Beneficiary Against Benefactor: My Diary Of ‘Advocate’ Daylue Goah
Mr. Daylue Goah, a Journalist-turned backer (Public Relation Officer) for the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center of Liberia in the larger part of 2013, has come out to expose, against the hospital, things he had often denied for the hospital whenever they were reported by an outsider.
And Mr. Goah’s latter stance — against his one-time benefactor — attracted a whooping blow against his only — or major — source of survival in the United States of America.
What I’m I driving at?
I’m heading to Mr. Goah’s complaints to the FrontPage Africa (April 12, 2016, edition) on his dismissal by his U.S.-based Liberian boss few hours after he (Daylue) had commented on Liberia’s John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital’s senior staff’s stealing of donated drugs; and the management’s inhumane treatment of patients, which most time result(ed) to the death of several patients in a short period.
Daylue insinuated td FrontPage Africa that some higher-ups at JFK are behind his dismissal from his job in the U.S.
I first met Daylue, as he is popularly called, in August (2011) at the Kenneth Y. Best-owned Daily Observer Newspaper, where I was a proofreader. Daylue was one the paper’s three IT/paper layout men. The others were Thomas Karyar, who later migrated to the Ministry of Information, Cultural Afairs and Tourism (MICAT), and Thomas Johnson.
Three things attracted me to Daylue.
The first was his high IQ (Intelligence Quotient). Daylue would discover logical discord in a reporter’s text, while doing graphics, removing the disconnection portion of the story and re-writing the entire part. 98% of other Liberian newspaper’s graphics persons can’t do that.
The second attraction factor was Daylue’s ‘Indian accent’. (Before I entered Daily Observer, he had just returned from India, where Mr. Kenneth Y. Best had sent him for training in Computer Science education in India). Sometime he would come in
‘Indian attire’ to the office, and he would engage Alaska Moore (another beneficiary of Mr. Best’s educational gesture of IT training in India) in an Indian intonation—to the admiration and disgust of some of the other members of the staff including me.
The flamboyant way they (Daylue and Alaska) most time spoke it (as if they were the only Liberians who had lived in India) and sometimes speaking in Indian accent to us (who had not entered India) invoked our revulsion toward their showy characters.
Another of Daylue’s action that attracted my attention toward him was his selfishness. Most time he would remove from the story log some reporters’ ‘kato’ (promotional) stories (from a person or organization; but, when he was on day-off, he would bring his ‘public relations’ (‘kato’) story (sometime from JFK Medical Center) and compel any of his lay-out colleagues (Thomas Johnson or Alaska Moore) to “squeeze it anywhere inside” the paper.
The exceptions used to be with his ethnic colleagues (reporters), who sometime whipped up tribal sentiment for a continuous favor of the paper owner’s “favorite IT man”.
Then we entered the general election year (2011). In this period, Daylue has become an ‘advisor’ to his boss (Kenneth Y. Best) on promotion of the politics and propaganda of the ruling Unity Party (UP) against the leading opposition political party: Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), then headed by Cllr. Winston Tubman.
Daylue handled some of the art works or cartoons (all done by Mr. Leslie Lumeh, or some done by Leslie’s protégé Fumba) to go with a front page lead story or with the paper’s editorial. One of the cartoons was of the CDC’s flag bearer, Winston Tubman, lying on a bed and his hand connected to a drip in a hospital. This caricature had a political message: Winston Tubman is hospitalized from shock from defeat of his party (CDC) by that of Madam Sirleaf’s, UP, in the presidential election.
At Daily Observer, most of the denigratory or lampoonic stories on CDC found a space on the front page, and the paper founder would most time change a reporter’s non-partisan headline for a story on CDC.
Few weeks later, the Daily Observer’s ‘biased reportage’ on the CDC caught the attention of partisans of the party. Some of them reacted with a printing of a ‘Black List’ of ‘anti-CDC media institutions’, referring to the pro-UP radio stations as ‘Radio Rwanda’, and threatening to respond in physical force against all media institutions ‘demonizing’ CDC or any of the party’s partisans. This threat was coming few weeks after the car of a Unity Party’s partisan (Lens Eugene Nagbe) was blown up with a ‘petrol bomb’, and the Radio/Television section (LOVE FM/TV) of politician-businessman Benoni Urey destroyed with similar device.
The threatening information on this list sent a wave of fright into Daily Observer’s founder, and he quickly called the then Justice Minister (Christiana Tah), whose only advise him to him was “always leave your office before night time arrives”, disclosed an employee other colleagues, quoting Mr. Best.
All editors, including me, who should be the last to leave office (the earliest time we would leave the office was 11pm) felt most threatened by this information, and each person blamed his/her employer, Mr. Best, for causing this problem with election-time (2011) editorial policy. Some of those who would be in office during late hour started complaining that the paper’s new editorial policy, being dictated by the paper’s owner, had put their lives in harm’s way.
No petrol bomb came toward the Daily Observer building (now former), then located at Benson and Mcdonald Street, Monrovia. And no member of the staff reported physical attack by another person later to be identified as a ‘CDC partisan’.
