Ebola 4: Corruption and incompetence at the top led to tragedy

The current Liberian government, headed by Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, seems to have indirectly contributed to the spread of ebola, milking foreign donors for money and pocketing the help instead of investing in prevention. When newspapers started to report it, adding rumours about an alleged attempt at installing a new, more competent government, local police stepped in.

The latest ebola "victim" may be the local newspapers, at least one: National Chronicle of Liberia, which was the source for my stories of what life under ebola really looks like. Below are their latest hurried dispatches, before the police attacked their office and pulled them from the newspaper's wesite.  They seem to be gone there by now, see their current website.

[Update: as of 21 AUG 2014, they are again visible. Other newspapers' "state of emergency" official proclamations are gone, however]

I cannot vouch for their veracity at all, but they tie in with independent reports of dumped bodies in the streets, hasty unsafe burials in the swamps, the lack of basic PPE tools, like gloves or suits, mismanagement, stolen funds, blocked accounts, of which I have written here before.

Read this frank USAID report:

A damning USAID report into institutionalised corruption and ‘ghost workers’ has been widely ignored since it was leaked in late March

The report draws devastating conclusions about the deep roots of corruption and blames public servants 'at all levels'. Revelations include a statement that 4,100 schools do not exist, though each has multiple ghost teachers, while 9,000 employees were suddenly added to the Education Ministry's payroll just before the 2011 elections. The Ministry is only the worst affected of several government departments, according to the 118-page report, written for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) by Washington consultancy firm Chemonics International.


This report is now published in full here.

Here is a witness report of another local newspaper  of an attack of Liberian police forces on the editorial office of NCL:

Scores of police officers Thursday, August 14, barricaded the National Chronicle newspaper offices on Carey Street in pursuit of the paper’s managing editor, Philipbert Browne.

Mr. Browne is being pursued for several articles the paper has been running of late, particularly relative to the alleged formation of an interim government to unseat President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
During that period, he explained, Browne and other employees were allowed to walk out of their office based on the intervention of Montserrado County Representative Solomon George.

“We came out and walked towards the Heritage Newspaper offices up on Carey and Broad Streets. As we were walking, the police followed us and shot teargas canisters amongst us. We were terrified and fought for survival. Unfortunately, two of our colleagues Emmanuel Messah, editor, and Emmanuel Logan, web designer, were arrested and taken to an unknown destination. As we speak, we don’t know their whereabouts.” [Source

The government confirmed it.
The national security apparatus including the Liberia National Police has drawn the urgent attention of the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism to ongoing investigations necessitated by at least no publications of the National Chronicle Newspaper in which it is claimed that the democratic order and consolidation processes of the country are being torpedoed and reversed by means not provided for by the Liberian Constitution in the summary replacement of the administration of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf by a transitional administration.
Below are these censored articles, archived by me on Archive.today. Bolding is mine.

The office of vice-president of Liberia issued a denial via Radio Monrovia, which I also quote in full below.

