Who’s Running Liberia? Ask George Abi Jaoudi - A Liberian Government Rejoinder

Who’s Running Liberia? Ask George Abi Jaoudi - A Liberian Government Rejoinder

On Wednesday, July 5, 2017, the FrontPage Newspaper, in an Editorial made series of unfounded insinuations and conclusions. Evidently, truth became the unfortunate casualty of falsehood to the detriment of patriotism.

The question thus is: Are They Beating The War Drum Or Looking For Money?

In line with the practice of professional journalism, an editorial constitutes the official position or opinion of a publication.

An Editorial, as a newspaper article written either by or on behalf of an Editor, gives an opinion on a topical issue. Professionalism demands that accuracy, truth-telling and fairness inform every dot of any editorial.

Liberians in 2006 and 2011 respectively, constitutionally elected their kind to preside over the democratic governance process of Liberia.

This provides an elementary response to FPA’s question. An attempt to suggest that a private businessman has the answer is premature and a disservice to Liberians.

Did the FPA really mean to say that someone or an entity other than the Government of Liberia headed by President Sirleaf runs Liberia?

Are they seriously suggesting same as reflected in the Wednesday, July 5, 2017 editorial? This is a serious professional and ethical transgression on the part of the paper.

Firstly, the Government of Liberia rejects the paper’s assertion as contained in its Wednesday editorial regarding the running of the country.

Furthermore, reading through the lines of the FPA editorial, a lot of questions come to mind. Is the paper not aware of the functions of a government?

Is there any link between the functions of a business entity and a constitutional government?

Is the paper suggesting that the three separate but coordinate governmental functions of the three branches of the Government of Liberia are being performed by the businessman named in the editorial? What does the paper seek to gain in all this?

Are there hidden motives other than honest journalistic duties?

Has the paper made any representation to those charged with the responsibility of ratifying agreements on their concern?

Why is there not a similar fight with others who have been granted similar incentives, including Liberian-owned businesses?

What does the FPA actually want? Some real answers to these questions could help in future engagements on this matter.

Well, let it be said to FPA that no entity nor individual runs Liberia. Liberia is being governed by a democratically elected government headed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, aided by Vice President Joseph Boakai and the other two branches of the government.

Towards the 2017 General and Presidential elections, Liberians will decide their next corps of leaders after the Sirleaf administration and that leadership will not be a business entity nor a business person.

No credible government runs through the dictates of naysayers. An editorial that deliberately fails to invest adequate time into research in a business sector but feeds its audience with half-truths and propaganda is driven by motive.

Liberia embraced an Open Door Policy under the administration of the late President William V.S. Tubman. Any mindset that unjustifiably targets specific investors does not only undermine our Open Door Policy but creates an aura of xenophobia.

It is not about whether we all want to see through the same prism but while the facility remains a private investment, no well-intentioned Liberian will debunk the picturesque and exotic scenes that characterize such investment. Has FPA endeavored to look deeper into the operational challenges of the Farmington Hotel?

Is Farmington Hotel the only investor granted tax incentives by the Government of Liberia? Have other businesses facing operational constraints requested similar incentives and were denied? Is the incentive being granted outside the law?

This important reminder may be helpful: In the heat of a conflict in Rwanda, it took a factional media to send thousands of Rwandans to their untimely deaths.

As Liberia braces itself for crucial elections, it is only unpatriotic and sinister that FPA would prefer to use its editorial to establish connection between a riotous April 14, 1979 and April 12, 1980 on the one side and an unrelated correlation after all.

FPA’s July 5, 2017 editorial clearly befits an affront to national security. The flagrant use of a newspaper’s editorial to recklessly beat the drums of war is a recipe for plunging the country into chaos.

Towing the rhetoric about wealth in abundance that benefits so few as the mass of our people wallow in poverty, has always been around. When it is time for FPA to pay legitimate taxes in consonance with law and it fails to act accordingly, it affects development and denies many education and healthcare.

Seemingly hiding behind local businesses in the name of their crusader when the object is purely pecuniary, renders FPA a culprit as those being shamelessly accused.

In conclusion, FrontPage must be honest, sincere and nationalistic in its engagement with the government and seek realistic means to resolve national issues whenever they exist. The beating of war drum as a way of confronting a perceived problem is unwarranted and irrational.