Liberia: Former Ruling Party Chairman Wants CDC Administration Audits Ellen’s Regime

Unity Party Chairman Paye is confident that they are not going to tarry in opposition for a long time

MONROVIA – This is nothing common in politics in Africa least to say the Liberian political landscape. It is described as “witch hunt” for new governments to call for  audit of its predecessors in African Politics.

Henry Karmo [email protected]

Mr. Wilmot Paye, former Chairman of the immediate past ruling political party, Unity Party (UP), has taken the bull by the head by calling for an audit of a government his party ran for 12 years.

It is of no secret that the relationship between Chairman Paye and his former UP standard bearer, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was not all rosy, so a call for audit of her administration could be interpreted in one way. However, Paye thinks his stance is about transparency.

He believes an audit of past public officials will give Liberians and the world a clear understanding of what the George Weah-led government  inherited from the UP-led administration. “President Weah, please audit the UP-led administration,” Paye urged, adding: “We say audit us, not you. Yours will follow later. That is what you swore to do.”

Making remarks at UP Congotown headquarters over the weekend, he doubted the willingness of the CDC government to do the honorable thing by conducting the audit, which according to him would expose present officials to audit, too, tomorrow.

According to him, the actions of today’s officials in government have given him hope that they (opposition) aren’t going to stay long in opposition as the voters are now angry.

“Frankly, I thought we would tarry in opposition life for a little while, but I was mistakened. We will not tarry long at all,” he assured.

Chairman Paye promised his partisans that in 2020, the party will claim most of the seats when the Senate goes to election. He admonished: “All is not lost, my people. Get out of your despondency. Gird up your loins. Tie and tighten your latchets; up, sleeping and drooping hearts.”

In response to a statement from Finance Minister Samuel Tweah of the CDC government perpetuating itself in power “forever” he said, “Don’t mind what my brother Samuel D. Tweah Jr. said the other day. He knows that that era in Liberian politics has long been thrown into the abyss forever.”

“Liberia will never return to the days when William Tubman became the elephant that blocked our forward march for 27 years in an era when Kwame Nkrumah was building the Akosombo Dam to prepare for Ghana’s industrialization.

“No man or woman, however, powerful he or she may delusively be now, is able to return Liberia to its ugly past. No way! Remember, Liberians are far wiser, far smarter, far more conscious today than at any time during the last 171 years.”

Chairman Paye frowned on all forms of incendiary utterances by zealous and exuberant members against public officials. He believes that Liberia is a decent society with decent people.

He cautioned all critics to focus their  debates on national issues that matter to the people; adding: “Because what matters to them is the rapidly declining state of the economy. They are concerned about their country being perpetually categorized and stigmatized as one of the most corrupt places on the planet.”

“Yes, they are concerned, without prejudice to anyone in authority, on investors being scared away because the Executive and Legislative Branches could sign and ratify what looks like money laundering deals called Ebomaf or whatever-maf.”

Excerpts of Paye’s Speech

By diverting President Weah’s focus from the real issues of governance and deceiving him that all is well, they are simply hastening Liberian’s journey to the day when we will sing the long-awaited Redemption Song. They are making our work easier.

We respect our institutions of government. We cherish and value the sanctity of our institutions.

We therefore, deservingly so, demand respect from those who hold offices in those institutions.

We frown on all forms of incendiary utterances, even if made by some of our zealous and exuberant members against public officials. We are a decent society. Our people are decent!

Let us focus the debates on what matters to the people. What matters to them is the rapidly declining state of the economy. They are concerned about their Country being perpetually categorized and stigmatized as one of the most corrupt places on the Planet.

Yes, they are concerned, without prejudice to anyone in authority, on investors being scared away because the Executive and Legislative Branches could sign and ratify what looks like money laundering deals called Ebomaf and whatever-maf.

Liberians at home and abroad are concerned about declining public trust in our governance system. They are concerned about public officials continually abusing and misusing their powers with impunity.

Indeed, they are concerned about violation of our laws by those who should ensure their enforcement and application. They are concerned about the increasing risk that the Liberian economy could collapse within twenty-four(24) months if no sensible action is taken to reverse its decline.

They are concerned that our bilateral and multilateral partners could lose confidence in us completely as a result of soaring levels of corruption and impunity.

They are worried that instead of trusting their leaders, Liberians are losing faith and growing despondent by the day.

They are concerned that without a radical reversal of what is happening in order to bring sanity to our governance system, our hard-earned peace could be undermined by arrogance, greed, bigotry, corruption and rapid moral degeneration.

President Weah must learn to listen now or never!

On January 22, 2018 he swore and pledged to “end corruption” and be “president for all Liberians”. But eleven(11) months later, he seems to have reneged on his own promise.

I wonder if this is a government of, for and by a few. Don’t get me wrong. We in the opposition are not clamoring for special consideration, attention, or favors. Our call is simple.

  • Respect our constitution, laws and statutes, and restore the rule of law;
  • End corruption as promised;
  • Make justice a livable reality for all with no scared cows to spare;
  • Revive the economy quickly and find lasting solutions to the liquidity problems that our banks are faced with;
  • Stop the misuse and abuse of public offices;
  • Reconcile this deeply-divided Nation;
  • Stop threatening the opposition because violence will only beget violence.

That is all that we are urging you to do. We are not presenting an alternative agenda to you. We are simply reminding you of what you swore to do, Mr. President.

When our Standard Bearer said in December 2017 that “not a single Liberian’s blood will be shed in his name”, he did not mean that we would tolerate anyone threatening others or shedding the blood of others with impunity.

I am making this point because of what transpired during the recent Montserrado County District # 13 by-election. Our Party was focused on concluding an internal process, so we let that pass.

But let me say this for the record. The Liberian Constitution places the responsibility of protection for all citizens and maintaining public order on the shoulders of government. As we approach the 2020 senatorial election, the government must be mindful.

I need to remind the president that he swore on January 22, 2018 to protect, uphold and defend the constitution and laws of the Republic. He swore to bear true faith and allegiance to the Republic. This means protection of all citizens.

We do not intend to rush to any early conclusion that our government cannot and will not ensure protection for all citizens and residents within our borders. We hope this is not and will not be the case.

However, should there be a repeat of the incident and unprovoked violence unleashed on our people recently, we will not hesitate to protect ourselves when our lives are threatened.

We urge the leadership of the Liberia National Police to be mindful and execute their duties fairly and impartially without taking on a partisan posture. Your loyalty and allegiance must always be to the Republic of Liberia.

You are a law-enforcement agency and not a brigade for any political party. We will no longer tolerate the madness that occurred in District # 13.

Lastly, we urge members of the 54th Legislature to amend the election law of Liberia.

More specifically, the National Elections Commission (NEC) must cease to be a referee and a player at the same time.

The so-called quasi-judicial function of the National Elections Commission which gives it jurisdiction over electoral disputes and complaints must be scrapped.

We need an independent panel to investigate complaints arising from elections.  

Merry Christmas. I know the year 2019 may not be, as all the indications are there, as prosperous as we all anticipate, but absolutely nothing will dim The Lone Star.