By: Isaac W. Jackson, Jr.
As twin starting points: Today is your birthday; you departed this life on 20 November 2019. Reflecting upon your courageous fight for a corruption-free Liberia under the rule of Law, it is of deep concern to me how your venerated legacy is being exploited and poorly treated by some of our friends.
Collectively, we struggled to lay the foundation stones of Liberty Party – the political vehicle aimed at advancing the aspirations for a better Liberia. The journey we trekked was not altogether smooth; howbeit, there was a common consensus on public standards of decency that the Party espoused at its formative stages. From what’s obtaining nowadays, I am not sure whether you would recognize the political vehicle of integrity you left behind, if your return were humanly possible! Because, those purporting to manage the affairs of the political vehicle have no decent respect for integrity. They are unconscionably flirting with utterly-corrupt individuals and bastardizing the Party’s integrity standards which call for those linked to corruption scandals to step aside from whatever positions they hold to clear their names.
Contrary to the standards mentioned supra, the Party now has a chairman who is a condemned FIFA fraudster, congenitally dishonest, and widely known both in Liberia and abroad for corruption scandals. So, I am wondering where the Party is heading with such diametrical departure from its founding practices and principles? Hence, this Memo!
Boss man, besides having this morally bankrupt fellow as chairman, I see others faking and manipulating our people into falsely believing that they had a wonderful relationship with you during your last days on earth. Since I know that this sort of attitude constitutes a mighty deception on an industrial level, I thought to highlight them in this Memo.
At least, those of us who follow from a distance, as a result of our disagreement, are aware that you held a meeting with core members of the Friends of Brumskine (FOB) just before your departure to the USA for medical treatment. In that meeting, you expressed utter disgust about how Darius Dillon [now Senator] insulted you; and that one of the comrades stood-by without saying a murmuring word in your defense. Also, you groaned, and lamented the personal disservice to you when others pledged support to Weah’s CDC in reckless disregard of your advice. Today, some of those same people are still pretending that you were on good terms with them during your sad departure from earth. This childish maneuver is utterly despicable!
In their desperate attempts to exploit your venerated legacy, in recent times they attributed to you a legal maxim that you pooh-poohed in the case, CDC and Liberty Party v. The Executive Branch of Government, decided January 11, 2008. Knowing my zero tolerance for nonsense, I red-carded them publicly for being disingenuous.
Also, in an attempt to deceive our people, more recently they employed similar tactics on Spoon TV, talking plausibly about your warm relationship with them; even though, you would have flatly denounced some of their misconducts. For example, taking money from Albert Chie under the cover of darkness; dividing US$6,000 with fellow Lawmakers, while PPEs and beddings were in short supply at quarantine centres. Yes, you would have condemned them for threatening to jail Election Commissioners on bogus contempt charges. I emphatically highlighted these cases, especially the one with the NEC Commissioners because one of your Refrains was that, “as Senate Pro Tempore, you NEVER jailed anyone”. I recall you telling me on several occasions that a leader doesn’t gain the respect of others by abusing the exercise of his/her authority. So, I know that you would have filed such overzealous action under legislative tyranny: in that, the Election Commissioners did not deliberately obstruct legislative functions in the case under consideration.
Boss man, your “small sister, Nyonblee” who left in charge of the Party, even though you were not on talking terms with her until your sad departure, is now proceeding in total disregard of the pillar of reconciliation in the Party. Also, she has proceeded in reckless disregard of your legacy, and the Constitution of the Party by organizing a controversial and bogus Special Convention to inveigle Musa Bility to the Chairmanship of the Party.
I know in 2005, you declined an invitation from Musa Bility’s Mandingo Caucus for obvious reasons. But, again, politics being what it is, you compromised your position and hang-out with Bility in 2017. Maybe, if you had known the drama and trauma Bility would have put you through as a result of his pledge to Weah’s CDC against your advice, you would have maintained your posture and position of 2005, i.e., staying clear of tainted characters.
Boss man, I heard that you told Romeo Gbartea and some of the comrades that you would have shocked the nation by appointing me as one of your first ministers, had you won the election for the presidency.
