‘We Need Value’ -Women Tell Aspirants

By: Mafanta Kromah

The women of Montserrado County District #14 are admonishing all women politicians and aspirants in the district to be of more value. They said it is not just about putting women in the house but ones that will seek interest of women, the youth and the district at large.

They made the statement over the weekend at Kelbbah Town Hall in Barnesville, stressing their women aspirants to be of more issue-driven and push forth more ideas than money.

Speaking during the citizens engagement event of the Coalition of Political Party Women in Liberia (COPPWIL), Amelia Benson noted that politics is not all about sharing T-Shirts and head caps and also not about money sharing, noting that it is about discussing issues relevant to the growth of the nation.

She indicated that women in politics are faced with lot of challenges but noted they have to be engaged with the people and know that it is not about money but value, which they need the most.

Madam Benson asserted that it is a challenge for everyone, especially in the economic situation which is more challenging, maintaining “the people of Liberia have that ability to change the dynamics.”

Grace Morris, a resident of the district also stressed on the lack of community empowerment and capacity building in their various communities that has resulted in the backwardness of the community.

“We are looking for a leader that is not one sided but religiously tolerant, a leader that believes in God, a leader that will advocate for road in our communities and a leader that will not engage in self-investment but do project with the involvement of the district leaders and youth group,” Madam Morris narrated.

She encouraged these aspirants to have good friendship with their community members and also promote peace among community residents and the district.

Also speaking, Georgia Myers called on political women to “come to us when we call you because money cannot make you win but your relationship and interaction with your people also be close to us and bring value and solution to our communities and district problems.”

Meanwhile, the Acting President of the COPPWIL, Georgia Gage, appreciated the women for sharing their ideas and the way women can reach the house but also affirmed that if they do not help to make women enter the house, there will be no one to seek the interest of women and there will be no law passed in the interest of women.

She said they have heard the views of the District women and will do go back to work on them, in order to reach the demand of the electorates.

Moreover, the citizens’ engagement event is part of the 100% women campaign project supported by the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) through NAYMOTE. The first phrase of the project was a one-week women leadership and political participation training held in Gbarnga Bong County.

This initiative is also designed to enable women aspirants who participated in the training to communicate directly with the voters, to persuade their voters to support their campaign and to improve their public speaking skills.

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ECC Ends Policy Dialogue in Eight Counties

By Mafanta Kromah

The Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) has concluded a policy dialogue with representatives of political parties, civil society organizations, local government officials, youth groups and women organizations in Gbarnga, Bong County. The forum brought together more than 60 participants.

An official of the ECC, Eddie Jarwolo, said the policy dialogues are being held in eight counties including Bong, Grand Bassa, Margibi, Nimba, Bomi, Grand Gedeh, Montserrado and Lofa.

Mr. Jarwolo who served as the lead facilitator said the forums are designed to educate the representatives of political parties, CSOs and the media on the importance of the exhibition process to citizens as well as the Corrections, Claims and Objections process.

“Political parties, CSOs and Media need to educate citizens on the importance of the exhibition process and how, who, where and when to file an objection. This is why the ECC is making sure that citizens across the country clearly understand how to conduct civic education on the exhibition process and how to file objections,” Jarwolo told the gathering during the opening.

Jarwolo said the ECC is informing participants that the person who puts forth the challenge during the exhibition period must prove all challenges in person, noting that the determination of objections shall be made by the Magistrate at the Magistrate’s office during the period for determination of objection, which shall be announced and posted at the magistrate office.

He also told participants that objector must appear in person, that the Magistrate will notify the person who is objected, that the burden of proof is on the objector, the person objected must have the chance to refute the evidence provided and if one or both of the parties are not present, the Magistrate upon proof shall proceed with the determination.

He at the same time noted that if the objection is denied, the reasons for the denial must be made known to the objector and recorded. He added that the challenges would be based on the nationality of an applicant not being Liberian, the age of applicant not being the required voting age, the mental health of the applicant not being normal and the applicant being a felon or convict.

He said the ECC also used the forum to share its findings of the Voter Registration observation with the participants.

