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EBOLA

pg9

ALARMING
INCREASE

pg 9

ENEMIES OF
LIBERIA
Urey Frowns of Sale

CENTRAL BANK OF LIBERIA


MARKET BUYING AND SELLING RATES
LIBERIAN DOLLARS PER US DOLLAR

49 NEW EBOLA CASES


IN CAPE MOUNT; GOL
WARNS TRAVELERS TO
BEWARE

of Oil Blocks

BUYING

FrontPage

L$82.00/US$1

L$83.00/US$1

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2014

L$82.00/US$1

L$83.00/US$1

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2014

L$82.00/US$1

L$83.00/US$1

SATURDAY,DECEMBER 20, 2014

These are indicative rates based on results of daily surveys of


the foreign exchange market in Monrovia and its environs. The
rates are collected from the Forex Bureaux and the commercials
banks. The rates are not set by the Central Bank of Liberia.
Source:
Research, Policy and Planning Department,
Central Bank Liberia,
Monrovia, Liberia

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MONDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2014

VOL 8 NO.750

SELLING

NEW FACES ON
THE BLOCK

WEAH, PYJ SCORE HIGH AS LIBERIA GETS 15 NEW LAWMAKERS

Cllr. Varney G. Sherman of the ruling Unity party and Grand Cape Mount
County won with a high percentage, 61.7% and Jonathan L. Kaipay of the
Liberty Party and Grand Bassa County also won with 57.4%.

Politics- pg.10,11,12

LIBER IA VOTES 2014 - YOUR GUIDE TO THE 2014 SENATOR IAL ELECTIONS

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HOW JEWEL
DID IT

DOING IT
ALONE
Brewerville Mayor Showcases

Development Initiatives
Your Vote is your Voice Vote your Nation & Vote Right

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Monday, December 29, 2014

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hanging in the balance and Sirleaf yet to publicly show her hand
to her preferred successor.
DOMESTIC GRADE: C
FOREIGN POLICY GRADE: BTHE CABINET

Monrovia Year dominated by the deadly Ebola outbreak resulted


in a complete collapse of the entire health system
brought Liberia to a momentary standstill and economic
and social activity to a halt. This, analyst say could lay
the basis for many poorly-performing government institutions to
make strong cases for the failure by state institutions to achieve
their deliverables during the year.
Prior to the outbreak, the World Bank in its prediction of growth
for the country anticipated that Liberia could have reached 5.9
growth rate creating high hopes that the country was on the right
trajectory of continuing the its recovery process, but it all turned
the wrong way when Ebola stepped in.
In early December the World Bank released a report indicating
that the economies of the three countries hit by the Ebola-Liberia,
Sierra Leone and Guinea, which had been growing rapidly in
recent years, even into the first half of 2014, would sink to negative
levels, as they continue to fight to eradicate the deadly EVD.
The World Bank Ghana country office in the report indicated that
estimates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2014 in Liberia
"have been revised sharply downward since pre-crisis estimates to
2.2 percent for Liberia, compared with the 5.9 percent pre-crisis
and 2.5 percent in October.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also warned that the
outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus is one of what it described as
several increasingly potent downside risks that threaten growth
in sub-Saharan Africa.
IMF stated that Ebola could have cost Liberia a decline in its
growth rate of about 3.25-3.5 stating that Liberia will see decline
growth rate to 2.5% in 2014.
Finance Minister Amara Konneh in August outlined the damaging
effects of Ebola on the economy of the post-war, ebola-hit nation:
"We are now working with the IMF on a new (economic) growth
projection and should have it by the end of August."
In his analysis of the impact of Ebola on Liberia, Konneh further said
Comparatively, last fiscal year July shows a strong performance
of 10 percent above target in terms of revenue collection for
the month while the current fiscal year underperformed by 6
percent compared to target. In previous year the last 7 days in
July contributed 11% of the total revenue collected for the month
while the current year shows just 8% contribution during the same
period. The slow pace in revenue collection has since continued
mainly due to the fear of Ebola.
Ebola might have caused so much harm to the economies of
Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea but even before the virus and
besides the numbers pronounced by international organizations
including the World Bank, IMF and others, the reality on the
ground in the country in terms of providing basic social services,
employment and improved standard of living and overall
development was still a burning issue.
As we zero in on the close of another year, FrontPageAfrica for
the eight year running presents the first in the series of assessments
looking at the various Liberian government ministries, agencies
and the national legislature in our annual grade sheet of those
trying to make it and those simply struggling to make an impact in
a nation haunted by an ugly past and still yearning for economic
and political sanity.
THE PRESIDENCY
Looking toward beginning 2014 on a high, President Ellen
Johnson-Sirleaf in her annual message to the national legislature
declared that Liberia had been stronger, safer securer and steadier
than it has been in many years but acknowledged that challenges
lay ahead not because her administration expected to do less
but it would be expected to do more. Said Sirleaf: There will

