Journalism and Self Regulations: Towards a Better Media Contribution to Liberia’s Democracy

A Keynote Speech Delivered
By: John S. Morlu, II
Press Union of Liberia Congress

On November 27,2015

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
November 29, 2015


John S. Morlu, II
Former Auditor General of Liberia

Mr. Kamara A. Kamara, President of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL)
Members of the leadership of PUL
PUL Members
Ladies and Gentlemen

Mr. President, before I delve into the main discussion of the Congress, I bring you, your distinguished guests and able journalists three Special Messages from the President of Liberia. First the President wants me to inform you that, “as we approach the impending 2017 electoral cycle, there are many who are set to put everything in political context and begin the process of assigning blame and scoring political points at the expense of moving our country in the right direction…The time for us to make our case for election is still ahead and we have more than enough time to score political points but we are still two years away.”

I thought her Vice President has already declared that he was running for President? Usually sitting Vice Presidents are the last to enter the race because of the benefit of incumbency. Election politics started on the day the Vice President entered the race for President. I wonder if the President is aware that her Vice President has announced that he is running for President?

Furthermore, Mr. President, is there anything in Liberia that this President has not made political? She is running one of the biggest patronage systems in Liberian history, surpassing President Tubman, the man she blasted for making everything in Liberia a political business. Can anyone get job, contracts and newspaper advertisement in this country if you are not political? Can anyone get anything done in Liberia if you are not part of the political class that sings praises to this President?

The President of Liberia will also like me to inform you that for “the first time in the history of our country, we established County Development Funds to support priorities decided by the people themselves across villages and towns. We also encouraged and maintained a policy of corporate social responsibility by which corporate entities are encouraged to extend support to community projects and developmental efforts through the establishment of Social Development Funds. Better accountability and management of these funds will bring development to the communities.”

The President says “better accountability and management of these funds will bring development to the communities.” At the time I left as Auditor General, $31 million has been spent on County Development. As of today, more than $100 million has been spent on county development. And the President is saying better accountability and management will bring development to the communities. Has there been better management or not?

After 10 years of being President, the President ought to be in the position to tell the Liberian people whether there has been better management. She is not a new President. She has been in office for more than 10 years but the fact of the matter is that the funds have been mismanaged, including the unaccounted for $10 million that she told Chevron not to give to the Ministry of Finance, because according to her, the Ministry of Finance is unable to account for money. But, at the same, she can put her neck on the line for them [officials of the ministry].

Finally, the President will further like me to inform you that, “ we have attracted more than fifteen (15) companies in Forestry, four (4) in Mining, five (5) in oil palm, and several other sectors amounting to agreements for more than $16 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Often, this is construed to mean we actually did receive this volume of investment, whereas most of these investments were projected over a 25-year period… As a result, only US$4.2 billion of the US$16 billion that we talked about was operationalized to produce the jobs, infrastructure and revenues.”

I wonder who in the President’s mind misconstrued that the $16 billion was not paper money. I think the Liberian people have long concluded that the so-called $16 billion was all cheap political talk, designed to swindle their resources and sell them on the world market for cheap to the lowest bidder willing to give a few kickbacks. Instead of their famous slogan “Liberia is open for business,” it was more of that “Liberia is on sale for a cheap price.” But the President says $4.2 billion has been spent to create jobs.

As we say in Liberia, where are the jobs? Perhaps, her beloved son took three of those jobs: Senior Advisor to the President, Board Member/then Chairman and Special Envoy to Kuwait. By the way what happen to the Kuwaiti oil?

This is my second keynote address to the PUL. I want to thank you, Mr. President and members of the PUL for giving me another opportunity to speak at this important 2015 Annual Congress of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL). This is a going to be an easy speech, because the President basically has thrown in the towel and accepted that she has failed to work in the interest of the Liberian people when she delivered one of her many Special Messages to the Nation.

People called and told me that the President was going to resign during her special message. Instead, she surprised the Nation by talking about all the small things she has done for Liberia. The main point of the speech, as I saw, was that the President wanted to tell the Liberian people that they are going to suffer economically over the last two years of her failed administration, as though Liberians have not already being suffering for the past 10 years.