I also heard you told LamiiKpargoi that I surprised you by being the only FOB and Liberty Party Executive member who stayed with you at your mother’s funeral until her casket was deposited in the grave, and fully sealed up. Following your discussion with Lamii, you extended me an invitation thru him to see you. Truth being told, you informed Lamii that most of the things I criticized and screamed about in the Party were true; however, your only problem was the manner in which I articulated those uncomfortable truths.
Boss man, as you look down from heaven upon us, I know you are nodding your head with pleasure, and saying, Bob Jack is once more saying the uncomfortable truths. Yes, sir, I am saying the uncomfortable truths, for you know that I am not a passive soldier, and will not compromise with utter rubbish. So, yes, I am fighting again! However, this time around, you can be consoled by the fact that I am not fighting alone but, along with your Pekin them: Daniel Merchant, Chester Neese, Sampson Dolo, Bishop LemuelGbardue , and your sister Clarice Jah – we are fighting for the soul and the long time moral health of the Party. On the other hand, Romeo Gbartea, Jacob Smith, ArunaFallah and Debar Allen are also fighting in a subtle manner through FOB to launch a lecture series in your honor. I also contributed to their efforts by developing the communication strategy for the lecture series, suggested the names of some of the panelists, and developed the topic with editorial input from ArunaFallah regarding today’s program.
Boss man, knowing that our friends who are purportedly running the affairs of the Party have no solid argument against me, they have escalated their lies against me by saying that I am not a member of Liberty party, and that I am being sponsored by Samuel Tweah, an old pal from the University of Liberia, now Finance Minister. I know you are aware that these are irrational and rubbish arguments. Because, if they are saying that I am not a member of Liberty Party, then what become of the reconciliatory overture that was made by you, which rendered the case at the Supreme Court Moot? Or what about the other subsequent reconciliatory efforts by the Party? By saying that I am not a member of Liberty Party, are they not questioning the intelligence of Madam Clarice Jah, Steve Zargo, Jacob Julius Smith,and Bishop LemuelGbadyu – stalwarts of the Party who are associating with me? Do these clowns really believe that such caliber of sophisticated people will be associating with a non-member of Liberty Party to ferret out their missteps? I can understand why those people in their desperation would glibly gloss over institutional piety, i.e., respecting those who give birth to the thing that’s benefiting today.
On the allegation regarding Samuel Tweah; do I have to take money from Tweah to make an obvious argument that Musa Bility is a notoriously corrupt bandit based on that fact that he (Bility) has been linked to myriads of corruption scandals? Heaven knows that the person next to Chief Justice Korkpor that I am unhappy with in the CDC Government is Samuel D. Tweah, Jr. Yes, it is true that Samuel Tweah has been my longtime friend but, since the CDC Government has been sitting on my neck, I have not had any friendly conversation with him. So, how could these people come up with such useless lie? I can understand, their use of the dead cat strategy is aimed at diverting meaningful attention from the efforts to pull corrupt Bility’s pants down, and handcuff him to his checkered history. But, their strategy will not work!
Boss man, I’m sure you remember this same rumor surfaced in 2005, that I was influencing you to endorse CDC because of my friend Samuel Tweah. I remember during the Executive Meeting aimed at deciding whether to support CDC or Unity Party, it was this rumor that opened the discussion, when I, in my usual Bob Jack’s style, jokingly responded that even if we had endorsed CDC, I would have still explained that we had gone to the CDC to shepherd the process – having said that, I remember everybody laughed, and the meeting stated on a more serious note. Though the consensus in the room at the time was, for us to endorse Unity Party’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf but, through your persuasion, we decided to remain neutral. So, boss man, you are aware that the rumor was not true yesterday, and it’s not true even today.
In addition to the barren allegation supra, they have been spewing the shoddy propaganda that Madam Sirleaf rewarded me with Assistant Minister job because I was saying mean things about you. You know, and heaven can testify that the confusion in Party erupted as a result of Nat Toe, Sampson Dolo and others being asked to resign and that Mr. Israel Akinsanya overstayed his role as acting chair.
