Newspapers Need To Get Their Facts Right Or Shut Up


The Editor,

Since 2006, Liberia has now recently emerged to join and become a full-fledged part of the credible nations of the world (under Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s leadership). During the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, this country had serious problems with monstrous levels of corruption, mismanagement in government and public corporation circles and bad governance.

There were no attempts made by any previous government to rein it in.  Over the past 12 years there has been a virtual turnaround in public finance and nation development. Things would not not be rosy perfect…just yet. (We’ve had a national crisis like Ebola for example)…and it will take time to fix, mainly because of the many years of destruction of life, of culture, infrastructure and so forth.

It will take additional time to focus on the most vital elements that will make the difference for benefitting the majority of the people. In order to properly pay privy and usher development in the education, health and agricultural sectors, the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf government had no basis but to start from scratch. There were no vehicles or desks and chairs left behind from Gyude Bryant’s time.

It is still going to take even more time and it will cost much more money to bring about the better hospitals, trained doctors and nurses and improving roads and other infrastructure. These assessments would however only be achieved with the dignity of transparency.  I am frankly relieved and as most Liberians, would rather take my chances with her as President of Liberia “under the dreadful EBOLA saga”

If indeed we must recapitulate, I was incarcerated and made desolate by the evil which was undertaken by the Liberian security officers and military in 1985, led by the late Jenkins Scott and others. I was falsely imprisoned and humiliated and at one point almost lost my life as a consequence of “zero hour.” I was not charged with any crime and indeed was with my Mother on the 12 of November 1985 at our place of family residence. At the time I was Head of Credit at Citibank, N.A. Monrovia, Liberia on Ashmun Street and not playing any major role in Liberian politics. I spent over two months in prison without charge and was taken to military tribunal (after civil elections) without any substance. Ask yourself why?

I want to say here again and again to the news media like HOT PEPPER and others that I want those people including the media who continue to place my President and my Mother’s name in a line-up with the iniquitous elements such as the former warlords in Liberia, to immediately desist. I am the proof as I was there with her November 12, 1985. I was there though it all as an employee of Citibank, N.A. Liberia since June 15, 1981 and through March 1990. I can assure you not one cent of mine was spent supporting Charles Taylor or any other warlord. No conscious effort was made by any family member to support war or killings or I would have most certainly been a BIG part of it. Let this be made very clear. She has won the Noble Prize and I can say that she deserves it more than any other Liberian for certain. I stand firm in my affirmation.

She reacted to the scandalous mayhem in Liberia as most intelligent but palliated other people would. The TRC or no other Group constitutes enough authority to make the “charge-less” “charged-for.”

James Sirleaf
[email protected]