In the past three weeks to one month Liberians have been beset by news of the alleged disappearance of billions of newly printed Liberian banknotes brought to the country, a story that has not only kept citizens both at home and abroad restless, but rest of the world watching.
The actual amount in question deepens on who you speak with: The Minister of Information, Lenn Eugene Nagbe says 16 Billion LRD, but the Minister of Finance and Development Planning Samuel Tweah says it is far less, while former executive governor J. Milton Weeks of the Central Bank of Liberia and members of the former 53rd Liberian Legislature are tussling between 5 and 10 billion LRD, respectively.
The fact of the matter is, there was no burglary or armed robbery at the Freeport of Monrovia, neither at the Roberts International Airport where containers and bags of moneys allegedly vanished in thin air. How did it happen?
Documentary evidence available shows that authorities from the Central Bank of Liberia signed and took delivery of containers and bags of moneys from the Freeport of Monrovia under the administration of former executive governor J. Milton Weeks.
Ongoing probe by a Special Investigative Team has been able to only identify persons of interest, including ex-governor Weeks and Deputy Governor Charles Sirleaf, among others. The Ministry of Justice in a press release says, initial findings indicate that the containers and bags of moneys allegedly arrived between November 2017 and August 2018.
Yet, no one seems willing to take full responsibility for circumstances surrounding the missing billions, not even the administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf or the current Pro-Poor government of President George Manneh Weah.
Rather, the Special Presidential Investigative Team seems to be going after individuals whose roles were conducted thru official government functions. If containers and bags of newly printed moneys were brought in the country between the period mentioned above, do we need the FBI, IMF, ECOWAS, AU, and the United States Treasury Department to tell us that these were official transactions executed during one legitimate (Ellen Sirleaf) government to (George Weah-led administration) another democratically elected leadership?
It seems like the past and current Liberian administrations are playing games, in this case, a serious blame game with the Liberian people, pointing fingers here, and there, when the facts are in the public glare.
Leadership and accountability are being called into question here. Neither the 53rd Legislature nor the 54th Legislature is being gracious enough to accept some level of blames for the missing billions. Someone has to be man enough to say to the nation yes, we did so, but it was in error.
We can but only remind all sides involved in this current national disgrace that a leadership that runs away from responsibility and accountability does not deserve to lead in anyway.