11.08.2014 | 19:44 PM
From the genesis of the spread of the Ebola virus, allegedly coming out of Guinea and Sierra Leona via the Liberian boarders, especially through Lofa, many Liberians doubted the news of the Ebola outbreak and took it for the usual government “4-1-9” tactic [that is: tricking the muzunga, rich white Westerners, Nigerian scam] to extract money from the international donor community. Unlike Guinea and Sierra Leone, which have tribes that eat fruit bats, their tribal delicacy, Liberians rarely eat fruit bats but will not cook a decent meal without adding a drop of bush meat to spice up the soup; reports Emmanuel Mensah.
As of now, Liberia has become the worst case of the disease, compared to Guinea and Sierra Leone, where the deadly Ebola virus allegedly started. Report suggests that, to a large extend, Guinea and Sierra Leone have contained the virus, down to a minimum of few new cases, but Liberia has stepped up its Ebola game by 33% (thirty three percent), with close to 50 (fifty) health workers dead owing to poor governance due to a corrupt regime.
   Simple things like chlorine and protective gears to keep the health workers safe and their environment clean were non-existent. Low salaries, no insurance and the necessary benefits, which are supposed to go along with a state of national emergency, are non-existent, to the point where a domino-effect has hit health centers, which are closing their doors to the public out of fear for their own wellbeing.
   The huge death count in Liberia may not all be of Ebola, but the refusal of health workers to attend to patients of other health causes, in order to safeguard their own wellbeing due to the lack of incentives. This is a case for sober reflection.
   The documented evidence that state-owned enterprises (SOE) are providing funding to the same corrupt government officials under the disguise of an Ebola taskforce, for the fight against the disease, with the funds being converted to their private use, is a new case for timely government intervention.
   The President of Liberia is also on record as saying that she will use the military and other state security forces to quarantine places indicated by the Ministry of Health as the most affected by the Ebola virus. True to her nation-wide broadcast, the military has quarantine Lofa, Bong, Cape Mount and Bomi counties, but while the military vehicles drove in, the health and social workers who should have been a part of the convoy were non-existent.
   Liberia is an extremely rich country, but its inhabitants live far below the poverty line, owing to poor governance and corrupt officials. The international index shows that Liberians live below one US dollar a day, which suggests that obtaining food is one day at the time. The absence of government-provided food rations for areas quarantined has subjected those areas to hunger and may cause more death by starvation. With the affected areas, quarantined by the military, without food, the pronouncement by the President of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, to the Liberian people is only lip-service to invoke the international community’s sympathy and attention, which has vanished owing to poor governance and corrupt government officials.
   According to information reaching the National Chronicle, as of Friday, August 8, 2014 the government had not secured the US$5 million (five million United States dollars) which the President pledged toward the fight against Ebola. As of Friday, August 8, 2014 the government was still trying to secure a loan from the Central bank of Liberia. It was also reported that the Minister of Finance has given the Minister of Defense US$1 million (one million United States dollars) for the deployment of AFL soldiers at various quarantined centers.
   According to news coming out of the United States, a Liberian, Ms. Aminata Salimata Barry, the sister of NSA Assistant Director, Alieu Bah, boarded the S.N. Brussels Airway from Roberts International Airport (RIA), which transited through Sierra Leone via Brussels Airport to John F. Kennedy International Airport, USA. 
   During the flight, Ms. Aminata Salimata Barry interacted with a Sierra Leonean national, Ms. Rolanda Andrza Macauley, suspected of being an Ebola patient. The two ladies, having been tested positive for Ebola at the JFK Airport, were denied entry into the United States and turned over to the authorities of S.N. Brussels Airways. Upon arrival, Ms. Aminata Salimata Barry will be turned over to health workers to be cared for.         
Liberia ebola donor funds: Suspiciously round numbers

     According to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW), up to August 4 the cumulative total of suspected, probable and confirmed cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Liberia was 508, including an updated total of 137 confirmed cases. The cumulative total of deaths stood at 271, including 122 confirmed Ebola-related deaths. At the time of reporting, no new figures had been received. 
    The Minister of Internal Affairs, who is the co-chair of the National Task Force on Ebola, met with all county superintendents to brief them on the roadmap for the eradication and containment of Ebola in the country.  He assured the officials of regular guidance and support from the government, and solicited their leadership to complement the effort of the Ministry of Health at sub-national levels to ensure that state authority is present and responsive to the needs of the local population. The meeting concluded on the need for the south-east of Liberia to be protected at all costs from the virus. 
[National Chronicle]