In your invitation letter the theme of the Congress is: Journalism and Self Regulations: Towards a Better Media Contribution to Liberia’s Democracy. This is an important theme, especially as Liberia is now in the final innings leading to the 2017 General and Presidential Elections, an election that is regarded as the watershed event for Liberia. The stakes are very high in 2017, and the role of the media in helping to shape a different Liberia’s democracy cannot be underrated.

Mr. President, when I read the theme, I said this is simple. I will just tell the PUL and its members not take kato. I also wanted to just provide a few quotation from notable people like Thomas Jefferson: “Information is the currency of democracy,” and “were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.

And U.S. President Woodrow Wilson statement that: “Government ought to be all outside and no inside. . . . Everybody knows that corruption thrives in secret places, and avoids public places, and we believe it a fair presumption that secrecy means impropriety.” And John F. Kennedy’s position that, “a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is afraid of its people.” I believe President Kennedy was talking to the Liberian Government, as it is a government that is afraid of its people and has continued the age old practice of doing business under the table, selling off Liberia natural resources with a blink of an eye.

But that would be doing injustice to the good work of the Liberian media and to this all important occasion. So I pondered the theme and asked myself what is truly Liberia’s democracy, and good understanding of this question will enable me to stick within the theme of the topic and offer a broader perspective. For 168 years, Liberia’s democracy is, in all practical terms, a democracy that is run by a Presidency who lacks moral clarity, a bribe taking Legislature and a judiciary that is for the highest bidder. I cannot in good conscience tell the professionals in the PUL to contribute to such a democracy. Rather, the Liberian media should take a broad national interest to help dismantle this Liberian democracy.

Mr. President, no media can function properly in this current form of Liberian democracy. Not even Media Regulatory Commission can survive and make any meaningful impact on the media landscape and the wellbeing of journalists. It will end up like the National Human Right Commission and practically all independent commissions that currently exist.

Liberia’s democracy is in a sharp contrast to the American democracy which Liberians constantly say we inherited. Liberians are very proud to say that their democracy is just like America. But is it really just like America? If it is just like America, how come Liberia is still ranked the number three poorest nations in the world and one of the miserable places to live on planet earth? So the first thing the Press Union needs to do is to truly examine whether we have an American like democracy and I have said it is not even close.

In Liberia, we have a kleptocracy and Sirleaf Incorporated, masquerading as a democracy. This Government has replaced political tyranny with economic tyranny, surprising and marginalizing the economic interest of the vast majority of Liberians only for the benefit of the few selected people around the Presidency.

Mr. President, American democracy is about the Pursuit of Happiness. Our Pursuit of Happiness is ONLY possible when we have a democratic government that promotes FREEDOM and OPPORTUNITY for All Liberians. The main intellectual argument for the Constitutional, Republican Form of Government in America we claimed to have inherited is contained in 85 Federalist Papers, written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison. These American founding founders laid down the three fundamental criteria in order to achieve freedom and opportunity as: (1) An Energetic Executive (2) A Deliberative Legislature and (3) a Just and Fair Judiciary. Mr. President, Liberia democracy does not meet any of these criteria.

Instead of being energetic executive that promotes the wellbeing of the Liberian people, our current executive has recruited and placed in position of power and authority the most corrupt and incompetent people amongst us. Instead of the Legislature deliberating every piece of law, contract and concession, they have connived with the Presidency to pass concessions and contracts. As Moore Stephens pointed out, 66 of the 68 concessions reviewed were done irregularly and in contravention of the very laws that the legislature and the presidency drafted and passed into law.

Mr. President, the one single issue that has undermined Liberia’s ability to build a genuine democracy is corruption. US. President Barrack Obama had it correct when he spoke in Ghana that the “forces of tyranny and corruption must yield if Africa is to achieve its promise.”

The current Liberian President correctly declared corruption public enemy number one and provided this sober assessment of the negative impact of corruption: “Corruption erodes faith in government because of the mismanagement and misapplication of public resources. It weakens accountability, transparency and justice. Corruption short changes and undermines key decision and policy making processes. It stifles private investments which create jobs and assures support from our partners. Corruption is a national cancer that creates hostility, distrust, and anger.”

