to emphasize to ”our people’, especially this editor, that it is not only naïve, but also extremely gullible, and seriously dangerous to make such claims that someone has the character, nature, and personality, ”to Teach their Fellow Liberians, the World the Virtue of Integrity and Hard Work”, simply based on the fact that such a person is working with or has worked with international institutions.

    Especially so, when such a person, while serving in such strategic province as The minister of finance, is known to have been very corrupt and IS ON PUBLIC RECORD of such corrupt and incompetent mindset as “GOVERNMENTS DO NOT PRODUCE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS”!

    Mind you, especially so when no doubt some good intentioned citizens have hypothesized or are convinced that such a corrupt and incompetent mindset (who would tell her people and declare in officialdom within her capacity as the minister of finance that “GOVERNMENTS DO NOT PRODUCE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS”) ”could be a good leader for Liberia tomorrow with such wealth of experience,”

    So, Mr. Hney, the power of reason tells us your position that our elaboration is ”something that leads to nowhere” is absolutely wrong, hence must be an inadvertence on your part.

  24. Miss Gontee.
    I am convinced that you and Petarus Dolo are very good individuals. I have my share of disagreements with him from time to time. Regardless of that, he is a good guy. You and Miss Witherspoon are the only females we have in our neighborhood. I don’t want to lose y’all. Of course, if any guy attacks any of you, I will be there to back you up. It is my hope that you and Petarus will cool off pretty soon.

    Peace.

  25. Mr. Hney, we uncompromisingly deal with ISSUES AND NOT PERSONS. Our bone of contention IS NOT NECESSARLY about Petarus Dolo, Antoinette Sayeh, or even this editor as a person.. Our bone of contention is about the public being deceived and misinformed. PERIOD!

  26. Okay Kou. Public deception is not new. Public deception is worldwide. As you know, Trump is being accused of spreading misinformation about the Coronavirus. Usually, public deception is done by people for reasons best known to them. The right thing must be done in order to expose the truth and nothing but the truth. As matters relate to you and Petarus Dolo, I am not in anyway trying to stop you from making your point. That’s not my style. I cannot stop you from expressing your bone of contention about the way in which the Liberian public is being deceived.. You’re entitled to your opinion.

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