By Abubakar Bah
Liberia has become a subject of discussions all around the World not because of the right reason but because of the wrong reason. As a Liberian Activist, I am extremely disappointed in the way and manner our Country has been placed on the international news wire. Allegations of Corruption have taken center stage of every major discussion surrounding major national actors in Liberia who have played counterproductive postures against the interest of our beloved Country, Liberia. The most disappointing thing is, these guys who have been accused of corruption by the Global Witness Report are people who are being heavily paid by the very taxpayers that they reportedly acted against. They also took an oath to defend the Country’s interest above personal interest but sadly having read this report, we have come to realized that they are more concern about personal greed than Liberia’s growth and development. Woe on to them for depriving Liberia development because of what they have been doing in the dark. They have been exposed in a broad day light yet, they are shamelessly abusing the airwaves with denials and arrogance because they think that they are untouchable in this gullible society of ours! In other countries around the World, these people were going to resigned not because they are guilty but to show responsible stewardship. This too is Liberia.
We are calling on political parties to take the lead in our many attempts to find out the facts associated with this Global Witness Report indicting many officials of government who are members of political parties around here but sadly enough we are yet to see any position taken by these parties. What is going on? Is it that these parties are in support of their members who have been implicated or are they afraid to take action against one of their own for betraying the public trust? The silence of these political parties on a very serious issue like this, speaks volume to the level of insobriety on the parts of these political parties. A political party cannot be claiming to be against corruption and you have a member of that very party being implicated in corruption allegations while that party refuses to take firm action to ascertain the fact surrounding the issue. This is a sign of debility in that party and must be condemned to the fullest for being cowardice in the fight against corruption.
What does the ruling Unity Party have to say about this damning report of widespread corruption allegation against its National Chairman, Varney Gbotoe Nambie Sherman for being the foremost player in this whole rolling quagmire? Why is it that the party is silent on this issue that they once consider as public enemy number one (1) through its Standard Bearer, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf? Are they telling us that Chairman Sherman is stronger than everybody including the President in that party and should continuously be involved in every corruption saga that props up? Where is the Unity Party in this whole thing? Is it because he is being considered or perceived as one of the main financier of the Unity Party so, he is immune from any wrong doing even against the Country? We need to see your position against your leader, the party’s Chairman, Varney Sherman for being deceptive in this whole issue against the State for which you are citizens 0f. Liberia will never rise as long as we are not able to rise above selfish personal interest for the sake of national interest. The party needs to show that she is far above any person whether it’s the chairman or not.
I have listened to Cllr. Varney Sherman responding to this report in a very shameful, arrogant and disgusting manner by being very defiant against the recent committee setup by the President of Liberia and his Standard Bearer.
He has not hidden his arrogance and resistance to this committee that is also headed by a professional lawyer (J. Fonati Koffa) like himself. How can he say that he will never appear before any committee setup by the President of Liberia because he is a lawyer and will not jeopardized his chances of proving his innocence by appearing before any committee? Why is he afraid of being heard if he has done nothing wrong? I believe that, if he is not guilty of those accusations as he claimed, he will not be afraid to appear before any committee because his role is fixed and does not require any different explanation other than what has really happened during his entire involvement with Sable Mining Company. Who is he to say that, he will never appear before any committee to say anything that has to do with this report because he may something to implicate him? Is he really thinking that he is untouchable because of his Chairmanship of the ruling Unity Party? Why is he openly defying the authority of the President of Liberia to setup committee in order to find the facts surrounding this whole issue? The fact that, the Chairman of the Unity Party has asserted that he will never appear before any committee, it is going to have a serious setback in the investigation of these allegations from Global Witness most especially when you have members of the Unity Party dominating the list of bribe takers and distributors.
The likes of Morris Saytumah, Richard Tolbert, Sumoe Cupee and Cletus Watterson will also feel that they too have no reasons for appearing before the committee established by their Standard Bearer to probe into this urgent matter. The Chairman of the Party is leading the idea of disrespecting the Standard Bearer of his party and President of the Republic of Liberia who declared corruption as Public Enemy # 1 during her famous inaugural address in January 2006. I believe that this Chairman should not be saying that, he will never appear before a committee established by his Standard Bearer which will likely be a recipe for more people to start disregarding the orders and appointments of the President, a situation that we should not be observing as we strive to nurtured our infant democracy. The Executive Committee of the Unity Party needs to take a firm action against her Chairman and all other members who are implicated in this report. Failure to take internal action is a sign of weakness and lack of commitment in the fight against this menace called Vampire by your Standard Bearer and our President.
The Liberia People Democratic Party (LPDP) must also ask her newly recruited member and speaker of the Liberian Legislature to immediately resign as Speaker of the 53rd National Legislature for bringing the party and the House to public deride. The party must also ask him to avail himself to the Committee established by Madam President to investigate this urgent matter of national discourse. I am very much sure that the LPDP can take punitive actions against her member and presumptive presidential candidate come 2017 in order to manifest her commitment and vision about tougher measures in combating corruption. I also encourage all other institutions that have any of those accused in this report as members to take bold actions against those guys until they can proved to be innocent of the economic crimes that they have been accused of committing.
Author's Statement: Mr. Abubakar Bah is a born Liberian, a scholar, a political analyst with a vast understanding of the body-politics of Liberia and a member of Liberia’s best known and youth developmental intellectual centers (Center For the Exchange of Intellectual Opinions) where critical minds converge on a daily basis to discuss issues affecting the Liberian society and the world at large. He currently serves as Co-Chairman on the Intellectual Discourse Committee at the Center. He can be reached through email: firstname.lastname@example.org and Cell #: +231886847236/ 776-774-749.