After nearly 10 years in office, corruption has rendered this government incapable of handling the affairs of the state. Today, people say Liberia is stable and at peace, but just beneath that superficial stability and peace, there is glaring hostility, distrust and anger in Liberia, all because of the massive levels of corruption that exist at all levels in Liberia today.

Mr. President, corruption kills thousands of Liberians each day. The 4,800 Liberians who died from Ebola is a case in point where millions of dollars in healthcare funding was squandered by the current administration. The Foreign Policy Magazine said it best that the widespread of Ebola was a mere symptom of failure in economic governance.

It is unarguable that there is a wide gulf between the people of Liberia and the Liberian Government. The Liberian people have lost complete confidence in the ability of this Government to make a fundamental difference in their lives. There is no connection, especially between the Presidency and the people.

As far as many Liberians are concerned, anything that comes out of the mouth of this President is “mouth talk” and bunch of bologna. This was evidence in the President’s last address to the Nation, where she occupied the public airways and space to recount all the meaningless things she said she has done since she became President and many Liberians, including editorial pages basically told her we are tired hearing old news that have no evidence in the lives of real people in Liberia.

The President has lost the confidence of the Liberian people, because she has put the interest of the corrupt over the suffering of the Liberian people. Unfortunately, she was supposed to be a blessing to the Liberian people, but she has turned out to be the biggest disappointment and impediment to the progress of this nation.

No other Liberian President will receive the billions of dollars that have poured into Liberia to support the First Elected Woman President of Africa. She wasted the opportunity to do the right thing that would have benefit all Liberians and it is difficult to see how at her age, the level of corruption in the Government and the limited time she has left to do anything meaningful in Liberia to change the tide. She is a lost cause, a glorious opportunity wasted.

And she informed the Liberian people that the economy has collapsed, and as the usual pattern of blame [game], they are now blaming it on Ebola and international prices for iron ore. The 14 Year Civil War can now take a break, replaced by blame it on Ebola. But ladies and gentlemen, before Ebola, this country went through several consecutive budget deficits, with the President giving another Address to the National calling the Liberian economy an “Old Bus.” But today, they want Liberians to accept that it is Ebola that has caused all the problems, including the “messy education system” and the over $700 million spent on roads which is yet to be accounted for, as Liberians are still waiting to get a full accounting of how much roads did that kind of money built.

The President boasts that it is because of her that the international community waived $4.9 billion, a significant portion of which was unpaid interest arrears. But the President intentionally did not include in her Special Message that by the time she leaves office she would have accumulated about $1.2 billion in new debt since 2010. With the escalation of corruption as we are in “injury time,” the mounting debt stock of $1.2 billion and no concessions left for the new Government. I agreed with Dr. Toga McIntosh that this President will leave this country in near bankruptcy and inflexible fiscal space for the next Government. I can safely predict that President Sirleaf will leave this country in the worst economic situation that she inherited.

In her Book “This Child Would Be Great,” the President blasted President Tolbert for creating a family economic hegemony in Liberia, blaming the Tolberts for trying to own everything in Liberia. But by all account, she has far outpaced Tolbert in this regard. Today, the Liberian Government is a government by the Sirleafs, for the Sirleafs, and of the Sirleafs. The first family has business interests in all major sectors of the economic, from banking to football club, to oil importation, to mobile phone business, to auto imports, etc. They are even competing with local NGOs with all their never ending list of Foundations, [like] the sons of former Presidents Gadaffi and Adoulaye Wade of Senegal. It is likely veteran and respected journalist Albert Porte will not only call this Gobbling Business but a cabal.

Mr. President, when I spoke to you in Gbarnga in 2010, the nation was struggling to find a direction; the people of Liberia were experiencing backbreaking and excruciating poverty. Corruption and various forms of financial mismanagement were the way of life in Government.

Nearly six years later, I have been invited to speak to you again in this all important city of Buchanan, a city that can serve as a center of commerce and tourism for this nation. When I arrived in Liberia, after visiting Africa’s cleanest country of Botswana and the economic powerhouse of Kenya, I expected to see a shining city on the hill. Instead I noticed this nation was stuck in hell. The carousel where Liberians pick up their bags was the same as it was when I spoke to you in Gbarnga.

