No Validation of Corruption, Impunity and Nepotism in The Midterm Election: Do Not Vote for the Sirleaf Hegemony
|Ellen & Robert Sirleaf|
The December 20, 2014 midterm senatorial poll is an important precursor for the political future of the Country comes 2017 Presidential and Legislative elections. The outcome of the Montserrado race is particularly an election that will determine whether Liberians are prepared to choose a progressive path or continue to give “hats up” to a regime that practices, promotes, nurtures and tolerates rampant corrupt, nepotism, and impunity.
Record shows that Robert Sirleaf and his mother (the President of Liberia) are both inseparable and in the economic plunder and wanton looting of state resources in the last nine years. Mr. Sirleaf served in multiple lucrative positions including Senior Advisor to his Mother, and Chairman of the National Oil Company, the lucrative state owned enterprise that has become the center of corruption and financial mismanagement allegations. Recently, Mr. Sirleaf was appointed as Special Envoy to Qatar on Oil, and as Special Envoy to fundraise for Ebola.
Mr. Sirleaf is the most influential member of the President’s administration, akin to the sons of infamous and dictatorial corrupt regimes: Sadam Hussein, Abdoulaye Wade, Mohamad Gadhafi and Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, etc. Liberians should take note that Mr. Sirleaf is a close friend and buddy of disgraced first son, Teodoro Obiang Nugema Mbasogo of Equator Guinea additionally.
Like the Liberian President’s son (Mr. Robert Sirleaf), the sons of these infamous and corrupt presidents have used a variety of means to acquire and accumulate wealth overnight.” These schemes include forming and financing football clubs, created multiplicity of not-for-profit foundations, taking ownership positions in lucrative concessions agreements, using influence peddling to acquire ownerships in major institutions in the state such as banking, oil & gas importation and telecommunication businesses.
In a February 2012 FrontpageAfrica interview, President Sirleaf argued that Mr. Sirleaf places projects in front of business people and these people have helped to finance his many projects in and around Monrovia. The President did not disclose the companies donating to Mr. Sirleaf’s Football club (Barrack Youth Club), his Robert A. Sirleaf Foundation, the Liberian Education Trust of which he play the key role and the many projects including mini football stadiums he has constructed around Monrovia. Mr. Sirleaf did do anything of these things before his mother became President of Liberia. This fact is undisputed by even his diehard supporters.
In spite of the public outcry for full and transparent accounting of the social development fund from Chevron and the accusation that the money in the tune of $10 million went to Mr. Sirleaf’s foundation, a full accounting has not been made by his mother, the President. A U.S. leaked cable showed that President Sirleaf told Chevron not to give a dime of that $10 million to the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance she claimed she cannot trust the Ministry of Finance to manage those funds. Instead she instructed that the money is given to a foundation. Even Global Witness made all efforts to ascertain the whereabouts of the $10 million to no avail. The Legislature initiated an investigation into the same Chevron social contribution but it has been a year now and no publication of legislative founding.
The ruling Unity Party Secretary General, Wilmot Paye cautions citizens: “Make no mistake about this: the National Executive Committee of the Unity Party has taken (and will take) no decision to support Robert Sirleaf. We are convinced that while this Sirleaf may have become rich overnight, he lacks the moral credentials and credibility to earn our party’s trust.” This is a profound statement from the ruling party, of which the President is the standard bearer. The UP statement validates the growing anger and resentment in Liberia that the Sirleafs have used the state resources to amass ill-gotten wealth at the detriment of the poor and impoverished Liberians.
The Liberian Institute for Public Integrity (LIPI) is aware that the root of persistence crisis, poverty and underdevelopment can be attributed to the blatant disregards for integrity in public administration. Without remorse of the Country’s recent past, this menace continues to be exacerbated by President Sirleaf, her family and cronies through organized corruption, a cabal, gross disrespect for public opinion and entrenched acts of economic crimes within family circles – leading to the acquisition of ill-gotten wealth and power.
Further, Mr. Robert Sirleaf and his mother have undermined the INTEGRITY of the Government of Liberia, making Liberia to make another sad history of being ranked by Transparency International’s Corruption Barometer as the “MOST CORRUPT” in the world, a sordid distinction that no other Liberian President brought to Liberia.
LIPI fervently detest “ellenic hegemony” because an election of Mr. Robert Sirlaf is tantamount to transferring power to her son, which will serve as a validation of impunity, corruption and nepotism. LIPI wants each and every Liberian to stand for something in these elections and VOTE NO to corruption, impunity and nepotism by saying NO to Mr. Robert Sirleaf.
The rejection of corruption, nepotism and impunity MUST begin with sending a clear message to the President and her family that enough is enough and through a NO VOTE for Mr. Sirleaf. Through, with and the advice to his mother the President, the President, her son and her family have mortgaged the resources of Liberia in a manner that provides a near zero future benefit to the people of Liberia; asset stripped and sold the country on the cheap in questionable concession deals.
As Liberians go to the poll on Saturday, December 20 to make their choices, LIPI also admonishes the National Elections Commission (NEC) to ensure Liberians get the legitimate outcome of their votes in a manner that is free, fair and transparent. The Institute has been keened on the events that characterized the campaigns, litigation and the organization of the electoral process and therefore call on all candidates and parties to properly conduct themselves to ensure a peaceful poll. The Institute remains concern about the reports that Associate Chief Justice, Cllr. Phillip Banks III has characterized the senatorial elections as being “poorly managed,” setting the pace for potential contest of election results.
LIPI further takes note of the fact that Liberia has a long history of contesting election results because of settled and in some instances like 1927, blatant fraud in counting, tabulation and reporting of election results. In addition to rampant corruption, nepotism and impunity, the genesis of the brutal civil war was the heavily contested results of the 985 elections.
The NEC must set a good example for 2017 by convincing the skeptical Liberian population that it is indeed an independent commission not beholding to the President and her family. NEC can do this by ensuring elections are fairly and transparently conducted and the votes are fairly and transparently (1) recorded, (2) counted, (3) tabulated, (4) correlated, and (5) reported. By doing these things properly, the INTEGRITY of the elections will withstand independent scrutiny and put Liberia on the path of true democratic transition in 2017.
Members: J. Aloysius Toe is former Executive Director of the Foundation for Human Rights and Democracy (FOHRD), Dan Saryee is former Executive Director of Liberia Democratic Institute (LDI), Cllr. Jerome Verdier is Chairman of the former Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Liberia, John S. Morlu II is former Auditor General of Liberia, Massa Washington is Commissioner of the former TRC of Liberia, Ernest S. Maximore is a Liberian Journalist and Lawyer, Charles Kwalonue Sunwabe, Jr., Esq is American-trained Lawyer, Maxwell Hooks is a former Student Activist, and Julius Suku is a Social Activist.