An awareness campaign initiated by a private citizen against the deadly Ebola virus has been undermined by the district commissioner of Bopulu, Olu Nagbe.  This is not the first time that Nagbe has undermined genuine initiatives undertaken by citizens of his controlled area. Some police officers who spoke to the National Chronicle on condition of anonymity accused him of interfering with police matters. “We have already complained him to police authorities in the county,” a young police officer in his 20s told this writer.
   Nagbe covertly exhibited his anti-development campaign last week during an Ebola awareness exercise initiated by a resident of Henry Town, in collaboration with health authorities and UNMIL in the county. Henry Town is a gold-rich and densely populated community in Gbarpolu County. Residents of the area are of different nationalities, mainly from Guinea and Sierra Leone.
   Ben Morris, who initiated the Ebola awareness campaign, told reporters that though there has been no reported outbreak in Gbarpolu County, it was important to start early awareness to get citizens prepared for any eventuality.
   “It will be really disastrous if this disease reaches here because the gold mine is so populated with a lot of Guineans and Sierra Leoneans. I am afraid, and we must join hands with the government to create awareness,” Morris said in an interview with newsmen.
   During the awareness, residents of Henry Town, especially the gold mine area, attempted to put up resistance on ground that they had earlier been informed that people were coming from Monrovia to spray them with a certain chemical. Following a series of clarification from the team, the residents finally yielded and assembled for the awareness exercise.
   However during the exercise, there were rumors of a plan by commissioner, Olu Nagbe, and others to institute a lawsuit against the main sponsor of the Ebola awareness campaign in Henry Town (who incidentally happens to be the owner of the gold mine), Ben Morris.
   According to information gathered by this paper, Morris and an occupant of the gold mine had been locked up in confrontation over a business center. Morris reportedly shut down the business center following the dismissal of its proprietor a few months ago.
   Dissatisfied with the development, commissioner Nagbe reportedly connived with the owner of the business center to institute a lawsuit against Ben Morris. Some residents who spoke to this paper accused commissioner Nagbe of constantly disrupting meaningful ventures within the area. They informed journalists that the commissioner had vowed to disrupt attempt by anyone or a group of people who may conduct Ebola awareness in Henry Town.
   At the climax of the awareness campaign, the allegation against Nagbe came to fruition when a police officer, accompanied by a sheriff from the Sixteenth Judiciary Circut Court, Bopolu, arrived and served a writ of arrest on Ben Morris.
   The situation led an abrupt halt to the Ebola awareness initiative launched by Morris. “Why will the commissioner continue to do this to us? This man has undermined a series of development programs without any justification. I think he can no longer serve in this position,” Fahma Swaray, a fifty-three year-old gold miner said with displeasure.
   When contacted at the Sixteenth judicial Circuit Court, Bopolu, where Morris had been arranged, the district commissioner; entering in a hurry, promised to provide clarification on the allegation, but did not do so.
   Meanwhile, continuation of the awareness remained halted while Morris faces the court for hearing today.

[source: National Chronicle]

