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Special: Charles Taylor – A Man Betrayed?

My pen itches to inquire: the games that men plays and of the truth that comes whilst in a mad rush to malign an innocents bystander, have gripped Liberia again and reverberates. Surely Kayode has re-opened the chapters of Charles Taylor that in my view is in Nigeria’s best interest to let lie.


Special: Charles Taylor – A Man Betrayed? The Barbs That Kayode Throws And the Truth of Nigeria Failure on the World Stage

Dear Editor,

I am sending the below to you for publication as my contribution to what you are doing in Liberia. The debate on Charles Taylor which has been renewed by the former Nigerian Minister brings me to the defense of our president and I am appealing to you to

Kindly Publish.


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The Article:

The Charles Taylor question continues to exhilarate, from his surprise announcement after entering Buutuo to the Naomi Campbell media gloss, this man has exhibited an incredible capacity to divide people and makes friends enemies.  One can only imagine as to what new venom Femi Kayode a former Minister in President Obasanjo government is spilling into the very warm Liberia – Nigeria relations by casting blame on an innocent bystander like President Sirleaf.

My pen itches to inquire: the games that men play and of the truth that comes whilst in a mad rush to malign an innocents bystander, have gripped Liberia again and reverberates.  Surely Kayode has re-opened the chapters of Charles Taylor that in my view is in Nigeria’s best interest to let lie.   All that Kayode achieve is to reveal  how a regional power whose contribution we are eternally grateful  lost its head, proved fickle in the hour of monumental international power plays  and now a former actor of that regime  seeks to shift blame to a Liberian Presidency that was at that time  an idea at best.

His unmeritorious conclusions is truly a work of the sublime art of a seasoned propagandist, says he: “And sadly the lady called President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf along with the Americans, capitulated and did precisely what they wanted to the utter shock and chagrin of virtually every African leader of that day and in the total violation of the agreement and understanding that had been originally entered into by all the parties concerned and by all the major players including the Americans.”

As to how one lady, who has assumed office in a war-ravaged country occupied and controlled by a 15,000 strong international force controlled by the Americans and Nigerians ( Nigeria had a very strong force here) , a country with no army but with over 100,000 newly disarmed but not yet rehabilitated ex-combatants of whom over half owed undying loyalty to Charles Taylor, how so powerless a President as such can succeed in coercing a Nigerian Presidential Jet to fly Taylor into our airport at that time controlled by Nigerian troops superbly dwarfs the word miracle that we must find a designation for the powers of this lady which must be utra-earthly and supra-supernatural on the world scene.  For on the day and minute that the Nigerians brought Taylor to the airport, the Liberian airspace was filled with international war planes and choppers under the control of America and Nigeria.

Unconsciously whilst marshalling all incidents to reach his infamous conclusions, Kayode has thoroughly unmasked to Africa and the world the shameless exhibition of pandering to the west by one of Africa’s power houses precipitating conscious pan-Africanists to question Nigeria’s claims to preeminence and the Obasanjo regime  glamorized role as the African powerhouse on the world scene.  It is a sad story of a sad day when the eagle of Nigeria ignominiously bowed at the biggest stage , capitulated, flaunting whatever agreements which Kayode spoke of concerning the post-Taylor Liberia as regards Taylor himself and the exit strategy was made a mockery, while at the same time clearly by his narrative, the very African solidarity and stance on Taylor exit was breached by Nigeria  through the use of subterfuge to make Taylor a fugitive first and thereby create an alibi to dump the so-call African solidarity.

Truly, the Charles Taylor of Liberia whose treachery and flaunting of peace accords is legendary as he listened to the radio that day on his way to the Cameroonian border and heard the Nigerians say he has fled must have known that the game was over and he was beaten by the Olga who has sprung the greatest diplomatic 419 on him.  According to Kayode, President Obasanjo ‘ordered that he (Taylor) should be dropped at some border post and allowed to go wherever he wanted… rather than for us to formally hand him over to anyone.’

The next order, a classic immaculate subterfuge which our friend leaves out is the one that announces that Taylor has fled his assigned residence thereby violating the terms of his stay, abusing the generosity of the Nigerian nation and was a fugitive on the run. From all indications Nigeria under threats according to Kayode, an unimpeachable insider, has then chosen the path of self-preservation; for a nation so powerful, a major exporter of oil, with one of the largest armed forces in the world to so succumb and play ball to the tunes of the Texas country music of President Bush is interesting revelation of Kayode.

And is the rest not history, as this lawless man who has abused Nigeria’s hospitality was arrested later by the same Nigerian government and transported on a presidential jet to Monrovia controlled by the Americans and Nigerians.

