The Speaker That Should Not Speak

By Joe Flomo Matthew

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
December 27, 2006


In my view, respect for the office of Speaker of the House of Representative of the Republic of Liberia is at stake. The office has become comical by virtue of the man who occupies it. Since his ascendancy to this very important public position, the Speaker has made decisions and public pronouncements that really question his credentials, social and political experiences, and his overall fitness for this all-important public office.

Firstly, the Speaker felt it was within the confines of his official duties to select which of the Chinas Liberia should do business. I need not go into details here as the whole episode was clearly chronicled in two excellent articles written by Mr. Theodore Hodge in titles Immaturity and Incompetence Engulf Liberian Congress and Speaker Edwin Snowe Errs Again – Tempers Flare.

Recent news report from Monrovia regarding the arrests of former government officials who served in the National Transitional Government of Liberia for “economic crimes”, (a respectable way of characterizing “rampant corruption” made famous during the days of the PRC) quote the Speaker as saying “The people that were arrested are the people that did not vote for Mrs. Johnson Sirleaf to be Chairman of NTGL. So those are the people now that they are going after.”

I am left to wonder just what President Sirleaf has to gain going after those “who did not vote for her” in Ghana when in fact she is now the President of the Republic of Liberia? In hindsight, I want to believe President Sirleaf is breathing a sigh of fresh air for being rejected in Ghana. She is in better position today to serve for six years and demonstrate her leadership skills something she could not have done had she been elected in Ghana.

I not am very versed with the voting procedures used to elect members of the interim government formed in Ghana. I however have read that one of the warring factions, LURD supported the candidacy of Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. I have also learned that it was LURD that put forward the name of Lusine Kamara as Finance Minister, a position he eventually occupied. Accordingly, this would suggest that Mr. Kamara voted for President by virtue of his alliance with LURD. If one believes the analysis of the Speaker, Mr. Kamara should be in the comfort of his home not in prison.

As a newspaper reported suggested, I truly believe the Speaker’s utterance here is an attempt to shield his own involvement. With that I only tell the Speaker not to speak, as sooner or later his involvement shall come to light.

About the Author: Joe Flomo Matthew is former National President of the Booker Washington Institute Alumni Association in North America. He currently lives in Cleveland, Ohio and can be reached via or (216) 659-4283
© 2006 by The Perspective

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