Nubo makes a point to President Sirleaf
In the past, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf disparaged former Liberian leaders because, in her view, they were corrupt. She is said to have participated in almost every coup since the overthrow of the Tolbert regime. She was one of the major sponsors of the senseless war waged by Charles Taylor. But despite all her involvements in the name of combating corruption, observers feel that she has become arguably the most corrupt president the country has ever had.
Nepotism: Most of the lucrative Government entities are headed by either her children, family members or groupies who are continuously pillaging the wealth and resources of Liberia. When her son Robert Sirleaf became head of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), for example, the entity’s budget jumped from $2 million to a whopping $145 million with nothing to show for the astronomical increase in the budget.
Maritime: During the past regimes, Liberia’s intake from the maritime program was about $100 million. Today the amount is barely $25 million. And about half of the $25 million is used by her cronies at the Liberian Maritime Program. The children of her inner circle and the well connected are attending prestigious institutions in the USA and/or benefit from insurance in the United States from the Maritime or NOCAL.
On numerous occasions, I wrote to the president and advised her on how to improve things in the country. But she is a president who is very impervious to any good advice. She only listen to people who heap praises on her. In other words, she admires those who advise her to press on or continue the corruption.
On August 14, 2014 I penned an article in which I asked the Sirleaf administration for the attendant measures of the state of emergency she has imposed in the country. The government has not come up with the measures, neither has the Legislative Branch asked for said measures. Operating without policy or traveling without compass has led the government to put in place some draconian rules: shoot to kill, militarization of the country, as if to say it is a war zone; curfew and unplanned quarantine of some areas to fight a medical epidemic.
The people of West Point have the right to demonstrate under the Liberian Constitution. But she cunningly imposed the state of emergency and then unleashed her “attack dogs” to move into West Point to shoot and kill anything (anybody) that moves. The compliant subjects did exactly as instructed and in the process shot Shaki Kamara and left the little boy to bleed to death. Does this look like the person who nowadays prefers to be called Mama Ellen and not Iron Lady? Or does she want to regain her Iron Lady title through the murder of hapless Liberians?
The worst of all, why will the government quarantine a community like West Point without any plan in place? How will the people eat? The government is creating the impression that they are giving rice to the people of West Point, but this is not the case. The rice is only for the people affected by the Ebola plague. Besides, I am told that those with confirmed cases and those with unconfirmed case are kept in the same hall in West Point. Though the capacity of the area is low, the government is in the habit of bringing Ebola patients from other communities to West Point. This was one of the causes of the demonstration and subsequent riots in West Point.
Madam Ellen or the Iron Lady and her groupies seem not to have any solution to the Ebola crisis. Privately, she even blames the international NGOs of exaggerating the Ebola crisis as a means to corrupt the process. But this is a misdirected criticism. She is accused by some of her supporters of cashing in on the Ebola epidemic.
I sense tension and crisis of confidence between the Liberian chief of state and UNMIL head and UN SG representative, Karin Landgren over the president’s poor state governance, mismanagement of national resources, and exclusion politics.
This link takes you to GoL $20 million Ebola budget:
The government’s $20 million Ebola budget is a swindle. Over $6 million is devoted to oversight. There is no breakdown for the remaining $14 million out of the $20 million. My gut feeling is that the government will use the money for its national budget support. Not too long ago, the Finance Minister stated that part of Liberia’s share of the $200 million earmarked for West Africa by World Bank would be used for budget support. He cited budget shortfall as the reason. But budget shortfalls in Liberia are as old as the Amara Konneh administration at the Finance Ministry. So why should the government use the Ebola crisis to get money by hook or crook?
In the so-called Ebola budget, deployment of Senior Government Officials et al in Montserrado and other affected counties will cost $6,033,240. Most of these people are government officials, some of whom are currently out of the country. Interestingly, also, the deployment does not cover the entire country. Maryland and Grand Kru Counties are left in the cold. There has been no Ebola case in River Gee. But it is considered an at-risk-county. Why is Grand Kru not an at-risk-county? It has borders with Sinoe and River Gee?
As a source close to the task force said, “If his county is not ably represented, tough luck. Mr. Conmany Wesseh is running for senator of River Gee and his wife, Medina Shepherd Wesseh, a presidential confidante, is a member of the task force. So obviously, she will push the interest of River Gee. The Ebola will not be here forever. It will one day disappear. So those who have the connection and at the same time have political interests will use the plague to campaign underground,” he concluded.
In the budget, the affected Counties are: Bomi, Bong, Grand Gedeh, Margibi, Montserrado, Lofa and Nimba, while the at risk counties are Grand Cape Mount, Gbarpolu, Grand Bassa, Rivercess, Sinoe and River Gee. This does not make a bit of sense. To compound the rigor of the plight of the people of the southeast, the government of Ivory Coast finally closed its borders:
“Cote d'Ivoire announced on Friday evening [22 August] the closure of its land borders with Guinea and Liberia.
“Cote d'Ivoire suspended flights from and going to the countries that are infected by the disease two weeks ago.
“No case of the Ebola virus fever has been detected in the country as yet but the authorities are applying the principle of precaution very strictly. The majority of the border posts in western Cote d'Ivoire have been closed already by the prefects
since the end of July, except for some points of contact with Guinea which remained open, with health checks. Hundreds of people were sent back by the security agents to Guinea and Liberia in August.
“The soldiers who have been operating in the border areas of the countries that are affected by the hemorrhagic Ebola epidemic were equipped with emergency kits this week.
In [the economic capital] Abidjan, both private and state-owned hospitals received training to be able to better detect any eventual cases. The country is on alert but no suspected patient has been reported in the last few days. The government and the citizens have been continuing to receive education about the disease.”
To paraphrase freedom fighter Joshua Nkomo of Zimbabwe, Maryland and Grand Kru counties have been driven out of hell and heaven. Ivory Coast has officially closed its borders and Liberia has blocked the road to the counties. This means that the residents of both counties cannot travel to the Ivory Coast, nor to Monrovia. In other words, they are deliberately cut off from the rest of the world. To make things worse, the acting authorities in Maryland County decreed that everybody must be “as you were”. According to a source in Harper, you cannot travel from Pleebo or Harper to Karloken to buy produce. So, though there is no case of Ebola in Grand Kru and Maryland, the counties are quarantined.
Additionally, the company that has a strangle-hold on the economy of Maryland County, transports its rubber to the Ivory Coast by road. The people of Pleebo-Sodoken District have written to the president and the Board of SIFCA for, among other things, the re-habilitation of the Port of Harper. But those have fallen on death ears. I once reminded the president that the last time I checked, she was elected president of the entire country, but not a section of the country. Nevertheless, her disdain for the southeast, mainly Maryland County continues.
Maryland is still being punished for the Tubman administration. President Sirleaf once stated in Bomi, her home county, that she was not like Tubman who spent the nation’s resources on developing Maryland. I asked her to pin point the stealth developments, but she failed to comment. The “Harvard trained economist” was accused by Rep. Bhofal Chambers of having shares in SIFCA (Maryland Oil Palm Company). But apart from allegedly appealing to African Developing Bank to give loan to the company, the economist has turned her back on Pleebo Sodoken District, yea Maryland County.|
It is no secret that I supported President Sirleaf because she made us to feel that she had the magic wand, but she has failed not only the country but the entire world.