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GOVERNANCE IN LIBEIA HAS BECOME A QUAGMIRE HANDWRITING HAS BEEN ON THE WALL THROUGHOUT THE YEARS: PERISCOPING PAST AND PREVAILING CONDITIONS

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The newspaper, Analyst Liberia, coined the phrase “2017 Quagmire”, predicted that “The forthcoming general and presidential elections of October 10, 2017 will be a Quagmire”. Indeed, the Nation’s Electoral Process and its results were a “quagmire”.

In response to developing events in the Governance of our country, Liberia, we wrote a Commentary entitled “The Liberia Nation is a Social-Cultural, Economic and Political Quagmire, predicated on the Analyst Liberia’s prediction and held that “A quagmire, according to the English Language, is an ‘awkward, hazardous, complex, situation; muddled, mixed-up, messed-up predicament; a difficulty, quandary, entanglement, imbroglio’ and a political fiasco that obtains in many African socio-economic and political affairs (New Democrat, October 5, 2018),”.

Political governance in Liberia has been, and is, a gradual, historical can of worms entrapment, a dangerous and deadly socio-economic administration, aggregated and climaxed, now, in these prevailing conditions and realities in which Liberia and Liberians find themselves – a social, economic and political quagmire.

Charles Taylor, ACDL Sirleaf, ACDL Warlord Alhaji Kromah & ULIMO-K war
War-front Commander Now Suspect Faction, now suspects
Convicted and in Prison

Almost “all of these government officials are, now, war and economic crime suspects – they were war-front commanding generals, former child-soldiers and human rights violators; some have been convicted and in prison, while others are now ministers, other government agency heads and presidents, managing directors of state-owned enterprises, law-makers, politically-connected lawyers, all across the entire spectrum of the prevailing, Liberian political landscape. There has been, and continues to be, no suspect arrested and held in custody, at least, for questioning the CBL missing container. Apparently, the National Police is chasing motor-cycle drivers while thieves and criminals are having field days with public resources. It is reported that the recently-appointed CBL Governor joined the globe-trotting, first class air travelers with hefty per diem and five-star hotel accommodation, while the CBL is being raided in Monrovia.

Former President Ellen Sirleaf Former Pres. Charles Taylor Current Pres. George Weah

Tweah Weeks Nagbe Dean Former President’s advisors US Federal Reserve Freeze

“With such celebrated, high-profiled and high-priced Counselor-at-Law as the nation’s Minister of Justice and Attorney-General (who had been defense counsel for indicted Senator charged for demanding, receiving and disbursing bribes) and top economist as CBL Governor on hand, one had hoped that the suspected crooks would be behind bars, at least, for questioning, to prevent the usual dual citizen-escapes to foreign countries. But, it is reasonable to conclude that the major, known suspects in this case are out of Liberia at this point, in the light of the desire, enthusiasm and/or obsession with dual citizenship” by the educated and the young, we wrote.

“Unfortunately”, we held, that “this Condition of the prevailing realities has been, and is, the case with very serious criminal activities in Liberia, particularly, during the immediate past of the 12-year political administration of the nation, . . . has been, and is, a ‘government’ of highly-placed officials – ministers, agency heads, managing directors & presidents of state-owned enterprises and legislators who, allegedly, demanded and accepted bribes in millions of US dollars to repeal laws in the interest of foreign corporations; a government of Lawyers and Law-makers who are the most-frequent law-breakers; and a government of Legislators who make and pass laws with loop-holes for selective disobedience-obedience of law”.

“But after all of the halla-halla, dee-deebahs and mango-mangos of the October 10, 2017 national Electoral Process with its critical questions unanswered, the recent Broad Daylight Banditry of the disappearance of a 40-foot container from the Central Bank of Liberia in downtown, central Monrovia with its contents of some nine (9) billions of newly-printed Liberian dollar-Banknotes was and is another Guinness Book of Records. Though there are denials, charges and counter-charges by and between the Former and Current Presidents’ loyalists/supporters concerning economic (corruption) crimes, allegedly, committed, being committed, including the bold, mysterious disappearance of the container and its contents, this daylight banditry was, apparently, committed by high-level loyalist/hold-over officials of the former President serving in the current government, and the newly-appointed officials of the current President. But then there arose another critical problem.

      “Jallah Lahene or Dr.BhofalChambers”         Ellen Johnson-Srleaf

Identity Theft
Regarding the Speaker of the House, we wrote in the article entitled “The Most Prominent Official of the Liberian Government is reported Identity Thief: Removal for Replacement?”, that “Although our Country has been in one crisis after another since its founding in 1847, but none or no one approaches the nature, scope of confidence games artistry and criminality at the high level of the National Legislative integrity and confidence until the nation’s recent past (1989-2006) and the prevailing activities (2007-2017) with particular respect to the past 12 years of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s Unity Party administration (New Democrat, September 14, 2018)”.