Jarwolo asserted that the ECC deployed a total of 89 district and county observers during VR process across the country.

“The ECC observed 849 of the 2,080 voter registration centers in the 73 electoral districts in the country and documented our observation report,” Jarwolo said.

The National Elections Commission (NEC) has set June 12-17 for exhibition of provisional registration roll in Liberia for the upcoming elections in October. The ECC has promised to observe the entire Exhibition process across the 73 electoral districts focusing on Claims and Objections aspect and encouraged political parties to also observe the process that would raise the standard of transparency and openness of the electoral process.

On their part, participants lauded the ECC for the initiative and vowed to reach out to citizens with the awareness.

Speaking at the closing of the dialogue, the Paramount Chief of Jorquelleh Chiefdom, Mary Larteh thanked the organizers for coming to explain these things to them.

She said “this is what we want, when we ourselves understand these issues like this, we are able to educate our people.”

She encouraged representatives of political parties in particular to explain the importance of the exhibition and objection to their supporters to take advantage of the process.

ECC is providing awareness and opportunity to registered voters and the public to confirm that NEC has correctly recorded information about them as well as providing an opportunity for the public to check the accuracy of the work done by NEC.

The ECC which is one of the largest professional civil society platform monitoring, documenting and reporting all aspects of the electoral process and have deployed over 4000 observers during the 2011 and 2014 elections in Liberia.

Members of the ECC include the West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP), the Women NGOs Secretariat, the Action for Genuine Democratic Alternative (AGENDA), the Center for Democratic Governance (CDG), Center for Media Studies and Peace Building. Others are Naymote Partners for Democratic Development and the Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD).

The work of the ECC is done in collaboration with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) with support from the United States Agencies for International Development (USAID).

Two Liberians Qualified For Confucius Institute World Competition

Chinese DCM Li presenting gift to first prize winner while UL’s Prof. Geegbae presents gift to second prize winner

 

Two Liberian students: Boakai K. Wilson and Andrew Bonnah, of the Confucius Institute at the University of Liberia (UL) have qualified to participate in the pending Confucius Institute Chinese Proficiency World Competition for Foreign College Students in China.

Wilson and Bonnah were qualified when they won first and second places respectively in the final of the 16th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students in Liberia, held Saturday, May 27, 2017, on 9th Street in Monrovia.

The competition was hosted by the Confucius Institute at the University of Liberia (UL).

Ten students participated in the final and the competition had three categories: self-introduction in Chinese; responses to three questions each in Chinese-whether asked in Chinese or English; and Chinese cultural performances-songs, poem recitations, short dramas and Chinese Marshall Art. Fluency and accuracy in Chinese were highly considered.

However, authorities of the Confucius Institute honored and certificated all participants for demonstrating excellence to reach the final of the Liberia’s competition. They also encouraged the students and any other students of the Confucius Institute to continue as many opportunities and brighter future await them.

Other participants in the final were: Michael Maigbay, Norman Mondubue, Isaac J. Dukuly, Rancy E. Bondo, Augustine S. Borbor, Samson W. Dweh, Terry G. Johnson, II, and Silas Gilklay.

Judges of the competition included: Head of the Chinese Medical Team in Liberia, Mr. Yan Yunliang; an assistant to Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN) Deputy Director, Mr. Solee; Director General of Chinese International Broadcasting Station at the Liberia Broadcasting System, Mr. Wang Zhanhua and In Profile Daily Editor for News & Editorial Services, Mr. Fredrick P. W. Gaye.

Speaking at the occasion, UL’s Vice President, Prof. Geebgae A. Geebgae, said though two students won the higher scores, performances of the participants were encouraging.

Prof. Geegbae praised the students for the excellent learning and urged them to double their efforts in making Chinese Language part of their life.

He equally commended the Confucius Institute family and Chinese Embassy for organizing such a program, which he said, is intended to improve academic excellence.

The UL official used the occasion to call on other learning institutions in Liberia to follow such an example to inspire the students more if the education system must improve.

