Senator Dillon Has Said Much; We Need Not Say More

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The passage of the budget by the Legislature without public debate has not gone without criticism by the public, many of who have publicly voiced their displeasure on various radio talk-shows. Adding his voice to the chorus is Senator Darius Dillon who has expressed disgust at the action by his colleagues. He has called them spineless and unworthy of the public trust.

It is a matter which has not gone away and which may not go away soon. Just why most members of the Legislature would spurn public debate on the budget and give it an abnormally speedy passage is quite troubling. This has triggered a rising tide of public opinion suggesting that that body, a few excepted, has betrayed the public trust. Senator Dillon’s public utterances on the issue have only tended to reinforce this view.

Questions must therefore be asked about the role or disposition of the World Bank and IMF in this surreptitious affair. Are these institutions going to work with a document that has not been publicly vetted? And if so, would they accept responsibility for the fallout from such action? Further would such suggest that transparency and accountability will be thrown to the wind?

These are important questions to ask because a significant portion of the country’s national budget is being subsidized by donor contributions mainly from the United States, the European Union, Japan, etc. These are legitimate questions because it is Liberians — the ordinary Liberian — who will bear the brunt of economic hardships induced by IMF/World Bank debt servicing arrangements.

From past experience, most of such funding eventually find their way into the pockets of top officials often with impunity and, there is no reason or convincing evidence to suggest that transparency and accountability characterize the handling of the national budget. Under the past government, budgetary shortfalls were persistent. Budget performance reports were at best scanty.

Further, this trend has continued under this government and local transparency groups have expressed concerns that the Ministry of Finance has not produced a budget performance report since its ascendancy. But notwithstanding, as in the past and now, the Legislature has appeared spineless to demand a budget performance report from the Executive. But it is the Liberian people who will undeservingly bear the cost.

Not even the media had access to the budget before its passage and was therefore unable to assess the merits or demerits of the budget, which is for all purposes is a public document and should have accordingly been subject to public vetting. It is the opinion of most people the Daily Observer spoke to, the action of the Legislature has not only infringed on the right of the people to be informed of the activities of its government, it has also violated Article 7 of the Constitution of Liberia which reads as follows below:

Article 7
The Republic shall, consistent with the principles of individual freedom and social justice enshrined in this Constitution, manage the national economy and the natural resources of Liberia in such manner as shall ensure the maximum feasible participation of Liberian citizens under conditions of equality as to advance the general welfare of the Liberian people and the economic development of Liberia.

The Legislature has greatly disappointed the Liberian people, judging by the spate of unfavorable public comments on this matter. Indeed, our lawmakers owe the Liberian people an explanation.

Senator Dillon has said much, we need not say more!

Authors

6 COMMENTS

  1. Let Dillon shut up! He has no integrity. He is a liar and a thief. Today he is happily receiving illegitimate money he criticized when he was not senator. He is using the very cars he said government should have not bought for legislators. He said he was donating money to Montserrado County, only to find out that he was lying and making false promises.

    • THAT CORRUPT HIGH SCHOOL DROP OUT DARIUS DILLON STUPIDLY BELIEVES THAT HIS SILLY RED HERRING ON MENTIONING THE PRESIDENCY MAY DISTRACT THE PUBLIC FROM HIS DILLONŚ HYPOCRISY, DISHONESTY, LACK OF INTEGRITY, AND CORRUPT THIEVERY AND OTHER BAD CONDUCTS ON HIS DILLON PART. EXPEL THE HYPOCRITE AND THIEF!

      “Would NOCAL audit reveal how much the oil company reportedly spent on Senator Dillon’s tuition, and would he be recommended for prosecution for causing financial loss to the state as he refused to complete his courses and graduate?” Gboko Stewart, CULLED FROM THE PRESS

      “If there was any one who lacks party discipline and can be called a deviant is Senator Dillon, whom he recalled as a LP stalwart, abandoned his party in the middle of campaign during the 2011 Presidential and Legislative elections to join the Unity Party.” Senator Jonathan Kaipay, Liberty Party

      “Sen. Dillon’s admittance to receiving US$6,500 ‘operational funds’ comes in the wake of an imminent protest by health workers battling the COVID-19 over lack of payment of their salary and a lack of bump in their wages for hazard

      Montserrado County Senator, Abraham Darius Dillon, is fighting tooth and nail plus his last breath to salvage his political image – or whatever’s left of it – over his receipt of US$6,000 from the Executive over the passage of the state of emergency and the economic stimulus package for the COVID-19 outbreak.