be more Liberians to be empowered; more electric power to be


generated and distributed; more doctors and nurses and teachers
and policemen to be trained and deployed; more quality education
for our students not only to develop the skills they need to find a
livelihood at home, but also to compete with their contemporaries
in the global marketplace.
The arrival of Ebola dampened much of what the president
had in store as she made promises of yet more jobs and more
opportunities for Liberians while still faced with her Achilles
of the past eight years, the issue of corruption, abuse of power
and misuse of governments resources. Liberia ranks No. 94 in
Transparency Internationals Corruption Perception Index, with
174 being the most Corrupt.
Foreign Policy Magazine, citing the Index of Economic Freedom,
recently reported that while Liberias 2013 GDP of $1.95 billion,
has shown steady improvement in financial accountability and
economic affairs since Sirleaf took office, it remains a regional
and international basket case. The index gave Liberia an overall
score of 52.4 for such factors as government accountability,
wealth gap between richest and poorest citizens, and labor and
business freedom a big improvement from its 2010 score of
46.2, but well below the United States score of 75.5 and the 84.1
average score of the economies categorized as free, FP reported.
DOMESTIC: To say that Ebola consumed the bulk of President
Sirleafs domestic agenda in the past year would be an
understatement. The governments chief spokesman Information
Minister Lewis Brown acknowledged this much in an NPR
interview recently when he said: "We think sometimes we could
have done better much quicker to improve the response
time." But Sirleaf, in an August 19 address to the nation, shared
some of the blame with some Liberians who failed to follow
preventive measures. "We have been unable to control the spread
due to continued denials, cultural burying practices, disregard for
the advice of health workers and disrespect for the warnings by
the government."
2014 HIGH: Declaring a state of emergency and shutting down
of schools marked a turning point in the fight against the deadly
Ebola Virus and signaled the administrations willingness to
tackle the menacing killer disease after its early lapses and slow
response.
2014 LOW: Sirleaf took a lot of flak over her handling of the
Thomas Eric Duncan controversy. Duncan was the Liberian who
transported the deadly virus to the United States. In an interview
with Canadian public broadcaster, CBC, the President raise
eyebrows when she said: The fact that he knew (he was exposed
to the virus) and he left the country is unpardonable, quite frankly.
With the U.S. doing so much to help us fight Ebola, and again
one of our compatriots didnt take due care, and so, hes gone
there and put some Americans in a state of fear, and put them
at some risk, and so I feel very saddened by that and very angry
with him, to tell you the truth. Many of the presidents critics said
she should have stood behind her citizen during his darkest hour.
2015 OUTLOOK: Sirleaf has a lot at stake in the upcoming race
to decide who becomes the president Pro Temp of the Senate. The
defeat of Gbezhonga Findley, who many considered her strongest
ally in the Senate dealt a major blow to the President who will
be looking to ensure that her remaining two to three years will
not become a lame duck. The arrival of her long-time nemesis
Cllr. Varney Sherman, the chair of the ruling party rumored to
be a candidate for the post is ruffling feathers in the presidents
circle. The president may be welcoming reports that senators are
leaning toward settling for a member of the old block to replace
Findley giving the president a pick of three poisons from the likes
of Liberty Partys Armah Jallah, NPPs Dan Morias or Jewel
Howard Taylor. Expect more murmurs of succession talk in the
coming months with vice president Joseph Boakais fate still

MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
Justice has been elusive for many who cannot afford one in a
system consistently by lambasted by international stakeholders as
being susceptible to bribery and corrupt jury pools. During the year
under review however, the Solicitor Generals office managed to
win a number of murder, aggravated assault and financial crimes
cases but allowed a lot of gender-based crimes to go unpunished
in a nation where Rape is a non-bailable offence.
The ministrys work has been hampered by lapses in the jury and
court system especially after the pardon of Anthony Kassabli, 44,
and his father, Edmund Dib Kassabli, 81, two Lebanese nationals
convicted of Human Trafficking who are currently out on bail after
Judge Ceaneh Johnson granted bail. The father, Edmund Dib, has
reportedly left the country while his son, Anthony remains out on
bail in Monrovia; David Waine, a Canadian national and Country
Director of Equip-Liberia, was languishing at the Monrovia
Central Prison, since his arrest on November 13, 2013 until he
mysteriously won bail and is now back in Canada.
The quick-thinking of Solicitor General Betty Lamin Blamo
prevented Jaafar Bashir, 44, a Lebanese national charged for his
alleged involvement in the raping of young Liberian children
within the age range of 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 15 from being released
on bail. But little was done to keep Ali Saksouk, 21, another
Lebanese
national
who
was also accused of rape
but granted his freedom.
Saksouk was accused of
raping a 13-year-old girl after
her father filed a complaint
that he found Saksouk and
the girl in a 4-Runner Jeep,
according to Police charge
sheet.
2014 HIGH: Several highprofile
murder,
assault,
burglary
and
economic
crimes cases, particularly
the case involving the Republic of Liberia vs. Wesley Jlue,
an employee of the NDS who was involved with the criminal
transfers of money from the NDS account to other accounts that
were owned and operated by him. As a way of covering up this
act, the defendant changed the banks reconciliation officer at
NDS and placed himself in the position. This act went on for over
two years until it was later discovered. The total money involved
is US$179, 183.00 and L$958, 247.80. The jury brought down a
unanimous guilty verdict against him, and he is be sentenced in
2015.
Prosecutors were also successful in winning conviction against
Marcus Dennis, a security to an UNMIL personnel in the 12th area
when he killed the girlfriend of his boss, Antoinette N. Peters, and
dragged her body into the coal room. He alleged that the UNMIL
personal had asked him to kill the girl. He was tried, convicted,
and sentenced to 17yrs imprisonment.
2014 LOW: The resignation of Justice Minister Christiana Tah
exposed some of the frailties of the Justice System as the former
minister declared that she could not be the Minister of Justice and
not supervise the operations of the security agencies under her
department. Cllr. Tah cited her lack of independence to investigate
allegations of fraud against the National Security Agency and
exclaimed that it had become unbearable to continue as minister
amid determination to systemically undermine and gut the
portfolio of relevance and effectiveness.
2015 OUTLOOK: Benedict Sannoh lobbied heavily for a job at
least two other candidates passed over. His tenure would be closely
watched in the coming days, weeks and months, particularly
regarding cases of corruption on the books and based on findings
of both the General Auditing Commission and the Liberia AntiCorruption Corruption.
GRADE: B

