By Abraham Z. Mustapha
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
The current fragile political situation in Liberia continues to worsen due to the treacherous machinations of politicians with naive fantasies of determining who becomes president in 2017, without considering the dangerous consequences to our hard-earned peace for their self-conceited reasons. This determination to orchestrate and superimpose the outcome of the 2017 national elections is one of the devilish interests of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and those egregious political masterminds within the inner cycle of President Sirleaf.
This new interest to handpick the outcome of the 2017 national elections, coupled with the corruption saga that might have made the money culture attitude irreversible in Liberia, makes it difficult for President Sirleaf to meet the expectations, of not only Liberians, but also her darling friends of the International Community. Optimistic comments or praises made in international magazines such as Forbes, good rating from the World Bank and, or commendations from prominent citizens around the world cannot overshadow the daily stories of corruption, the ineptness of her advisers and the money culture attitude promoted by her privileged officials.
Yes, the money culture has and continues to overshadow President Sirleaf’s era. And unfortunately, for President Sirleaf, Mr. John Morlu II, once again, prophesized that money grabbing will dominate the few remaining months of the President Administration what he called “Injury Time.” Even before the former Audit Commissioner completed one audit, he stated that President Sirleaf Administration was three-times corrupt than the previous Administration. Well, the auditor’s critics who claimed that he spoke prematurely found out later that Mr. John Morlu II might have seen the vision of money culture before he began his tasks. So, during the past 10 years (i.e., a period Mr. Morlu II referred to as “Regular Time”), public records indicate that President Sirleaf’s advisers and friends carried out ominous activities. This is a partial list:
Now, few months left for President Sirleaf to leave the office, Commissioner Morlu II stated “it is Injury Time,” and there are few options left to siphon money away from public resources to personal accounts. And guess what, the national coffer is the only available option, but it is difficult to use government’s money for non-governmental purposes. For example, you need a willing official at the Ministry of Finance responsible for disbursement, and you need lawmakers who are friendly or leaders at the House of Representatives who will implement your directives as well as prevent or squash any hostile legislation or developments.
And, in order to coordinate these activities, an errant person is needed to navigate the political terrain and negotiate the deal. This is the kind of operation that Mrs. Medina Wesseh is good at. Our unerring source alleged that the president’s avaricious daughter, Medina Wesseh, is dictating the agenda, to the noxious effect of the madam Sirleaf`s legacy. After her failed quest for the UP chairmanship, Medina who has won notoriety in Liberian politics and is dubbed as ‘The dark horse of deception’, is said to be the architect of the budget manipulation of 22 million USD, for which Dr. James Kollie (i.e., the willing official at Finance) was made to execute. Observers believe that Medina, Kollie, the former comptroller, etc. could not have done this without the knowledge of President Sirleaf.
The US $22 million, once disbursed, was to be used to support the campaign of Charles Walker Brumskine of the Liberty Party as the 2017 winner as well as to lobby and marginalize unfriendly lawmakers or preferably to replace those lawmakers who are running during the 2017 elections. But the boomerang of this devious scheme embarrassed the president to the point that she is now calling for the resignation of Dr. James Kollie and the withdrawal of the budget. Her request for his resignation is a hoax; she has assured him of the Maritime job, once the dust is settled.
While the public and opposition political parties are disdainfully mocking the regime for its failure to fight corruption and prosecute corrupt officials, some officials and regime collaborators are desperately seeking wealth to an excessive degree. The injury time is now a “gold rush.” It is open secret that the campaign to oust speaker Alex Tyler goes far beyond the Global Witness Report. While many Liberians support the fight against corruption, they are cautiously watching the unfolding events. Observers believe that the scheme behind speaker Tyler’s removal is to enthrone Liberty Party’s deputy speaker Hans Barchue, who will spearhead the negotiations with his colleagues in the parliament in collusion with the executive branch of government for the sale of oil blocks and for the passage of the budget despite the 22 million USD manipulations.
Why not use the money to help her Vice President? President Sirleaf and close friends do not trust many of the friends and political advisers of her Vice President Mr. Joseph Boakai. They trust the leader of the opposition Party headed by Mr. Charles Walker Brumskine. Medina, whose legal partnership with Cllr. Fonati Koffa, has mesmerized the president in believing that such an agenda is workable to fight and oust the Unity Party of Joseph Boakai, because people who are unfriendly to President Sirleaf are the closed friends of her Vice President (Mr. Boakai).
But Madam Sirleaf’s gamble might not payoff if she continues to facilitate and support such devilish interest. For example, while President Sirleaf and Mr. Brumskine might share the same kind of economic philosophy, Mr. Brumskine is politically complex and some times he acts independently, if his departure from the Charles Taylor government is a onetime decision to be used as a guide to judge his political judgment. But he has drastically dropped down the pecking order after his failed and hypocritical attempt at Charles Taylor, and the 2005 & 2011 elections. Medina’s choice for Brumskine is not based on his competence and character, but rather her conviction that Brumskine can aggressively propel the Liberian elite agenda, thus setting the stage for continuous pillaging of nation’s coffers, in partnership with his alleged Italian-Mafia cartel.
President Sirleaf’s preference for Mr. Brumskine and not her Vice President might not have been stated during the audiotape involving the $3 million bribe from Mittal Steel to the Executive Branch. However, why would the Commander In Chief in charge of the war against corruption prefer to rely on an opposition leader to receive and, or manage bribery items on behalf of the Commander In Chief if the opposition leader is not the preferred candidate for the pending 2017 elections? It is common sense that an outgoing leader might disclose his/her dirty secrets to a friendly would-be successor and not to a would-be successor who is perceived to be unfriendly or might embark on prosecuting his/her would-be predecessor.
Impeccable sources indicate that the portion of the recording that mentioned Koffa and Brumskine was strangely excluded in the New Democrat article. According to the sources, Koffa’s name was mentioned as a good conduit for the $3 million dollars, but he was allegedly trashed by the president’s lobbyist, Riva, as being criminal and corrupt. Cllr Brumskine was also mentioned as a potential conduit for the money to bribe the lawmakers. The reasons for choosing Koffa or Brumskine were that both are equally corrupt and have close ties with the executive, thereby making either of them ideal for the scam. Though the sources did not indicate as to whether they knew about their selection or not, other sources find it hard to believe that Brumskine and Koffa were not in the loop.
Stay tuned for more coverage on "Injury Time" gold rush in Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's Liberia.