Since the announcement by the Minister of Information alluding to the disappearance of billions of Liberian dollar banknotes and the subsequent announcement of the invitation extended to US Federal Reserve to assist in the investigation, virtually little or nothing has been heard of the outcomes of the investigation.This newspaper in its October 17, 2018 editorial called on the Americans involved with the investigation to release their preliminary findings to give the public a clear picture of what has so far been uncovered. The investigation into the missing billions as well as that involving the said infusion of 25m US dollars commenced since over a month ago. The public, as a result, has been left to speculate which has given rise to conjectures of a conspiracy of theft involving top officials including possibly President Weah himself.Like his predecessor, President Sirleaf, President George Weah did declare an unflinching war against corruption, declaring now was the time for public officials to work in the interest of the Liberian people. But, from all appearances, President Weah, just like his predecessor, was playing to the galley, making promises which they had no intention of keeping.The first real test to President Weah’s resolve came with the submission of a report which he had commissioned on the allegations of bribery of former officials involved in negotiations of the ExxonMobil concession agreement. Since his “Special Presidential Committee” submitted its report recommending restitution of the monies paid to those officials by ExxonMobil, President Weah has since failed to act on the recommendations.Similarly has his reaction been to the missing billions and the US$25 million infusion money. Rather than providing coherent explanations on the missing billions and the US$25 million infusion, officials, it appears, have been hard at work trying to exact a pound of flesh from journalist Philipbert Browne, who initially broke the story of the missing money.Interestingly, the Minister of Information Eugene Nagbe did confirm the story that money went missing just as the Minister of Finance did also but in a series of twists and turns flip-flopping, denying in one breath that any money got missing and yet in another breath, admitting that money did go missing. But as if that debacle was not enough, another was to soon rear its head and that involved the Managing Director of the National Housing Authority, Duannah Siryon.Mr. Siryon’s voice could be clearly heard on a tape recording discussing the solicitation of bribery from a Burkinabé businessman. Several government officials are said to be linked to the bribery deal. And of course all the unsavory details of the deal have been released and posted on social media. Needless to mention, this deal has also claimed the attention of the public and there has been no shortage of suggestions from the public linking our beloved President Weah to this latest scam.This newspaper strongly urges President Weah to step back for a moment and reflect on what has brought us as a nation to where we are today. Officials of his government are behaving as if there is no tomorrow or that there are no lessons learnt from our past as a nation and people that brought to an inglorious end to a 100-yr old oligarchy, a fascist military dictatorship and a bloody civilian cum fascist military dictatorship.The freedoms or whatever little of it being enjoyed by Liberians today was attained through the blood, sweat, tears and suffering of the people with a high cost in lives. The Liberian people as such will never surrender their hard earned rights and freedom to the likes of Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee who, by his actions and utterances, is clearly doing more harm than good to the image of the George Weah led government and to the public interest.In all this, President Weah must be told or be made to hear the truth. The Liberian people elected him not only because they love him so dearly but because he gave them a lot of reasons to hope and believe that he can fix the problems of the country. It cannot be done by coercing public servants and officials to swear or declare allegiance to the CDC as is currently being done in government institutions.President Weah’s officials appear not to realize that, even if the entire country were to fill in CDC party membership forms and became members of the CDC, the problems of the country would not just disappear. This newspaper recalls the history of the National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL) and how it attempted to foist itself on the Liberian people through outright coercion, thuggery and naked oppression.This newspaper recalls the notorious NDPL Task Force marauding around Monrovia and beating up people. This newspaper also recalls the notorious Charles Taylor, NPFL thugs and their chants “anybody that say they don’t like Ghankay, we will treat you like a dog!” The Liberian people nevertheless endured and they are here. But where are they now who once threatened to treat people like dogs? Gone as though they were never ever here!President Weah should take a cue from this. History will judge him very harshly and treat him very unkindly should he continue along this trajectory. His officials are clearly misleading him on so many scores and he has to be able to recognize that. He must take charge and lead and not be led instead. Let him visit Bentol and Gbalatuah and see once luxurious palaces now being vigorously reclaimed by nature.Better still, let President Weah visit Tuzon and Arthington and see the homes of Presidents Doe and Taylor (respectively) and reflect. Like them, his slew of ongoing construction projects could befall a similar fate somewhere down the road and he, too, could be visited by the same troubles our leaders always inflict on themselves by virtue of their power, arrogance and unbridled greed.But President Weah can avoid such a fate. He must take charge, lead by example and let others follow. Should he however fail to take charge and lead, others will likely take charge and lead him to an unknown and undesired fate.