11.08.2014 | 17:16 PM
Too many negative things are happening in the international community concerning the huge level of corruption and misrule, bordering particularly on Africa’s first female President, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her hand-chosen cabinet, who are predominately American citizens.
Apparently, the political arena has shifted from the terrain of one of Africa’s oldest political guru, and the political game to determine the fate of Liberia is now being played behind President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
   The Chronicle’s investigation suggests that the West is fed-up with the plundering of international donor money, which cannot be accounted for. The British press is now describing Monrovia as a ram-shacked capital, while the UK government is now asking what has happened to the development money. Owing to this, it has become the predominant view among the international players that the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf regime is extremely corrupt and it is time to go. The international community is also shocked at the non-existence of development in Liberia, which is shocking to everyone.
   Apparently, all the players in the G-8, Paris Club and other international financial institutions that were instrumental in clearing Liberia’s debts, due to the fact that the United States government played the pivotal role in the cancellation of Liberia’s debts, have now left the moral responsibility with the United States to take the necessary steps to bring sanity to the Sirleaf government and prevent another round of civil war.
    In many ways, the international community have tried to get to President Sirleaf through the UN Mission in Liberia and the United States embassy accredited to Monrovia. For a long time now, the Sirleaf government has been put on notice by the two international institutions.
   In so many ways and so many words, the international community, through their institutions on the ground, have said to the Sirleaf government that the same vices which led to the Liberian civil war, which killed close to 250,000 (two hundred fifty thousand) innocent Liberians, are still prevalent in Liberia.           They have spoken in the loudest about spending outside of the budget, the lack of political will to fight corruption, have renewed the United States Executive Order on Liberia (which was first placed on Charles Taylor), and threatened not to give corrupt government officials US visas.
   In their settings, government officials laughed at the US embassy’s pronouncement and wondered who needs an American visa when they are all American citizens. But little did they know that the US government was about to up their game and take positive steps to protect Liberia’s infant democracy.
    Of late, with the traveling restrictions placed on the Unity Party (UP), it has been learned that the United States government was to address themselves to this development through their ambassador accredited to Monrovia. It has been further learned that the American ambassador was summered to the Executive Mansion by President Sirleaf to give reason why Liberian government officials were being prevented from entering the United States.
   Despite the cheers and optimism that President Sirleaf was very close to the Americans and she would find a remedy to the travel restrictions now placed on her government, it is alleged that the US ambassador told her that the restrictions were out of her jurisdiction: they were with another department, within the State Department. It has also been alleged that the NPFL strong man, Thomas Woewiyu, has come up with a listing of those who bear the greatest responsibility for the carnage that took place in Liberia. According to information gathered by this medium, US ambassador-at-large, Stephen Rapp, is the head of the office of Global Criminal Justice, US State Department.
   Apparently, the poor boast of President Sirleaf that she will stay in power and turn over the office of the President to the one of her choosing is being dampened by the on-going reality of an interim government, allegedly sanctioned by the international community.
   According to the National Chronicle’s investigation, a group calling itself the Liberian Leadership Forum (LLF), allegedly sanctioned by Western powers and headed by Dr. James Teah Tarpeh, is to create an Interim Government of National Unity with a duration of two years and a mandate to clean up the mess caused by President Sirleaf and have free and fair election. It is also alleged that President Sirleaf has lost control of the government and, if nothing is done to put into place the necessary control system, the country will blow into flame through another civil uprising.
   When this paper contacted Dr. Tarpeh in the United States, around 11:50 a.m. local time, and he responded immediately. But from the tune of his voice, apparently the National Chronicle woke him up from his sleep. In his sleepy voice, he humbly requested that the paper called him back in two hours.
   When the National Chronicle finally caught up with Ambassador Tarpeh in the USA, via telephone, he denied being a part of, and the head of, the Liberian Leadership Forum (LLF). He said that, beside the Ebola outbreak, Liberia is faced with many challenges—rule of law, health delivery system, education, structural and infrastructural development and social welfare.
   He said July 26, 2014 made Liberia 167 years old, and “compared to Ghana, which is less than one third of Liberia’s age, what can we boast of”?
   He further noted that, after a civil war which claimed over 250,000 (two hundred fifty thousand) lives, there should have been a conference of national unity, where the best brains and the finest sons and daughter of Liberia would have come together, but that did not happen. He said that it is not about balancing the book, but because right now the country is in trouble.
After taking the National Chronicle in circles, Dr. Tarpeh finally let the cat out of the bag; he called for a national conference. He said that they are prevailing on President Sirleaf to call a national conference and support that endeavor.
   According to a highly placed source in the United States government, the idea of forming an interim government of national unity is high on their agenda, but there is no organization or individual in Liberia whom they can link with, who has the necessary credibility to push their agenda. PART 2 TOMORROW.

[source: National Chronicle]

