Whoever had thought that former first lady and current Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, Jewel Howard Taylor, would suffer in silence in her present situation, may have to reexamine his or her check again before taking it to the bank, because the woman whose husband became President for this country for six years straight from fighting a bloody guerrilla war in the bush, does not take things lying down.
Mrs Taylor has put her complaints on the table, outlining the issues one by one, and is prepared to face those responsible for her current dilemma that has taken her to seclusion, as she details in her recent communication to the Liberian Senate that she supervises as President.
Jewel writes: “Last year, I had the privilege to meet with members of the Liberian Senate to inform them of the difficulties I was undergoing with some members of the Executive Branch; as it related to budgetary support for my office and the need for their intervention.”
According to her, it was agreed that they would have intervened and that things would have been better. But Vice President Taylor says she had patiently waited without any word, and the situation has not improved.
“I am saddened to inform you, as elders of our Nation, that the situation remains that bills due my office from 2018-2019 are still not paid and the operational expenses which I needed for the effective running or functioning of my office (Office of the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia), during 2018 – 2019 and 2019 – 2020 budget years have not been paid”, she asserts.
The standard bearer of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) laments that the situation has left her without proper security arrangements for her safe movements and without the ability to provide necessities for her office.She further details that currently, the security vehicles, including two bullet-proof vehicles, needed for her movements have still not been provided to her detail.
“As a result, I have been unable to leave my home over the past 3 weeks. I am therefore, constrained to inform this Honorable body that due to the constraints described, I am unable to attend to my duties during this opening of the 3rd Session of the 54Th National Legislature 2020; until these constraints are attended to.”
She is optimistic that the communication will claim the senate immediate attention and intervention, emphasizing that she was duly voted into office and should be empowered to perform her duties, just as other officials and public offices are being regularly supported, noting that if such situation continues to exists, it behooves to inform the Liberian Senate.
Public attention grew here Monday, 14 January when President Weah addressed members of both the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate in joint session for formal opening of the 3rd session of the 54th Legislature without the presence of the Vice President.
Both leaders have been far apart at official public functions in the past two years of the administration with President Weah being on record of frowning at Mrs. Taylor for making excess travels abroad without his knowledge amid unauthenticated rumors that the former First Lady has ambition to become President of Liberia.
At the close of 2019, Vice President Taylor publicly complained over decision by the Executive to grossly slice her budget for the fiscal period.
A woman with two master’s degrees besides a law degree is well educated and very abreast of the workings of the public sector, having served twice as a senator in the previous administration before her ascendency as Vice President of the Republic. By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Editing by Jonathan Browne