MINISTRY OF GENDER & DEVELOPMENT


In a year, badly hit by the deadly Ebola virus, the ministry was one
of few to adopt creative measures in battling the virus outbreak
by undertaking initiatives such as the training of Trainers (ToT)
workshop for women in supporting the fight against the deadly
Ebola virus and implementing a Jehovah Witness campaign to
combat the Ebola virus.

see page 3

Monday, December 29, 2014

Frontpage

2014 HIGH: A Demographic Health Surveys during the course


of the year showed that the percentage of women who have been
initiated into Sande (and therefore have had FGM) has fallen
among younger age cohorts; in the cohort aged 2024, the rate
fell from 58.4% in 2007 to 39.8% in 2013. In addition, 39.3% of
current members want Sande society to be stopped and this figure
rises to 47% in rural areas.
2014 LOW: Despite those findings, there is still no law
criminalizing the practice of FGM in Liberia and although in
September, the Government suspended Sande initiations due to
Ebola. there were reports of FGM still taking place Ebola has also
caused the work of NGOs and campaigners against FGM to be
disrupted and/or stopped.
2015 OUTLOOK: Long before Ebola, access to education for
girls and disadvantaged youths was a major problem for the
ministry. Ebola may have propel the problem to an even higher
height. The outbreak will no doubt impact children, particularly
girls, who have been out of school for several months now giving
rise to many parents sending their youngsters to the streets to sell
goods. It is a serious problem that could dog post-Ebola Liberia
and beyond.
GRADE: B

takes on critics of the government daily and highlight the Sirleaf


administrations agenda.
2014 LOW: Often times during the course of the year, the
disseminators of the governments message have been caught in
difficult positions trying to explain their way out of unpopular
controversies in the court of public opinion. Both the West
Point shooting incident and the Presidents attempt to enforce
an executive order prior to the just-ended elections were greeted
with public angst. Deputy Minister Isaac Jackson in defense of
the executive order action said President Sirleaf was fully justified
in the issuance of the order and that she derives her power from
Article 50 of Liberia's constitution. Article 50 of the constitution,
vests in the president Executive Power as Head of State, Head
of Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces
of Liberia. Jackson went on to say that mass gatherings and
demonstrations impeded economic activities and free movement
of other peaceful citizens.
2015 OUTLOOK: Eyes will be keenly watching to see whether the
key defenders of the government and attackers of critics will tone
down their assault or cave in to criticisms that their multi-faceted
attacks often cross the line bordering defense of government and
dissemination of its message. Believing the messengers can at
times be a daunting task as even Minister Lewis Brown admitted
in an NPR interview recently: When you ask people to alter
the way they've always lived, you are met with initial doubt and
resistance.
GRADE: C+

Page 3

urging strong and concerted international response through firm


commitments of support. The Resolution also on member states
to lift travel and other restrictions imposed on affected countries.
The Ministry robustly engaged with friendly countries in
pursuit of the development of diplomacy policy which resulted
in the conclusion of several bilateral cooperation agreements as
well as the establishment of Joint Commissions with friendly
governments, including the United States of America, Peoples
Republic of China, Japan, India, Turkey, United Arab Emirates,
Qatar, Nigeria, Ghana. Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs)
and Statements of Intent were also concluded with the State of
Qatar, Turkey, Egypt, and China.
2014 HIGH: The Ministry of Foreign made tremendous strive to
looby with the international community in securing support for
Liberia in fighting the deadly Ebola virus and the outcome of
international efforts is overwhelming.
2014 LOW: The shooting of Liberians in Turkey where these
citizens have to go for weeks without significant efforts on the
part of the Liberian government help them was a sign of slowness
on the part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in reaching out to
its citizens outside the country. The affected Liberians in Turkey
had to continuously express the level of suffering they were
going through on the international media before they were finally
assisted. Liberia during the year experienced some international
problems with its citizens being harassed in several countries. The
Case of Pregnant Liberian lady Monique Allison who was held for
days at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Kenya and was being denied
entry on account of fears of the spread of Ebola, the Ministry of
Foregin Affairs intervened through numerous phone calls from
Monrovia to Ms. Allison and the Kenyan Foreign Minister Amb.
Amina Mohammed which led to a breakthrough.
GRADE: B+

MINISTRY OF POST & TELECOMMUNICATIONS

The ministry responsible for determining broad sector policy


and development strategy, in conformance with the goals and
laws of the post-war nation remains trapped in the evolution of
modern technology and increasing challenge of trying to cope in
the shadows of the Liberia Telecommunications Authority(LTA)
whose independence from the Ministry is making it increasingly
obsolete.
2014 HIGH: During the course of the year under review, the
ministry set up 25 post offices across the country in the 15 political
sub-divisions as part of its Five-Year Work Plan to improve postal
and telecommunications services in the country. The ministry is
hoping to establish a total of 78 post offices in Liberia a feat many
feel could be a wasted considering the rising influence of emails
and decline of physical mail. The ministrys argument is that
the policy is a provision of the Universal Postal System (UPS),
regarding the expansion of postal services, requires that a post
office must be established for every 10,000 people. The ministry
has also erected 30 Street Mail Boxes in and around Monrovia.
2014 LOW: The ministry remains incapacitated to perform and
despite its goal of trying to post 78 post offices across the country,
ensuring the movement of mails in rural Liberia due to the lack of
vehicles remains a daunted task.
2015 OUTLOOK: With the rising influence of emails and
social media, the ministry is racing against time to adapt even
as it struggles toward making mailing facilities accessible to the
Liberian people regardless locations.
GRADE: C

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION

2015 OUTLOOK: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will have


to remain strong in the efforts to seek international support for
Liberias recovery from the Ebola virus.