In Gbarnga I said we should measure the real impact of GDP in respect to the number of public toilet, even the airport still does not have a befitting toilet much less for the crowded city of Monrovia. On Wednesday, I went to visit the grave of the fallen journalist, Uncle Tom Kamara in Brewerville, a man who was truly a champion of press freedom and “Good Governance” in Liberia.

While driving I noticed the President’s second and final attempt to Beautify Monrovia, with yet another presidential task force. In 2006, another attempt was made to beautify Monrovia, with funding from the Liberian government and donation of cash materials including vehicles donated by LPRC. I wondered whether this is a sincere attempt to distract Liberians from focusing on the failures of Government or another attempt to channel funds to a project headed by the friend of the President, with no accountability of the funds in the end. Our Government seems to be stuck in the NGO mentality, where piecemeal projects become the standard instead of taking a global view to address the fundamental problems facing this nation.

Whipping impoverished young girls and calling them prostitutes, throwing away the “wailer market” of struggling Liberians and destroying their own makeshift homes will not beautify Monrovia. I wish the President and her Task Force can muster the same courage to “beat up” corrupt and unaccountable officials in Government, who have collected and mismanaged over $3.1 billion in Liberian taxes collected to date, with no real economic impact on the lives of the people of Liberia. In her most recent Special Message, the President boasted that her Government has “increased domestic revenue from US$80 million to a peak of US$470 million in 2014.”

But she did not tell the Liberian people what she actually did with the large increase in Revenue. But even more troubling is the President boasting of increasing domestic revenue only to $470 million. Is this really the true economic potential of Liberia? A meager $470 million? I believe if even 60% of the economic potential of Liberia is fully accounted for, this Government should be boasting of an annual budget of well over a billion dollars.

A full accounting of the massive public relation undertaking by this Government to promote the President all over the world to get all of the international awards, will exceed the $470 million. So the issue is not how much revenue this Government has generated but how it has spent. The Minister of Finance says the Government has spent 60% of the budget on good time, principally on high allowances, first and business air tickets and hotels and gas coupons, etc.

Mr. President, this whole Task Force business is a Christmas time chopping and when an audit is conducted, the President is going to take full responsibility for the mismanagement of the funds and reward the very people that have stolen and mismanaged the funds with a partying bonus and benefits, just as she has done for the folks who mismanaged millions of dollars at NOCAL. We have gone from the President putting her neck on the chopping board to blaming corruption on the “system” to procedure errors; to taking responsibility for mismanagement without any punishment.

Liberia is in crisis and at the tipping point. The current administration is not going to be able to solve the problem of the messy education, poor healthcare system, and poor infrastructure. This Government has not brought you pipe borne water and electricity in six months in Monrovia as it promised. It is not going to happen in the next two years! This government has not created the 20,000 jobs per year it promised to all the young people of Liberia. It is not going to happen!

This Government promised you fiber optic line but after World Bank made available $27 million to complete the fiber optic line, the Government tried to steal the money through a bogus procurement scheme. I reported the matter to the World Bank’s Vice Presidency for Integrity, their equivalent of the anti-corruption commission and the Liberian Government was shamefully forced to cancel the procurement. So Liberians will not get fiber optic that this government promised in 2009.

The real reason that Journalist Rodney Sieh went to jail was because he unearthed and reported the $50 million deal between the Presidencies of Liberia and Equatorial Guinea. That was free money coming to Liberia from one of Africa’s corrupt regimes. There was a scramble amongst the Board of Directors, Managing Director Ellen Cockrum and the Executive Mansion. Each was trying to position themselves to steal the $50 million and Mr. Sieh leaked it. This amount was later confirmed in a clandestine audio radio of Sirleaf’s businessman Musa Bility and also of the Defense Minister Brownie Samukai.

Now there is a current scramble again of various groups wanting to [embezzle] the $60 million earmarked for the airport. FrongpageAfrica reported again that the European Bank has ordered that the procurement is cancelled. If a Liberian journalists had not focused on that $60 million, it would be all gone. It is unlikely that the European Bank might even deliver the $27 million it has promised because it is afraid the current fraudulent procurement schemes could lead to theft and mismanagement of the funding to renovate the RIA.

