Monday, August 9, 2010

Nigeria: How Obasanjo, Sirleaf-Johnson Betrayed Taylor - Fani-Kayode

Iyobosa Uwugiaren



Abuja — Amidst controversy over the ongoing trial of former Liberian president, Charles Taylor, at the International Court of Criminal Justice, The Hague, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, former presidential spokesman, has described Taylor as "a man betrayed".

Fani-Kayode, a former minister of Aviation, who blamed his former boss, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Liberian president Sirleaf-Johnson and the United States for Taylor's present predicament said, "This was the betrayal of the century."

In a statement entitled, 'Charles Taylor, Naomi Campbell, Blood Diamonds And A Man Betrayed', Chief Fani-Kayode said the agreement with Taylor - not to do anything to him - was put in place before President Sirleaf-Johnson was elected and she was fully aware of its terms from day one.

According to him: "This was the betrayal of the century and, in my view, those that should have known better panicked at the last minute and broke ranks.

"Ironically, the real traitor was not Obasanjo, but rather President Sirleaf-Johnson of Liberia. The agreement with Taylor was put in place before she was elected, but she was fully aware of its terms from day one. She was actually the American and Nigerian candidate for that election and she worked very closely with the Americans, Obasanjo and Nigeria before she was elected to power."

Chief Fani-Kayode, who was a member of former President Obasanjo's kitchen cabinet said that the deal with Taylor was that he (Taylor) would be persuaded to step down as president of Liberia by the ECOWAS leaders and the African Union and would be given a "safe haven" in Nigeria after doing so.

Fani-Kayode added: "He (Taylor) would not be harassed; he would not face prosecution in Liberia, Sierra Leone, or at the International Court at The Hague and Nigeria would not be pressured or harassed by anyone to extradite him to anywhere.

"On his part, Taylor was expected to live quietly in Calabar with his relatives, under the direct supervision and care of Donald Duke, the then governor of Cross River State and he was to stay out of Liberian politics and not in any way interfere with what was going on over there."

He said African leaders - including Chief Obasanjo-endorsed the agreement and seven African leaders later went to Liberia and accompanied Taylor to Nigeria, which was to be his new home and final point of destination for many years and possibly the rest of his life.

The former special assistant (Public Affairs) to Obasanjo added that it was the deal with Taylor that led to a free and fair election in Liberia, which brought President Sirleaf-Johnson to power.

"However, after the lady came to power everything changed. She ditched Obasanjo and Nigeria, turned her back on the ECOWAS leaders and the African Union and she became even closer to Bush and the Americans," Fani-Kayode added.

He said Taylor's present problems started when Obasanjo went on a state visit to America and Bush put suffocating pressure on him to release Taylor to enable him face criminal trial.

Fani-Kayode said that although his former boss fought the matter out long and hard, he later succumbed to pressure from the US and President Sirleaf-Johnson of Liberia.

He said Obasanjo should have resisted the pressure, because all African leaders at that time were supported him on the matter.

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

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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