What many consider the most-criticized ministry in the Sirleaf


government has come under for time and time again for having
too many messengers from within trying to disseminate the
governments message. During the year in review, the messengers
messages were sometimes lost in translation and Deputy Minister
Isaac Jackson came under attack on numerous occasions for what
some of his critics say bordered defending the indefensible. But
even some of the governments critics showered praise on the
ministry for its frankness about the gravity of the Ebola outbreak
after earlier assertions that the virus impact was not that grave.
2014 HIGH despite criticisms, the revamp of the Liberian News
Agency is seen as a positive sign for the Ministry. The ministrys
weekly news briefing provides opportunity for newsmakers
and journalists to keep abreast of the governments message.
MICAT also has an aggressive presence on the various social
media network circuits including Facebook and Twitter which

MINISTRY OF STATE
The ministry charged with, among other things, the responsibility
of coordinating activities and operations of the Office of the
President of the Republic of Liberia and providing support to
the President in carrying out the Executive functions of the State
through close consultation with the Cabinet has often times
taken its eye of the ball through ill-advised nominations and
appointments that has come back to bite the President.

2014 HIGH: Not Much action during the course of the past 12
months, ending the year on a low.
2014 LOW: Failure to adequately vet nominees to positions came
to light when President Sirleaf was forced to accept the request
of Dr. Elizabeth Davis-Russell to withdraw her nomination for
the position of Minister of Education over issues of her purported
U.S. citizenship.
2015 OUTLOOK: With less than three years to the end of Sirleafs
presidency, this crucial ministry could be in need of a spark which
is unlikely to come- anytime soon.
GRADE: C

MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the year was busy gathering
international support for the fight against the deadly Ebola virus.
During the height of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia which caused
the President to impose a virtual travel ban on herself, the burden
of advocating for Liberia internationally - at Ecowas, AU and
the UN devolved largely on the shoulders of Foreign Minister
Augustine Ngafuan. Minister Ngafuan approached the elevated
responsibility with passion and commitment and mobilized the
entire machinery of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs including
Liberian ambassadors accredited abroad in the fight.
Amongst the major achievements was the adoption of United
Nations Resolution 69/1 establishing UN Mission for Ebola
Emergency Response (UNMEER) in Liberia to coordinate UN
Ebola-related activities with the Government; the adoption of
UN Security Council Resolution 2177, equating the Ebola crisis
as a threat to international peace and security and according

MINISTRY
PLANNING

OF

FINANCE

AND

DEVELOPMENT

The year 2014 was no doubt the toughest year for the economy
and the country since Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became President
of Liberia in 2006. Before the Ebola crisis struck in March
2014, some of President Johnson Sirleafs big ticket investment
programs like work in the mining and palm oil sectors were
poised to generate new revenue sources and create additional
jobs. The governments two prong investment priority strategy,
the centerpiece of the Agenda for Transformation would see more
kilometers of roads and power lines up and running as the binding
constraints to growth are aggressively tackled. It was a year the
Mount Coffee Hydro Power plant should have seen more work
and the inter-connection project from Ivory Coast taking off the
ground.
The Ministry in the wake of the Ebola outbreak has been able to
keep the payment of civil servants salaries constant and pay debt
paid to domestic vendors.
The Ministry mobilized the economic team to think through
the potential economic impact of the outbreak. The team
recommended fiscal rules that would tighten spending and focus
on addressing the outbreak through robust financing. The first
priority in Government spending was given to the fight against
EBOLA which was contributing significantly to the economic
meltdown and which posed the greatest threat to the survival of
the country.
The Ministry prioritized spending on social welfare services
such as feeding patients in hospitals, clinics, treatment (isolation)
centers, etc. as well as providing safe drinking water and sanitary
supplies to quarantined communities.
Wages and salaries of public servants the next priority item of
the Government spending with fifty percent (50%) of all salaries
shall be paid in Liberian Dollars to ensure that foreign exchange
was available to procure essential imports such as medicines,
fuel, rice, sanitary products, etc. The government also instituted
a moratorium on all non-essential purchases including vehicles,
furniture, fixtures, office supplies, and all non-essential foreign
and domestic travels, restricting approved travels to three-member
delegation and economy class.
As a measure to minimize waste, the Ministry reduced fuel and
lubricant costs by twenty percent (25%) in all ministries, agencies
and commissions except those that were directly involved in the