The $257 million that America said recently it will provide under the Compact is not going to come immediately. It will be spread over the next 5 years when this President is out of office. This is American tax payer’s money and so they will not just hand over willy-nilly to a noted corrupt government. That $257 million is just to boost Liberia’s morale after Ebola. At least the President was truthful on this one when she said, “the Compact is significant because it is a new partnership that would transcend the administrations of President Barack Obama and me.”

Every generation has to take up an issue. Dr. Amos Sawyer, Dr. Boima Fahnbulleh, Dr. Togbah Nah-Tipoteh, Senator Commany Wesseh, Prof. Dew Mayson and the late Baccus Matthew, etc. put up a good fight for political inclusion and multi-party democracy, expanding the political space for our generation to today participate in Government. No matter our political positions and feelings, these progressives made it possible for us to be at the table and we must acknowledge that and be grateful. There is much talk about generational change but unfortunately, many in our generation are not fighting on any principle. In fact many of the people who are defending the corrupt system are from our generation because they believe Government is a get rich quick scheme. In order to move forward, our generation needs to build on the struggle of the progressives. For our generation is no longer about fighting for multi-party and political inclusion. It is about financial governance.

Mr. President, the elections in 2017 is going to be the biggest challenge for Liberia. It is going to make or break this country forever. Journalists continue to fight corruption in this government but a greater focus should be placed on whether we can in 2017 truly elect a caliber of people who can usher the real democracy that we need, a democracy where the legislature will not substitute deliberation for cash, where the judiciary is just and fair, and where the Executive is not the biggest bribe maker in the land.

Liberia will not achieve any of the big things that will truly impact the lives of the people unless we can confiscate the assets of those who have stolen from the Liberian people. Liberia is not short on laws, policies, and institutions.

Corruption is the only binding constraint that has limited all aspects of country including the media to grow and prosper. Just as you cannot build a democracy on a corrupt foundation, you will never have press freedom in the midst of this level of corruption in this country. Corruption creates poverty for all Liberians including journalists. It is difficult to see how professional journalism can thrive in the presence of the massive level poverty.

Mr. President, what will the Liberian Government do when the United States Government gives Liberia $20 billion cash to rebuild this country? Will this Government invest the money on education, healthcare, infrastructure, social services, and job creating activities to benefit ordinary Liberians or will they steal and mismanage the money?

So, do not let Government people confuse you with fancy languages that they got from google such as “Binding Constraints. The only binding constraint in Liberia is CORRUPTION. The lack of quality healthcare, quality education, quality infrastructure and good paying jobs is because of Corruption.

Mr. President, essentially the best way for the media to contribute meaningfully to a true Liberian democracy is to fight corruption. No number of talk and institutions can solve that problem.

Thank You and God bless the PUL and the people of Liberia.

B K Washington

This hard-hitting, well-thought-out speech by John Morlu II is easily one of the best critiques and strongest indictments of the Sirleaf Mafia by anyone since Varney Sherman's July 26 oration a few years ago... Morlu declares "Liberia will not achieve any of the big things that will truly impact the lives of the people unless we can confiscate the assets of those who have stolen from the Liberian people." True, but unfortunately, the Liberian people will not heed this call to action and rise to the challenge. They will simply let Ellen Sirleaf and her cabal go Scott free by electing one of her lieutenants as president. You just watch.
B K Washington at 12:10PM, 2015/11/29.
Excellent message, is it better to impeach this corrupt president or wait until 2017? I went to Liberia 2 years ago to visit and it was a complete mess.She need to resign now! Corrupt old lady.... 4800 of our compatriots die from Ebola because of her failed leadership. All the projects she boast about accomplishing are from aid money and loans.
Siej at 03:43PM, 2015/11/29.
sylvester moses
Mr. John Morlu 11, Jr didn’t disappoint, far from it. He presented indicators of corrupt and irresponsive governance responsible for “pervasive poverty”, never mind EJS’s usual shameless retort to critics that it’s all “noise”. We, however, think that he was overly generous to her in trying to make the following distinction: “This Government has replaced political tyranny with economic tyranny”. Because from his well - sourced analysis of the behaviors of the top echelons of the three arms of governance – Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary - what is happening politically in Liberia fits Jefferson’s description of “elective despotism”. Which is “when… corruption seize the heads of government and spread by them through the body of the people; when they will purchase the voices of the people and make them pay the price…”

