Global Witness Report On Liberia – Exposure of Ellen’s Corruption Legacy or Foreign Investors Predatory?
Liberia, especially its densely populated and seemingly clean capital Monrovia, has been gripped with mixed reactions and political in-fights since the exposure of a corruption syndicate report by a renowned UK-based corruption watchdog group, Global Witness.
Ordinary people walking the streets of Monrovia and riding in taxis and other modes of transport as well as in other parts of the country that have been informed about the report, are not only hearing what is going on, but are engaging in self-explanation and analysis; thus widening the dissemination of the document like a wide fire.
It is quite interesting to note how this report gained such an instantaneous interest even more than that most recently gruesome and mysterious death of President Sirleaf’s former “Oil Company” Liberia Petroleum Refining Company’s Managing Director Harry Greaves.
The ‘devastating’ report allegedly exposed the shady financial deeds of some top officials, including former and current of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s administration. They are said to have reportedly received huge and small bribes to dodge Liberian concession law for the awarding of contract.
In addition to its local attraction, the latest report has generated international interest with the United States Assistant Secretary of State stating that it would be wise for the Liberian government to take it seriously. Social Media comments on the situation are also just overwhelming from the local and international perspectives.
The direction of this article is meant to analyze mixed reactions of the Global Witness report that has put the Liberian Government’s “feet” on the fire; stating President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s initial reaction to the report, as well as public reactions; including the Liberian Media’s coverage of events unfolding as a result of the release of the GW’s report.
We begin by stating that despite our immortality, every Liberian no matter his/her status must at all times muster the greatest courage to shun corruption in all forms and manners. Furthermore, when it has to do with the greater good of the Liberian people and their country. So we categorically denounce the allege bribery that Liberian government officials, both present and past were involved in.
That is why we are in one hundred percent consent with the sober attempts to maximize the adequate use of our Liberian LAWS in the adjudication of the allege bribery; even if it is one cent Liberian or United States dollar that was used.
In past or previous articles we strongly suggested that our President remains consultative especially when she has to comment on national issues; let alone this much publicized Global Witness report implicating some Liberians in allege bribery to twist Liberian concession laws. We are of the strongest conviction that it will do our soon-to-be seventy-eight year President better to make sober comments in her finishing presidency than rushing to judgement.
Now this is the President’s initial reaction on the GW’s report as reported by the Public Agenda Newspaper: “President Sirleaf has greeted the Global Witness’ findings with very strong and denigrating comments, describing western investors as “predatory”, adding that the report “brings home the fact that the real purveyors of corruption are those predatory investors who rely on the weaknesses of some officials and the vulnerability of poor countries to carry out dubious business transactions while being harbored by rich countries”.
You kidding us that our very learned President, a Harvard “Product” will insinuate that her government officials are weak to the extent that they easily succumb to allege bribery?
And that there are vulnerable poor countries like Liberia where dubious business transactions are carried out? Is she informing the world now that the Country that she has ruled for a little over ten years has had weak government officials and that poverty has made the country so gullible to the extent anything can be dumped on it and its people?
Has the Global Witness report brought our erudite President to the realization that the allege corrupt practices in her government is because her present and past government officials are weak? Is this leading to an Ellen Sirleaf’s “CORRUPTION LEGACY”?
Is she telling us now that for the past ten years, she has led a group or corps of weak government officials to the extent they can fall for anything? No matter how President Sirleaf describes foreign investors as greedy, will in any way validate an excuse for her present and past cabinet Ministers to allow themselves to be used to conscientiously agreed to bend already made laws in the greater interest of Liberia and its people.
Completely OUTRAGEOUS! That is why it really beats imagination for our well-respected leader to be coming out with such initial reaction. To be saying that the real sources of corruption are greedy investors, just doesn’t hold water Madam President. Kindly rethink this assertion of yours because there are allege sources of corruption right under your “Nose” that you seem to be giving a “blind” eye to. This is a very humble challenge to you to prove us wrong.
While we are strongly against so-called foreign investors taking advantage of poor countries for their reported dubious “scam” we don’t think government officials, whether present or past, should at any time bow in any way to such act. This is a clarion call to powerful nations to clamp down on their so-called wealthy investors to refrain from taking advantage of poor countries and their peoples.
The Liberian public must also be sober at all times in this matter and refrain from any acts that will obstruct the expeditious dispensation of justice. No mater our political affiliation, status or affluence, no Liberian should stand in the way of transparent justice in Liberia.
The Liberian Media has a greater role to play in this whole matter as the pace setters. We have to remain very firm in sticking to our professional coverage and subdue any acts of unprofessionalism.
It will do this country the worse if the Media allowed itself to be “fried” in this whole saga because of money or connection. We have to remain above the frail and help the process in a highly charged professional setting.
This is a history making event that has begun and if the Liberian Media must be recorded as performing a good job, they have to begin now. From this case, they can begin professionally digging out other cases of corruption especially from the “dying” or maybe “dead” National Oil Company of Liberia.