Ex-President Charles Taylor’s former ruling National Patriotic Party or NPP seems determined to engage the Sirleaf Administration on the economy, development, management of state resources and accountability, among others.
Barely a day after a former official of the Taylor government, Milton Nathaniel Barnes, who also worked in the Sirleaf Administration as Liberia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, accused President Sirleaf of failure, adding that the Taylor regime was by far better than the current administration, the NPP Secretary General Andrew Peters has called on the Sirleaf government to account for funds received from friendly governments and international partners.
Minutes after Barnes launched his attack against the government Tuesday, Presidential Press Secretary Jerolinmeak Piah counter attacked, saying his assertion may be true in that the Taylor regime did well for Liberians by ruining their lives with wars, poverty, destruction of properties and chasing human rights activists and journalists out of Liberia under his reign of terror.
However, Peters has come to Barnes’ defense, claiming the Sirleaf Administration has benefited about US$5 billion thru foreign assistance, an opportunity that ex-President Taylor never had, adding that despite this amount of assistance, there is very little to show in terms of bettering citizens lives.
He says the living standard of ordinary Liberians has not improved since this administration took power in a peaceful environment heavily backed by the international community unlike the Taylor era that was plagued by internal insurrection and foreign conspiracy.
Asked if he doesn’t see the level of road construction across the Liberia under the Sirleaf Administration, he said the government is only rehabilitating existing roads, and not constructing new ones. On the question of electricity, the NPP chief scribe noted that the administration is involved in connecting high-tensioned wires in the streets with power generators, which he said, is not sustainable.
But when he was reminded that the Mount Coffee Hydro in White Plain was demolished during Mr. Taylor’s rebels invasion of Liberia, Peters quickly responded that Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was a key financier of the war, and Taylor only served as executor.
He also pointed several suspicious deaths under this administration, including the drowning of whistleblower Cllr. Michael Allison, Harry Greaves, and Victoria Zayzay, while in police custody.
In her testimony before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, President Sirleaf disclosed that she contributed US$10,000 to the rebels National Patriotic Front of Liberia or NPFL, commanded by Taylor, for humanitarian purposes. Editing by Jonathan Browne