Moreover, that “political tyranny” and “economic tyranny” are two sides of the same coin was driven home by Israeli historian J.L Talmon who coined the term “totalitarian democracy”. He used it to describe a “political system in which lawfully elected representatives rule a nation state whose citizens, although granted the right to vote, have little or no participation in the decision – making process of government”. An apt illustration is EJS at different times telling non – violent demonstrators something to the effect “Your representatives and I agreed on what you’re protesting against, and since you elected them to talk on behalf of your needs and welfare, your actions mean you’re rebelling against your own government”. That sounds unsurprisingly like Snowball/ Napoleon in “Animal Farm”, and “economic tyranny” was the least of George Orwell’s concerns when he penned that tour de force in 1945.

And, indeed, in a 1946 essay entitled “Why I Write”, Orwell wrote that “Animal Farm” was the first book in which he tried, with full consciousness of what he was doing, to fuse political purpose and artistic…”. Our point is that denying the human rights of millions of Liberians isn’t just “economic tyranny”, it is “political tyranny” and an ‘abomination’ to boot. The observation isn’t to make less the significance of this speech, which undoubtedly happens to be the most straightforward public indictment of the administration. Instead, it is to show Morlu’s generosity of spirit in giving the benefit of doubt to a “church goer” whose overambitious plotting resulted in nearly 250, 000 deaths, but cares less for the living suffering vast majority. And to add insult to injury, she isn’t only arrogantly patronizing, but remorseless and unapologetic; all characteristics of one dabbling in witchcraft or Satanic cults.
sylvester moses at 09:36PM, 2015/11/29.
Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah
Mr. Morlu,ALL you have CONDEMED about this useless President are true and correct! But when you CELEBRATE her accomplices/aiders/abetters via such assertion yous quoted below, you are DEAD WRONG MORLU!

"Every generation has to take up an issue. Dr. Amos Sawyer, Dr. Boima Fahnbulleh, Dr. Togbah Nah-Tipoteh, Senator Commany Wesseh, Prof. Dew Mayson and the late Baccus Matthew, etc. put up a good fight for political inclusion and multi-party democracy, expanding the political space for our generation to today participate in Government. No matter our political positions and feelings, these progressives made it possible for us to be at the table and we must acknowledge that and be grateful. There is much talk about generational change but unfortunately, many in our generation are not fighting on any principle. In fact many of the people who are defending the corrupt system are from our generation because they believe Government is a get rich quick scheme. In order to move forward, our generation needs to build on the struggle of the progressives. For our generation is no longer about fighting for multi-party and political inclusion. It is about financial governance."

Mr. Morlu, the Liberian people are not stupid! While it is true the TWP tyranny was wicked and rotten, and needed to be burnt, these your so called "progressives" have only proven to be WORST than the very corrupt individuals or officials of the tyranny!

The evidence of this is made clear via the fact that Dr. Amos Sawyer, Dr. Boima Fahnbulleh, Dr. Togbah Nah-Tipoteh, Senator Commany Wesseh, Prof. Dew Mayson etc. etc. ARE THE AIDERS ACCOMPLICES AND ABETERS OF ELLEN JOHNSON SIRLEAF´S CRIMINAL GOVERNANCE! SO, INSTEAD OF BEEN GRATEFUL THEM, THEY SHOULD BE OPENLY CONDEMN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah at 02:23AM, 2015/11/30.
sylvester moses
Mr. John Morlu’s generosity of spirit is also evident in his description of the monumental failure of President Sirleaf in this tepid manner: “She is a lost cause, a glorious opportunity wasted”. For, frankly, rather than a “lost cause”, a presidency gained by the possessed pursuit of some predicted greatness, which included stoking a civil conflict costing about 250,000 deaths, was an ungodly ‘unjust cause’. The fact of the matter is that no matter the self – glorification of “This Child Would Be Great”, not every child for whom greatness is foretold goes into the - end – justifies – the – means mode of cunning, lying, plotting, and funding wars. Certainly, Like Macbeth who murdered to actualize the kingdom prophesy of the three witches in Shakespeare’s play of that name, EJS simply sold her soul to the devil for power, money, and glory.
sylvester moses at 07:15AM, 2015/11/30.
Arthur Tamba
John Morlu, when you were at the GAC, why didn't you propose to the cut in huge salaries? You were taking home $35,000.00USD. monthly why others were struggling with very low salaries at the GAC. if you are very serious about changing Liberia, denounce your US Citizenship and come back to Liberia.
Arthur Tamba at 02:14AM, 2015/12/01.
Garsuah Gborvlehn
When Morlu, as Auditor General, looked Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the face and informed the Liberian people and the world that the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf government was THREE TIMES CORRUPT than the government it rook powers after, MORLU DEMONSTRATED SERIOUSNESS TO CHANGE LIBERIA FOR THE BETTER! Acquisition or abandonment of citizenship is NOT THE SINE QUA NON to one changing his or her nation for the better! Once one's original homeland is threatened in terms of the people's safety or happiness, as is now the case perpetrated ny Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, ALL ONE HAS TO DO IS DO EXACTLY WHAT THE LIKES OF MORLU, SYLVESTER MOSES, AND JONES NHINSON WILLIAMS OR JAY WION ARE DOING!
Garsuah Gborvlehn at 05:53AM, 2015/12/01.
James McGill
This is a well written and well executed speech. My only take is on what we should do to truly impact the upcoming election. Kindly permit me to look one passage that grasp my attention more:

