McGill to Cllr. Gongloe: Complete hypocrisy
By Lincoln G. Peters
The Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Nathanial F. McGill describes comments made against him by presidential hopeful Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongole is complete hypocrisy, threatening to publish numerous financial transactions between himself and the presidential hopeful.
McGill claims Cllr. Gongloe is advocating for the United States Government to sanction him as it has done to other corrupt officials here, including Senator Prince Yormie Johnson.
According to the Minister, Cllr. Gongloe begged him for money to support his African Bar Association program in Liberia and other activities that he (Gongloe) didn’t include in his sanction advocacy against him.
Minister McGill says his reason for making such pronouncement is due to Cllr. Gongole’s recent call or appeal to the international community particularly, the United States Government to place a sanction on him on grounds that he (McGill) is involved in “pay for play politics” because of the private scholarship funds drive launched in Nimba, Bong, Margibi and Bassa counties.
Recently, Cllr. Gongloe, immediate former president of the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) called on the U.S. government to sanction the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Nathaniel McGill, for allegedly spending millions of Liberian dollars to buy voters, ahead of the 2023 general and presidential elections.
Minister McGill of late has been seen visiting several counties and spending huge sums of money on scholarships in the name of President George Manneh Weah while promising more money to citizens across the country ahead of the 2023 elections.
The huge sums of Liberian dollars on scholarships had targeted vote-rich counties namely; Bong, Grand Bassa, Nimba, and Margibi, which Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe terms as an act of vote-buying, ahead of the country’s elections.
“Minister McGill’s action shows reckless disregard for the feelings of the Liberian people who are suffering”, Gongloe laments.
However, he notes that it takes two to get transaction to go on. Thus, votes buyers, too, should be sanctioned.
“I am saying this especially at a time when, within one month, the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs has spent about L$170 million as political gifts to four counties.”
Cllr. Gongloe, a renowned human rights activist, details that Minister McGill gave LRD 50 million to Nimba, 50 million dollars to Grand Bassa, another 50 million dollars to Margibi, and 20 million dollars to Bong counties, respectively.
“We are calling on the U.S. government to go beyond that. It was stated in the sanction statement [against Senator Prince Y. Johnson] that one of the reasons for the sanction against the honorable senator is that he has been selling votes but, for the market to be successful, there has to be the demand side”, Cllr. Gongloe notes.
The Counsellor says although he cannot state how much Minister McGill earns per month, he (Gongloe) feels the scholarship shows reckless disregard for the feelings of the Liberian people, who are suffering amid great hardship in Liberia.
The money, according to him, has been obtained in a corrupt manner, so it is necessary that McGill and others are sanctioned for dishing out money to voters, as a means of curtailing “such a habit that undermines the country’s democracy.”
“McGill is under obligation as a public servant to show the sources of his money. Therefore, we are calling upon the American Government to go on the demand side to capture those [seeking] pay for votes to also be sanctioned.”
He observes that the issue of vote-buying and vote-selling is a new aspect of corruption in Liberia; the other is legislative bribery, adding “On top of that, now we have vote-selling and vote-buying that the American government and other governments have taken note of.
But speaking Tuesday, December 28, 2021, on Spoon Talk, Minister McGill described Gongole’s comments as complete hypocrisy to the suffering student community and the Liberian people at large.
“When did Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe knows that helping people is a conflict of interest and votes-buying when I helped him many times? It’s because he is now eyeing the presidency of the country? Let Cllr. Gongole is serious and honest to his quest and the Liberian people”, he responds.
According to Minister, he raised 50 thousand United States Dollars for Cllr. Gongloe when the lawyer wrote his office through the Government of Liberia to help him host the African Bar Association program in Liberia.
“If Gongloe is criticizing me for raising money for students in Liberia, himself should be criticized for begging me for money also. If he says this is false or lies that he did not beg me for money to have his African Bar Association program in Liberia, I will publish all his letters and transactions to the public till the time he received the US$50,000 because I have all the documents”, Minister McGill maintains.
He indicates that Cllr. Gongole’s institution is a private entity but he (McGill) raised the money because it is a national cause, something, he says Cllr. Gongloe is not being fair about it.
McGill clarifies that scholarships being launched across the country are not intended to buy votes, as presumed by Cllr. Gongloe, rather, he says, they are promises fulfilled based on calls from parents and students that they need scholarship fund drive for their children.
“During the President’s counties tour, we sat with parents, students and women groupings and they asked for loans and scholarships. We agreed to have a scholarship launched through private means by me to help raise the funds to help students and that is what we are doing”, he explains.
McGill further clarifies that he did not launch the scholarships in the name of the Government of Liberia, but privately because it’s supported by local donors and other well-meaning Liberians.
He notes that Cllr. Gongloe is doing all this because he is afraid and has no attraction as a presidential aspirant but believes that making false allegations would help him get relevance.
McGill, also a former chairman of the governing Congress for Democratic Change discloses that Cllr. Gongloe wants to walk on the path of the Progressives that did not do any good for Liberia, claiming that Cllr. Gongloe failed to bring 50 persons together during his program in Nimba.
“I have more things on him that I will bring out now that since helping Liberian students are paid for play game. His dinner as President of the Bar Association of Liberia was organized by the government. I think the people of Nimba should now ask him what he wants from them. He wants to stop good things from coming”, Minister McGill concludes in his response to vote-buying thru pay for play politics.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/mcgill-launches-govt-scholarship-in-bassa/ Editing by Jonathan Browne