Also making remarks, the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to Liberia, Mr. Li Zhuang, thanked the Confucius Institute and the University of Liberia for the contest. “…we highly appreciate the efforts have been made these years for promoting this trans-cultural exchange, by the University of Liberia and its Confucius Institute,” Li said.

According to the Chinese envoy, the contest was a good opportunity to know about China and what is getting on between China and Liberia. China, Li said, is the most populous country with over 1.3 billion people, which is 300 times the population of Liberia. “China is the second largest economy, but its GDP is only ranks about 80th in the world,” he continued.

Li explained that the Chinese Language is an important component of the Chinese 5,000-year culture and has played an important role in the trans-cultural exchanges.

He indicated that China is seeking win-win outcomes/mutual benefit through cooperation with other countries. Li made reference to China’s support to Africa’s development which safeguards and promotes world peace and development, benefiting all countries including China itself.

“As a developing country, China is determined to go together with Liberians and other Africa friends, for a better future to all of us. As we can see, a wide range of cooperation in security, agriculture, education, trade and other areas between China and Liberia has made a rapid progress,” Li maintained, alluding to an African adage that says: If you want to go quickly, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”

He then expressed the belief that participants of the competition will become the friendship ambassadors and personal contributors to common goals.

On his part, first prize winner, Student Boakai K. Wilson, thanked the Confucius Institute family for always being transparent in the competition and other contests at the institute.

He called on his fellow students and any other Liberians to take advantage of the Chinese Language study as it will allow them understand China as well as communicate with more people the world over.

Wilson vowed to make the Liberia’s Confucius Institute proud at the pending World Competition in China by returning with a flying color.

The Confucius Institute’s excellent student said he has spent five years at the institution, saying he was inspired and also challenged himself after watching several Chinese movies.

Meanwhile, Confucius Institute’s acting director, Mr. Dexter Sumo, commended participants and encouraged them to continue the excellent performances.

Sumo said the institute has been sending many Liberians to China to study Chinese; some of whom he said have graduated with masters and other levels and are working at various places.

He said Chinese companies and other enterprises in Liberia have been contacting the Confucius Institute for students who are fluent in Chinese for possible recruitment.

Representatives from other Chinese enterprises graced the occasion.

Finance In “Huge Fraud” -Debt Payment Checks Allegedly Recycled

The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) appears to be choked in responding to alleged frauds surrounding the domestic debt payment.

On Thursday, May 25, 2017, we ran a story under the headline: “Debt Payment Fraud – MFDP Official Alleges.”

According to the story, the Senior Debt Analyst in the Domestic Debt Management Unit at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), Madam Patricia P. Dixon, alarmed of alleged fraud in the payment process.

Madam Dixon who calls herself a “whistle blower,” had told the In Profile Daily that a consolidated listing was prepared to avoid issuance of fragmented checks to claimants. She further alleged that the fragmented listing that should have been canceled, was also paid after settling the consolidated listing with the same amount.

According to her, the process was carried out when current Deputy Minister for Economic Management, Alvin Attah was Assistant Minister for Debt Management.

Before the Thursday’s story, the Director of MFDP Communication Unit, Abraham Watiray said could to speak to the allegations until he got to those concerned including the Economic Management Department.

As more information continues to emerge, and the Ministry is yet to respond despite efforts being made.

Some of classified documents in our possession indicate that, after disbursing checks to claimants in line with the approved consolidated listing, checks were also paid in fragmented and in different face-value forms with same amounts.

For example, Grace Gbatu was paid in Liberian dollars (L$9,505 CHECK#18173), and the face-value in United States dollars (US$172.80 CHECK#0404114). At the time, government was taking the LD-USD rate at L$55.00-US$1.00.

The LD face-value check was part of the ‘Domestic Arrears Printed Checks’ listing and the same amount check was reissued in the USD face-value. The question is ‘where is the LD check’. This is the representation of dubious payments in the domestic debt settlement, if confirmed.

Madam Dixon has alleged that several payments were made without meeting compliance and the checks are still in the system and being recycled. She also alleged that the following payments were made without compliance. MADENYENN AND SONS TRADING, CORP US$54,285.00 and JONES Y. GBORBEA ESTATE CLAIM, US$54,000.00.

