Liberia: IREDD Boss Alarms over Threats to His Life; Says He’s Being Tailed by Strange Men

Herald Aidoo, Head of Institute for Research and Democratic Development

Monrovia – Herald Aidoo, who heads the Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD) has alarmed over threats pose to the lives of him and his family. He claimed to being closely followed by strangers.

According to the IREDD boss, on the late evening of Saturday, he, along with the helped of community residents, caught a strange man, believe to be criminal, hanging on his vehicle. According to him, the man confirmed that he had hung on the vehicle from Logan Town all the way to Iron Gate, which is approximately five kilometers.

“In this country these days, you don’t overlook everything. I want to sound this as an alarm to the security forces especially the police that I have observed people tailing me. I have also been receiving calls from people warning me to be careful.”

In an interview with FrontPageAfrica, the IREDD executive director said, after arresting the man believe to be a criminal, a motorcyclist helped the alleged criminal escape from the residents, who were taking him to a nearby police station.

“He came pretending that he was a commercial motorcyclist and wanted to take the suspects along with some residents to the police depot. Contrary to what he made us believe he absconded with the suspect by the time the suspect sat on the bike.

“This is scaring; we need to sound the alarm so that government’s security apparatus can take clue and act.”

Aidoo’s IREED has been amongst the critical voices speaking against what they see as ills in the society and his main work has been with the Legislature. IREDD usually provides grading for lawmakers based on their performances on the job their constituencies elected them for.

His recent work was when he released first quarter Legislative Performance Report on lawmakers in the 54th Legislature.

The report aims to provide citizens with accurate, objective, and comprehensive information about the performances of their elected leaders using indicators drawn from their primary constitutional mandate (lawmaking, oversight and representation). With support from partners, IREDD over the years has been monitoring the work of the legislature and individual lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

The report, according to IREDD, covered the period of January 15 to March 19, 2019. It also provides some analysis on the overall governance of the legislature, and the effectiveness of legislative committees.

Although, much legislative works are conducted in committee rooms, where bills are reviewed, amended, budgetary decisions are made and important oversight duties are performed, the report described as ineffective the House of Representatives in responding to critical national issues.

The report named former Deputy House Speaker, Grand Bassa District #1 Representative Hans Barchue, as one of the poorly performed lawmakers due to his constant absence from sessions.

Although Rep. Barchue is yet to respond to the report, IREDD also branded members of the House of Representatives as being ineffective in responding to critical national issues; and failed to pass decision on three critical communications written by Representatives Francis Dopoh, Dixon Seboe, and Ben Fofana.

In his IREDD report, he further called for the review of the House’s Standing Rules on attendance so as to penalize individual lawmakers, who are suspected of being in the constant habit of leaving session after roll call, and those who continue to gain strength in lateness.

The entity recommended that the leadership of the House of Representatives and Senate should take steps to improve the level of transparency and openness in decision making process. Particularly, IREDD calls for the adherence to legislative rules on record of the vote to improve transparency in vote-taking on legislation and national decisions.