By the way, how is it rational that a serious professional of Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s caliber will give me a job for merely saying mean things about you, when in fact, I was also fiercely criticizing Madam Sirleaf? Far from the rubbish those clowns are saying, I believe Madam Sirleaf offered me the opportunity to serve her government firstly because of my competence, and secondly because of my pure intellectual and legal argument at the time that she shouldn’t go to the TRC because her appearance would have violated Article 61 of the Constitution. I hold this view because it was following this argument that I bumped into Cllr. Morris Saytumah at the Louise Arthur Grimes School of Law, when he said, “I like the argument you are making. When we offer you a place to work in the government will you accept it?” My answer to the question was in the affirmative. About two weeks following my conversation with Cllr. Saytumah at the Law School, he called me in his office, and asked, “if we offer you a place in the Government, will you not be leaking information to Cllr. Brumskine”? I answered in the negative. Then he said, “by evening hours, we will announce you”. End of story!
Contrary to the false claim by some people that “they even took me to Madam Sirleaf”, I never met Madam Sirleaf during my advocacy. This fact can be authenticated by Tobias Wesseh, then Special Assistant to Cllr. Saytumah. Matter of fact, I was not even desperate for a job at the time because I had just taken up a new job at LBDI as its Legal Assistant.
No rational person in my position at the time would have refused an offer from the Sirleaf administration because I was criticizing my political leader, and also criticizing Madam Sirleaf. I had no friends then. So, what would a rational man do in the case under consideration? In fact, when the appointment was made, ranking members of Liberty Party, United Democratic Party and FOB issued a press release on October 9, 2008, commending President Sirleaf, and also stated that my appointment was a confirmation of the Unity Party-led administration’s policy of inclusion. Even you, yourself, boss man, sent me an email congratulating and wishing me well for my appointment in September of 2008.
Boss man, Bility and his people who are accusing me of taking money from Tweah, endorsed Weah’s CDC. So, how come they’re making it to look like working with Tweah’s CDC is a disgusting sin, when in fact, they are responsible for giving CDC power? Knowing that Musa Bility and his likes were driven by their selfish ambitions to curry favor with Weah’s CDC, why do they want us to suddenly join them in their frustration with the CDC-led Government? How is it our fault that they were not farsighted? If Mr. Bility were enjoying a cozy relationship with the CDC-led Government, would he have cared about the poor masses? By the way, when Mr. Bility was pledging support to the CDC, did he care to know that some of us would have been at risk? I think Bility and his bunch of greedy friends created their own Frankenstein, let them deal with their creation without dragging my name into their mild frustration. I say mild frustration because if President Weah were to reach out to Bility now, his mild anger will suddenly dissipate.
Boss man, you know that I am not like Bility to trade character for money. Just look at how Bility swaggers with political parties, i.e., LAP, ALCOP, Unity Party, CDC, now LP. You see, I don’t pretend in my opposition to wrongdoings. I am not looking for any personal benefit in my opposition to Bility. Matter of fact, others and I, are opposing Bility because he doesn’t represent the aspirations of the Party that we established, and we want the best for our Party. I am a bit visible because I am a passionate warrior, and naturally allergic to roguish behavior.
Boss man, this is not the normal intellectual battle. I am told that some of those in this fight have zero intellectual muscles to flex therefore they have resulted to consulting juju men. But, I am not perturbed by this scaring rumor because I am covered by the efficacious blood of Jesus. And so, Boss man, as you look down from heaven upon us, give us the courage to be strong in upholding your legacy by ensuring that Bility relinquishes the Chairmanship in obedience to the established precedent in the Party. Don’t let your passing witness the death of integrity in our dear Liberty Party. Knowing that Bility and others treated you so badly in your last days on earth, I ask that your spirit fight back fiercely so that they do not remain at the helm of power in our Party. Let this shame not befall your legacy, and the Party you labored to establish!
Boss man, was the term of endearment used by all of us at the early stage of the movement. And so, with teary eyes and heavy heart, I wish to say rest on, Boss man!
*The author, B.Sc., LL.B, LL.M, is a Founding Executive Member of Liberty Party, United Democratic Party and Friends of Brumskine (FOB) political arrangement. He defends a political career which arises from his days as a student activist at the University of Liberia.
Atty. Isaac W. Jackson, Jr.