Friday, April 15, 2011

Liberian President Son: "Shut up or Risk Court Action"


There is no doubt that corruption is the "Public Enemy Number One" of the Sirleaf Administration. But by President Sirleaf's own admission, it has so far been unreceptive to conventional anti-corruption measures – strengthening of legal paradigms, relative increase in salary. Both government and critics agree therefore that much improvement needs to be made in the areas of identifying and prosecuting perpetrators of corruption. Mr. James Sirleaf agrees; but he says baseless slander for political gain – in the name of fighting corruption – is not the way to go, and he is warning against it. The Analyst, reports.

Mr. James Sirleaf, the son of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, says while he welcomes the productive criticism of the UP-led government, he will oppose legally, any attempt by unscrupulous individuals and political aspirants to drag the reputation of his family in the mud for their own political gains.

In this regards, he said, it would be honorable for those who were eager to spread rumors about corruption regarding the Sirleaf family to get their facts together for their own legal defense, or shut up if they have none.

"Lately, we keep hearing of many political aspirants resorting to character assassinations in their heavy handed plight to gain public appeal and political popularity.

"Please be cautioned by this message that I, in particular will take legal action against you in a prominent court of law at any attempts made to discredit my name and that of members of my family. Thus, I will legally challenge anyone who tries to tarnish my good character with false insinuations," he said.

Mr. Sirleaf, a longtime banking entrepreneur across Africa and the Americas, sounded the warning in a statement titled, "Any False Character Accusations Will Be Challenged In Court Of Law", which was released to the press yesterday.

He gave no indication regarding what prompted the warning during this run up to the October elections, when many members of the opposition will be relying on real or perceived failures of the government in order to gain support.

He however implied that politics was a game for mature citizens who had worked earnestly for the good of family and of country and subsequently embarked on national efforts to build upon that good for the uplifting of society.

Unfortunately amongst those who were jostling for forums to challenge the patriotism and honesty of others in public service, Mr. Sirleaf said, were those who have made no sacrifice for their own betterment, to say nothing about the good of society. He named no names.

He however said it was such people that were bent on using character assassination as a political tool, perhaps to make up for their deficiencies in both politics and personal achievements.

Whether by this statement the Liberian banker was implying that every comment about corruption in government was a character association or that so-called non-achievers should keep quiet about corruption in public service, Mr. Sirleaf did not say.

But he said it would be good for society were those in 'glass houses' refrained from throwing stones; or to use the biblical admonition, if they first took the planks from their own eyes before scoffing others for having specks in their eyes.

"First of all, some of these aspirants themselves have done nothing worthy in their lives like 'WORKING HARD' for rightly conceived gains. Many are guilty of the same monstrous sleaze deals which they now claim that they abhor (detest)," he said, promoting observers to wonder whether "sleaze deals" were admissible once they were mutual.

But whatever observers think, Mr. Sirleaf said one thing was clear; and that was that the reputation of the "first family" must be spared the current wave of unfounded claims of corruption.

"Let's call a spade a spade!" he emphasized. "I want it to be very clear to all and especially to opposition politicians that are in the habit and bent on making unfounded statements on corruption matters as it relates to the first (1st) family of the Republic of Liberia and others."

Without saying why he needed to, the Liberian banker said he has worked assiduously and successfully for 50 years "for my daily bread in private enterprise".

"For many years I worked with Citibank/Citigroup in Monrovia, Nairobi, London, and around the World. I am currently still linked with the private sector serving as General Manager for Corporate and Institutional Banking at a local Liberian based institution," he said.

He then vowed to use his entrepreneurial experience, his means, and the lessons of integrity he has learnt, to support his family and the second-term mission his mother.

"The rudimentary fundamentals of integrity, I find closely associated with ensuring that we live with a clean and transparent record, i.e. being incorruptible in all business and personal dealings in society. I find that continuing to live in such a fashion is quite irreproachable," he said, in apparent clarification to those who believe that success and wealth are synonymous to corruption.

Analysts say while character assassination is a misdemeanor under Liberian law, an open threat against it – especially trained at "political aspirants" by a prominent member of the first family – may be misplaced if it is intended to intimidate the political opposition or intimidate possible whistleblowers.

Otherwise, they say, it is a health call to honest politicking, to making vain politics to bring up the rear, and to bringing the politics of the issues of national significance to the front burner.

How Mr. Sirleaf's warning will be received however, they concede, will make all the difference between a free, fair, transparent, and popular outcome of the 2011 presidential election and vain bickering for its own sake.

Whatever course the incumbency, the political opposition, and the Liberian people will choose, they say, it will be the height of wisdom to avoid completely the copycats of unfolding events in neighboring Ivory Coast.

News Headline

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


Statements and opinions expressed in articles, reviews and other materials herein are those of the authors. While every care has been taken in the compilation of information on this website/blog, and every attempt made to present up-to-date and accurate information, I cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within these pages or any information accessed through this website/blog. The content of any organizations websites which you link to from this website/blog are entirely out of the control of Inside Liberia With Bernard Gbayee Goah, and you proceed at your own risk. These links are provided purely for your convenience. They do not imply Inside Liberia With Bernard Gbayee Goah's endorsement of or association with any products, services, content, information or materials offered by or accessible to you at said organizations site.