Former PUL Leaders Want Boakai Respond To Bribery Allegations

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Two former leaders of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) resident in the United States have raised serious concerns over allegations of bribery implicating President-elect Joseph N. Boakai and the newly-elected leaders of the National Legislature of Liberia. In a press statement, Messrs Gabriel I.H. Williams and Emmanuel D. Abalo stated that media reports regarding political graft and corruption implicating the President-elect, as well as the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, J. Fonati Koffa, and the new President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate, Madam Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, raise significant concerns about the integrity of those who are leading the incoming government. According to the two journalists, who are advocate for transparency and accountability in governance, Liberians have the right to demand transparency from their leaders, who were elected upon publicly pledging to be accountable. Therefore, the former PUL leaders noted, it is incumbent upon President-Elect Boakai to provide explanations regarding the source of funds he used for the donation of rice and cash to tanker explosion victims in Bong County, as well as conflicting information emanating from his recent meeting with newly elected legislators, from which there have been allegations of bribery.  We also call on Speaker Koffa and President Pro-Tempore Karnga-Lawrence to provide explanations to the Liberian people regarding allegations that they were involved in bribery to win elections for their respective positions.  This is to warn the incoming Boakai administration that Liberians did not get rid of the government of President George M. Weah for rampant corruption and gross inefficiency simply to end up with another government that would be unaccountable to the people. Liberians did not elect President Boakai as an opportunity for a new group to take power to continue the plunder of the country. This is why we believe that a clear and transparent communication is necessary to dispel any doubts and uphold the principles of accountability, which have long continued to elude governance and performance of Liberian public officials.

To ensure a fair and just government, it is recommended that an independent investigation be conducted, and results publicized to fully dispel the allegations of “bribery and financial irregularities” within the Liberian Legislature and the incoming Boakai administration. This will not only help in establishing the facts but also demonstrate the commitment of the new administration to combating corruption and upholding the rule of law. Additionally, we call on the United States, Liberia’s closest traditional ally, to support calls of the Liberian people for a comprehensive audit of the National Legislature, as well as for the setting up of a war and economic crimes court for Liberia during the Boakai administration. The culture of impunity would only end when Liberian officials realize that there are serious consequences for abuse of the power or responsibility entrusted to them. We are constrained to seek the assistance of a foreign power to protect our country and our people because Liberian leaders have mostly proven to be incapable custodians of the public trust, looting the national resources and murdering citizens who would dare to challenge their diabolical activities. Recent U.S. sanctions against several senior officials of the Liberian government, who are close associates of President Weah, exemplify a dysfunctional political culture that has undermined the progress and stability of our country. We believe that transparency fosters trust between the government and its citizens, and it is crucial for the President-elect to uphold this principle as a cornerstone of responsible governance. Ultimately, a commitment to transparency, coupled with a thorough investigation into alleged corruption, will contribute to the establishment of a government that operates with integrity and accountability, meeting the expectations of the Liberian people. On the other hand, if the new President appoints incompetent loyalists and sycophants who are pursuing their selfish interests instead of individuals with the proven competence and integrity to serve the public good, then the idea of rescuing the country would be nothing more than a mere political slogan.

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