A Letter Sent By UCEP To West African Leaders
ULAA COUNCIL OF EMINENT PERSONS, INC.
Office of the Chairman of the Secretariat
P. O. Box 1981, Jonesboro, GA 30237 * (404) 468-2440 * firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.
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.
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.
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.