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)
New Delhi, Jul 6 (PTI) The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) today came up with a strong riposte to the Committee of Administrators’ (CoA) threat of de-recognising the Tamil Nadu Premier League and slammed the Vinod Rai-led panel for “showing utter disregard for livelihood of players”. The CoA yesterday issued an advisory in which it warned TNCA from allowing players from other states to take part in the TNPL starting July 11, stating that it violates article 28 (b) of the existing constitution. The TNCA, after its meeting today, sent a strongly-worded letter written by their joint secretary RI Palani. “We had informed the acting president and the acting secretary of the BCCI about TNPL. Why is the CoA unnecessarily interfering, only they know. TNPL is being organised for three years now,” a TNCA official told PTI on conditions of anonymity. The rules for the Inter-State T20 leagues were passed on July 3 and TNCA’s draft for outstation players was scheduled on July 4. Many believe that if the CoA had right intentions, it would have actually given enough time to TNCA to withdraw the draft process. Instead, the committee chose to wait till the TNCA completed its draft process and then fired a salvo, threatening to disband the tournament. However, it is not known whether the CoA had kept Star Sports, who are the official broadcasters for the event in the loop. Star also holds the rights for India’s international games at home. The letter sent by Palani makes it clear that the TNCA is in no mood to bow down to the CoA’s diktat.advertisement Palani, in fact, made a valid point about how the likes of Unmukt Chand, Sheldon Jackson would be able to earn a livelihood. These are not sought-after players in the Indian Premier League. “The advisory exhibit a complete and utter disregard of the interests of players who would be deprived of an opportunity to earn a living and would perhaps lose a valuable opportunity to showcase their talents to the world, Palani wrote in his letter. The TNCA joint secretary also said that never has there been a precedence of seeking permission for a state level tournament. Having an outstation player to take part in various club leagues with the go-ahead from his home state, too, has never been an issue. “The regulations of the BCCI provide that members of BCCI are not required to seek approval for conducting tournaments within its territorial jurisdiction unless the tournament involves players from outside such jurisdiction.” “We have indicated several instances, in our earlier letters, of players representing one member for BCCI Tournaments and the same players participating in tournaments organized by other members provided that the members inter se had no objection. BCCI’s approval was never required or sought in any of those instances.” Desperate to not get caught in the crossfire between the CoA and TNCA, it will be interesting to see what the respective players and their state associations do in the coming days. PTI KHS KHS AHAH
OTTAWA – Longtime MP Tony Clement has resigned from the Conservative shadow cabinet after he shared explicit sexual images and a video of himself electronically.Clement says the images were sent in the last three weeks and he believed they were going to a “consenting female.”However he now says the person was trying to extort him and he has asked the RCMP to investigate.“I recognize now that I have gone down a wrong path and have exercised very poor judgment,” Clement said in a statement Tuesday.Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer said he has appointed Lisa Raitt to take over for Clement as the justice critic for now.“While I’m greatly disappointed with Mr. Clement’s actions, I am encouraged that he has decided to seek help and I wish him all the best in doing so,” Scheer said.The RCMP confirmed it had received information from Clement and was currently investigating the matter, but did not comment further.Clement is resigning his committee roles as well, but will stay in the Conservative caucus.Clement, 57, has been one of the pillars of the Conservative caucus for more than a decade, and before that was a senior member of the provincial party in Ontario.He was a cabinet minister for the entirety of Stephen Harper’s near-decade long tenure as prime minister, and was a cabinet minister at the provincial level before that.He says he is sorry to his family, his party and his constituents for his behaviour.“I am committed to seeking the help and treatment I need in my personal life to make sure this will not happen again while also continuing to discharge my duties as a Member of Parliament,” he wrote.Clement was twice a candidate for the federal party leadership and also ran for the provincial Tory leadership in Ontario once. He dropped out of the most recent leadership contest early on and endorsed Maxime Bernier.Clement is one of the most recognizable MPs as well as one of the heaviest users of social media. He is a frequent poster on Twitter. It has occasionally landed him in trouble before, including when he had to apologize after cursing at a 15-year-old on the platform.He is married to lawyer and author Lynne Golding.