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Chiefs Seek Compromise

Traditional Women from Liberia’s 15 counties, accompanied by National Traditional Council of Chiefs’ Chairman Zanzan Kawah, have appealed to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to have a compromise on the crisis between her and House Speaker Alex Tyler that grew out of the probe into Global Witness report.

“…You go in the House, you find job there. Your friends that gave it to you, they take it from you, come back to us. You are our representative. That place there no fighting there … even [if they had taken] it from you, come back to us we appeal. But for you to accuse somebody, this other man want kill me; this other one pay money. All that one mother, we want for all to change,” Chief Kawah pleaded Tuesday, 5th July.

During an honoring ceremony organized by the Traditional Women for President Sirleaf at the C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chief Kawah ordered the Traditional Women to kneel down before President Sirleaf as they made the appeal.

“All the yoko, yakaka, clean it up; the other man said president plans to do something to me, failing to come to us to tell us so we can meet indoor,” he said, as they knelt down and presented what he called “a peace cola” to the President, requesting that all of the ongoing noise be seized.

He argued that as elected representative, if Speaker Tyler’s colleagues decided to remove him from the Office as Speaker, he had the alternative to go back to his people who elected him to the Legislature before finding, rather than fighting and accusing somebody of wanting to kill him.

He repeatedly stressed the need for officials to sort out their differences “in the night” rather than fighting and accusing each other. But while appealing to the President for compromise, Chief Kawah, however, differed with lawmakers’ request for financial autonomy, suggesting that all of these help to bring noise and “we’re tired for trouble.”

Chief Kawah warned politicians to wait for their time as everybody cannot become president at the same time, stressing that if it is not “our time, don’t go there.” “We got 15 counties; we got 40 persons want [to] be president in this Country – who will vote for them? Where y’all going? And they can’t come back to consult the place where they’re coming from?” he said.

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According to him, while much of the security service is largely felt in Monrovia, yet the country’s trouble is in Monrovia on grounds that the leeward counties are not noisy in terms of politics and other problems usually arising from the capital.

Chief Zanzan Kawah vowed that anybody who challenges President Sirleaf, equally challenges the Traditional People, noting that her administration has done well for them and made them to be recognized. He applauded the peace that maintained in Liberia under President Sirleaf’s administration, noting that disturbances from neighboring Ivory Coast only stopped at the border with Liberia.

In accepting the honor from the Chiefs, President Sirleaf thanked them and also appreciated them for the way it was organized, particularly noting that they did everything on their own. She said the tradition people were the foundation of any society, and her government decided to establish the traditional Council to afford them the opportunity to have a say in whatever government does. “They have to be a part of Liberia’s future; they have to be a part of any decision we make because again, they are the foundation,” she said amidst hands of applause from her audience.

The president said she was in the know that her government hasn’t yet done everything it hoped to do and that plenty more needed to be done; but assured that “we keep trying.” She, however, allayed others’ fears over what will happen if she leaves office, saying: “Be assured, Liberia goes on. And the foundation we set, and I suffered for it,” adding that when you hear all the talks and government says nothing, that’s the prize she has to pay for the foundation for the future.

“But it’s a prize for peace. It ‘s a prize for the foundation for the future and nobody; nobody can turn it around and change it again,” she noted. The occasion was graced by Bong County Senator Jewel Howard Taylor, who showered praises on President Sirleaf; Montserrado County Representative Munah Pennoh Youngblood and Internal Affairs Minister Dr. Henrique Tokpa, among others.

By Winston W. Parley

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