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Editorial

Capitol Hill’s Political Hooliganism – wrong perception to the Visiting U.S Congressional Delegation

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Amid the presence of the visiting United States Congressional delegation in Liberia, Capitol Hill is rocked by political hooliganism and unnecessary tension among members of Liberia’s House of Representatives.

While one group of Legislators is pushing for the Speaker of the House of Representatives to step aside from presiding over sessions until his name is cleared in the Global Witness bribery scandal on “moral ground”, others continue to remain very firm on their opposition on constitutional or legal ground.

From all indications, Speaker Alex Tyler’s removal as Speaker may be the main hidden agenda under the issue of his recusal from presiding as being pursued by some Members of the House of Representative. Further exacerbating the [problem at the Legislature is the external factor influencing the action of the ‘anti-Tyler’ bloc as they call themselves.

In a few live radio broadcasts (Radio LIB 24) in Monrovia on Thursday, August 11, 2016 while the Capitol Building – the seat of the Legislature, was plunged into unnecessary tensions, including the huge presence of ‘battle-geared’ armed Police Support Unit of the Liberia National Police in and outside, some ‘anti-Tyler’ Lawmakers were heard in recordings discussing the removal of the Speaker, as well as money given them to do so.

The irony about the foregoing, according to the recordings monitored religiously, is that the ‘anti-Tyler’ Lawmakers were not even honest to each other as some were heard accusing distributors of the money of giving US$5,000.00 to some, while others received US$10, 000.00 and the rest US$25,000.00.

Interestingly, the ‘anti-Tyler’ Lawmakers claim that ‘morality and integrity’ are two factors instigating the Speaker’s recusal, while they themselves are entangled with the same issues as evidenced by Tuesday’s public revelation by the ailing Nimba County Representative Samuel G. Woleh and the recordings broadcast on Radio LIB24 on Thursday.

In view of the aforementioned that the urgent need for the intervention of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission or LACC cannot be over-emphasized; and now is the time for the LACC to prove its worth by ascertaining from the “anti-Tyler” bloc the nature of the money distributed among themselves and others – from where the money came and how.

While we strongly detest any form of bad governance on the part of Liberia’s Leaders, including Speaker Tyler, if and only if the Global Witness Corruption Report linking him and others, is something to really go by, the process of ensuring justice must be on the basis of the Liberian Constitution, legality, as well as the Rules governing the House of Representatives and not “morality”, as such is greatly
dependent on the individual involved.

Unfortunately and regrettably, the political hooliganism, session boycott, alleged bribery for Tyler’s removal and huge deployment of armed police may just be enough to discourage the visiting United States Congressional Delegation in Liberia discussing a wide range of issues, including bilateral development assistance and security cooperation between the two countries.

Diplomatically, the delegation may ‘sugarcoat’ or downplay the current trends of events, but may seriously consider such upon their return to the United States.

When there are serious and pressing national issues to include the insecurity in Western Liberia, the printing of the new Liberian Five Dollar banknote and its adverse effect on the economy, as well as the passage of the 2016/2017 national Budget, among others, for the Legislature to handle, its members may just be too busy on political mischief-making and personal aggrandizement, leaving the Liberian people in complete oblivion.

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