By: Gerald Dan Yeakula
August 22, 2011
In this first part of my penning, let me deal with the colossus that has now become insurmountable in the government led by Africa’s first elected female president-Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. It is unarguable that Madam Sirleaf has made scanty efforts to circumvent the menace of corruption. However, it is apparent that Madam Sirleaf has the willing spirit to fight the war she declared on Liberia’s greatest number one enemy CORRUPTION but she lacks the political will, as well as the determination, courage and bravery to ferociously engage this CORRUPTION peril and defeat it in this war.
This fairly willing spirit was seen when Madam Sirleaf served as chairman of the Governance Commission in 2005 at which time she pushed for the amendment of Chapter 53 section 53.23 of the Executive Law of 1972 which makes the GAC to report to the National Legislature instead of the President thus bringing GAC reporting in line with international best practice. Furthermore, I also saw this when she relinquished her constitutional responsibility of appointing an Auditor General to the European Union to recruit and fund the salary of an auditor General for the Republic of Liberia mainly for the purpose of having an independent Auditor General who will never serve as a puppet but rather an instrument for transformation in our society. This process led to the competitive recruitment of John S. Morlu II as Auditor General of the Republic of Liberia.
Now with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as commander-In-Chief and Auditor General John S. Morlu II as battle front commander in the war on corruption, the battle on corruption was being fought from one front, that is from the fierce end of the battle field commander while the commander-in-chief became an enemy of her very troop supplying arms and ammunition to the enemy and conspicuously defending the notorious enemy of corruption. Madam Sirleaf placed her neck on the chopping board and watched public officials fight back at the Auditor General. Was this how our president intended to combat corruption when she spoke to the nation, Africa, and the world at large on the day of her inauguration? The Inaugural speech of Her Excellency the president has proven to be sheer rhetoric as there is no actuality that can be aligned with it. In every part of the world where we see government declaring war, be it on terrorism, unemployment, health epidemic, illiteracy, poverty etc. the head of government, be it president ,king or prime minister at least has the zest to support the fight till victory is achieved. They don’t undermine their own war and lead their country to uncontrollable chaos.
How in this world can you expect to win the war on corruption when you surround yourself and wholly befriend the perpetrators of corruption, making your dreams inconsistent with your actions? How could you compromise corruption for friendship? Is Madam Sirleaf cognizant of how this peril pervades the fabrics of our society? Is Madam Sirleaf blinded to the fact that our people are pauperized and that they live in wretched and piteous poverty while public officials despoil and plunder the national pie? Where is the share of the hoi polloi, the downtrodden masses who live in the slums and ghettoes? How in this world can you expect to win the war on corruption when you brush aside every recommendation that comes from the GAC? Roughly 65 audit reports have been made, when will you unleash your arsenals for this warfare?
The stance of Madam Sirleaf on corruption is also worrisome. Why should her excellency blockade criticism? Owing to the political struggle of Madam Sirleaf, I firmly belief that she understands the necessity for criticism in any given political or social domain because we are all mortals, subject to all known human frailties. It is in this context that we must constantly subject ourselves to criticism and self-criticism. It is a healthy exercise to ensure that no one becomes a demi-god with rigid ideas of right and wrong. Surprisingly, infantrymen fighting corruption have been quieted. Just to name a few, Milton Teahjay who has now got a place and is a superintendent, Darius Dillon, Isaac Jackson and the many others who now dine and wine with Madam Sirleaf. It is an open-secret that in December 2010 Madam Sirleaf informed the Auditor General that she would not re-nominate him but offered him options to work as a cabinet minister. These acts speak volumes of her unwillingness to combat this monster.
Madam President you have failed in the war you declared on corruption and corruption has defeated you and your government. On Thursday, July 14,2011 there was a sensational news story which sprawled the local dailies. Also in the dailies was an eye-catching photo of Mr. Albert Bropleh handcuffed in a white T-Shirt and shorts. This is just an audaciously devious Machiavellian tactic intended to dupe the Liberian people and to portray that the government is “committed” to the fight against corruption when in reality it embraces corruption. With elections right at our doorstep, the question that arouses is: why now and why only Bropleh? What about the many others that have been recycled in government and those who move around freely lavishing their illegally acquired wealth? Too bad for Mr. Bropleh that he is not a relative and close associate of the president and had to be dragged to court in such a demean manner. It is obvious that the people of Liberia are all too cognizant of the pillaging of their resources and the wastage of taxpayers’ money by this government and therefore cannot succumb to such political trickeries and chicaneries.
To be continued...