ULAA Council of Eminent Persons (UCEP) Appeals to West African Leaders to Help address the Prevailing Calamities in Liberia to Avert the Looming Disasters in the Region

 

A Letter Sent By UCEP To West African Leaders


The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
March 31, 2016

                  



 
 
 
 

ULAA COUNCIL OF EMINENT PERSONS, INC.
Office of the Chairman of the Secretariat
P. O. Box 1981, Jonesboro, GA 30237 * (404) 468-2440 * ucepinc@gmail.com

20 February 2016  

                                                      
H.E. Macky Sall
President of the Republic of Senegal and
Chairman of Authority of Heads of State and Government of
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
Abuja, Nigeria, West Africa

Your Excellency,

We take this opportunity to express our immense gratitude for the tenacious effort and tremendous investment in time and resources by the Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in their determination to restore Liberia and its people to the comity of nations after many years of fratricidal civil war. However, we must hasten to call your attention to the current and unfortunate political, social, economic and security development unfolding in the Republic of Liberia, and seek your timely intervention to keep the country from slipping back into decadence from which you extricated our nation and people.

Background
In 2003, ECOWAS and its International partners brokered the Comprehensive Accra Peace Accord which led to the peaceful cessation of 14 years of fratricidal war and devastation in Liberia. The terms of the accord ushered in the historic election of the first female elected President in Africa. One of the cardinal provisions of the Accra Accord was the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, (TRC) through which the entire Liberian conflict commencing from 1978 to 2003 would be investigated and recommendations derived for a permanent reconciliation of the Liberia people. The Government of Liberia led by Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf did establish the TRC in according with the laws of Liberia.

Since 2010, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission completed its work with a comprehensive recommendation which includes but not limited to the prosecution of certain individuals for murder, rape and crime against humanity. The presence of the United Nations forces in the country for the past 10 years would have bolstered the Government’s ability to withstand the tension that could have come about from the imprisonment of certain high profile individuals charged by the TRC for murder and crimes against humanity. To this day, the President as Head of the Executive Branch of the Liberian Government has, in conjunction with the Legislature vehemently opposed the implementation of the TRC Recommendations.

At the call of the Economic Community of West African States, (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU), and the International Community, the United Nations has maintained the largest peace keeping force in Liberia for 10 years. The United Nations Forces have been responsible for the security of the Nation while President Sirleaf, her family and friends pillage the resources of the country. During her tenure, despite immense International grants and according to her own declarations, 16 billion United States Dollars of investment, Liberia has descended from merely a poor country in the World, to the poorest. The country has gone on to become the most corrupt country in the World today.  Meanwhile, under her 10 years of leadership, there is still no electricity nor drinking water. The United Nations protection and sacrifice of manpower and resources have only served as a shield for President Sirleaf and her cronies to pillage the resources of Liberia and commit human rights violations with impunity.

Impending Disaster
Your Excellency, since the cessation of the civil war and the ascendency of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to power in Liberia, thanks to the effort and farsightedness of the International Community through whose support the United Nations’ (UN) forces have secured Liberia for more than 10 years, the citizens of Liberia and the sub-region have witnessed and enjoyed sustained and uninterrupted peace and stability. In fact, the Liberian Government commemorated 2013 as a period marking 10 years of uninterrupted sustained peace in the country.

Since 2006 to today, the Republic of Liberia and its people under the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf led Government, have painfully observed and come to realize that the policies and practices of the Government of Liberia, namely corruption, nepotism and bad governance have evidentially drawn Liberia and its people potentially from peace, to instability and insecurity. Consequently, such negative political, social and economic determinants are bound to inevitably threaten the hard-earned peace and stability that both Liberia and the citizens of ECOWAS have witnessed and are enjoying.  

Your Excellency, we respectfully call the attention of you and your colleagues to the fact that, of late, Liberia and its people are challenged and overwhelmed by fears and uncertainties due to countless political and suspicious brutal killings that are taking place in low and high places in the country. For instance, the national security sector of Liberia, particularly the Liberian National Police (LNP), National Security Agency (NSA), the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), and the Executive Protection Services (EPS) are totally out of control and are engaged in offenses that are in violation of Liberia’s armed robbery and murder laws . Between January and February 2016, a total of seven (7) assistant directors of the Liberian National Police (LNP) were accused of targeted armed robbery and subsequently suspended. In 2015, the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), a son of President Sirleaf was accused of armed robbery and found guilty of unlawfully taking away of nearly US$300,000 (United States three hundred thousand dollars) from a Korean investor by force of arm. With the nepotistic protection of his mother, he remains in the position of power with impunity for the crimes committed. In addition, during the outbreak of the Ebola Virus in Liberia, the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) shot and killed a 13-year old boy and injured countless unarmed citizens who were protesting for their rights in the district of West Point, City of Monrovia. In 2015, the Executive Protection Service (EPS) abused and murdered Liberians with impunity. 