I left Daily Observer in the third quarter of December, 2011, to be the News Editor of Insight Newspaper. My departure was on a search for greener pasture – From US$140 to US$240. A few months later, I saw the photo of Daylue Goah in one local newspaper, as the new official spokesperson of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center in Liberia.
On the 10th day of December, 2012, comrade Goah stung me with his defense of the JFK Hospital over the death of a young single mother (with three children), Christiana Mai Torbor. Mai, mother of three young children, died on December 9. Reacting to a news story about the lady’s death, my comrade Daylue told the public that the hospital wasn’t responsible for the demise.
Mai was my fiancé. Around 9pm, she collapsed outside of her home, started complaining of a “burning chest”, cried for water, but foam had begun oozing out of her nostrils before the water arrived.
Relatives around found a car and rushed with Mai to the JFK Medical Center and was gasping when the car reached the hospital’s main gate. Mai was lying on my lap at the back seat; her junior sister and her nephew were with the driver.
But the Hospital’s security guards on duty that night refused to open the gate because two persons were with the driver instead of one person. We explained the lady’s condition to them, adding that she was occupying a space for two persons. But the security firmly maintained their stance, continuously saying: “We are acting on order from the hospital’s management…we don’t want to lose our job…”
About twenty minutes later, the hospital’s Chief Administrator, Winnie McDonald-Scott arrived. She asked about the cause of the commotion, told Mai’s family to drop one of those with the driver, and begged the security to raise the iron bar for the car to pass. I volunteered to drop, but followed the car to the Emergency section of the hospital.
At the Emergency Unit, we met only one female staff to ask us why we were at the hospital, to bring the hospital’s wheelchair, to assist in removing Mai (then weighed over 150 pounds) from the car, and to take the patient into the Intensive Care Ward.
Few minutes later, another female doctor announced to Mai’s relatives: “Sorry, your patient didn’t make it. She died while you were bringing her to here. We call that Death on Arrival.”
In its December 14, 2012 edition, the New Voice Newspaper quoted one of the deceased’s relatives’ complaints against the JFK Medical Center’s policy (at the security check point) that the delay security guards’ action (preventing the car from entering the compound) caused Mai’s death. “She was breathing when we the security were talking to us,” the paper quoted the relative further.
But my Comrade Daylue Goah defended his employer (JFK Medical Center’s administrators) against the complaint.
I lost a second closet friend, Madam Cynthia Mamie Smith, mother of three young children, at the JFK on September 16, 2015. Madam Cynthia Smith died of Hypertension/Stroke eight days after she was admitted in the Intensive Care Unit of the Hospital. The deceased’s sister-in-law quoted her that she was kept hungry in long period and that she fell from her bed twice. One of the attending nurses denied all complaints when I engaged her on the matter.
My comrade Daylue also spoke of “mass burial at the JFK Memorial Hospital”, according to the FPA report. This allegation might be supported by one young man who had reported to relatives and friends in 2016 that he saw “some people haul five dead bodies from the main building toward the hospital’s mortuary behind the main building in the night”, while he was on visit with a relative at the hospital.
If this information had been reported by the media and Mr. Daylue Goah were still the official Spokesperson of the JFK Hospital, he would have refuted it. I had visited the JFK Hospital’s mortuary—to see Christian Mai Torbor’s corpse being removed from there on December 10—and saw more than six different bodies.
On Daylue’s new job, I was shocked by his revelation of working at a “Printing Company” in America. A man who had worked for the chief propaganda arm (Daily Observer Newspaper) of the ruling political group (Unity Party) and, later, held a top post at Liberia’s premiere government hospital (JFK Memorial Medical Center) condescending to working with a printing company?
However, my astonishment calmed when my memory clicked to thousands of other (educated) Liberians who had left their white collar jobs (in office with air condition) in Liberia to work in factories in the United States.
I whole heartedly support Mr. Daylue Goah’s disclosure corruption and inhumane conditions at the JFK Hospital in his native country. I believe his disclosure was meant to engender attitudinal change (against human right abuse and corruption) in the perpetrators. However, I consider his ‘advocacy’ hypocrisy: Talking against a person’s actions, which you had often defended in the past.
One common character of majority of Liberians in advocacy irritates me. That attitude is playing a blind and deaf character on destructive actions by their benefactor (the political ruling class or a member of the government), but coming out the next day to expose these actions when their names are no longer on the benefactor’s list.
My parting shot: A person who rode on the back of the crocodile today to ferry him/her to the shore would fall into its belly tomorrow. Daylue’s predicament is a lesson for those who are eating on the table of bad characters today, and would criticize them tomorrow.
About the Author:
Samuel G. Dweh, still a High School student, Liberian Journalist and creative writer (with special interest in Education), Author of more than five books of fiction (the latest about free grades-related crimes in schools) and publisher of an education newspaper named Edu-Diary. 0886-618-906/0776-583-266)/+231 886 618 906/ +231 776 583/ [email protected], [email protected]