Liberia: ‘Senate Pro-temp Chie Warns Dillon that He Could be Removed from the Senate
Monrovia – Mr. Abraham Darius Dillon has entered the Liberian Senate when the stakes and expectations are high from his supporters and even those who opposed his election.
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.”
A Social Media Response to Dillon
As a way to hold the Senator to his promises, some of his supporters have taken to social media to remind him of his promises years back. One supporter and a long-time friend of the new Montserrado Senator is Mr. McCarthy Weh, head of the Legislative Information Service.
Weh wrote: “Available information shows that Abe shared with his Facebook audience in 2013 two striking farsighted posts dubbed: ‘I Have a Dream too’ and ‘Letter to Mother Liberia’. We have deemed it expedient to serve reminders during this critical juncture of our nation’s history. ADD, we reminded you a few days ago of your “Letter to Mother Liberia” in which you expounded so smartly and sweetly to one’s reading ears many nerve-jerking sentences full of farsightedness. “NOW, with your INDUCTION, I, as a friend and brother, again reminding you of the second one: ‘I… Have a Dream, Too’ reminiscence of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There are appealing and touchy phrases, sentences and paragraphs contained therein. As we assured you a fortnight ago, we are again assuring you that the electorate will hold you un-forgivingly accountable to your many years of sustained and consistent advocacy in general and mainly those aspiring eye-watering posts of 2013. Abraham, in your famous ‘I… Have a Dream, Too’, six years ago, which was re-posted subsequently you wrote in-part: ‘…And still, ‘I have a dream that one day’…. The high and unrealistic income disparities between public officials (elected or appointed) and civil servants and other professional workers will be reviewed and adjusted in a realistic manner to meet current economic challenges.
‘“I have a dream that one day’…The division, hatred, envy, undermining and crab mentality among (most) Liberians will be substituted with love, care and support for one another whereby we will be our ‘brother’s keeper’, realizing that only ‘in union strong, success is sure’ indeed; that we will also learn to embrace and tolerate the views and rights of others to freely associate with others, even if we do not agree with those views or associations.
“Oh yes! I have this dream… that one day people with physical and other form of disabilities will be treated with respect and afforded opportunities to live dignifying lives as do people without any such disabilities…”