By Tony Leewaye
My Fellow Liberians,
As I reflect on the nomination of this Nigerian fraudster, A. Ndubusi Nwabudike by the President of our Nation, especially during these trying times, and given the fact that the state of our democracy is at stake, I’m inclined to believe that this nomination was never a mistake and should never be misconstrued as such. In my view, this nomination was destined by our Creator to expose frauds and weaknesses within our systems of governance as a Nation. This simply tells us that our system of governance in this Nation can be hijacked at any time by any smart crook; unfortunately, with the help of some officials of our governing institutions and ordinary citizens. As I recalled, a Sierra Leonian criminal almost succeeded in transferring millions of dollars from the Liberian Government’s account through the Ministry of Finance with the exclusive knowledge of Minister Samuel Tweh. If a Nigerian fraudster can use the system and climb up the ladders to three of the most important positions in our democracy, and then be protected and defended by the Chairman and Lawmaker of the ruling establishment, our sovereignty as a nation and our democratic values under the CDC’s regime is in deep trouble.
Sadly, the newest blatant attempt by the President of the Republic to save face and retain this criminal at the Liberia Anti-corruption Agency is an affront to the Liberian people and must be legally challenged. This president is playing a very dangerous game by testing the resolve and intelligence of the Liberian people. The subsequent withdrawal of the nomination Cllr. Martin’s name from the Liberia Anti-corruption Agency is a tactical move by the President to retain his criminal friend, A. Ndubusi Nwabudike in our system at all costs. This is dangerous for the stability of our democracy and our ability to fight massive institutionalized corruption within our systems. What could possibly be President Weah’s motive for withdrawing the nomination of Cllr. Martin if not for sinister reasons? Now, let me be clear, I do not know Cllr. Martin and have never interacted with him. My comments are in response to Cllr. Martin’s abrupt withdrawal, which has nothing to do with Ndubusi’s failed confirmation hearing.
However, as Liberians ponder on the nominations of the likes of Floyd Sayon, a known fraudster himself, who was caught manipulating elections results and investigated recently by the NEC, along with other questionable individuals, the critical question is: how many Ndubusis are there in our systems with fraudulent documents parading as citizens, with lucrative jobs in both public and private sectors of our Nation? I’m convinced that this is just one of the thousands of cases waiting to be discovered, arrested and prosecuted. There are thousands of foreigners with fake citizenship documents and other credentials working in all sectors of our society. I think this fraud case of this Nigerian fraudster is just a wake-up call to all Liberians to be patriotic, vigilant and question those observed with questionable backgrounds and documents. Interestingly, during one of Ndubusi’s attempt to fool Liberians, he referred to Senator Dillion as one of his closest friends. This is exactly how criminals operate. They draw prominent people in society closer to legitimize their fraudulent attachment to the system and the Nation.
Over the years and during my days as a Trade Unionist and an advocate for societal change with Bong Mine worker’s Union in Bong Mines, we reported hundreds of cases of foreigners falsely parading as Liberians in lucrative positions with the Bong Mining Company. Some of these foreign individuals were senior staffers, managers of strategic departments and enjoying enormous benefits from the company. Many of them also brought with them fake credentials to legitimize their lucrative positions. I vividly recalled a one Dr. Jarret who heads the Bong Mines Hospital as Medical Director and was known for diverting medical supplies intended for the hospital to his private clinic in his native Sierra Leone. I do not question Dr. Jarret’s education. However, there were many foreigners with questionable credentials in Bong Mines at the time while Liberians were struggling to secure good-paying jobs. Unfortunately, those cases were reported but never investigated by the Labor Ministry or the Immigration Office in Bong Mines. Those alleged to be involved became besties of the immigration officers and labor officials assigned with the company.
