Liberian Ambassador Homeless?

He was sent to London to represent the interest, and if possible, defend the aspirations of his country which just emerged out of seven years of self-inflicted, senseless war. Sadly, upon his arrival, H.E. William Bull, Liberia's Ambassador to the Court of St. James, had nowhere to stay. The homeless William Bull had been forced to live temporarily in a hotel in London. It was from there that he was driven to present his diplomatic credentials to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

As it was reported in the previous issue of The Perspective, the ambassador residence in London had been sold for about £640,000 (six hundred and forty thousands pounds) to a British called Barry Westwood. What made the situation more discouraging is that the sale was completed on the eve of Ambassador Bull's arrival in London.

Presently, Bull resides in an apartment owned by Mr. Anthony Weeks in Nottinghil Gate, London. Anthony Weeks is believed to be the former owner of "Auriole" from where high school students bought their school uniforms in the seventies. There is nothing wrong with putting money into Weeks' pocket but what is appalling is that he is related to Gerard Cooper, the man who runs Taylor's finances abroad, by marriage. Cooper's sister was married to Rocheford L. Weeks, a brother of Mr. Anthony Weeks in whose house Bull now lives. What we see is a repeat of mal-practices of the past. It is common knowledge that in the past government officials who were also estate owners in Monrovia rented their homes to the state. For example, it is widely believed that Tubman owned the Ministries of Justice, Defence and Agriculture, just to name a few. It was also rumoured that the Tolberts owned the piece of land on which the OAU village was built. This whole practice of recycling wealth among few people in Liberia which we thought was practice of the past has come to haunt us once more. Was this the reason why Cooper's hands are allegedly tied in with the sale of the Ambassador's residence? Cooper has a lot to explain to the Liberian people.

Cooper, the man who many believe is both the defacto Director of the General Services Agency (GSA) and Minister of Finance is at the center of many things. Acting as Mr. Taylor's butler, it's also said that he buys Dakpannah Taylor's clothes in Europe. Reliable sources reported that he bought four suits in Paris at the price of $50,000 (fifty thousands dollars). In London, Taylor's clothes are bought on Saville Street. Executive Mansion insiders say that the president recently sent an official to London just to take his measurement there. The official later returned to Saville to collect the hand-sewed clothes. There is nothing wrong with Taylor wearing expensive suits but at whose expense? What role is Cooper playing in the Taylor government? Is he the head of the Maritime Bureau in London or a personal butler, defacto director of GSA or defacto Minister of Finance? Perhaps Taylor should appear before the Liberian Legislature to explain the job description of Cooper, the magic hand behind Taylor's finances.

Meanwhile, the Maritime Bureau with which Cooper works has just bought close to 20 or 24 Hyundai Jeeps for its workers. One of the Jeeps is being used in London by Cooper himself. But why did Benoni Urey buy these Jeeps when certain ministries do not have enough cars and school children do not even have chairs and desks?

Another interesting development is that Taylor's ex-wife, Ms. Agnes Reeves, was recently appointed Member of the Board of Trustees of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Corporation (LPRC). She was rewarded with this post upon return from London for Christmas break. Currently, she is a student at the Middlesex University in London. There are many questions to ask but just two will suffice. How effective will she serve on this board when she is resident in London? Are there not enough people in Liberia to serve on the board? Why Agnes Reeves in the first place? Charlie Boy, please stop joking with the Liberian people.

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