      Liberia: Making Sense of Dillon’s receipt of “Operational Fund”

      By Gboko Stewart, Contributing Writer

      Calling it “operational funds” to fight COVID-19, Senator Dillon and the band of forty thieves – oops, I meant 29 senators – in the Liberian Senate received a whopping US$180,000 from the Executive to be shared equally for doing their constitutionally assigned job which they are supposedly paid US$9,000 monthly.

      The money, according to Senator Dillon, was not a bribe, inducement – or whatever euphemism he may want to call it – by the Executive, and that it had gone through all the necessary processes.

      “A voucher was raised and sent to the Ministry of Finance and a check was raised by the Central Bank of Liberia under the Senate operational fund budget,” he said.

      And this was all done, it seems, to make it appear legit and that Senator Dillon indeed has truth-telling as one of his many sterling qualities and as such, he must be canonized for sainthood.

      But barely has his candidacy for canonization been placed forward, it appears that Senator Dillon and his colleagues on Capitol Hill are nothing more than heartless and insensitive pecuniary searching hounds, seeking their interests, not the country’s.

      For example, rather than advocating and seeing the importance of US$180,000 going to the Liberian Disaster Management Agency (LDMA) to help ensure victims and would-be victims of the rainy season storm and the COVID-19 outbreak get all the help they would need, Senator Dillon and his colleagues chose to pocket the “operational funds” and engaged in acts of false magnanimity.

      “We received that money and have made an intervention in the county by helping storm victims reroof their homes after they were destroyed by the storm.”

      And rather than using the “operational funds” to buy ventilators and other equipment needed in hospitals across the country, Senator Dillon and colleagues, whose only skill set in fighting Corona is having their pictures emblazoned on buckets, chose to ignore the existing reality of the peril the country faces.

      His admittance comes in the wake of an imminent protest by health workers battling the COVID-19 over lack of payment of their salary and a lack of bump in their wages for hazard.

      Over a fortnight ago, Senator Dillon, in a post on his official Facebook page, called for public officials to half their salaries to fund the fight against COVID-19 if the government of Liberia cannot gather the resources.

      This post, plus many more bandied, has often been the subterfuge used by Senator Dillon and it was on this crest of social media wave he swam his way into the Senate.

      For example, Senator Dillon, prior to entering the Senate often decried the splurging of huge sums on SUVs every year for members of the Legislature, saying he wouldn’t ride and accept any vehicle costing more than US$9k and it would be bought from a local Liberian dealer in order to boost local empowerment.

      But barely before the dawn of the rising sun, Senator Dillon, with light, camera and small action, took receipt of an SUV which costs a staggering US$35,000. He would remain deaf and insouciant to the cries of the public that he returned the vehicle as it went against his espoused values, even if it were bought for his predecessor, Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff.”

  2. “During the period of NOCAL’s boom, Senator Abraham Darius Dillon, who was then chief of office staff in the Office of the Special Advisor (OSA) and Chairman of the board, Robert A. Sirleaf, was sent to study at Strayer University, USA.

    During this period, FrontPage Africa reported that students at the Marvi Sonii Public School in Clara Town were learning on the floor due to lack of chairs.

    Thousands of wasted taxpayer dollars on room, board and tuition later, he would drop off and return without a remorse or the slightest consideration about the children in Clara Town who could have benefitted from the money wasted at Strayer.

    It should not be forgotten that it was reportedly on the advice of Senator Dillon to the then board chair of NOCAL, Robert A. Sirleaf, that over US$900,000 was dished out to members of the Legislature to go on a road show in their various constituencies, explaining about Liberia’s black curse.

    And when NOCAL went aground, President Sirleaf was full of praises for the chairman of the board and his team, which included Senator Abraham Darius Dillon, and switched the blame to herself for whatever wrong that may have gone there, rather than ordering an investigation and subsequently prosecution.

    Today, we are left to wonder what really went wrong at NOCAL. Till date, there has been no audit over why NOCAL, once boasting of over US$50 million on its balance sheet, was left with less than US$500,000. The mystery of that is still shrouded in papal secrecy.