Your Excellency, between 2006 when Madam Sirleaf ascended to the Office of President and 2016, several high-level political individuals have been murdered under mysterious circumstances. For instance, Mr. Keith Jubbah, former head of the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC) was slaughtered in his compound during broad day and Mr.  Fayiah J. Saah Gbollie, a leading opposition leader was assassinated under similar circumstances.  To this day, the massive security network of the Government of Liberia has swept the killing of these public figures under the rug with no culprit apprehended.  Not too long ago, Attorney-At-Law, Michael Allison, a former Consultant to the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) then headed by the son of the President, was murdered and his body found on the beach after he blew a whistle to the Anti-Corruption Agency that he witnessed a bribe of $25,000.00 United States Dollars being delivered to the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Then several weeks later, a Nigerian bank manager was reportedly drowned under suspicious circumstances.

Quite recently, Mr. Harry A. Greaves, the former Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC); a world class accountant and an advocate for transparency in the management of public funds was brutally killed and his body found on the beach near President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s office. Immediately prior to his being murdered, Mr. Greaves had publicly questioned the disappearance of some 80 million United States dollars from the account of the National Oil Company (NOCAL) as already indicated above, headed by the President’s son, thereby rendering the company bankrupt. Greaves promised to use his international financial experience to trace the missing money and return it to Liberia.  The citizenry of Liberia now believes that these brutal assassinations accompanied by gruesome display of cruelty are intended to instill fear and intimidation in the minds of the public in order to suppress dissidence.

Your Excellency, the government of Liberia has handled the investigations of these public assassinations with orchestrated scams and chicaneries. We are certain that in the absence of fair play, and independent investigations and consequently prosecution of those responsible for these gruesome murders and crime against the public, the Nation will rapidly descend back into the conditions that precipitated the civil war. 

Freedom of the Press and expression of free speech as protected by the Constitution of Liberia is narrowly measured and threatened by the Government of Liberia. To-date, an opposition leader, Simeon Freedom has had to escape into exile to save his life because he spoke out against the Government with respect to its complacency in these killings. His compound was occupied by government forces without lawful sanction.

Considering the grave and incalculable threats that this deficit of the application of the rule of law and the unequal applicability of the law in Liberia pose to domestic, regional and even global peace and security, we are urgently appealing to Your Excellency and your colleagues to please turn your attentions to Liberia so as to provide a neutral hand in addressing these calamities to avert the looming disasters. Your timely action will prevent the Republic of Liberia from slipping back into chaos.

Thanks for your kind considerations. The Liberian people shall remain indebted to you and the Authority of the Heads of State and Government of (ECOWAS) including all our international partners for your sustained and reassuring commitment.
Respectfully Yours,

Siahyonkron J. K. Nyanseor
_______________________
Chairman, UCEP Secretariat

  

NB: The ULAA Council of Eminent Persons, (UCEP), Inc. comprised of former Presidents and Chairmen of the Board of the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas, Inc. (ULAA); founded 1974 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Union as it is called is the umbrella organization under which the entire Liberian Community and their organizations in the United States of America federate.

Its mission is to advance the just causes of Liberians at home and in the Diaspora. The general principles of the organization is to promote and encourage national reconciliation, integration and unification; preserve and protect Liberian culture, history and traditions; uphold and defend fundamental rights, including the human rights and civil liberties of Liberians everywhere; cultivate and harness the energies and resources of Liberians to improve the quality of life of all Liberians; advocate and advance the cause of constitutional democracy and sustainable national development in the Republic of Liberia.

References


Liberian Codes of Law Revised, Volume IV, Title 26, Sections 15.32 and 14.1 (a) and (c).

The Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, Chapter III, Article 15 (a) to (e), 1986.



Zamawa A Zamawa
This is what A PRESSURE GROUP does in times like these! When shall OTHER PRESSURE GROUPS call spade s spade! Even LPP USA has shown what the opposition ought to so! When shall we hear from other National ACTORS as the Liberian Council of Churches, The Muslim League, the trade and workers unions, the National Bar, THE ALMIGHTY PUL ETC. ETC.?
Zamawa A Zamawa at 03:34AM, 2016/04/02.
James Samolu
Officials and members of the AU, ECOWAS and other foreign governments may be hesitant to intervene in this kind of internal matter.

