Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Security Details: Ellen, Bodyguards Divided Over ‘Not Too Favorable’ Liberia

07/22/2010 - MOSES VARFEE KOWO
Source: FrontPage Africa

Monrovia –

Controversy has ensued over what will be the security situation during the celebration of the country 163rd anniversary in Liberia’s second most popular county, Nimba with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf apologizing on behalf of her security Detail for recent statements issued pertaining security in the country written to lawmakers and the security during the celebration of the country’s 163rd independence anniversary.

The President in a letter to both Houses of the Legislature said the remarks amounted to overstatement and were also coming from what she calls a young professional trying to show his strength in the exercise of his duties.

SHOWING THEIR STRENGTH: President Sirleaf, in a letter to both Houses of the Legislature said the remarks amounted to overstatement and were also coming from what she calls a young professional trying to show his strength in the exercise of his duties.

The Special Security Service in a letter to the Legislature said the security of the country was not too favorable and warned that it will introduce what the body described as straight jacket security measure intended to protect the president and the first family. The SSS also warned other VIPs to stay about 100 yard away from the presidential motorcade during various movements on and before day of the celebration.

The SSS then requested that members of the Legislature will now have to submit the names of their guests who might like to attend the program in Sanniquellie for photographing as according to the group no individual will be allowed to attend the program without the SSS card that will be issued.

But the President in a rival letter to the Legislature said she has advised the Director of the Special Security Service that any correspondence to the leadership of the Legislature should cleared or signed by her.

The President in the second paragraph of her July 19, 2010 letter said: “I have advised the Director that in future any correspondence to the leadership of the Legislature should be cleared with or signed by me. Moreover, I have told him that his statement relating to the security of the nation was an overstatement, which could be misunderstood in its intent which related solely to ensuring the safety of the President as the convoy travels from place to place during events relating to the Independence Day Celebrations.”

The President continued her letter to the Legislature by saying: “I extend to you and your Honorable Members an apology on behalf of the young professional who was trying to demonstrate his planning efficiency.”

The letter of the Liberian Leader received a form of approval in both the Senate and House of Representatives with lawmakers giving applause to the response of the President on the subject.

Though the letter seem to have received the approval of most members of both Houses, but the President failed to answer some issues raised by the SSS whether the same security rudiments will still be implemented on the day of the program or whether lawmakers can now go to the program freely, an aspect that was the main bone of contention for members of the Legislature.

House Committee Chairman on National Security, Margibi County Representative Saah Gbollie promised to conduct investigation on what the SSS Boss meant when he said Security is not too favorable.

There were also reports in the Legislature that members of that body were planning a boycott of the Independence Day celebration following the threat of security concerns by the President chief security and more to that constrains placed on lawmakers to produce to living body of their guests to the SSS before they can be allow to attend the program in Sanniquellie, Nimba County.

The current controversial Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives had problems with members of the Special Security Service after he reported that SSS officers try to stop his official vehicle from entering the premises of the program in Gbarnga, his home county.

The letter by the Special Security Service also raised concerns in some quarters that government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is still having problems with security in Nimba County where most of the country’s military guerilla leaders came from during the civil 15 years old civil conflict.

Currently, the two senators (Prince Johnson and Adolphus Dolo) from the County were feared rebel commanders during the civil conflict and Mr. Taylor now standing trial in The Hague for crimes committed in Sierra Leone drew most of his followings from that part of the country and Nimba County witnessed the first bullet to be fired on the Liberian soil to start the civil conflict in 1989, December 24.

Observers say the president letter appears more to be attempting to calm the tension among members of the Legislature on the situation but at the same implementing the mandate of the Special Security Service.

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Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah



Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah

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