12.08.2014 | 19:17 PM
--VP Boikai Allegedly Dumped Pres. Sirleaf In Washington
When former President Charles Taylor was about to exit the office of the presidency, two major and interesting things occurred: the US State Department changed its ambassador to Liberia and appointed John Bidney as its new ambassador accredited near Monrovia.
    Ambassador Bidney’s first stop was an acquaintance visit at the Ministry of Defense, where he met Minister Daniel Chea and higher-ups at the ministry. Minister Chea spoke of the constant attacks of rebels of the Liberia United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) and the seizure of US weapons from the rebels. The weapons were on display in the conference room. When Minister Chea finally concluded his speech, the US Ambassador spoke.
    “By way of introduction, my name is Ambassador John Bidney. I was the US Ambassador to South Africa during the abolition of Apartheid. I was the US Ambassador to Angola when Jonah Savimbe was killed. I was the US Ambassador to DR Congo when Laurent Kabila was killed. I wrote the sanction regime on Liberia, and now I am the US Ambassador accredited to Liberia.”
    After his brief introduction, the US Ambassador stood up, bided everyone farewell and was escorted to his vehicle by Minister Chea. The noisy crowd of lip-servants began to praise the Minister of Defense for giving it to the US Ambassador “hot”, but a large bang on the conference room table came from a silent assistant minister who shouted, “We are F@$k,” and the noise ceased. “Why did this man divulged all of this information?” The assistant minister inquired. “This man is simply here to get rid of our government.”
    The second thing that occurred was a visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to meet Minister Monie Captan. After his introduction, which was completely different from that of the Ministry of Defense, he requested an audience with the President of the Republic of Liberia, Mr. Charles G. Taylor, in the presence of his wife, Mrs. Jewel Howard-Taylor, to deliver a special message from the President of the United States, George W. Bush.
    When the appointment was made and date concluded, Minister Captan would usher ambassador Bidney into the office of the President of Liberia, where he and his wife were seated in anticipation of President Bush’s message. Minister Captan, after ushering ambassador Bidney into the office and greetings and pleasantries made, excused himself, leaving Ambassador Bidney to deliver his message.
    The message was short and simple: “President Bush wants you to step down from power.” After delivering his message, the ambassador excused himself and departed the company of Mr. and Mrs. Taylor. This message did not go down well with President Taylor, who thought he was invincible. Before the end of the day, President Bush’s private message had spread among Taylor’s fighters, who started to rain insults on the Americans and their leader. Unfortunately for President Taylor, President Bush had the last laugh when he reminded President Taylor, on his way out that he was not going to “take NO for an answer”.
    President Sirleaf, who played a pivotal role in undermining the Tolbert, Doe and Taylor regimes, and was a major supporter of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), LURD and Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL), all in the name of acquiring state power, would fall prey to the same vices that she advocated against, starting a civil war that would destroy an estimated 250,000 innocent Liberian souls.
    Like President William R. Tolbert, who prophesized his own death at the Providence Baptist Church during a revival on the eve of  the incident of April 12, 1980, when he was slaughtered like an animal, the President of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, has predicted her own death. Speaking to an array of publishers and media owners, in a sober and pitiful tone, the President of Liberia said, “I am now walking into my sunset and request that you people help this country, not for me but your children and future generations.” The pail and worried President, realizing the gravity of what she had said after every speaker used the phrase “walking into my sunset” (sunrise, birth; sunset, death), started to make a joke out of her utterance, but the message was clear.
    During his recent visit to the United States to represent President Sirleaf at the US Africa Forum, The Vice President of Liberia, Joseph Boakai, had a serious and frank discussion at the White House with President Barack Obama. According to information coming out of Washington, the Vice President denied knowledge of what is transpiring in the country and said in many words and ways that he is kept out of the loop of happenings in the country. He allegedly did not speak kindly of the Unity Party government and had similar dissenting views about the President of Liberia.
    The President of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, on Friday, August 8, 2014, received a telephone call from the President of the United States, Barack Obama. During the telephone conversation between the two presidents, the situation about the Ebola outbreak and other political matters, not meant for the public ears, were highlighted.
    A call from the most powerful man in the world, who has renewed the Executive Order on Liberia, officially instructing US Ambassador-At-large, Stephen Rapp, head of the office of Global Criminal Justice, US State Department, to proceed with the establishment of a war crimes court on Liberia, which has the financial blessing of the United States Government. It would not be limited to Ebola, but serious political issues. If the call was not that important, the US Ambassador accredited to Monrovia would have conveyed Pres. Obama’s message.
    Like it is said in the corridor of power in Liberia—Pres. Sirleaf does not keep her promises—it is said that the former US Ambassador accredited to Monrovia, who now sits at the African Desk in Washington, D.C., Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield, is no longer washing the back of the President. Words coming out of Washington speaks of the two bedfellows, who were “pissing under the same quilt” having parted ways, leaving a huge gap in the PR defense of one of Liberia’s worst and most corrupt regimes.
    Even though Ambassador James Teah Tarpeh, former Vice President for Administration, University of Liberia, under Dr. Mary Antoinette Brown Sherman, and now the head of the Liberia Leadership Forum (LLF), politically denied knowledge of the forum and the formation of an Interim Government of National Unity, word out of Washington suggests that Mr. John Morlu, former General Auditing Commission (GAC) boss, is the head of the secretariat of the forum. It was also said that these individuals have serious ears at the US State Department, which is desperately trying to find a way to address and solve the Liberia leadership problem.
    In simple terms, the President of the Republic of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has fallen from grace with Washington, and is now headed down the path of self-destruction. It is said that the President is very aware of her situation, but it is too late to repair the damage done to her regime.
    It was once said by the Lord Jesus Christ, who walked the path of this Earth, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his own soul?” PART 3 TOMORROW.

