Welcoming President Weah’s Withdrawal of Tyler’s Nomination

4
331

The Daily Observer welcomes the rather swift action taken by President Weah to withdraw the nomination of former Speaker Alex Tyler, following much public outcry against the appointment.

Whether or not such decision was influenced by expressed broad public concerns as speculated, remains a subject of debate. However, the decision is welcome and perhaps could be signs of change suggestive of President Weah’s about-turn on the issue of corruption, reports of which have dogged his administration.

But there are troubling concerns as to whether the President fully understood the implications and consequences of his nomination of a criminally indicted individual to public service. If he truly did not, then it raises questions bordering on competence.

But in case he did but had a last-minute change of heart in deference to public concerns or because some members of his inner circle prevailed on him, it then also raises questions bordering on coherence.

Whatever the case, Tyler’s dismal record of public service was well known to the public including former members of the National Legislature, some of who are now occupying top posts in this new political dispensation.

The bitter feud between Tyler and former President Sirleaf which resulted in his impeachment and disgraceful exit from power was said to have emanated from disputations over the sale of oil blocks involving hefty but illegal payoffs to suspected top officials in government including Tyler and Sirleaf as well.

Having seen his political fortunes wane considerably under Sirleaf, Tyler broke ranks with the Unity Party and proceeded to form his own political party styled the Liberia People’s Democratic Party (LPDP). His was to later form part of a winning coalition that included the National Patriotic Party (NPP) and Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change (CDC).

President Weah’s decision to annul the appointment, in the opinion of political observers, was in recognition (belated), of the contradictions which he could have engendered as the result of prosecutorial action against former officials charged with corruption.

Perhaps President Weah, on hindsight, has realized that his publicly expressed commitment to protecting President Sirleaf’s interests was something which he should have never done because of the stymied effect such would have on attempts to prosecute corrupt officials.

His announced decision to prosecute corrupt officials indicted in audit reports over the last 10 years is welcome but much belated because, in the eyes of the public, this is something he should have done from the onset of his administration, but opted not to.

When, for example, he appointed a Special Presidential Committee to probe bribery claims against former officials involved in fashioning out the ExxonMobil concession agreement, he sent strong signals that he was now ready to confront the corruption menace head-on.

The Special Committee completed its task and recommended that those officials pay back the funds received from ExxonMobil because they constituted a bribe. To the utter disappointment of the public, however, President Weah failed to act on the findings of the Committee recommending restitution of the funds.

As this newspaper has pointed out on several occasions, President Weah would do well to avoid sending signals that his is not a quest for justice and accountability but a witch hunt targeted at certain individuals who previously may have had rough edges with him or who may have openly opposed him for one reason or the other.

President Weah will also do well to recognize that while the public supports his decision to prosecute corrupt former officials, such will not succeed in whetting public concerns about corruption occurring under his watch.

Lest he forgets, selective prosecution of perceived corrupt former officials will only earn his government increased woes. By any standards, it appears inconceivable that former Special Advisor Robert Sirleaf, under whose watch a whooping sum of US$50 million was lost or stolen, would be left off the hook while his former teammate James Salinsa Debbah would face prosecution for allegedly receiving board fees (US$19,000) in an amount that pales by far in comparison to the US$50 million stolen under the watch of Robert Sirleaf.

Above all, President Weah should bear on mind that selective prosecution of alleged corrupt former officials is publicly perceived in the same light as the selective prosecution of Representative Yekeh Kolubah allegedly for ordering the flogging of a man while his colleague Acarous Gray is left off the hook for allegedly ordering the stabbing and brutalization of a sports bar proprietor right in his presence.

An elderly female resident of Crown Hill in Monrovia, Louise Howland, reacting to these developments said “Your wait because President Weah is finally putting on his shoes. Right now, only the LEFT foot is on, but you will see the difference when he puts on the RIGHT foot”.

Wise words indeed, for Liberians truly hope that President Weah has got it right this time and will not lose his footing.

4 COMMENTS

  1. A NEWSPAPER like the Daily Observer should be giving us facts and not public gossips or speculative journalism, do you have any evidence that Robert Sirleaf took 50 Million dollars from NOCAL? Let it be proven, even if speculated, let it be proven, before you write about it. Another speculative journalism is that President Sirleaf and Former Speaker Tyler felt out because oil money, can that be the facts and not gossips? Which Newspaper in Liberia is now ethical? Last week FPA, came out with a headline that the former Administration took 100M from the IMF and misused it, without talking to the relevant individuals before publishing the story, now today it wrote a story Former Finance Minister, Konneh clarifying the story with a referenced statement from the IMF and the procedural steps available to countries like ours, by just trying to balanced your story will helped a lot.
    Daily Observer, it is the same with TRC AND ITS OPERATIONS, the Observer has taken it upon itself as a PR for the TRC Report, by outrightly accusing the former President of being the brain behind the civil crises in Liberia, with MR.John Stewart, a member of the Editorial staff of the Observer, former commissioner of the TRC and former Student Activist of the U.L. pretending to be MR. Clean, leaving out his colleagues of LPP/MOJA of being very clean or the late Harry Greaves, etc.
    This Paper should be professional by now and a pacesetter in the profession of Journalism in Liberia; stopped abusing our intelligence and feeding us rubbish that cannot be substantiated by hard evidence or facts; give us a little respect.

  2. The DAILY OBSRVER, once a bastion of balanced, professional reporting and objective analysis, has apparently joined the BIAS CLUB against the Weah administration. In the general opinion of this Club, The Weah administration is incapable of making good decisions because it is ‘incompetent’. And when he makes a correct decision as in the subject of this editorial, it has to be a coincidence. In other words, whatever right decision President Weah makes, he will still be wrong. This is disappointing and tragic!

  3. However, is this not how it was under the Ellen Administration? Under the Ellen Administration, not a single decision Ellen made was right. Why? Because the CDC partisans in their desperate pursuit and morbid obsession with power fought hard to make everything that she was striving for to appear like a failure in the eyes of the Liberians particularly the most vulnerable ones. In other words, good politics or bad politics were only in the eyes of the CDC beholders. If her decisions were not defined by CDC norms, they were not good for the country.

    Mr. Charley’s good guy was Mr. Tarpeh’s bad guy, now Mr. Charley’s bad guy has become Mr. Tarpeh’s good guy. What a classic display of confirmation bias!

  4. The president’s decision to re-appoint Mr. Tyler into national service shocked the nation. Why? Because many ordinary Liberians felt that by now President Weah has finally understood the prevailing sentiments of the Liberian people in relation to corruption, greed, and graft after having been in office for a year and a half.

    But in spite of these sentiments, he brazenly re-appointed Mr. Tyler, the former speaker of the house, whose legacy in government is nothing but a simulacrum of a complete reckless disregard for financial transparency and accountability.

    For me, a lesson that could be learned from the saga is this: When a leader makes a decision, the choices that he makes are highly influenced by his values. Values play a major role in how a leader’s beliefs are shaped. Weah’s selection of Tyler only re-affirmed the old saying that, “Birds of the same feathers will flock together.” Tyler’s conduct in government and his outlook about life in general, are characteristic of the present group norms of President Weah’s government.

    Many Liberians primarily the president’s idol worshipers, who have put themselves in the gullible position of defiantly dissociating him from the faults of his own conscious actions, are still in denial. But time will tell.

Leave a Reply