And so, as Liberians unravel the mysteries behind A. Ndubusi Nwabudike to set our national records straight, I encourage all patriotic Liberians to fearlessly report any know foreigners falsely parading as Liberian citizens. Our immigration authorities must step up their game to enforce the laws of our land in the protection of the Liberian people and Nation. Off-course, it will be an uphill battle as long as those in charge are foreigners themselves. However, let’s continue to engage the Liberian Senate, The House, Labor Department, and Immigration Agency to investigate and authenticate all fraudulent criminal cases brought before them. Recent efforts at the Liberian Senate to dive deep into the mystery of this Nigerian fraudster was influenced by the massive outcry of Liberians from all corners of the world to hold our leaders accountable. If this level of patriotism is exhibited in all suspected cases, Liberia will stand to benefit and all well-meaning Liberians will be gainfully employed to contribute to the development of this Nation.
Liberia’s economy and the living standards of our people will never improve as long as we continue to harbored criminals in our midst who are falsifying credentials and Liberian citizenships to the detriment of our people and Nation. Let’s remember that the fiduciary attachment of any foreigner is to his or her country of origin. They will only suck-up Liberia dry and invest in their native land. This is certainly not a new phenomenon. I’m sure Liberians can recall that Ghanian fishermen and women of yesterday in Liberia, selling bonnies are amongst some of the richest Ghanian citizens in Ghana today. One of the selling phrases those days was, ” Ghanaian woman will never say my bonny is rotten.” Equally so, those of us in the diaspora are doing the same, in terms of sending a portion of our incomes to Liberia. This is why Liberia’s remittances from the diaspora to Liberia are estimated at around USD 460m annually. Liberians in the diaspora contribute significantly to the economy of Liberia due to our fiduciary attachments to our native land.
On the issue of legal immigration, I strongly believe that Liberia can benefit enormously from legal immigration based on our strategic location and history in Africa. With effective labor laws and a robust immigration system to ensure that all foreigners are accounted for within the borders of our Nation, and proper legal immigration documents are issued, Liberia stands to raise millions from this sector alone. Additionally, the issue of illegal immigration is also a national security issue and must be taken seriously by the leadership of our Nation. No nation maintains its sovereignty with an open border without control. If Liberia must ensure that its borders are protected, and raise funds from legal immigration, she must have a well-trained immigration work-force and a well-funded border patrol system. For the security of our Nation and the sanctity of our democracy, the protection and patrol of our borders should never be compromised just for collecting chicken change at border-crossing based on the officer’s discretion. As a Nation, we must invest in the protection of our borders for several reasons alluded to above.
I want to openly appreciate and applaud the Liberian Senate, especially Senators: Lawrence, Dillion, Cooper and many others who continue to champion the cause of the Liberian people, prior to, and in recent confirmation hearings. Remember that history will certainly record your individual roles in society during these troubling times. I’m also elated that the Liberian Legal Bar Association has taken corrective steps to ensure that justice is accorded to A. Ndubusi Nwabudike. Certainly, Liberia has a lot of rotten apples in our midst. Thanks to the media, the patriotic Liberian citizens and all those who contributed to unraveling the mystery unfolding in our Land today. We will eventually get there with all hands on deck. Thanks so much and let’s remain vigilant at all times. We all have an obligation to defend and protect the integrity of our democracy and the institutions of our Nation. No foreigner can do that for us. Shine your eyes, Liberians! Until then, Liberia Will Rise.
Tony Leewaye is a former Trade Unionist, former chairman of NUDP/MDR-USA, an advocate for the social, political, and economic transformation of Liberia. A strong believer in the “People’s Power.” He is the founder of “The Liberia Nationalist Movement,” a grass-roots movement established to ensure true power to the masses of our Nation for political, social and economic transformation and the supreme protection of the Liberian State, heritage and its people. If you’re a patriotic, honest and transparent Liberian with accountability, love of Country and believe in the total emancipation and unconditional transformation of this Great Republic; come and join us in our journey to ensure an economic system that benefits all of the Liberian people, not just a few. He can be contacted at [email protected]