Why? The death of Mr. Harry Greaves has not been proven to be a homicide. And even though his death is a major blow to the cadre of Liberian luminaries, but most importantly it pales by comparison to such crimes like crimes against humanity that would warrant the attention of the international community and foreign governments.

I wonder where was this eminent person of the ULAA during the fourteen years of war that claimed over 250,000 Liberian lives? Would it not have been the most propitious time when the ULAA, our only hope in the diaspora, could have vigorously and expeditiously intervened to stop the brutal carnage of our people before it reached such an alarming proportion?

Mr. Siahyonkron knows very well that many of the prominent people who have ascended the echelons of power in Liberia have played major roles in the ULAA including the strategizing, organizing, implementing, and coordinating of various political activities that netted to nothing but disasters.

For decades Mr. Siahyonkron has been among those spearheading fundraising projects under the guise of promoting the socio-economic and socio-political advancement of Liberia; and yet Liberians are pondering today over what have been its achievements.

Mr. Siahyonrkron's autograph is the only signature that is consipicuously and digitally affixed on the letter to the AU and ECOWAS. Where are the signatures of the other ULAA officials? Are their signatures not important too? This is a clear manifestation of the leadership style that characterizes the modus operandi of Mr. Siahyonkron. Is this what he calls participatory democracy? I doubt it seriously.

What a glaring paradox! The ULAA that professes to be in the vanguard of promoting democracy in Liberia has an eminent person whose core values are autocratic.

Unless this old head with his Jurassic methodologies and ideas is cleansed out of the organization, the ULAA will remain without vim, vigor, and vitality for a long time.
James Samolu at 02:47PM, 2016/04/03.
Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah
James Samolu,

The RELEVANCE or issue here IS NOT about whether the dissapearances, and suspicious killings,and suspicious drowning deaths, ritualistic killings, are proven homicides or not.Nor is it about Mr. Nyanseor´s "fund raising projects", his actions or inactions about "participatory democracy or UCEP/ULAA modus operandi.

The URGENCY and crucial issue is: these "suspicious deaths or killings" (if we may quote the Justice Minister) are going on as some uncontrollable locomotive! And those in charge of Liberia´s territorial jurisdiction(where these brutalities are going on) are either UNWILLING OR UNABLE to carry out the required due diligence as required and authorised under domestic and international law!

Samolu, if you do not have anything sensible to share, please just keep quiet and let sober and sound minds (as Elder Nyanseor etc. etc.) alert the regional authorities about how "the country is threading a dangerous path"(if we may quote Senator Varney Sherman) and needs intervention to restore the people´s safety and happiness as ensrined in the Liberian Constitution!
Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah at 02:01AM, 2016/04/04.
Johnny Ballis
Mr. Zoedjallah


Mr. Samolu has the right just as all of us do to express his thoughts in any form, shape or manner. This is the essence of democracy.


Not one day have I been on this web site to witness anyone trying to silence the self-styled prophet Siahyonkron when he is delivering his doomsday messages, heaping praises on himself, extolling his good virtues and concatenating titles. Why are you trying now to silence Mr. Samolu? Is it because he refuses to fall under the discipleship of your prophet Siahyonkron?


What is so surreal about what is happening is the fact that in most instances when preceding generations tolerate certain values, the younger or succeeding generations will come to embrace them. And this is what is going on now. What is blinding many of our young folks not to understand that Mr. Siahyonkron is simply fabricating suspicions to suit his selfish aim is mind boggling.

The ULAA has been producing leaders in Liberia for years; but notwithstanding what impact have their policies made on the country? Is change only about taking out the old wine and replacing it with new wine but within the same old bottle? This is delusional thinking. Why the present generation cannot see that the ULAA needs to be infused with new blood and a new thinking?

The saddest aspect about these kinds of events is that whenever push comes to shove the ordinary and hopeless people become part of the collective punishment while those who are orchestrating it are living comfortably in some remote areas.

Talking about impending danger in Liberia and the subregion?! There is none whatsoever. Why would Sierra Leone, Guinea, and the Ivory Coast face disaster because of some criminal acts committed by some misfits in our society?


At last, all the wishful thinkers will fall flat on their faces.
Johnny Ballis at 06:20PM, 2016/04/04.
Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah
Mr. Johnny Ballis (whether truly existent or not),

Unless one does not want to be serious, or truthful, there is no scientific, intellectual, nor factual, difference between what UCEP has articulated as signed By its head Elder Nyanseor and what THE LIBERIAN OBSERVER has published hereunder in one of its latest editorials on the matter UCEP is ALERTING the regional authorities about and signed By its first amongst equals - Elder Siahyonkrohn Nyanseor:

"Where Is the Zayzay Autopsy Report?

