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Editorial

Chief Cyril Allen’s misstep

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Chief Cyril Allen, head of the Governing Council of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) recently wrote former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf a letter charged with invectives and negative characterization that went viral both on social media and in the press without expressing any remorse.

In fact, he subsequently appeared on a live talk show last week, and defended his action amid serious public condemnation. That the chairman emeritus of jailed former President Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Party could stoop so low, we are disappointed, to say the least.

But we are not surprised at all of the verbal attacks coming from the NPP chairman emeritus against Madam Sirleaf. This is the only orientation he had from the rebel movement-cum political party. It is an open secret that the NPP is an offspring of the rebels National Patriotic Front of Liberia or NPFL that waged a bloody civil war on December 24, 1989 in Liberia. Chief Allen, like many former and current officials served in the hierarchy of the NPFL.

Now he has brought that same posture into the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change, which governing council he heads. We wonder what signal is Chief Allen sending out to youth in the CDC, and generally the youth of Liberia by defending such letter that is loaded with abuses against a former Head of State and allowing it to be posted on social media.

His attacks against the former president stems from an interview that Madam Sirleaf had recently with the BBC following reports of the missing billions when she refuted the figure 16 billion Liberian Dollars, and instead, asked whether the current administration knew the Gross Development Product (GDP) of Liberia before coming out with such figure, as disclosed by Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe.

Madam Sirleaf then wondered whether the Weah administration knew the level of harm this information has done to the country’s reputation internationally as a result of releasing the alarming figure. By any and all measures, this is a tone caution coming from a mother and former president, who led this country for two six-year consecutive terms or 12 years, to a successor and a government that has been in office for only nine months.
However, little did she know that people in the CDC-led government would have considered the rhetorical question as an affront, launching an all out counterattack commanded by Chief Allen and President George Manneh Weah himself.

But unlike Chief Allen, President Weah decided to respond indirectly immediately upon his return to the country from attending the 73rd Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York. Speaking in a church service, Weah unleashed a barrage of criticisms against the administration of former president Sirleaf, specifically questioning her own knowledge of GDP when her administration failed to deliver paved road to residents of Doe Community, citizens in southeast Liberia or pay WAESSC fees for students.

Rather than responding thru this posture, we think President Weah should have exercised leadership by seeking consultation and pieces of advice from his predecessor Madam Sirleaf on how to address Liberians on this missing billions question, but this was never done. Instead, he chose the blame game approach.

And this is where Chief Allen, the grand commander of the CDC Governing Council missed his step, and resulted to uncivilized behavior by writing a dirty letter to the former president and allowing it to go viral on social media. But thank God that Madam Sirleaf is not only a Mother, but a mature stateswoman hence, she has never responded to the garbage spewed at her.

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