The Scrutiny Test & The Liberian Presidency

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U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK Obama, addressing reporters at the White House last Friday remarked: “This is not entertainment. This is not a reality show. This is a contest for the presidency of the United States. What that means is that every candidate, every nominee needs to be subject to exacting standards and genuine scrutiny.”

PRESIDENT OBAMA was obviously taking shots at the presumptive nominee of the Republic Party, Mr. Donald Trump.

THE U.S. PRESIDENT pleaded with the news media and the American people to take a closer look at Donald Trump’s record and positions now that the billionaire real estate mogul and reality television star is the likely Republican nominee for president.

IN THE PAST few weeks, FrontPageAfrica has taken a lot of flak for raising issues relating to the political leader of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change, George Manneh Weah and took more flak for also bringing out the issue of candidates in the race for the presidency allegedly in possession of American passports.

LIBERIANS TAKE PRIDE in associating themselves with America and many have taken pride in President Obama as the first black president of the most powerful nation in the world.

IT IS VERY EASY for anyone to see the logic in President Obama’s call for scrutiny of Mr. Trump just as we have embarked, as we have always done.

IN 2005, WE WENT DIGGING after the USA Today newspaper reported that an unnamed candidate in the race for the presidency was a U.S. citizen.

THE JUNE 6 2005 report in the USA Today reported that a Liberian living in the Northern Virginia area was a citizen of the U.S. contesting the presidency in Liberia.

AT THE TIME, IT WAS reported that three candidates: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, John S. Morlu and Charles Walker Brumskine at the time had residency listed under their names in the Northern Virginia area.

THE REPORT had Sirleaf listed as a residence at 6056 Estates Drive in Alexandria, Virginia while Brumskine had a home listed in his name at 6024 Katelyn Court, Alexandria, Virginia 22310. John Morlu said at the time that he sold his home in Falls Church, Virginia, but has lived at 5597 Seminary Road, Falls Church Virginia, 22041. John Morlu purchased a home in Atlanta, Georgia, where his family currently resides.

THE SIRLEAF CAMPAIGN at the time dismissed the insinuations: “It is unfortunate that people want to play politics with the future of Liberia. Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is not and has never been a citizen of the United States of America.”

THE MORLU CAMPAIGN at the time provided a copy of Morlu’s United States green card which he had received in 2002 through his son who serves in the U.S. Army. The Brumskine campaign at the time acknowledged that their candidate did have a Green Card but turned it over to the United States Embassy upon his return to Liberia in 2002. Morlu himself underwent rigorous probe by the NEC before he was eventually cleared to stand as a candidate in the race.

THIS WAS 2005 WHEN the field was wide open and no one was given a free pass. So why should one get a free pass now?

PRESIDENT OBAMA is idolized by many around the world and well loved by Liberians. They repost his comments on Facebook and are quick to follow his every move on social media.

SADLY, WHEN IT COMES to politics in our own backyard, the buck stops with idolizing Obama.

A NEWSPAPER is only obligated to its readers and not to any politician, party supporters or followers of a particular person.

OUR REPORTS in the saga of Senator George Manneh Weah are based on court documents from the United States of America and not from any hearsay or gossip. They have been well documented as our work in the past few years.

WE STAND BY our reporting on this matter and will continue to report until it comes to a conclusion. We have had many stories which we have run in series for days. This is not the first time. We owe it to our readers to tell them the story – every step of the way,  to the very end.

PRESIDENT OBAMA is right. He may be the head of America but his message rings true even in our own backyard. The Liberian Presidency is no laughing matter and journalists and reporters are obligated to unselectively report on all candidate – with no exceptions to the rule!!!

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