Sun, 04/03/2016 - 22:57 admin





How does this government think it can get away with such an atrocity?

Why has the government of Liberia not released the autopsy report on the death of Victoria Zayzay?

The GOL’s answer is that the report was “inconclusive”.

If that is the case, then why not release it and order a second opinion? Surely that would have been the wisest course of action both for a government that is already under suspicion for the mysterious deaths of political opponents and whistleblowers, and for the sake of the bereaved family.

If a few rogue officers committed the crime, boot them out and bring them to justice.

But the fact that the government has withheld the report for this long and the family has finally had to bury their daughter five months after her death without an autopsy report, stinks of suspicion and callousness (indifference, cold-heartedness). It renders the entire government complicit in the crime!

How heartless. How cruel.

Whatever happened to women’s rights under Africa’s first democratically elected female president, that a woman, a pregnant mother, can die with her unborn child in such a gruesome manner in police custody, and the murders go unsolved without even so much as the courtesy of an investigation?

Even if the report had been inconclusive, that should have put more of a burden on the government to conduct a thorough on-the-ground investigation. Who is the depot commander? Who were the officers on duty that night? How was it possible that no one saw what happened?

Of course, as all things done in the darkness must come to light, a copy of the report was allegedly leaked through none other than the Justice Ministry itself. Reportedly, it concluded that Victoria Zayzay did not die from hanging.

The question, then, becomes how did she die, and why? What happened?

If she did not die from hanging, then was she killed? If she was killed, then by whom? What did Victoria Zayzay see in the police cell that night? Did she witness a late night drug deal in the depot? What information was she privy to?

Then again, she was also a very attractive woman. Was she raped? Is that why the autopsy report was never released? She was also pregnant. Was it a ritualistic killing?

These are the questions to which the government exposes itself when it goes about concealing information that is vital to laying the fears and suspicions of the public to rest.

The government of Liberia has in fact treated Victoria Zayzay’s death like that of a stray dog – not even warranting the human dignity of an investigation.

Worse still, it seems a concerted effort was made by the responsible authorities effectively to deny justice in this case.

In a press statement issued nearly three months after Zayzay’s death in police custody, Police Director Chris Massaquoi assured the general public that “the LNP attaches serious concern to this matter” and that “a comprehensive investigation” was ongoing, pending the outcome of the autopsy report.

We are yet to see the makings, let alone the findings of said investigation.

When the family saw no such ongoing investigation as promised by the GOL, Madam Comfort Zayzay, mother of the deceased and grandmother of the unborn child, yet unable to bury her daughter’s body, staged a sit-in protest at the Temple of Justice. There, she met Chief Justice Francis Korkpor. When
she begged him to help her get justice for her daughter, he chided her and her fellow protestors for using the judiciary for “political” purposes.

“This is not a political ground and we will not tolerate people holding protest as a means of getting justice. This is not the purpose of the Judiciary. We are a not a party to any case. We are only here to make sure everybody gets justice,” he chided the bereaved mother and grandmother whose pregnant daughter had died in police custody.

A heartless rebuke, as if the death of one’s daughter in police custody classifies as a political matter! It definitely is not, Mr. C.J!

The Justice Ministry itself, which leaked the autopsy report in January 2016, had told journalists that with the report in hand, further investigations would be conducted.

“…if it establishes that anyone is involved,” the MOJ source assured the public, “we are going to deal with such person for Ms. Zayzay’s death in our cell transparently, and we want to assure the public that we will remain transparent until the matter is brought to rest.”

The MOJ is yet to live up to its promise.

The giver of Justice in the country, to which Chief Justice Korkpor directed the mother of the victims, has not dispensed justice as promised or as required.

As such, Victoria Zayzay’s blood and that of her unborn child remains on the hands of the Government of Liberia.

Micahael Allison, Victoria Zayzay, Harry Greaves… Who will be next, and where and when will it end?"

SO YOU SEE, MR. BALLIS, WHAT IS OF RELEVANCE IS NOT WHO OR WHAT THE MESSENGER MAY BE! RATHER, WHAT IS OF RELEVANCE IS BERINGING TO HALT THE DANGER - AS IN THIS CASE, THE ATTORICTIES OF THE GOVERNMENT OF ELLEN JOHNSON SIRLEAF! AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT ELDER NYANSEOR AND HIS COLLEAGUES IN UCEP ARE DOING!: ALERTING THE SUBREGIONAL AUTHORITIES VIS A VIS BRINGING A HALT TO THE ATROCITIES BEEN COMMITTED BY THE ELLEN JOHNSON SIRLEAF´S GOVERNMENT!

