Liberia: “Expel Us, And Our People Will Keep Electing Us Again” – Sen. Dillon
MONROVIA – At long last, firebrand Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon has thrown out a challenge to the President Pro-Tempore of the Liberia Senate, Albert Chie, over verbal threats of his expulsion from the Liberian Senate.
Senator Dillon said the 1986 Liberian Constitution does not prohibit an expelled member from contesting again in any election to fill the vacancy resulting from his/her expulsion, and as such, he is confident that when expelled he would be eligible voters of Montserrado County will re-elect him.
The Montserrado County Senator’s assertions were contained in a comment posted on the social media over the weekend.
Senator Dillon maintained that if he is expelled for standing up for the people, he will again contest to represent the interests of the Liberian people.
He vowed to shine the light at the Senate, by working lines with the hopes and aspirations of those who elected him.
“The Constitution of Liberia does not prohibit an expelled Legislator from contesting in any election to fill the very vacancy resulting from said expulsion. If we ever get expelled simply for standing up for our people under the guidance of God, we will contest again to represent their interests. Our people will elect us again. Then expel us again and again. Let’s see where and how it ends and who feels it the most or gets tired. No matter what, we will not let down; the light must shine for our people. All power is inherent in the people.”– Abraham Darius Dillon, Senator, Montserrado County
Mr. Abraham Darius Dillon, was threatened by Pro-Temp Chie during his induction in the Chambers of the Liebrian Senate on August 15, 2019.
On his way to be elected Senator of Montserrado County, Dillon made quite a number of promises, some of which might be very difficult to achieve if not impossible as indicated by the Senate Pro-Tempory Albert Chie.
Senator Dillon amongst many things, promised to reduce his salary to the minimum of US$5,000 and to “light-up the Senate,” meaning he will expose shady deals and other deals, which are not going to be bordered on national security.
At his induction ceremony on Thursday, August 15, Senator Dillon, in fulfillment of some of his promises, declared his assets and liability and asked the Secretary of the Senate to publish his declaration. He began to take the bull by the horn by asking his colleagues and others in the other branches of government to do same. He, however, acknowledged that it is not constitutional to compel them to do so.
“As a first sign to our commitment we made during our campaign, I announce that I will work with the Senate to try to reduce our salary, so today considering the economy situation our people are faced with, I Senator Abraham Darius Dillon will only accept a salary in the amount of US$5,000 any amount more will be deposited into an escrowed account of the county to go toward social development programs of the county.
“I call on my colleagues in the Legislative, Executive and Judiciary branches to please do same. In furtherance to this commitment, I also publicly submit my assets to the Secretary of the Senate. Even though it is not required by law to publish assets but as a sign of transparency, ethics and good leadership and morality should guide us as rational leaders to publish their assets and liability. We came to serve our people and it is our people we will serve.”
Speaking further, Dillon told his colleagues that his election was not simply a win for himself but a victory for all people of Montserrado County who voted for a better future.
It shows their wiliness to work for a better future. This election was not about me giving out money, it was one filled with energy and passion by the people of Montserrado.
“It wasn’t about me but a renewal of hope and a belief that they deserve a better future and I happen to be a vessel of that hope.
“I stand before God and you really to serve as Senator for all in Montserrado County and not just those who voted for me. We want to thank and appreciate our diaspora committee and that committee will not be dissolved. We have a lot to do.
“People in Montserrado County, it is time for me to pay back. The people of Montserrado have spoken. The people of Montserrado, I owe you and it is time to pay back base on our campaign promises. Today we want to reconfirm our commitment to those promises. I commit to fight for and defend your constitutional rights by upholding the laws of this nation and the duties of the Office of a Senator.”
“For the record, and for the sake of proper information! We have not purchased or taken a car yet by and thru the Senate. We are aware that upon assuming the Office of Senator, we will be entitled to TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE from which we may purchase and own a vehicle to facilitate our work. Our choice of vehicle, when we so decide to acquire one, will be informed, considering the current harsh economic reality we are faced with as a country and people. We do not necessarily need an unrealistically expensive, flashy car that costs astronomical amount. We can even settle for a very reasonable and guaranteed USED vehicle simply to help facilitate movements of our Staff and to help enhance the functions of our office. We are not insensitive to the plight of our people!
We Have the Power to Remove You
Darius’ dream may be far from being achieved as he was immediately placed on the firing line by the administrative head of the Senate, Senator Albert Chie. Chie in response to Dillon’s announcement warned that as per the Liberian Constitution, the Senate has the power to remove him from the Senate and people who elected him won’t be able to keep him there.
“Here, the rules of the Liberian Senate are the Bible of the Senate. This is a political house you do what it says. You were elected by the people of Montserrado County but from today’s date you belong to the Liberian Senate that is why the framers of the Constitution stated that the power to remove you from here is not with the Liberian people, it is with us here; we alone have that power.
“Here Mr. Senator, we act beyond party lines. We act and think independently; no party dictates to us. Within six months, Mr. Senator you will understand that we do serious business here because legislative politics is practical and different from church book politics. Here, we are masters of our own rules.”
But Senator Chie’s comments were greeted with mixed reactions from scores of citizens on the social media.
“The people of Grand Kru County will meet Albert Chie in Grand Kru in 2023. We did not tell him to go threaten any Senator. He is no better than any Senator and he has no power to remove Abe Darius Dillon. The people of Liberia will defend Dillon, and the people of Grand Kru will meet Chie in 2023,” Matthew Nyanplu wrote on his social media page.
Martin Kpahn writes: “It is deeply perplexing when a man of integrity is threatened by people who should be the one upholding integrity. Threatening Darius Dillon for publicly declaring his assets and making a public commitment not to take home more than $5,000 in salary is a commendable step to bring accountability and transparency to our system of governance and must be commended by the Pro Temp of the Senate Albert Chie. Dillon rock the Senate. You did not go there to join a club of people who milk the economy for their own gains, UP! UP! Dillon.”
“Good morning Senator Albert Chie, your threatened statements on our newly inducted senator Abraham Darius Dillon is totally disappointing. I see it as a bad signal that apparently whoever tries to live up to the task in doing the Liberian people Job. Mr. Chie, you needs to refrain from pasturing threats of preclusion and follow suit as a good leader of those who voted him and the Liberian people as a whole. There’s no constitutional provision that says the legislature should do contrary in house of Senate and House of Representatives to that of meeting up with what is expected of them. Your biggest responsibility is to work with all senator as a team to improve the lives of the people and to move Liberia forward. This is not about Dillon but Liberia and Liberians. Your early warning which looks as a threat of intimidation is unacceptable,” Fredrick Gbegbe writes.
Kruboy Kieh: “It was a slip of tongue by my Senator Albert Chie. Y’all lee the man small naa.”