“…a greater focus should be placed on whether we can in 2017 truly elect a caliber of people who can usher the real democracy that we need, a democracy where the legislature will not substitute deliberation for cash, where the judiciary is just and fair, and where the Executive is not the biggest bribe maker in the land.”

This is certainly a serious challenge in that many of the legislators understand the intricacies of tribal politics and the gullibility of most of the native and ill-informed voters. As the result the country will still be left in the hands of heartless and corrupt legislators, unless a referendum is held to set higher constitutional standards on the requirements of the core of people that should be elected as senators and representatives.

Many of the legislators of the country are either semi-illiterate or have had no formal education in planning and administration of public policies. Some were elected because they participated in brutal carnage; and therefore their becoming senators and representatives regardless of their level of education as an expression of tribal solidarity and heroism.

What then did Liberians expect when they elected individuals who came from warlord backgrounds; have had little or no education; suffered extreme poverty; and were entrusted with the financial planning, management and running of a fragile nation.

I have no recollection in recent history where a country was successfully run by a president who depended on corrupt individuals with no formal training or education. Even with the best intention that president is destined for failures.

Americans have a saying and it goes like this, “It is what it is.” Nevertheless, some things do not have to remain the way they are. Ours is a condition. It is not a fate that has been foretold by some deity. With a combined sense of purpose and concerted action, the country can be aligned on the proper trajectory.

Now is the time! Waiting for a few months towards election time may be too late. The various political parties, civic organizations, county and local government officials and other stakeholders must begin to strategize and think of ways to move the paralyzed country forward beyond 2017.

I would imagine that the constitution is where to begin. This is the challenge before us!
James McGill at 02:36PM, 2015/12/01.
Jerry Wehtee Wion
Mr. John Morlu 's entire speech above will air late Wednesday, December 2, on my authoritative and informative Liberian African News Service, LANS -518-556-1343.
Jerry Wehtee Wion at 05:08AM, 2015/12/02.
Authur Tamba, not even the president and her government have accused morlu of making $35,000 per month. We hear from govt he was making $15,000 from the European Union. So where you get your figures. When you spread lies, deviate from the issues the young man raised and attaki g him personally,you have undermined your own points. It seems clearly mr. Arthur Tamba you are misinformed and you thread on gossip.

Next time write facts so that you don't loose your standing and credibility. Hope you listen to this advice.
smith at 04:56PM, 2015/12/02.
Our nation has been victimized by corruptions. And the people have to put in place laws to protect the assets of the nation. Simply saying that if John is given money for a project to construct a street and he doesn't show the physical evidence, both on paper explaining how the money was spent and street itself, then John should be placed under arrest. The reason corruption continues to rule our nation has to do with ineffectiveness of the law to make sure that people are accounted for what they do! There must be an agency put in place such as Liberia Investigation Bureau (LIB) to investigate all issues concerning Liberia's assets and make arrest without government interference, which is one of the greatest reasons corruption has escalated to this point.
dvowal83 at 07:23PM, 2016/01/16.

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