    Strangely but not surprisingly, Senator Abraham Darius Dillon, who believes in transparency, accountability and is severely jittery anti-corrupt, has not added his voice to the many who are yearning for an insight into the NOCAL’s mystery, since his ascendancy to the Senate.

    Senator Dillon’s voice, weighty as it is now, would come with a lot of bearing on the GAC as the Legislature has oversight on the General Auditing Commission. Sadly, it appears it wouldn’t be because the Liberian saying “hauled rope hauls bush” comes to mind.

    Would NOCAL audit reveal how much the oil company reportedly spent on Senator Dillon’s tuition, and would he be recommended for prosecution for causing financial loss to the state as he refused to complete his courses and graduate?

    But Senator Dillon and others, under the banner of the Council of Patriots, would go on to stage numerous protests calling for transparency, accountability and open governance. But when hard pressed to be an exhibitionist of those qualities as well, he refuses and carries on showboating.

    Venerable Nobel Peace Laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, remains right in his quote: “Sometimes we become what we hate in others.”

    Senator Abraham Darius Dillon, a known critic of all the wrong things of governance, is slowly but steadily becoming what he criticized. First, it was the expensive SUV which he promised not to ride. Later it was the donation of his salary to his office staff, instead of the county as initially promised. Now, it is US$6,500 to pass the state of emergency and the economic stimulus package.

    The future, it is said, hold many things. But in the fullness of

  3. “The Grand Bassa County lawmaker asserted that if there was any one who lacks party discipline and can be called a deviant is Senator Dillon, whom he recalled as a LP stalwart, abandoned his party in the middle of campaign during the 2011 Presidential and Legislative elections to join the Unity Party.

    “Is that party loyalty?” Kaipay wondered. “Is that someone who has moral and the ground to question my integrity as relates to deviant behavior? That was an act of being deviant, not being disciplined as a partisan.”

    He then wondered whether Senator Dillon has informed the public about how much he received, which is US$8,000, and not US$6,500 as he initially claimed.” Darius Dillonś partisan Senator Jonathan Kaipay

  4. “Furious that the public has vested interest in his acceptance of bribe, amid his professed stance on transparency, accountability and anti-corruption, and continues to hound him and others over this, Senator Dillon remains indifferent, defiant and unapologetic over his acceptance of the US$6,500, much to the chagrin and consternation of his supporters.

    Addressing a news conference at his Capitol Hill Office with the usual characteristic flair of nonchalance, Senator Dillon, rather than apologizing to the public over his insensitivity, error of judgement and inhumane action, threw a gauntlet that he would resign if it is indeed proven that the “operational funds” was a bribe meant to induce them into acquiescence to get the COVID-19 economic stimulus package and state of emergency declaration passed.

    “With all my big mouth about integrity, if I had taken bribe unearth by any news agency or individual, I would resign today but this is a legitimate money, as probably unfair and untimely it may have been this money is legitimate,” he said, according to FrontPage Africa.

    But Senator Dillon needs not look any further for the evidence he is desperately seeking. For, it stares back at him while he feigns blindness. His colleague, Senator Prince Y. Johnson, in an interview on a local radio station, admitted the money was indeed an inducement and, the amount in total was US$6,500, not US6,000 as earlier reported by the Senator of Montserrado.

    Like Senator Karnga-Lawrence, Senator Johnson, no matter his shortcomings, is also guided by gospel of Jesus Christ as a pastor and is perhaps afraid of the divine comeuppance that comes with robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    Senator Dillon’s adamant stance not to apologize, and his refusal to accept he has monumentally erred, is symptomatic of leadership defects on the African continent. Upon assuming leadership, many leaders in Africa, forgetting that leadership is a double-edged sword, believe they can do no wrong and are above reproach, even when the public sees otherwise.

    Such is the sorry state of affairs with leadership in Africa. Elected leaders, like Senator Darius Dillon and others, feel unaccountable in words, actions and their deeds.
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    This was the same attitude exhibited by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, mother of Senator Dillon’s friend, Robert A. Sirleaf, when the once booming National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) went aground.

    During the period of NOCAL’s boom, Senator Abraham Darius Dillon, who was then chief of office staff in the Office of the Special Advisor (OSA) and Chairman of the board, Robert A. Sirleaf, was sent to study at Strayer University, USA.