“There is no need for detailed analysis of the problems of poverty, hunger, disease, lack of healthcare, education, unemployment and government official’s monopoly of corruption, the universal vice found in all countries. Corruption or public dishonesty and decadent moral behavior have been, and are, the rules, not exception, in Liberia. Now, identity theft. This problem implicates one of the highest officials of our Government, one who becomes President of the nation, according to presidential succession mandated by the Constitution”.

The Hot Pepper newspaper (Hot Pepper Liberia, September 10, 2018) reported that the Speaker of Liberia’s House of Representatives known as “Dr. Bhofal Chambers” is not what he says that he is – Dr. Bhofal Chambers – but Jallah Lahene, the son of a Grebo tribal woman and foreign citizen of the Republic of Mali. The Paper reported that while in the USA, “Jallah Lahene stole the documents of a Trinidadian, Dr. Bhofal Chambers, a naturalized US citizen who lived and died in New York City”.

At home in Liberia and during the civil war, “Jallah Lahene or Dr. Bhofal Chambers” became member of the NPFL and joined the National Patriotic Party. But the relationship with President Charles Taylor and his NPFL/INPFL turned sour when President Taylor went to jail. So, “Dr. Bhofal Chambers or Jallah Lahene” became political ally of Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in 2006 and was elected to the National Legislature on Unity Party ticket on the strength, apparently, of being “Dr. Bhofal Chambers”. Now, “Dr. Bhofal Chambers” or “Mr. Jallah Lahene” is Speaker of the House of Representatives and member of President Weah’s CDC Party, also on the apparent strength of being “Dr. Bhofal Chambers”. No one cared, then, about the integrity of and confidence in the national Legislature until now, seemingly.

With all Branches of the Government of Liberia – National Legislature, Executive and Judiciary dominated by rascals, confidence artists, crooks, liars, thieves, bandits, murderers, war and economic criminals and warlords – hell boke lose in the Lower House recently with charges of incompetence, etc. against “Dr. Bhofal Chambers” or “Jallah Lahene” as Speaker.

Front Page Africa reported (Front Page Africa, January 21, 2019) that “members of the Lower House took the Speaker to task . . . accused him of lacking leadership ability to ensure the standardization of all benefits of lawmakers, delay in the provision of Legislative Support Project funds to foster developments . . . The Representatives were Nagbe Sloh, District #2, Grand Kru County; Thomas Goshua, District #5, Grand Bassa County; Beyan Howard, District #5, Lofa County; Adolph Lawrence, District #15, Montserrado County; Yekeh Kolubah, District #10, Montserrado County; and Vincent Willie, District #4, Grand Bassa County”. But “the Speaker, (“Dr. Bhofal Chambers or Jallah Lahene”) . . . has threatened to punish any member of the Lower House who raise questions about alleged improprieties unfolding in his office. As a result, ‘Dr. Bhofal Chambers or Jallah Lahene’, as Speaker turned a blind eye to a number of issues dogging the Executive Branch of Government, specially, the missing LD 16 billion and the infusion of US $25 million into the economy”.

                                 Speaker Presents Achievements
                         “Dr. Bhofal Chambers” or “Jallah Lahene”? 

Moreover, It is important to note that “Jallah Lahene’s or Dr. Bhofal Chambers’” attempts at academic/intellectual interpretation of the Accra, Ghana CPA Restorative/Distributive Justice conception/approach failed woefully because of his lack of conceptual understanding of and application of the legal terms.

Meanwhile, Speaker “Dr. Bhofal Chambers or Jallah Lahene” presented “Achievements and rallies colleagues of the 54th Legislature for a daunting task ahead”, reported the Analyst Liberia newspaper (January 21, 2019).

        President Weah Dictator?   Mayor Koijee in mountain of Garbage     NASSCORP’S Ponzi Scam          

Also, according to Front Page Africa (January 21, 2019), “Representative Yekeh Kolubah, District #10, Montserrado County, on Sunday, January 20 accused the Liberian President, George Manneh Weah of being a tyrant and dictator”.

In related developments, the Hot Pepper newspaper (January 21, 2019) declared that “the management of Monrovia City Corporation under the (youthful) leadership (as Mayor) of Jefferson Koijee, is slowly becoming overwhelmed with the huge mountain of garbage across the city. Touring downtown Monrovia over the weekend, the Hot Pepper observed stockpiles of garbage or the huge presence of both solid and liquid wastes on major street corners. On Front Street, Old Road, 12th Street, Clay Street, Center Street, Randall Street, and Soniwein, garbage is threatening the health of many people in the city”.

Moreover, the New Democrat newspaper (January 21, 2019) reported that “The National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP) is being operated outside the scope of its investment mandate and stands the apparent risk of not paying citizens who have been saving with the entity for good life after retirement. This is the financial report by the General Auditing Commission (GAC). In its September, 2018 audit of NASSCORP’s financial statements revealed that NASSCORP paid out millions of US dollars to dormant, none-exiting organizations”.

