Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Former NPFL ‘General Octopus’ Heralds Latest Appointments in UP Govt.

Source:  FrontPage Africa
Monrovia -

John T. Richardson, the head of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia’s ill-fated Operation Octupus blamed for the deaths of five American Catholic nuns with the Catholic Church in Liberia has become the latest former NPFL senior commanders to land a job in the Liberian government.

Richardson, was one of several appointments to government jobs named by the Executive Mansion late Tuesday. Richardson, according to an Executive Mansion statement was appointed as Chairman of the Board of the National Housing Authority. Appointments to agency boards do not require confirmation hearings and only requires periodic meetings in most cases.

Richardson’s appointment follows the recent appointment of Roland Duo by the President as Special Project Coordinator assigned with the National Security Agency (NSA). Richardson is also listed on the United Nations Travel Ban and Assets Freeze list.

Richardson’s appointment comes amid criticisms from various circles in recent months that the ruling Unity Party government has not been doing enough to take members of the Charles Taylor government off the United Nations travel and assets freeze list. Addressing a joint FrontPageAfrica, Star Radio and Power TV interview last week, Charles Brumskine, Political Leader of the opposition Liberty Party said he could not understand why the current government was not advocating for Taylor-era officials to come off the U.N. sanctions.

Said Brumskine: “I do not understand why the travel ban remains on Liberians. I don’t know if they are accused of committing any crime outside Liberia. I believe they’re accused, if they are, of doing things in Liberia. If anyone has been charged with anything, he should be accorded the due process of law so he can regain his life and move forward.”

Adopted March 12, 2004, Resolution 1532 of the Security Council imposed the travel restriction to prevent former President Taylor, his immediate family members, in particular Jewell Howard-Taylor who is now Senior Senator of Bong County and Charles Taylor, Jr. who is currently serving a 97-year jail sentence, senior officials of the former Taylor regime, or other close allies or associates. The intent, according to the Council, is to avoid what it said is the misappropriation of funds and property to interfere in the restoration of peace and stability in Liberia and the West African sub-region. Urey was recently appointed Mayor of Careysburg.

Brumskine took the government to tasks for taking no interest in ensuring that the travel-tied Liberians, most of who are serving in her government dominantly as legislators, are lifted off the ban. Said the Liberty Party leader: “If I was President, I would be pushing on behalf of my fellow citizens to ensure that they get the due process of law. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that one who has committed an offense should be allowed and go sky-free .Charge the person. Let the person be accorded the due process of law. If not, let him go”, the Liberty Party Political Leader stated.

Richardson, a spokesperson for the NPFL, it can be recalled, acknowledged in an interview with the watchdog group, Human Rights Watch in 2008 that the NPFL used children as fighters for their own protection. Said Richardson: “We never conscripted children by force. The kids in the NPFL insisted they wanted to fight and would get into it no matter what. The NPFL has been accused of creating a Small Boys Unit [known as the sbu]. But it is not a Small Boys Unit, it is a Special Bodyguard Unit. The boys in it are assigned to protect NPFL ministers. Five or six boys were assigned to me.”

Richardson explained at the time that the NPFL recruited young boys to protect the kids – to make sure they eat, wash, and read. “These kids wouldn't go to church or wash if they were left alone. We've fed and clothed them.”

Under Richardson’s command, NPFL officers Christopher Vambo and Edward Wowah were blamed for the killing of five American missionaries. Duo has been linked to the wanton killings orchestrated near the Mahare River, an episode of the Liberian War now referred to as "Mahare Bridge Massacre".

Others appointed Tuesday include:

Mr. David B. Barcolleh, Gardnerville Township, Acting Commissioner; Ms. Yah Martor Zolia, Ministry of Health & Social Welfare; Acting Assistant Minister for Planning, Research Development; Madam Mary Larteh, Salala District, Bong County, Acting Commissioner, Mr. Togba Bestman, Butaw District, Sinoe County, Acting Commissioner, Ms. Aissa D. Bright, Ministry of Information, Culture & Tourism, Acting Assistant Minister for Tourism; Mr. Neto Zarzar Lighe, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Assistant Minister for Administration, Mr. Mustapha Kamara, Liberia Produce Marketing Corporation, Member, Board of Directors and Mr. Boima Quaye Taweh, Gbarpolu County, Acting Superintendent.

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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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