    During this period, FrontPage Africa reported that students at the Marvi Sonii Public School in Clara Town were learning on the floor due to lack of chairs.

    Thousands of wasted taxpayer dollars on room, board and tuition later, he would drop off and return without a remorse or the slightest consideration about the children in Clara Town who could have benefitted from the money wasted at Strayer.

    It should not be forgotten that it was reportedly on the advice of Senator Dillon to the then board chair of NOCAL, Robert A. Sirleaf, that over US$900,000 was dished out to members of the Legislature to go on a road show in their various constituencies, explaining about Liberia’s black curse.

    And when NOCAL went aground, President Sirleaf was full of praises for the chairman of the board and his team, which included Senator Abraham Darius Dillon, and switched the blame to herself for whatever wrong that may have gone there, rather than ordering an investigation and subsequently prosecution.

    Today, we are left to wonder what really went wrong at NOCAL. Till date, there has been no audit over why NOCAL, once boasting of over US$50 million on its balance sheet, was left with less than US$500,000. The mystery of that is still shrouded in papal secrecy.

    Strangely but not surprisingly, Senator Abraham Darius Dillon, who believes in transparency, accountability and is severely jittery anti-corrupt, has not added his voice to the many who are yearning for an insight into the NOCAL’s mystery, since his ascendancy to the Senate.

    Senator Dillon’s voice, weighty as it is now, would come with a lot of bearing on the GAC as the Legislature has oversight on the General Auditing Commission. Sadly, it appears it wouldn’t be because the Liberian saying “hauled rope hauls bush” comes to mind.

    Would NOCAL audit reveal how much the oil company reportedly spent on Senator Dillon’s tuition, and would he be recommended for prosecution for causing financial loss to the state as he refused to complete his courses and graduate?

    But Senator Dillon and others, under the banner of the Council of Patriots, would go on to stage numerous protests calling for transparency, accountability and open governance. But when hard pressed to be an exhibitionist of those qualities as well, he refuses and carries on showboating.

    Venerable Nobel Peace Laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, remains right in his quote: “Sometimes we become what we hate in others.”

    Senator Abraham Darius Dillon, a known critic of all the wrong things of governance, is slowly but steadily becoming what he criticized. First, it was the expensive SUV which he promised not to ride. Later it was the donation of his salary to his office staff, instead of the county as initially promised. Now, it is US$6,500 to pass the state of emergency and the economic stimulus package.

    The future, it is said, hold many things. But in the fullness of time…”

  5. Why should one be hiding his or her identity to criticize anyone in our free democracy? I wonder why are they hiding or who are they hiding from? Do you know how many Liberians across the globe had benefited from public corporation scholarships in Liberia? Or how these scholarships were secured to start with? Was the scholarship that was awarded to Mr. Dillion responsible for the kids in claratown to sit on the floor in class rooms because of lack of chairs? Many of your are just the opposite of what it takes to move Liberia forward. What senator Dillion has embarked upon is the way forward to move Liberia. You should be voicing out your concerns about what you think is wrong for paying senators operational fees when they are being paid monthly salaries. Don’t hide yourself to bark like a German sherperd at individual you think is corrupt. Just engage in a simple conversation with various lawmakers to do what senator Dillion is doing and hear their reactions considering the cost of living in Liberia. Why should the executive be paying senators to signature a bill or deal? These discussions are paramount to us because it will eliminate the source of corruption before it even start. We need fruitful discussion to help lead us further and not topic that has no bearing on reality in Liberia.

    NOCAL was a legitimate public corporation in Liberia and if they had deem it necessary to help advance the high school drop out, as claimed, college education, that was done within the policies or guidelines by NOCAL. Was it Mr. Dillion that stop the GAC from auditing NOCAL or the previous administration which in fact founded NOCAL? Was Mr. Dillion the only recipient of NOCAL scholarship programs giving the existence of NOCAL in Liberia? Look Mr. XYZ, please refrain from personal attack on hon. Dillion and get to the real issues affecting our country Liberia. The facts are there and will remained there about what Dillion Has done in the history of Liberia. This just speaks volume for me about advocating to remove Hon. Dillion from our deadly corrupt senate because of false claims. By the way, just out of curiosity, is Mr. Dillion the only Liberian that had benefited from public corporation scholarships in Liberia or you just being selective about your discussion?

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