Saturday, December 11, 2010

TEXT GATE: Did Morlu Hijack Minister Russell’s Phone? Recruitment Cash Alleged

- Nat Nyuan Bayjay
Source: Frontpage Africa

Monrovia-


Mulbah Morlu
The man who once claimed he had a seven minute conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama during the President’s 2009 meeting in Accra, Ghana, is apparently entangled in another controversy gone terribly wrong.A purported text message suggesting that the ruling Unity Party pledged $25,000 to the controversial Mulbah Morlu to win Morlu’s endorsement of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has apparently backfired with both Morlu and the Minister of Transport trading accusations. What actually transpired between the pair remains a mystery.


PURPORTED TEXT FROM RUSSELL'S PHONE

“I’m sending this text message as an official position of my office and personality as Minister of Transport, Republic of Liberia. Out of my free will I’ve decided to comply with the demands of Mulbah Morlu, a member of the CDC whose support the Unity Party has been seeking for years now. Mr. Morlu has threatened that unless I confess to our attempts to offer him money to support us, he’ll reveal something he has which is dear to me. I admit that we promised to give Morlu US$25,000 to make a statement of support. We initially however gave him US$300 and he has held the money and refuses to act for us. I therefore admit that this has been the usual recruiting strategy of the UP, except that the Morlu project has failed and I apologize to the President for the let down. Willard Russell”.

A text message purportedly sent from the phone number of Minister of Transport Willard Russel by former war crimes advocate Mulbah Morlu.

The controversy came to light late Friday when Truth FM radio played the voice of Mulbah Morlu in which he pledged his support to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s candidacy in what many said was the beginning of such political swapping to be witnessed during the electoral period. But Morlu in less than 24 hours somersaulted his endorsement Saturday afternoon as he announced his ‘allegiance’ to his Congress for Democratic Change (CDC).

Morlu, a former war crimes court advocate, previously served as a member of the policy committee which was dissolved. Late Friday evening, Morlue declared that while he was not denouncing his party, but was going to support the Unity Party (UP)’s campaign on grounds that President Sirleaf has the ‘right vision’ for the country attributed his declaration of UP support as an ‘investigation’.

During a hastily arranged news conference Saturday held at a local Chinese restaurant in Sinkor, Morlue did not deny the voice endorsing Sirleaf being his.

Said Morlue: “Yes, that was my voice which I cannot deny. But as I just read in my statement, I was on a cover-up to launch an investigation into long-standing suspicions of cash-and-carry loyalty that the Unity Party government has been engaged into”, Morlu responded when asked to provide clarity on the Truth FM recording.

Russell’s phone taken away

A well-circulated text message purportedly from the Minister of Transport-Designate, Willard Russell, was sent to various media institutions late Friday evening and early Saturday morning which reads, as sent from GSM number 06-510-325:

“I’m sending this text message as an official position of my office and personality as Minister of Transport, Republic of Liberia. Out of my free will I’ve decided to comply with the demands of Mulbah Morlu, a member of the CDC whose support the Unity Party has been seeking for years now. Mr. Morlu has threatened that unless I confess to our attempts to offer him money to support us, he’ll reveal something he has which is dear to me. I admit that we promised to give Morlu US$25,000 to make a statement of support. We initially however gave him US$300 and he has held the money and refuses to act for us. I therefore admit that this has been the usual recruiting strategy of the UP, except that the Morlu project has failed and I apologize to the President for the let down. Willard Russell”.

Information available to FrontPageAfrica speaks of Morlu receiving at least US$5,000 from Russell but an apparent delay or refusal in giving Morlu a balance of over US$2,000 led to a feud between the pair which eventually led to Russell’s phone being allegedly stolen and taken away by Morlu. Morlu then reportedly ran away and began to immediately use the phone in dispatching the text message to various media institutions.

The information indicates that the incident occurred in one of the offices of a local FM radio station in Central Monrovia late Friday evening, December 10, 2010.

Citing his desire to launch an investigation into the ruling party’s purported cash recruitment of executive members from opposition parties, Morlu told journalists that Russell is “personally confirmed to being one of such political agents who hops from one rendezvous out to the next in search of his client of compromisers who would be expected to trade support for the UP in exchange for the finesse of materialism, unlimited to huge cash, luxury vehicles, and the promise of an undercover job”.

Said Morlu: “Honorable Willard Russell a few months ago met with me and few others from the CDC and said he was instructed to ‘convey a message from President Sirleaf’ concerning a working relationship. At the climax of these discussions, Hon. Russell expressed his desire to ‘hire us’ to declare support for President Sirleaf in exchange for cash and other benefits. He, in his recruiting strategy, suggested a business approach and would put upfront US$25,000 after a ‘statement of support is made’”.

Reaching Russell proved impossible all through the weekend as his number was permanently off. He was recently transferred from the General Services Agency (GSA) as the director-general to the Ministry of Transport as minister-designate as part of President Sirleaf’s recent cabinet reshuffle which saw the former Transport Minister Alphonso Gaye going the opposite position.

It has been confirmed though that the number used to circulate the text message is the Minister-Designate’s official number but skepticism continues to hang over the real sender of the text message given the mystery of Morlu’s declaration of support to the UP on one day and his reversal the following day.

More importantly, Morlu’s previous antics, notably his claims that he met with U.S. President Obama which turned out to be a farce has led many to question the validity of Morlu’s claims against the ruling party.

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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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