We wrote earlier that this socio-economic and political quagmire is “a uniquely familiar feature in the political history of Liberia”. It arises from and comes in many forms – Liberia’s distinctive mixture of African and Western socio-cultural, economic, religious and political traditions. Out of these traditions evolved and is evolving the Liberian political play – of political governance – with special political flavor and behavior with a cast of political characters or actors, consisting of:

1) Group A is the elite citizens who were Candidates for President of Liberia during the past general elections out of which emerged King George Weah as President, an indigenous, Monrovia enclave, Slum/Ghetto dweller;

2) Group B is the nation’s Body Politic (the voters), majority of which is now in Monrovia, trapped in City’s enclaves, the highly over-populated Slum/Ghettos; unemployed, poor, uneducated, hungry and angry, but elected King George Weah President; and

3) Group C, the powerful Nation Elections Commission (NEC), political Referee of the Electoral Process, but controlled/manipulated by the Nation’s Presidents for the election of the powerful, Chief Executives who are the same presidents. It is important to note that within the Liberian political culture is found monopolized the universal vice of corruption – dishonesty, graft, greed, thievery, lies, jealousies and inordinate quest for political power and the wealth perceived to be associated with such power. With this condition, we present the following characteristics of Liberia’s Political Groups:

Group A, the ruling Political Class
Until after the April 12, 1980 Event, this group of the political class was wholly-monolithic – 100% Western tradition – bow-tied, top-hatted, tails, “Botany 500/Brooks Brother’s suits, American fashion plates; Masonic Craft; and informed/educated with Christian Religion. Because of its western education, this group monopolized political power, administrative and economic, rigidly centralized and vested in an imperial presidency, domiciled in and dispensed from the Executive Mansion, Monrovia, with Unitary System of Government and Governance written in the nation’s Constitution in 1847.

The groups’ political competition of Political Parties was the Republican (RP), light-skinned, African-Americans who held political power for 23 years against the True Whig (TWP), dark-skinned, also African-Americans who, also, held political power exclusively for 110 years (for a combined total of 133 years) with unwritten, but duly accepted, practiced and enforced rule of indigenous exclusion from political participation since 1847.

Group B, the Nation’s Body Politic
This group is not only the nation’s corporate political body, but also, the overwhelming majority of the voting-age citizens of the population, 100% indigenous African tradition with African, Muslim-Islamist and Christian Religions. The majority of this group is rural village dwellers, less educated and un-informed on the dynamics of politics, especially voting rights and the use of these rights to secure community and individual benefits. Indigenous citizens, including its increased/increasing, western-educated elites, were systematically denied participation in political affairs for 133 years until and after the April 12, 1980 event.

Now, there has been, and continues to be, irony in the Liberian politics; in that, this increasing western-educated indigenous elites or tribal citizens haven become emerged/emerging political class joined political union with the western, political traditionalists in exploiting the unfortunate, un-informed and un-educated condition of their parents and extended relations for personal gain & benefits. They (indigenous, emerged/emerging political class) form and manage its own political parties, not along traditional, conventionally-recognized and accepted lines, but along ethnic/tribal lines. The result has been, and is, that in this small country of less than 4 million and some 17 ethnic/tribal groups, there are twenty-something political parties (and counting) which, statistically, is more than one political party per ethnic/tribal group, simply because every indigenous “politician” wants to be “Standard Bearer” of a political party and, eventually, president of Liberia, but a the-then statistical, legal impossibility.

Moreover, our African Ethnic/Tribal Bigotry, the socio-cultural and political dogma of the African Traditional Society, grounded on fear, suspicion, jealousy, rivalry, discrimination/segregation and, also, rooted deeply in myths, superstitions and antagonism bordering on hate which, often, leads to tribal wars, the unfortunate traditional pattern of behavior still present in our “Modern Society” and plays a very important role. In fact, this tradition permeates, almost, every aspect of our lives – housing, schooling, courtship & marriage, employment, job security, advancement, business and related relationships and interactions.

Furthermore and importantly, the majority of Liberia’s Body Politic (or the voting-age citizens) is in the City of Monrovia, forced into the city’s over-populated Slums/Ghettos as economic and political “rural-to-urban” migrants. “These citizens, we reported earlier, are un-informed, un-educated, unemployed, poor, often sick, but without healthcare”, sell their votes for meagre Liberian dollars and bags of imported rice for survival, with lappas, political party caps and T-shirts. They are the voters who elected George Weah President.

Group C, the National Elections Commission (NEC)
This group, the referee and lawful manager of the Electoral Process that determines the most powerful executive in the land, is seen by Liberians as being manipulated and controlled by political parties in power. The recent, unusual and un-ceremonial resignation of a Chairman of the NEC and un-announced departure from the country while in the midst of several allegations of electoral fraud is a case in point. In fact, it is proven that the current Chairman of the Commission is not only citizen of a foreign country, but also, permitted several individuals who are foreign citizens to campaign as candidates for the National Legislature (some were successful), an act which is patently illegal. For these and many dubious others, it is reasonable for the Liberian people to have no confidence in the National Elections Commission.

Government & Governance
The Liberian Daily Press of our times Chronicled the historical, gradual and increasingly- cumulative system of Liberia’s Political Governance, a condition which is finally climaxed into social-cultural, economic and political quagmire, now prevailing, in which we, Liberians, find ourselves.

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