Friday, September 3, 2010

BHP Agreement Anti Liberalization

Source: allafrica.com

All-time politician, Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh, sharing his thoughts on the much revered BHP Billiton Agreement which the government says stands to benefit the country, said the concession , as it is, is out-of-date, and that it is not promotive of Liberalization.
His statement comes amidst the commencement of Public Hearings in the National Legislature on the ratification of several concession agreements, including that of the BHP Billiton Mineral Development Agreement.
Because of his belief that the agreement is not promotive of liberalization, Tipoteh called on the National Legislature not to give any credence in terms of ratifying it, and also urged them to respect the constitution of Liberia.
“There must be an alternative path to what the Government is doing in the BHP Billiton-Kitoma case and the National Legislature must respect Article 24 of the Constitution of Liberia, by not ratifying the BHP Billiton Agreement if the legislature is to be respected by the Liberian electorates,” he said in a strong worded statement issued to the effect.
An economist by profession, he told journalists why he has taken such a position about the Agreement, insisting that BHP Billiton is illegally operating on the private property of Dr. Joseph N. Togba, a Liberian.
Historicizing his claims, Tipoteh indicated that in 1965, the Kitoma Mining Range in Nimba County, the private property of Dr. Togba, was expropriated by the Government of Liberia and made part of the Liberian-American-Swedish Minerals Company (LAMCO) concession area.
In keeping with Article 24 of the Constitution of Liberia, he said as the Agreement between the Government of Liberia and LAMCO came to an end, the Kitoma Mining Range must be offered first to Dr. Togba who has the constitutional rights of first refusal.
Another reason he provided was that only if Dr. Togba refuses to accept the offer from the Government, in essence, meaning that the property is now available for Dr. Togba to use, other than Government which quoted the Liberian leader as having the right to offer the Kitoma Mining Range to any other party.
Based on this, he said the Government of Liberia was in violation of Article 24 of the Constitution because , he narrated, “it violates the constitutional rights of a Liberian, Dr. Joseph N. Togba, by giving BHP Billiton, a foreign firm, the non-constitutional right to engage in mining activities, using the private property of a Liberian.”
By trampling on the constitutional rights of a Liberian, Dr. Joseph N. Togba, the statement quoted him as lamenting that the Government was in fact working against Liberalization because, he claimed, “opportunities constitutionally available for Liberians to do business, earn income, support families and institutions.”
By this, the opposition leader said, the government was deliberately and illegally taking away from Liberians what is due them and giving it to foreigners, thereby compromising the national interest and security of Liberia.
According to Dr. Tipoteh, such act on the part of the government was sad and vexing that in times like these, after a most devasting civil war that worsened the already massive poverty situation, in the midst of the great need to pursue the rule of law and justice without fear or favor, the Government is repeating the main mistakes of the past by acting above the law and perpetuating the injustices that were principle pretext for the civil war.
He regretted the fact that BHP Billiton which he alleged was is an illegal occupant of a land belonging to a Liberian, has embarked on a massive public relations campaign, using huge billboards, to win the hearts and minds of the Liberian people.

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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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