[source: National Chronicle]

13.08.2014 | 19:02 PM
The information gathering from multiple sources in and out of Washington, D.C. suggests that the United States government has given up on the huge level of corruption and misrule being carried out by the Sirleaf government. One of President Sirleaf’s contiguous friends, billionaire George Soros, complained about the huge sums of money brought into Liberia but which ends up in the accounts of government officials, while the Liberian people live in a state of desperation.
    No one can overemphasize the huge level of corruption and misrule perpetrated by President Sirleaf and her handpicked clique of US citizens. If one is to listen to callers participating on the various talk shows relating to national issues, those possessed by holding on to state power and acquiring ill-gotten wealth through criminal means, at the expense of the poor long-suffering Liberian people, should by now realize that it is time to peacefully relinquish state power before the nation blows up into flames, which is expected any day, any minute, any second.    
    Speaking to a cross-section of individuals from the United Nations, United States, European Union and other major international bodies and countries, the feeling is that Liberia is a pow[d]er cake. They believe it can blow up into another round of civil unrest if nothing immediate is done to curb the huge level of dissatisfaction and mistrust that currently exist among the overly burdened people.
    In a country which lives below the poverty belt, lower than a dollar a day and a single meal for one’s children to survive, unbelievably the President pays her chosen cronies from the US (who has made no relevant change in the lives and wellbeing of the Liberian people) between US$15,000 and US$25,000 (fifteen to twenty-five thousand United States dollars) per month. These figures exclude an expensive sports utility vehicle (SUV), gasoline allowance, housing allowance for the safest and most expensive neighborhoods, unlimited travelling allowances, incidental allowances and a huge entertainment budget. One would wonder why the Sirleaf officials are displaying wealth in a very deprived country with underprivileged people.
    As for the office of the President, former GAC boss is on record as saying that the annual budget is about US$35 million per annum. This budget alone can be compared to that of former President Charles Taylor’s national budget, and no one knows what the office of the President does with such a huge budget. In eight years and seven months of the ruling Unity Party (UP), with such a huge budget for the office of the President, her office has never been audited once; there is little or no knowledge of the expenditure pattern of the President’s office.
    It is on record that the Minister of Finance has constantly said that there is no budgetary shortfall. He has constantly said that, during his last two years as Minister of Finance, he has collected over US$1.2 billion (one billion two hundred million United States dollars), which should have been adequate to handle a national budget of about US$600 million (six hundred million United States dollars). Minister Konneh is abundantly clear that there is no budgetary shortfall, but the million-dollar question that persists is: where does the money go? Is it because the government spends hugely outside of the national budget, as claimed by the US ambassador?
    It has now become abundantly clear that the international community is pulling the rug from under the feet of one of Africa’s most corrupt regimes and, thereby, finding a way to ease the huge daily burden placed on the shoulders of Liberians. The issue is not if the President stays or goes, because it has become a foregone conclusion that Liberia will become far better without the corrupt Sirleaf regime. The real issue is: who will belt the cat?
    There are conflicting and confusing views coming out of Washington as to the formula being formed for the preservation of one of Africa’s most corrupt countries and regimes. One school of thought is that the President resigns, allowing her Vice President, Joseph Boakai, to take over the office of the presidency and chose a Vice President.
    The second school of thought is that the entire Unity Party government, including the National Legislature, departs the political stage and is replaced with respectable and trustworthy Liberians who can bring international credibility to the system. Owing to the second scenario, those who are being shortlisted are Dr. James Teah Tarpeh, Cllr. Charles Brumskine, and humanitarian and businessman, Benoni Urey.