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Photo Attribution:Emily NielsenI believe the kids these days refer to it as “stacking paper” and Gundy is about to be doing a lot of it.Bill Haisten reported late on Sunday that contract negotiations were underway between Jimmy Sexton (Gundy’s representation) and Oklahoma State for a revised contract (Haisten pointed out he’s currently in year three of a seven year deal that pays significantly less than Travis Ford’s deal.To me that’s where most of Gundy’s leverage lies. He can point to Gene Chizik and his one conference championship and laugh at the $3.5M he’s making. Or he can curve his visor towards Norman and peer in at the $4.08 Bob Stoops is being paid to finish in the top five of the Big 12. But all he really needs to do is jerk his thumb a few hundred yards to the east and ask, “how much am I worth compared to that guy?”Ford is in year three of a ten year deal that pays him, on average, $2.03M per year to coach what has been, at best, a mediocre basketball team. Gundy’s current salary says that he is paid $2.1M per year.The most staggering stat in that Haisten article is that home revenue for each football game has increased from $1.2M in 2005 to $3.2M this year, a 166% increase over that time. Obviously that has as much to do with Dez and Zac and Weeden and Blackmon as it has to do with the head ball coach, but just like somebody has to be the fall guy when things go badly, somebody has to get the credit when things go well.College football’s upper echelon pay for head coaches is basically broken down into these three tiers.The $4.5M+ RangeMack Brown – $5.1MNick Saban – $4.8MThe $3.5M to $4M RangeBob Stoops – $4.08MLes Miles – $3.89MKirk Ferentz – $3.79MBobby Petrino – $3.64MGene Chizik – $3.5MThe $2.5M to $3.5M RangeBrady Hoke – $3.25MWill Muschamp – $3.22MMark Richt – $2.94MSteve Spurrier – $2.83M (not sure what the Augusta membership is worth)Chip Kelly – $2.8MBo Pelini – $2.78MJimbo Fisher – $2.75MGary Pinkel – $2.7MBret Bielema – $2.6MDan Mullen – $2.5MThen it falls off and you start getting into coaches who run the option and all kinds of weird stuff.So where does Gundy fit in? It’s pretty hard to imagine little ‘ol #12 making more money coaching college football than Mark Richt and Steve Spurrier but it’s probably about to happen.He has more wins than Farentz over the last the last five years, the same number of conference titles as Richt and Spurrier combined (1-1), and is 4-2 against coaches on this list since the beginning of last year.He has become a premier coach in a big-time conference at one of the most unlikely destinations in the nation.I think he probably falls at the top of list #3 in the $3.25M range because, let’s face it, this ain’t the SEC where the money flows like corruption from the mouth of Craig James. Boone’s money comes when Boone’s money comes, but you have to operate within the budgeted framework you were handed at the beginning of the year.That’s one of the more fascinating things to me too. What is Boone’s role in all of this? Is he backing up the Brink’s truck to Gundy’s house off of Range Road? Is he texting Holder cryptic things like “that pond on #12 at Karsten sure is deep, Mike. Do the right thing xoxoxo”? Is he involved at all? Does he want to be involved all?If I could step foot inside the situation for just a moment, I would want to know if Boone is there and what he’s doing.It’s mildly troublesome that nothing has been inked and finalized yet, especially with Haisten reporting that Gundy wanted something done by the time bowl practice starts tomorrow. As the good fellas over at Cowboys Ride For Free pointed out today though, Holder has inexplicably backed himself into a corner that he didn’t need to go to and because of that (and the fact that he just took the Big 12 away from the Texas/OU juggernaut for the first time since 2003) Gundy will get what he deserves.He might not get what somebody else in his position would get (because he loses leverage when he says things like “New York Yankees” and “I only want to coach 15 more years“) but I’m also not sure he really cares about what other people want.The thing about Gundy from day 1 of his tenure at OSU has been that he’s never said “hey Texas is doing this, we should too” or “hmm USC does things this way, I think I’m going to start that.” He has very much built a culture that he (and OSU) can call his own.One that has been curated and crafted into a cashflowing extravaganza disguised as an amateur athletics operation.He knows this.Holder knows this.Boone knows this.We know this.Just pay the man his money.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!