DEMOCRACY IS NOT THE USAGE OF ONE´S RIGHT TO HIS OR HER OPINION TO COVER THE ATTROCITIES OF WHETHER GOVERNMENT OR WHICHEVER CULPRIT. THIS ABUSE OF RIGHT IS EXACTLY WHAT IS BEEN CARRIED OUT BY MR. JAMES SAMOLU, AND BY EXTENTION BY YOU. WE RESPECTFULLY REQUEST BOTH OF YOU TO DESIST FROM SUCH ABUSES OF RIGHTS!

IN OTHER WORDS,YOUR OBSESSION ABOUT ULAA IN GENERAL AND ELDER NYANSEOR IN PARTICULAR ARE EXTREMELY ILLOGICAL AND MISPLACED, FOR EVEN IF YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT ULAA AND MR. NYANSEOR WERE FACTUAL, SUCH WOULD HAVE NO EFFECT WHEN IT COMES TO BRINGING A HALT TO THE ATROCITIES OF THIS GOVERNMENT AS PUBLICIZED THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY AND ACROSS THE GLOBE AS WE MAKE THESE EXCHANGES!

BESIDES, THE MULTIPARTY DEMOCRACY ENJOYED BY LIBERIA AND LIBERIANS TODAY IS TREMEDIOUSLY ALSO ATTRIBUTED TO THE PROGRESSIVISM BY ULAA IN THE 70´S, JUST AS SUCH NATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT MUST ME ACREDITED TO THE GALLANTRY AND BRAVERY OF THE ARMY AND THE MASSES! SO ONE HAS TO RETHINK BEFORE BADMOUTHING ULAA OR UCEP!

MR. BALLIS, ALERTING THE SUBREGIONAL AUTHORITIES IS NOT ABOUT if we may quote you "Sierra Leone, Guinea, and the Ivory Coast facing disaster because of some criminal acts committed by some misfits in our society".

THIS IS PRIMARILY, FUNDAMENTALLY, AND EXCELLENTLY, THE NORM AND LEGAL APPROACH WHICH ANY INSTITUTION/ORGANIZATION, A GOVERNMENT, OR AN INDIVIDUAL TAKES WHEN A STATE OR GOVERNMENT IS UNWILLING OR UNABLE TO REMEDY SUCH ATROCITIES OR CRIMES BEEN COMMITTED WITHIN A GIVEN TERRITORIAL OR EXTRA-TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION! IN INTERNATIONAL LAW IT IS CONCEPTUALIZED AS EXHAUSTION OF LOCAL OR REGIONAL REMEDY!!!


Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah at 04:50AM, 2016/04/06.
James Samolu


Mr. Zoebohn and the ULAA eminent persons:

Are you implying that the president of Liberia's role is to check for every single crime that is committed? If it is so then how about the lives of everyday folks? Are they not part of the national narrative? This strategy is proving to be narrow in scope.

Here is a suggestion. Instead of the ULAA putting all of its intellectual and vocal capital to the bringing down of the Sirleaf government, it can adopt the positive models of other foreign nationals living in the diaspora. A shining example is: The American-Jewish League (AJL). The AJL hovers a lot of clot both in the United States and Israel because its activities are not wholly and solely politically based.

It raises funds that are geared towards combating the prevalence of hunger and poverty of Jewish citizens; improving agriculture and education; improving security and national defense and so forth.

The AJL achieves many of its humanitarian objectives because it knows fully well that politicians will come and go but Israel will remain.

Instead of trying to convert the psyche of an existing government or modifying the behavior of its officials, why not the ULAA try to win the hearts and minds of the people by undertaking some simple projects that would be practically beneficial to them?

What has made terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Hezbollah and ISIS that in spite of their heinous acts they are regarded as viable entities within their societies?

It is not because they have leaders who write fine essays or who sit and weep and speculate on rumors. It is because the common people look at them as viable alternatives in solving their most urgent and pressing issues. It has well been documented that Hezbollah of Lebanon operates hospitals and clinics in addition to delivering other goods and services to the people.

The Greek philosopher Archimedes once said, "Give me a fulcrum for my lever and I will move the world."

Eminent persons of the ULAA: the fulcrum is in your hands as you live in one of the greatest civilizations on Earth. It is time to broaden your focus.

An abundance of education and resources are at your disposal. Use them to benefit our people in meaningful ways. May be instead of dwelling only on who is committing crimes in Liberia, the ULAA could re-direct some time and resources to crime detection and prevention; the hiring of more law enforcement agents; and pay and incentives.

In the end this move will reap great political capital for the ULAA in ways that people have never imagined.



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