Besides, there are two incidents that unearthed the allegedly huge impropriety. One of the incidents is the New World Printing Press issue.

A check with the of L$58,030.00 (fifty eight thousand and thirty Liberian dollars) and number-021084, in the name of New World Printing Press, was en-cashed at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL). The owner of New World Printing Press, Madam Sonie M. Tealeh’s named was allegedly forged by an individual who received the money.

According to Madam Dixon, after New World reported the situation and together with officials concerned discovered the alleged scandal, they (officials) decided to pay the Printing Press on the fragmented check list (the list that was considered invalid after the approval of the consolidated listing). A check with the amount of L$27,240.00 (twenty seven thousand two hundred and forty Liberian dollars), and number-018525, was paid to New World Printing Press, from one of the single checks that had been consolidated.

Another alleged scandal is the debt payment to the Intestate of John F. Marshall (Nancy B. Doe Jakpen Town Market). The payments of two checks were allegedly made to one Edmund B. Coleman on behalf of the family when Edmund is not the administrator of the Estate and family members say they have not received a cent.

One of the checks, with the amount of US$300,000.00 and number-0010675, was issued to Edmund B. Coleman and encashed at the Central Bank of Liberia on March 14, 2016. The money was withdrawn from GOL operations USD account #: 220530000225 based on the Payment Authorization letter from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) on March 11, 2016, to the Director for Banking at the CBL. The letter bears the reference number: 24784/03/’16.

The big question is, why the ministry should have allegedly issued check to Edmund B. Coleman when Power of Attorney, written on November 18, 2013, had given Mr. Jefferson Douglas Coleman the authority to serve as administrator.

Documents in our possession indicate that the Taylor & Associates, Inc., representing the legal interest of the family, said Edmund B. Cole has denied ever receiving money on behalf of the estate.

On October 10, 2016, under the signature of Cllr. Milton D. Taylor, the law firm wrote Finance Minister, Boima S. Kamara to intervene since Edmund denied of receiving the money. But up to present, the family members said their claim has not been settled. If Edmund Cole did not receive anything from the Ministry, where did the money go or who received in the name of Edmund? If it got in the wrong hands, who is responsible? These are the question being asked as the family members continue to engage the government to settle them.

Recently, some of the family members headed by administrator, Jefferson  Coleman, converged with placards at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, to draw the public’s attention to what they described as stealing at the Ministry surrounding the domestic debt and other transactions. “Economic management becomes economic waste,” was one of the statements used on placards.

They also called on the government to respect and protect the Whistleblower Act.

Meanwhile, Senior Debt Analyst, Madam Patricia Dixon has challenged officials at the ministry to make public comprehensive reports of the domestic debt payment to prove her wrong.

When contacted via mobile on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, MFDP Communication Unit Director, Mr Abraham B. Waritay, promised that the Ministry will respond on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, since the issue was just brought to their attention.

Before going first story on Thursday, Mr. Waritay told this paper via mobile phone that the Ministry will address itself to the allegations at the appropriate time after meeting with officials in the concerned department and once the authority is given to speak to the matter. Up to press time, the Ministry remained tight-lipped, as our investigations continue…

 

Debt Payment Fraud -MFDP Official Alleges

Ministry of Finance and Development

Immediately after taking over in 2006, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf constituted an inter-ministerial vetting committee (IVC), with the assistance of international consultancy firms and experts to develop strategies in settling domestic debts government owed under previous regimes.

The committee and its partners did not only vet claims, but also prepared consolidated listing for claimants to receive their checks; and approved by then Finance Minister Antoinette Saye.

But the Senior Debt Analyst in the Domestic Debt Management Unit at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), Madam Patricia P. Dixon, has alarmed alleged fraud in the payment process.

Madam Dixon who calls herself a “whistle blower,” told the In Profile Daily that the consolidated listing was prepared to avoid issuance of fragmented checks to claimants. She further alleged that the fragmented listing that should have been canceled, was also paid after settling the consolidated listing with the same amount.

According to her, the process was carried out when current Deputy Minister for Economic Management, Alvin Attah was Assistant Minister for Debt Management.