    During the 2011 general and presidential elections, Vice President Boakai was promised by President Sirleaf: she would turn over power to him once the process was over. The predominant view expressed at the time was that the Vice President was not popular enough to stand on his own to campaign as the presidential aspirant for the Unity Party (UP).
    Playing very well the nominal role of a Vice President, Joseph Boakai has buried himself in the shadow of President Sirleaf, jumping to her every wish. The Vice President complains, often in secret and privately, about not having spending money, lacking gasoline to run the office of the Vice President, and normally kept in the dark when it comes to major financial transactions (deals) between the government and international multi-lateral institutions.
    Like President Sirleaf, the Vice President is seen in many quarters as a miser, a man who wants everything for himself and whose giving is very small. There is no way the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia can unblemished himself from the huge and high level of corruption and misrule being perpetrated by the Unity Party (UP) government.
    As Vice President, has he ever spoken about the plundering of Liberia’s natural resources? Has he spoken of the pocketing and misuse of proceeds generated from the extractive industry? Is he not aware that certain circles in the Unity Party government, which are close to the President, make over US$25,000 (twenty five thousand United States dollars) in salaries and benefits? Is he not partaking in the plundering of the nation’s resources, which should be for the wellbeing of every Liberian?
    As the sitting Vice President, who controls the Senate, is he not aware that about 80% (eighty percent) of the decision and policy-makers whom he lobbied for to get Senate confirmation, are predominantly United States citizens with little or no love and commitment to the government and the people of Liberia? Is the Vice President not aware that the Alien and Naturalization Laws is abundantly clear that there is no duo citizenship in Liberia, and once one takes on the citizenship of another country one automatically loses his Liberian citizenship? Is the Vice President not aware of this law and guilty of knowingly violating the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, which he swore before man and the Almighty God to uphold?
    Is the Vice President not knowledgeable that tax payers’ money is leaving the country in the millions for accounts in the United States? Is he not aware that government officials are engaged in money laundering through a local bank on Broad Street? Is he not aware that, to cover the money trail, money goes from that bank into a Sierra Leonean Bank, then to a bank in the Philippines, before it is sent to the State of Delaware and enters the intended accounts? Is the Vice President not aware that the United States government closed down the Liberian embassy’s account in Washington, D.C. for money laundering because there was just so much unjustified money? Is he not aware that US citizens working in Liberia who came out of impoverish neighborhoods have purchased cash-down new homes in expensive US neighborhoods?
    Can the Vice President exonerate himself from the vices of the Unity party government? When he does, he may have the chance to step-up and lead his people, but when his people needed him the most he was dancing “Garden Party” with the lives and prosperity of the nation and its people.
     So how can the Vice President, who is part and parcel of the huge trend of corruption in the country, replace President Sirleaf? It is like the Liberian adage that goes, “Jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.”
    Concerning the interim government, said to be under formation, it is highly suspected that Dr. Amos Sawyer, former interim president, may have his handwriting all over it. Presently, Dr. Sawyer is in the United States, where this whole plan is being formulated. Is it a coincidence, or is he one of the brains behind the plan?
    The relationship between Dr. Amos Sawyer and Dr. James Teah Tarpeh goes far back: Dr. Tarpeh was the vice president for administration, University of Liberia, during the seventies and eighties, under president Mary Antoinette Brown-Sherman. At that same period, Dr. Sawyer was dean of Liberia College and a professor of political science at the university.
    Cronies of the two have told the National Chronicle that the two men were very close friends, and are still very close friends. Therefore, if Dr. Tarpeh is deeply involved with this act, Dr. Sawyer cannot be on the periphery!
    The question being asked now is: are Cllr. Charles Brumskine and Benoni Urey qualified for such an endeavor? SEE NEXT EDITION AS THE CHRONICLE DELVES INTO THE ISSUE OF THE TWO MEN.

