Liberia: Vice President Howard Demand Justice for Heinous Killing of Auditors; Says Liberia Is Becoming Dreadful

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Accra, Ghana – Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor has taken to the airwaves for the second time, since her recuperation from COVID-19 in the Ghanaian capital – Accra – calling for a speedy investigation into the ‘mysterious deaths’ of four auditors. The VP also found time to speak on other national issues.

The deaths of the three men and a woman all happened somewhat mysteriously in less than two weeks, leaving many to think that they were murdered because of their roles in dealing with financial matters in Liberia.

Speaking on the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) Super Morning Show Thursday, October 15, VP Howard-Taylor said the deaths have created an ‘atmosphere of fear’ over the country, especially within government’s ministries and agencies. She further stated that it has created for her “bad feelings,” as the country moves towards the Special Senatorial Election in December 2020.

“What’s happening now is that people are afraid to go out, afraid to go to work; there should be an environment of peace,” VP Taylor said via telephone from Accra.

“One of the persons who died is a cousin of mine, the young man, who was at the Internal Audit Agency (IAA), who was found dead in his house. I want to express my deepest sympathy to the family of all of those who have lost their loved ones. I hope that the government will hurriedly do an investigation, so that those who are guilty of these hideous crimes will be apprehended,” she stated.

On October 20, Mr. Emmanuel Barten Nyeswua, Director General of the IAA was found lying on the ground and blood oozing from his body in his compound, eight days following the death of three other auditors.

Prior to Nyeswua’s death, two employees of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), Mr. Albert Peters and Mrs. Gifty Lama were also found dead in a vehicle on Snapper Hill, Broad Street.

Gifty was the Acting Manager for Tax Services, while Mr. Peters was the Assistant Commissioner for Audit.

Separately, another LRA staffer, Mr. George F. Fanbutu was pronounced dead at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center on a Sunday, after he reportedly lost control of his car steering on the 72nd Boulevard.

“George B. Fanbutu was taken at the JFK Medical Center in Sinkor, where he was pronounced dead on arrival,” the police said.

Speaking further on LBS, VP Howard-Taylor said the four persons were middle level government officials and it cannot be overemphasized that something needs to be done about investigating their deaths.

According to her, what’s baffling her is why people in the same category of profession died so mysteriously.  She hoped that government will put all it takes into the investigation; adding: “It is sad that people who work for government are being murdered.”

She also stressed on the spacing being “too short” between the deaths of the four; stating that this has led to doubts being created in the minds of Liberians.

Legislature Must Erect a Checkpoint

The Vice President wants the Legislature, as first branch of government, to take the lead to erect a checkpoint to things that are going wrong in the country. “I hope that we do so, with all the things that are happening in the country, the level of fear that has overtaken the nation.”

Code of Conduct Violation

Speaking on the Code of Conduct, she reacted sharply against “violations” of the codes by some people as the December 8th Special Senatorial Election gets closer.

“What has made me sad is from some of the news in the country, that people are not following the Code of Conduct. People are not doing what we all agreed to do in the Legislature relating to the Code of Conduct,” she emphasized.

“I want to thank the Supreme Court for agreeing that the voters roll can be cleaned up, because in the end we want a safe and democratic country.”

Voters Trucking

The Liberian Vice President said if leaders ignore the real issues and do not come together and talk about them, Liberia will never come to a place of happiness.

Her statement was against acts of people trucking currently being unearthed by some media outlets in Liberia.

VP Taylor sees it prudent for those who reside permanently in a particular constituent to make national decisions that will affect them.

“Looking at the number of people that were being trucked from one end of the country to another, it is wrong. People who allowed themselves to be used are losers in the end,” she stated cautioning the voting public against leaving their constituencies to vote elsewhere.

Electoral Violence

She also found time to condemn acts of electoral violence already trending in some counties across Liberia.

“I heard of some current lawmakers inciting people to rise up against other people who are participating in the process; it’s wrong to take this trend of violence in a country that has suffered violence for several years,” she stated.

She expressed concerns that some local government officials are being threatened of losing their jobs if they don’t do all to ensure that a particular candidate wins.

VP Taylor said electoral process should not be about intimidation, but a civil one that will convince electorates to give their votes to a candidate of their choice.

Dispelling Rumors of Being Incapacitated to Serve

Veep Taylor also used her interview to shun her critics for spewing rumors about her being unable to return and serve as Liberia’s VP due to illness.

Referencing the Holy Bible, she said because the “heart of a man is desperately wicked,” such a rumor about her being incapacitated might be the desire of those she termed as “enemy of progress” in Liberia and others who are wishing her dead.

VP Taylor further maintained that the assignment given to her, has not yet come to an end, but stated that there will be several challenges along the way.

“But again our lives are in the hands of God; He doesn’t look at our faces, or sizes or how beautiful we are but our hearts,” she averred.

“I was sick and before I could even get to the hospital, there were rumors that I have died.

Those who are desirous of my hurt, I know that God will never give them the desire of their hearts, because I don’t think I have done anything evil to anyone. I have not gone out of the way to be a stumbling block to anyone, so I don’t think God will answer that particular prayer.”

She praised God for making her survive COVID-19 with an underlining health condition of asthma.

Have A lot to Do With Women and Children

At the same time, Veep Taylor furthered that contrary to rumors that she is unable to work, she still has a lot of works to do with women and children in Liberia, across Africa and the world at large, therefore, her assignment as Liberia’s Vice President is not yet over.

Support to a Candidate in Bong

The Vice President was also forced again to clarify rumors about her supporting another candidate against the ruling party’s candidate in Bong County.

Not being very categorical about not supporting or supporting her party’s candidate in her native Bong County, she stressed, in response to the question, that Liberians going to the poll must vote people that will provide the necessary changes desired.

“What do the Liberian People want? Everyone who has a voter’s card, what kind of politicians they are looking for and what changes do we want to see?” she asked, rhetorically.

According to her, the current political spectrum makes it difficult to instruct electorates on which side to cast their votes for. She wants God to direct voters as to whom to elect their leaders.

SGBV Cases

On the issue of Sexual Gender-Based Violence in Liberia, VP Taylor described rape and empowerment of girls as everyday issue that must not only be talked about, but actions must be taken.

She thinks the involvement of every sector of the Liberia society must work amicably addressing issues affecting women and girls.

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