They did not stop in the allegedly recycled payment. Madam Dixon said the Ministry paid some of the claimants, using the Liberian dollar figures with US dollars.

As a fraud examiner by profession, Madam Dixon said she has and continues to remain vigilant in exposing frauds in the process since she discovered the first irregularities in 2007 when domestic debt payments started.

Based on the advice of international partners, she said a system called Commonwealth Secretariat and Debt Recording Management System (CS-DRMS) was set up to keep records of Liberia’s debt portfolios, where she has been discovering the alleged frauds.

The female whistle blower said she decided to take the issue to the media because all efforts for the Ministry to address her claims have failed and at the same she was being undermined.

Madam Dixon said based on her strong stance against corruption and having raised the issues with officials at the Ministry, she was given a letter of transfer from the department; something she has rejected.

“They are not only attempting to transfer me from the Department where I am assigned to ensure compliance, but they have also blocked my account since I have been seeing frauds they commit,” she said.

According to one of the classified documents from the Ministry, Deputy Minister for Administration, Mrs. Juah K. Feika sent email to Madam Dixon on April 3, 2017, saying: “Dear Patricia, As I indicated to you on last Friday, Minister Attah [Alvin Attah, Deputy Minister for Economic Management] has requested that you be transferred from the Department of Economic Management and to also have your account blocked from the CS-DRMS. Based on the Minister’s request, I have instructed Murphy Socree to have your account blocked from said system. Your transfer will be concluded upon my return. Please therefore take note, govern yourself and take this change in good faith.”

There was no reason given in the Deputy Minister’s communication for Madam Dixon’s transfer.

The Senior Debt Analyst revealed that she has communicated her allegations to integrity institutions including the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC).

She has also challenged authorities at the Ministry to give the original report in the system CS-DRMS, because she said they are claiming of alterations in the system. The whistle blower said, besides recycling checks, there were lots of dubious payments because the fragmented checks remain in the system.

One of the classified documents in possession of this paper indicates re-issued checks in the debt payment; something Madam Dixon has challenged to provide the original ones.

Madam Dixon said, while she will not rest until the country’s money is paid back, she is calling on the Government, through the Ministry of Justice to ensure her security. “I have also written the Ministry of Justice and the Liberian National Police (LNP) for my security. God comes first; but they should protect me while I continue to bring them out,” she added.

In recent times, Minister Boima Kamara has been sacking some officials at the Ministry for alleged corruption. It beats one’s imagination for such to be going on without action if it is confirmed.

However, observers have it that an investigation might be ongoing to establish the facts.

When contacted via mobile on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, MFDP Communication Unit Director, Mr Abraham B. Waritay, promised that the Ministry will respond on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, since the issue was just brought to their attention.

Before going to press, Mr. Waritay told this paper via mobile phone that the Ministry will address itself to allegations at the appropriate time after meeting with officials in the concerned department and once the authority is given to speak to the matter.

Investigations continue..

Belt And Road Forum Points Clear Way For Future Cooperation: Chinese State Councilor

BEIJING, May 17 (Xinhua) — Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi said Wednesday the just concluded Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation outlined the roadmap for the success of the Belt and Road Initiative and pointed a clear way for future cooperation.

Yang said in an interview that the forum, which was held in Beijing on Sunday and Monday, clarified an assortment of projects that would be implemented within the framework of the initiative. The forum yielded a list of outcomes, which included 76 consensuses comprising more than 270 detailed results in five key areas, namely policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity.

“The grand blueprint of the Initiative is being converted into a clear roadmap,” said Yang.

Yang said forum was the largest multilateral diplomatic activity that was proposed and held by China since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The forum sent a positive signal for all parties to work together to build a community of shared future, which would be extremely important for China and the world.

Yang said that China did not have selfish motives nor pursue selfish interests, and hosted the forum with an open, inclusive, democratic and transparent attitude.

He said the forum consisted of an opening ceremony, a round-table summit and high-level meetings to ensure all parties had the opportunity to fully take part in the forum.

Yang said he believes the broad and in-depth participation of all parties involved into the initiative will contribute hugely to China and world development.