[Source: National Chronicle]

There was no "next editon". The reporters got teargassed and arrested, their office raided and these articles quickly pulled down from their website.

Controversial reporting is the first victim in any war. Even in a war on ebola.

And now, the governmental denial:

Monrovia, August 13, 2014- The Office of the Vice President of Liberia is categorically refuting false reports made by the National Chronicle Newspaper to the effect that Vice President Boakai distanced himself from the operations of the government and the running of the country by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

The National Chronicle, in its front page banner headline of Wednesday, August 13, 2014 edition, unprofessionally reported that Vice President Boakai held a secret meeting with United States President Barack Obama in Washington, DC, during the US-Africa Summit in Washington, at which the Vice President allegedly dumped President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in a discussion.

The Office of Vice President Boakai wishes to state clearly that at no time was there any secret meeting with President Obama. The Office hereby clarifies that the Vice President’s brief meeting with President Obama, similar to ones held with other leaders present, was not secret and did not feature any appraisal of performance of the Liberian Government or any other particular African Leadership.

Elaborating further, the Director of Media Affairs of the Office of the Vice President, Mr. George Saah, said that the United States President only showed solidarity and concern for Liberia in this tragic situation of the Ebola virus.

Director Saah revealed that President Obama only mentioned President Sirleaf when he lamented her inability to attend the Summit, noting that she would be missed. Mr. Saah said the US President extended his regards to President Sirleaf and then pledged the United States Government’s commitment to help with the Ebola situation in Liberia.

The Office of the Vice President strongly condemns yet another unprofessional conduct of the publishers of the National Chronicle, dismissing it as nakedly malicious and an assault on the cordial working relationship between the Vice President and the President of Liberia.

The Office notes with consternation this unethical move by the National Chronicle, an act that is fraught with the potential of distracting from the ongoing national crisis and intending only to undermine the Administration’s capacity to effectively direct the fight in this unfortunate state of emergency.

Media Director Saah said the Vice President will not yield to blackmail by a newspaper that appears to have taken on a vocation in publishing information which foments confusion, anxiety, apprehension, and distrust among the citizenry.

The Vice President’s Office is further reminding the National Chronicle that no one will succeed in sowing seeds of discord in this country, especially at this time when the nation is grappling with the outbreak of the Ebola virus which has reached national emergency proportions. The Office expresses profound gratitude to the Liberian public for holding together on this raging fight against Ebola.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Vice President is assuring that Honorable Joseph N. Boakai and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf have a good working relationship and no amount of blackmail, deception or actions intended to undermine it will prevail.

The Office notes with satisfaction that the superb manner in which the Vice President represented President Sirleaf and the Liberian people at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit has only further strengthened the long-lasting relationship between Liberia and the United States of America.


In the meantime, as alleged by the National Chronicle, the donors have stepped in:
UK And Japan Join Ebola Fight, Commit Additional 8.3 M And 1.5M to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea

Monrovia, Friday, August 15, 2014: The Government of the United Kingdom, through the Secretary of State for International Development, supported by the DFID Country Offices in Liberia and Sierra Leone has approved support for the Ebola Response plan valued at 8.3 Million United States Dollars (US$8.3M). This brings the UK total financial commitment in both countries to nearly US$10 million.

A Foreign Ministry release says the UK support is in response to the Regional Plan for Ebola Response for West Africa, including the Government of Liberia’s Ebola Action Plan; the Accelerated Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak Response Plan issued by the Government of Sierra Leone and the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Ebola Outbreak Immediate Response in West Africa.

The release indicated that following discussions with ministries and partners in both counties, the funds will be used to strengthen government coordination capacity in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and provide support to United Nations Agencies in their coordination and response to the crisis as well as increase the case management capacity in response to the growing caseload of infected patients.

According to the release, the support will help expand the coverage of community sensitization programmes, promote infection control measures, respond to water and sanitation needs, support surveillance and contact tracing and safe burial.

The Ministry disclosed that the support will provide public health experts and support core and emergency funds which shall be allocated as follows:

The amount of US$830,000 will be allotted to Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), which is providing the medical treatment or support in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, while US$415,000 will be used to boost MSF’s efforts to take over two health centers in Liberia previously run by Samaritans Purse.

Both the Liberian and Sierra Leonean Red Cross Societies will receive US$380,000 to assist the organizations provide communications and social mobilization, surveillance and contact tracing, and safe burial of victims of Ebola which is critical to further spread of the disease.

The amount of US$830,000 will also be used to surge urgently-needed personnel into UN operations in affected countries to ensure quality coordination and information management.

The release said the amount of US$1.5 million will go towards the reallocation of funding for existing health and water and sanitation projects in Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as central contributions to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (ECHO); while US$2 million goes to the WHO for targeted support to the Governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone for coordination and logistics and strengthening response systems.

The total of US$1.7 million will be spent on a consortium of non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) to provide communication sensitization surveillance, contacts tracing and monitoring while US$830,000 shall be spent by UNICEF for social mobilization, communication and protection.

Also, $830,000 will be given to the International Federation of the Red Cross to deploy a 20-person clinical team plus logistics staff and equipment to take over clinical care of Ebola patients at Kenema Hospital in the affected area in Sierra Leone.

The British Government says it will shortly commence programming discussions with implementing partners and assures the Governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone of its support and solidarity at this critical time.

In another development, the Government of Japan on Friday, August 15, 2014, extended an emergency grant aid of US$1.5M through WHO, UNICEF and the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) to support the Ebola outbreak response in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone respectively.

[Radio of Monrovia source

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