Yet the onerous element of surprise is how President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf betrayed Taylor in the logic of our friend after the flawless execution of the elaborate subterfuge of the venerable Olga Baba has cornered and out-maneuvered the wily fox of Gbarnga and made him a prisoner will take ages to decipher.

What he has exposed stands that Nigeria, Africa’s powerhouse, has delivered under threats, then how could an unsettled fragile President, whose personal security at that time was provided by Nigeria could have undone this admirable fait accompli ?

The panorama of Kayode’s logic then takes a nose dive and disintegrates into a Sisyphean task for Nigeria; for whenever he hurls the bazookas of his angry arguments against President Sirleaf, the facts he reveals as a member of the Nigerian kitchen cabinet at that time forces it down into the abyss, crumbling its dialectical syllogism into paralysis.  For example, when it is revealed that Olga Baba has dumped Taylor into a trap which he fell and became an ingrate and fugitive for which Nigerian security was hunting, he crowns President Sirleaf with the glory of Taylor capture. That President Sirleaf not a party to the Taylor exit strategy and its understandings under pressure wrote Nigerian, the most prudent diplomatic course normally would have been to convene a meeting of the relevant stakeholders which would have included President Mbeki, the Chairman of AU amongst others which Kayode listed to discuss and bring the terms of the exit to the attention of the Liberian leader.

Aside from the erroneous blaming of President Sirleaf which logic has exposed as a calculated falsification of history with malice, the revelation by Kayode is a telling insider’s account of how the master con artist was dealt in his own currency by the ageless maestro Baba and his boys, Kayode including.  Taylor in his times has lured and cajoled even President Carter, Jesse Jackson etc. to believe him only to be dumped and betrayed and killed countless of his allies, friends, comrades in arms, etc.; and says of peace accord that they were not ‘Bible’. Surely Taylor cannot now say Baba betrayed him given that betrayal is his motif; why the rush by Kayode to exonerate Nigeria when no one is accusing is worthy of note.

And of course the distilling irony of these intrigues which Taylor finds himself at the Hague is with the full knowledge that the United States is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court Rome Treaty or its hybrid Sierra Leone Special court, such a keen player like Nigeria would scheme to firstly criminalized Taylor stay in their country as the basis for his arrest.  It only crystallizes beyond all doubts that all Nigeria did was a façade, probably the original plan all along has been that at some point the terror of Mano River Basis, Charles Taylor, will be accountable for his deeds and the two months old unsettled Sirleaf regime was at the weakest time to act and so timing was crucial and calculated.

Nevertheless, as baseless and a net distraction as these accusations  are, what President Sirleaf and Liberians should yearns for includes the reconstruction of our homes, peace in the Mano River Basin and Ivory Coast, economic growth given we have attained full debt waiver and continuing growth of our democracy .  As to whether Charles Taylor is found guilty or not is immaterial to the destiny of Liberians and the role we are now playing in the comity of nations, for the evils that plague Liberia and the Mano River Basin from 1990-2003 as revealed by the Sierra Leone TRC, the Trail of Charles Taylor, and the Liberian TRC points at all times to the prominent roles by this man. 

Fortunately, unlike Kayode, there are millions of Liberians who can sleep sound in bed knowing that Charles Taylor is nowhere around to unleash his terror.

There is an unprecedented growth in all sector of Liberia, and most important of all is that for once peace is entrenching in the Mano River Basin, we are returning to a time when cross border trade strives as oppose to the Taylor era when armed, drugged youths wrecked havoc across borders.

And this is what is important to us; we do not care how he got to The Hague, for who knows how he came?  What we care and know is that it was not the deeds of our dynamic President and these accusations are just careless because in the end he revealed that it was his government and cabinet that consummated the handing over of Taylor.

As I witness Charles Taylor in The Hague on television, I still see in him that iron determination to return home one day.  He participates vigorously in his defense, spelling names of people and places amongst others and that hope must be defeated for there is no part of his body that seeks peace for Liberians.

Let those like the John T. Richardson who led the bloody assault on Monrovia in 1992, coded, ‘Octopus’ who have been emboldened by the Kayode take cue that at this stage when Liberians have seen what peace entails their dreams for a return to Gbarnga is simply an exercise in futility.

In the end, it was not President Sirleaf ; Charles Taylor at The Hague represent his own machinations against peace; and whenever I see him, unlike Kayode, I see a man who betrayed a whole generation of Liberians and smashed their youthful lives into tartars and a man who must be truthful and show remorse to the Mano River Basin people.

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