Twenty-nine foreign heads of state and government attended the forum. Other delegates included officials, entrepreneurs, financiers and media from over 130 countries and regions, which are home to more than two thirds of the world’s population and their combined gross domestic product accounts for 90 percent of the world’s total.

“Women Have Disregarded Womanhood” -Female Aspirant

By Mafanta Kromah

A female representative aspirant of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC), Grady Walker, says women have neglected womanhood, thus preventing many of them from taking state offices.

Madam Walker maintains that unlike men, women are self and strong-hearted, as such people are afraid to vote them in to power on grounds that they will forget their constituents.

Madam Walker made the statement Friday during a day-long citizens engagement event held at Brewerville City Hall.

The event was organized by the Coalition of Political Parties Women in Liberia (COPPWILL), supported by United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) through NAYMOTE Partners for Democratic Development.

According to her, women are many in Liberia; but do not vote for women during electoral processes, due to their inability to extend their coverage to those they represent.

She cited that when a politician cares for both men and women he or she will not have problem in a political sojourn.

She further emphasized that many women are coming down to their constituents because they want to take power; but upon ascendancy,  turn their back on the people.

Madam  added: “They are down to earth because they need the people service; but when they get the job, they have no equal.”

She maintained that women are very wicked and do not care much about what other people go through despite the fact that they are women.

At the same time, Rebecca Roberts, a resident of Brewerville said “not many women are elected during electoral period because they do not extend helping hands to the people they want to represent.

She claimed that women are selfish; as a result, when they take public offices they do not count those that vote them into power.

Meanwhile, giving the over view of the program, COPPWILL’s Vice President of Political Education and Training, Nuwoe Scott, said the engagement is to ensure that more women become representatives come 2018 (following the elections).

“We want to carry 99 percent of the women to the legislature come 2018 and to continue training those that will not make it to the House,” she said.

According to her, the initiative is to also sell female aspirants to the people and for the citizens themselves to create the platform for the aspirants, thus holding them accountable when elected.

She indicated that COPPWILL, at the end of the political process, will also hold these female aspirants accountable for everything they say to the people when they are elected.

 

 

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Liberia-China Friendship Organization Urges Liberians To Elect Leaders That Will Protect One-China Policy

The Liberia-China Friendship Organization (LICFO) is calling on Liberian voters to participate in the electoral process to elect individuals who will support and uphold the One-China Policy.

“You get the politicians you warrant if you don’t vote right by accessing the candidates who will reflect the interest of the nation and the aspirations of its people. Politicians can help guide policy, and so we need politicians who will guide and protect the One China Policy,” LICFO said in a press release issued on Monday.

According to the organization, the One China Policy is the firm foundation of the Liberia-China relations. As a result of that relations, Liberians have immensely benefited and still benefiting from the Government and people of the People’s Republic of China.

It named some of the benefits Liberia is enjoying from the relations include the reconstruction of the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex after the civil war and its current renovation, the construction of the Ministry of Health and the University of Liberia Fendell Campus as well as the ongoing construction of the Ministerial Complex and the Annexes of Capitol Building, among others.

LICFO then urged Liberians to vote for those who intend to guide and protect the One-China Policy not only because Liberia has benefited and still benefiting from the Liberia-China relations, but also China is a member of the Security Council; the Council that decides the fate of any nation on planet earth. “It is good to elect those who go with us in the same direction,” LICFO added.

LICFO’s statement comes amid reports of political elements who want to sway Liberia back to the renegade province of Taiwan when they gain state power. The organization pointed out that their action, is intended to enrich themselves, because Taiwan authorities know ‘checkbook diplomacy’ very well. “They want to use your votes, get to power and deny your infrastructural developments that the People’s Republic of China is currently providing,” the group maintained.

Meanwhile, LICFO has stressed the need to elect people who represent developmental ambition that will truly lift Liberia.

 

 

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US Style: Discussions! Political “Interference?”

Uneasy suspicion has brewed over the closed door discussion initiated by the United States Embassy near Monrovia with expected Presidential aspirants ahead of the coveted October 10, 2017 Presidential and representative elections.

