President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has rubbished claims in Monrovia that she was denied entry last week at the private residence of Central Bank Governor, Dr. J. Mills Jones in Greenville City, Sione County.
“That’s a rubbish,” President Sirleaf reacted at the Presidential Palace in Greenville during an interview with reporters at the end of days of assessment tour of projects being undertaken for the “July 26” 2015 Independence Day Celebration in the Southeast.
While touring Sinoe and Grand Kru Counties – southeast Liberia, rumor emerged in Monrovia from a local radio talk show at Truth 96.1 FM that President Sirleaf had allegedly been denied entrance at Dr. Jones’ residence while attempting to enter the premises.
Ahead of the 2017 Presidential elections, Dr. Jones, an appointed Central Bank Governor of President Sirleaf’s administration, has controversially been wrestling on the political stage over the years under the guise of “loaning” huge sums of cash to marketers, some of whom wear clothes with his photos, while others place his photos on their houses, in an apparent campaign style.
Governor Jones himself has not let the cat out of the bag yet, but there have been strong indications here that he may have his eyes set on the Presidency, and these initial overtures may be intended to prepare the grounds sufficiently before coming out.
However, given growing concerns of cash heavily being dished out to marketers by Governor Jones, the Legislature in 2014 amended the Act creating the Central Bank of Liberia or CBL, to limit and restrict present and future governors and their deputies from contesting elected offices while still at the CBL.
The amended Act further restricts current and future governors and their deputies from contesting elected offices until three consecutive years after the end of their tenure or resignation from the CBL.
Upon arrival in Sione’s capital Greenville, President Sirleaf said she saw a symbol around the City Hall with inscriptions: “Welcome to Dr. J. Mills Jones’ Residence.”
“I just drove in there and just turn around; I just drove in to see the house and come back,” the Liberian leader clarified, saying, it was complete rubbish for one to claim that she was denied entrance.
At the time the President’s convoy was leaving the Greenville City Hall to see Dr. Jone’s house, which is approximately less than ten minutes drive, reporters did not follow based on protocol’s instruction.
President Sirleaf clarified however on Friday, 15 May that she did not go to Dr. Jones’ house purposely to enter, but she tried to call him just to see the house and say thanks and come back.
“But that’s not true; I didn’t try to go in. I tried to call him and say thanks – you got a good house,” she said. By Winston W. Parley – Edited by Jonathan Brown