An official statement from the United States Embassy posted over the weekend detailed its directive that presidential aspirants wishing to engage with diplomatic mission will be done in “Closed-Door void of media presence.

Accordingly, the Liberian News Agency (LINA) report quoted a release from the Embassy as stating that the first dialogue took place Friday May 5, 2017 with the appearance of little known Cllr. Dr. Jallah Barbu of the New Liberian Party (NLP) as debutant guest.

“The U.S Embassy will continue these dialogues in the weeks that follow in order to better understand the platforms, priorities and philosophies of the aspirants. The U. S Embassy said in a statement that it hopes Liberia holds a successful election that is free, fair, open and peaceful,” said the Embassy.

However, regrettably, the U. S Embassy emphatically directed that the US officials meeting with political aspirants will be restricted to the media, which has raised eyebrows among some presidential aspirants and voters over the expressed intent of the world’s super as the October 10, 2017 elections draws nearer.

The ongoing meeting comes against heighten heels of suspicion among some self-styled Liberian politicians that previous elections held in country were reportedly influenced by Washington through the influence of the US Embassy in Monrovia.

“We applaud the expressed objectives of the US-Presidential aspirants closed-door initiatives aimed at wishing free, fair, transparent and peaceful elections, but we baffled that election discussions bordering on these objectives should not be held at closed-door, it creates suspicion” said Francis Natoe, a self-styled political observer.

 Activist Natoe said the closed-door discussion undertaken by the US Embassy with Presidential aspirants has undoubtedly sparked-off alleged discussions at popular social entertainment places that the former colonial masters often choose Liberia’s Presidents at their detriment.

Like activist Natoe, renowned Liberian Economist Samuel P. Jackson also noted that the United States of America has supported Liberia for nearly 200 years, but said that support has unwittingly led to the creation of a political class that misruled the country.

“For 133 years from 1847, the political class was mostly of repatriated American slaves and their descendants, known as Americo-Liberians, but since 1980 with the overthrow of the Americo Liberian oligarchy by a group of enlisted soldiers under Master Sergeant Samuel K.  Doe, the reemergence of the political elite is no longer based upon tribe or ethnicity, yet the consequences are the same with a small band of greedy bureaucrats bleeding a desperately poor country,” said Economist Jackson.

Unfortunately, pundits have stated that with the US seemingly supporting the political configuration in Liberia, it makes a weakened opposition even weaker and timid thus undermining the creation of a vibrant democratic society that can checkmate the excesses of the country’s ruling elite.

With over 200 years of US engagement with Liberia, political analysts have surmised that much of its support seemed well-intentioned and in fact has been the umbilical cord sustaining the nation-hood of the country.

However, some Liberians believed that US support has always been characterized by biasness towards the country’s ruling class and political elite, unintentionally expanded economic inequality and solidified social chasms.

Debated with curiosity, some Liberians interview have opined that with centuries after America began its support to Liberia, the country’s political economy is still characterized by patronage, cronyism and opportunism, all designed to enrich a few at the expense of the hapless majority.

Notably, Liberian political leaders always shuttle between Washington and Monrovia with the conviction that once sanctioned by the US, the political deal is done without many hitches.

However, with less than 10% of the Liberian population, Americo-Liberians have dominated the national politics from the founding of the colony until slain Samuel Doe led a military coup in 1980; however the debate of how Americo-Liberians held onto power for protracted period has once again surface and dominating the 2017 political discussion.

Some natives have attributed the long serving tenure of Americo-Liberian to divisions based on “light-skin vs. dark skin”, particularly because the first president was of mixed race, as were several immigrants, reflecting the nature of African-American society in dominance.

It is believed that the discussion initiated by the US will be welcomed, but with uttermost recap of the country’s political event. Reports T. Michael Johnny 0775820581

Please Contain The New Killer Disease, Our Heavenly Father

REFLECTING ON THE wave of deaths in 2014 when Liberia was invaded by Ebola epidemic is as bad as any nightmare to remember. Thank God those days are no longer wished for in our midst, even as economic hardship and other vices are getting married to us. Read more