see page 4

Monday, December 29, 2014

Page 4 | Frontpage
fight against Ebola.
In spite of the general decline in economic activities and the
corresponding reduction in domestic resource mobilization, the
Ministry was able to quickly begin working under the Presidents
leadership, with multi-lateral and bi-lateral partners to raise
resources to fund the budget. Even though the recast FY14/15
National Budget had seen domestic revenue reduced by nearly
20% and expenditure demand increased by more than 25%, the
Ministry has been able to manage financial affairs of the nation
such no uprising or civil disturbance for lack of payment to
civil servants to vendors has occurred. It has been an act of real
dexterity, prudence and artistry in the management of a complex
situation. To date the government has seen over 700 million dollars
in committed financing from several multilateral institutions and
bilateral governments. Just in October committed financing was
roughly 373 million dollars.
Directly through the budget, the MFDP has mobilized over 250
million dollars to support its post-Ebola economic recovery
program. While a significant portion of these resources are still
pending, the record time and relative ease with which these funds
were mobilized has more to do with the planning and leadership
shown by the MFDP.
Through resource mobilization, Liberia seems to have outpaced
the virus having more capacity to deal with any outbreak compare
with to its neighbors.
When the Ebola outbreak escalated in July of 2014, coordinating
the response was a problem but finding the resources to finance
the early response in an organized and effective manner was
yet another challenge. Within no time, the Ministry was able to
propose the setting up an Ebola Trust Fund to provide resources
required to finance the countrys response when the international
community waited. Because the budget was not yet enacted and
there was no appropriation in the budget for Ebola response, the
Minister, with guidance from the President, coordinated a request
for special spending authority from the National Legislature and
swiftly worked with the Central Bank of Liberia which provided a
close to zero per cent bridge financing of US$5 million to finance
the response. No doubt, this swift action provided much needed
support to the response efforts. Minister Konneh was able to
craftily put in place a Special Comptroller for the Fund rather than
have it go through the highly bureaucratic voucher system. He
produced two detailed reports on the trust fund and requested the
GAC to audit the Ebola institutions. This system worked well and
Minister Konneh must be applauded.
While Ebola might have paralyzed some agencies of government,
the Minister of Finance and Development Planning ensured
there was no distractions in ramping up the roll out of two key
governance reforms: the Ministry of Finance and Development
Planning (MFDP) and the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA). To
date, the MFDP has taken a corporate face with the staff transition
and recruitment going on as planned. Events at the LRA are no
different as both institutions undergo a smooth transition.
In spite of the economic challenges and constrain facing the
resource envelop, the Ministry made it a priority to ensure that
Liberias hard-earned but fragile democracy remained on course
by protecting and releasing the funds to National Elections
Commission (NEC) for the holding of the special senatorial
elections. This was a true testament to the democratic tendencies
and for this we must hail the Minister of Finance.
2014 HIGH: Making the payment of civil servant salaries constant
in the wake of the Ebola crisis and keeping the economy stable
are amongst the high performance of the Ministry of Finance
and Development Planning. Worthy of note is the government
early decision to anticipate the economic fallout of the crisis and
develop a response plan around which funding was mobilized. The
Economic Stabilization and Recovery Plan (ESRP) was designed
to mitigate the effects of the slump in economic activities in the
short term, and institute measures to restore the economy to its
former trajectory of sustained, rapid growth, consistent with our
medium and long term development goals.
2014 LOW: At the start of the Ebola outbreak the funding for
fight the deadly virus was not forthcoming which contributed to
escalation into the number of cases resulting to the virus spreading
beyond control.
GRADE: B+
2015 OUTLOOK: Liberians and the world are watching to see
how the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning maintains
a stable economy post Ebola.

MINISTRY OF PUBLIC WORKS


During the year 2014, the Ministry of Public Works took the
headlines for all the wrong reasons ranging from the controversial

resignation of Samuel K. Woods whose tenure as Minister led


to significant changes in the pace of work at the Ministry, fast
tracking construction work, closely monitoring contractors to
ensure compliance and ensuring that construction work were done
to standard.
Following the resignation of Woods, his successor, Antoinette
Weeks brought the inner workings of the Ministry to the public
spotlight grabbing public attention on a daily basis. From going to
work late, insulting subordinates, amongst others, Weeks tenure
as Minister was something employees at the Ministry and even the
Government of Liberia will not want to remember.
During the year, Liberia witnessed one of the worse years of
flooding with drainages clothed, major streets flooded with water
and the Ministry of Public Works unable to make any major
intervention.
The agreement for the construction of the crucial Gardnersville
Road on the Somalia Drive was accordingly delayed by Minister
Weeks as she was accused of continuously delaying meeting the
Japanese Representative to conclude discussions for the agreement
that will speed up the road construction work
She stayed on for over a year and was recently replaced by
William Gyude Moore who is yet to show what he can do get the
Ministry back on track in the wake of the high need for improved
infrastructure in the country.
2014 HIGH: There is no known record of high performance by
the Ministry of Public Works during the year under review and
the new Minister must now brace himself for the huge task ahead.
2014 LOW: Minister Weeks fistfight with other officials of
the Ministry including the physical assault against her deputy,
Claude Langley remains a low performance by any Ministry of
Government in recent years.
2015 OUTLOOK: After a dismal year, Liberia will look to see
improvement at the Ministry of Public Works especially with the
appointment of a new minister. Moore has his work cut out to
undo the lapses of the Weeks era.
GRADE: F

Youth Project, and the Liberian Chamber of Commerce.


Designed and primarily implemented by MercyCorps,
PROSPECTS runs a youth apprenticeship initiative that recycles
waste items like bottles, cans, plastic water bags, and scrap
materials into useful products. It also runs other livelihood
projects and youth recycling competitions, administered by the
Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE), which
pays cash to participants for required output.
2014 LOWS: Liberia poor showing in the preliminary rounds
of qualifying for the 2015 Edition of the African Cup of Nations
especially falling to minnow Lesotho was one of the worse years
in the history of Liberian football.
2014 HIGHS: The Ministry along with the Liberia Football
Association has appointed several former foreign professional
players to serve as coaches for the various teams including the
Senior Lone Star and all other junior teams. One of Liberias
popular soccer stars, known as the Nation Most Celebrated
James Salinsa Debbah was appointed as head coach of the senior
national team and other appointments were made at the junior
national teams.
2015 OUTLOOK: Liberians look to the ensuing year with high
optimism on what will come out of the new appointments of
coaches of all the national teams. With large number of youths
surviving the deadly Ebola virus, Liberians will look to see what
programs the Ministry will develop to provide alterative for these
youth and thousands of youths across Liberia in 2015.
GRADE: D

MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS

MINISTRY OF YOUTH AND SPORTS


The Ministry of Youth and Sports during the year even before the
outbreak of the Ebola virus which led to the suspension of all
sporting activities in the country failed to live up the expectation
of the public. Liberia remains rock bottom in major sporting
activities in the West African sub region and the world at large.
The Liberia National Team, the Lone Star performed poorly in the
preliminary rounds of qualifiers for the biggest African sporting
event, the African Cup of Nations. Liberia crashed out of the
qualifying rounds to minnows Lesotho winning 1-0 in Monrovia
only to crumble 2-0 in Maseru.
All other sporting activities in the country showed poor
performance during the year and with Ebola making the holding of
the annual National County Sports Meet Tournament impossible,
the Ministry has nothing substantial to boast about as achievement
in the sporting arena.
There is no sustainable youth employment or empowerment
program with the Ministry heavily relying on donors including the
United Nations Development Program and others to create short
term jobs for the youths with no long-term program designed to
impact thousands of youths across Liberia.
In July the Ministry deployed 159 youth in six counties:
Maryland, Grand Gedeh, Sinoe, bong, Lofa and Grand Bassa to
provide community development services. The youth volunteers
university, college, and professional school graduates were
deployed to contribute to nation building through the mentoring
of fellow youth in education, health, public administration,
computer literacy, agriculture, leadership, peace building, and
conflict resolution over a year period.
The NYSP is building on previous peace building and
development interventions with the objective of linking youth
leadership and national service to an overarching peace building
and development strategy.
Funded by the Peace building Fund (PBF-L) and the Government
of Liberia, with support from UNICEF, the program falls under
the reconciliation component of the Liberia Peace building
Program (LPP).
Also in May, the Swedish Embassy near Monrovia pledged
US$2million for the training of 1,700 youth in marketable skills
under the MercyCorps-run Promoting Sustainable Partnership for
Economic Transformation (PROSPECTS) program.
The training is to last for a year and it is a prospect in collaboration
of private, public and non-governmental partners with Chevron
Liberia and the Swedish International Development Cooperation
Agency (SIDA) as major donors. The project known as
PROSPECTS receives additional support from the Ministry of
Youth and Sports, Western Union Foundation, USAIDs Advancing

The Ministry of Internal Affairs continued its ambitious plan for


the decentralization of Liberia known as one of the critical reform
pillars of the Government but on the other hand, a statement
attributed to the Minister, Morris Dukuly in which he is perceived
to have referred to Grand Gedeans as Chicken Rogue raised
alarm and led to widespread condemnation from cross section of
Liberians with mounting calls for the resignation of the Minister.
In a boost on the decentralization policy of the country, the
European Union approved 5.5 Million euros in support to the
Liberias decentralization program. The amount which is a little
over 7.3 million United States Dollars focuses particularly on
the five-year Decentralization Implementation Plan led by the
Ministry of Internal Affairs. With the Liberian government
spending thousand monthly on payments of Chiefs, and other
local officials, the Ministry also embarked on a program to reduce
the number of cities in the South Eastern part of the country.
Currently, there are 141 Cities, 244 Townships, 129 Districts,
240 Chiefdoms, 580 Clans and 1198 General Towns in the south
eastern region.
The Ministry during the year stated that according to statistics,
more than 82.3% of the resources (money) allocated to the subnational structures are spent on personnel and related services;
thus severely constraining expenditure on goods, services and
developmental projects in the counties.
The Ministry held a consultative meeting with local administrative
stakeholders in southeastern Liberia which led to a call on the
central government to reduce the existing number of cities,
townships, clans, chiefdoms, and districts in the country.
The stakeholders from the south eastern region believe the
multiplicity of local structures without necessary economic,
social, infrastructure and basic services creates a lot of problems
for the government. According to the report, southeastern
counties, especially the Grand Kru and Sinoe, have most of these
sub-national structures.
The call by the stakeholders from the South Eastern region
was contained in two separate statements of Endorsement/
Commitment issued at the close of a weeklong consultation
and sensitization meeting held in Greenville, Sinoe County and
Barclayville, Grand Kru County respectively. The southeast
regional meetings attended by more than 200 stakeholders took
place November 25 through 29, 2014.
If the plan is realized, the Government of Liberia could minimize
waste by reducing spending on personnel expenses and money
could be used for development in the region known to be one of
the least developed in the country.
2014 HIGH: The push for the implementation of the
decentralization policy and reduction in the number of cities,
townships, chiefdoms, clans and general towns in the South
eastern counties which could save the Government of Liberia
millions are two major steps in the right direction by the Ministry
of Internal Affairs.
2014 LOW: The Minister of Internal Affairs Morris Dukuly
during the year while attending a Reconciliation meeting between
citizens of Nimba and Grand Gedeh Counties held at the Kendeja
Hotel said I told them that once you are known by town members

see page 5

Monday, December 29, 2014

Frontpage

Page 5

of being a chicken rogue in a community you will always be


accused whenever a chicken gets missing.
But citizens from Grand Gedeh including Representative Zoe E.
Pennue said: We are not Chicken rogue if Minister Dukuly as
Minister of Internal Affairs and the fifth person in the Cabinet can
stand here and refer to the people of Grand Gedeh as Chicken
rogues only to appease the people of Nimba, I am disappointed.
Minister Dukuly was subjected to criticisms for his comment but
he later apologized and the issue was laid to rest.
2015 OUTLOOK: The decentralization policy of Liberia is a
document many believe will put the country on the right path of
good governance and going into 2015; the Ministry of Internal
Affairs will have to push harder for the implementation of the
policy.
GRADE: C

MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE

MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT
The Ministry of Transport is one ministry of government that is
purely focused on inspection for payment of vehicles registration
and other income generating aspects instead of ensuring adherence
to the transport regulations.
Overloading by vehicles, defective cars and other transport related
issues are not effectively monitored by the Ministry. Several
vehicles go all year round without registration but yet they ply
the streets.
Some vehicles that also paid for license plates during the year are
yet to receive the plates with the Ministry unable to ensure fast
production of license plates.
Commercial drivers decide their own transport fares and charge
passengers.
Motorbikes which were once stopped from plying major streets
are now still moving around the main streets with inaction from
the Ministry along with the police.
The Ministry during the year saw the appointment of a new
Minister, Angela Cassell Bush who previously served at the
former Ministry of Finance as Deputy Minister.
Upon assuming office, Minister Bush promised to initiate a
scheme for effective coordination amongst agencies within the
sector.
Along these lines, we will work to activate the national transport
policy and strategy implementation steering Committee chaired
by the Ministry of Transport and co-chaired by both GIZ and
Ministry of Public Works with the National Port Authority (NPA),
National Transit Authority (NTA), Roberts International Airport
(RIA) serving as members, she told the Liberian senator during
confirmation hearing.
Madam Bush said, as the sector Minister, her team would work
with relevant stakeholders to review the status of reconstruction
works at the Roberts International Airport, particularly our
airport runway, in light of the current crisis.
Given the potential resource problems that would arise as a result
of the current Ebola crisis, she told the Committee her team would
focus more energy on soft projects such as the setting up of the
one stop shop, developing policy manuals, strengthening the
internal control framework and capacity development.
We intend to expeditiously fast-track the drafting and submission
for your consideration Axle Road and Public Safety Laws
currently under stakeholder review and advisement, she
concluded. The promises are yet to be fulfilled
2014 HIGH: The Ministry in collaboration with the Liberian
National Police successfully stopped motorbikes from plying
the main streets something that has reduced the number of
roads accidents in Monrovia. But going into the festive season,
motorbikes are once again seen on main streets.
2014 LOW: The Ministry of Transport has been unable to ensure
adherence to stipulated transport fares, leaving the public at
the discretion of commercial drivers who hike fares at will and
determine their transport fares.
GRADE: C
2015 OUTLOOK: In the New Year vehicle registration is going to
be another major problem and Liberians will be watching to see
how the Ministry handles the registration process. But emerging
reports of the awarding of contracts for new license plates to a
foreign

The outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus beginning March


hampered farming activities across Liberia affecting the food
security program of the country. Before Ebola Liberia was not
self-sufficient in terms of food security and the situation has been
further exacerbated by the Ebola outbreak.
Liberian farmers endured a difficult year due to the Ebola Virus
Disease (EVD) outbreak, where group activities were halted and
farmers are no longer using the Kuu systems that made labor
more available.
Farmers especially in the north, west and central Liberia are
experiencing higher post -harvest losses in upland rice due to lack
of sufficient labor to harvest. Furthermore, communities are not
allowing people to hire labor from outside their communities to
avoid importing the EVD. This is affecting families who depend
on wages from farm labor. Some lowland farmers especially
women groups were not able to complete their plots because the
EVD outbreak coincided with land preparations in June/July.
Despite these bottlenecks, the Ministry of Agriculture has declared
that to support the humanitarian crisis created by the EVD and
maintain capability for food production, and to alleviate tensions
from farming communities that are affected by the EVD, it is
embarking on a three- pronged response with the aim of saving
lives and restoring livelihoods.
In its initial response MOA declared that it was to gather
information to understand the scale of the impacts of the EVD in
order to prioritize and support effective response actions. In this
endeavor, the MOA has been collaborating with WFP and FAO,
and other agricultural and food security organizations to secure
food support for EVD victims and seeds for the next rice planting
sea- son.
MOA has also disclosed of plans to undertake several quick
impact projects in vegetable, pork and poultry production, and
multiplication of sheep and goats. The projects are expected
toprovide support to farmers especially women groups in
processing and value addition for household consumption
and sale to the general public. The projects have been formulated
to mitigate the EVD impacts, invigorate agricultural incomes,
and improve living conditions in the affected communities. The
projects will also address gaps created in existing agricultural
interventions due to the EVD attack and support new programmes
to restore the livelihoods in the EVD affected communities.
The Ministry also continued the Smallholder Tree Crop
Revitalization Support Project (STCRSP) which is a Government
of Liberia World Bank-funded project with a budget of about $24
million US dollars, implemented by the Program Management
Unit of the Ministry.
The four tree crops which are the main focus of the project include
Cocoa, Coffee, Rubber and Oil Palm. The support to smallholder
farmers for these four tree crops is in the form of technical and
financial assistance for better crop husbandry through their
farmers organizations/cooperatives. The support will also
include the provision of pesticides, fertilizers, construction of
warehouses, bridges/culverts, improved farm-to-market roads and
milling machines for oil palm processing.
With project duration of close to four years, it will be implemented
in Grand Gedeh, Nimba, Bong, Margibi, Montserrado and Grand
Bassa Counties.
2014 HIGH: The Ministry during the year under review succeeded
in implementing donors sponsored projects including the Food
Security program, and the Smallholder Tree Crop Revitalization
Support project.
2014 LOW: Besides donors sponsored projects the Ministry is
unable to show evidence of its own programs and projects to help
with the food crisis facing the country in the wake of Ebola.
2015 OUTLOOK: In the coming year, the aftermath of the Ebola
virus which made people to abandon farming activities will impact
food availability in the country and many will look to see how the
Ministry of Agriculture will deal with the imminent crisis.
GRADE: F

MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEFENCE


During the year, the Ministry of National Defence witnessed ups
and downs characterized by some level of success and massive
failure that has already created image problem for the newly trained
Armed Forces of Liberia. From appointing the first Liberian Army
Chief of Staff, soldiers of the army were involved in the fracas at
the infamous quarantine of the West Point community which led
to the shooting to death of 13 year old Shaki Kamara.
Lieutenant Aloysius QuayePlatoon Commander of the AFL
was held responsible for poorly assessing the West Point situation
and acting contrary to the behavior expected of a military leader
in the reformed AFL.
In a report, the committed established to investigate the incident
recommended that as a leader in a situation of crisis, Quaye was
expected to show efficient command after serving in the AFL
for over five years with training locally and in foreign parts.
He should have been able to handle simple crowd control and
dispersal. As a military leader, he did not follow proper military
procedures in selecting personnel to fire warning shots. Although
no evidence was adduced that any of the personnel of the AFL
fired the fatal shot that killed Shaki Kamara, the Disciplinary
Board thought it absolutely necessary to institute punishment for
behavior unbecoming of a serving personnel of the AFL.
The West Point shooting and led ignited the old ugly history of
the AFL and led to local and international condemnations about
the AFL, a force trained with support from Liberias international
partners including the United States of America, China, Nigeria,
amongst others.
The United States Embassy condemned the incident and
expressed that the army should not have been used in enforcing
the quarantine.
Before the ugly situation that rocked the AFL, in February, the
AFL witnessed the naming of the first Liberian Chief of Staff for
the last decade. It was the first time a Liberian was named to head
the countrys military since the former army was disbanded in
2003, following more than a decade of civil war.
Col. Daniel Dee Ziankhan was named as Chief of Staff, and Col.
Eric Dennis as Deputy Chief of Staff. Another Liberia Price C.
Johnson was appointed Commanding General. Col, Ziankhan
replaced the Nigerian Command Officer-in-Charge, Major
General Suraj Alao Abdurrahman.
The appointment of Liberians to head the new AFL came as a
great sign of improvement in the recovery of the country.
Liberia also continued its contribution to international peace
keeping with the dispatch of additional troops to troubled Mali.
2014 HIGH: The appointment of a Liberian Army Chief of Staff
along with two other senior army officials for the restructured army
forces of Liberia was a major step for the country an achievement
for the Ministry of Defense.
2014 LOW: The shooting of 13 year old Shaki Kamara with
soldiers from the Armed forces of Liberia taking responsibility
rekindled the sour memory about the Armed forces of Liberia
where the army was used by past presidents to cause mayhem
against the civilian population.
2015 OUTLOOK: Liberians and the world at large will be looking
to see how the new army redeems its image in the aftermath of the
West Point shooting incident.
GRADE: B

see page 6

Monday, December 29, 2014

Page 6 | Frontpage

MINISTRY OF LABOUR
The Ministry of Labor saw the appointment of a New Minister,
Neto Lieghe who previously served as Deputy Minister for
Planning and Manpower Services at the same Ministry.
Upon taking over the Ministry, the new Labour Minister promised
changes and called on the inspectorate department of the Ministry
to improve on their details due to complaints from the public as
he also promised as head of that Ministry to work with everyone
regardless of their position and status.
Since taking over, nothing new has taken place at the Ministry as
the old issues of unemployment; labour related disputes are still
taking place across Liberia.
2014 HIGH: The Ministry of Labor made no remarkable
achievement during the year 2014 and like other ministries and
agencies of government the blame could be placed on the Ebola
outbreak.
2014 LOW: More jobs were lost due to the closure of several
businesses and the Ministry will have to look into numerous
complaints.
2015 OUTLOOK: When Liberia finally recovers from Ebola
there will be cases of labour related issues between employers
and employees and the Ministry of Labour must be in readiness to
look into cases that will fall within its scope of work.
GRADE: C

The Ministry also held discussions with businesses on plans to


adopt a new Licensing Policy on the importation of flour in the
country.
During a consultative meeting with major importers and other
stakeholders at the Ministry on Wednesday September 10, 2014,
Minister Addy, informed the attendees of the Proposed Policy and
solicited views and suggestions on the proposed policy to govern
the Flour Market.
Amongst the changes, the Ministry is proposing transparent
and predictable through the institution of Licensing Regime;
Structured market as the defined category of operators; Driven by
principles of inclusive growth through import substitution with
emphasis on protection of domestic production for employment
opportunities for Liberians; A balanced approach aligning market
demands with local production and importation short of local
productive capacity; Align with the Ministry of Health & Social
Welfare Food Fortification to curtail micronutrient deficiencies and
pre-shipment quality inspection and in Country quality inspection
required for compliance through testing of Flour samples at the
National Standards Laboratory (NSL).
The Ministry also continued the push for priority to be given
to Liberian owned businesses with Minister Addy calling on

Liberians to adjust their consuming behavior and support Liberian
businesses.
I am only asking to have a slight change in the behavior of
consumers not the donor funds, in doing so you are inspiring said
Minister Addy at the launch of the Made in Liberia Trade Store.
The Ministry followed the support to Liberian owned businesses
by purchasing 100bags (5 MT) of rice grown in Liberia from
the local rice processor, Fabrar Liberia, as part of the Ministrys
initiative to support the Government of Liberia (GoL) in requiring
GoL entities to set aside at least 25% of all public procurement
opportunities for Liberian businesses.
The Commerce Ministry purchased rice grown in Lofa County
by farmers participating in the USAID Food and Enterprise
Development (FED) Program and processed by local rice mill
Fabrar Liberia.

five credits and above, the West African Examination Council


(WAEC) has disclosed.
The general performance of students who sat the WAEC
examination was very appalling, as out of the 442 schools that
presented a candidate only forty-eight percent of the candidates
made a successful pass.
The Ministry of Education has not been able to monitor schools
and ensure that school facilities are up to standard I providing
education for students. Some high schools are run from private
homes, lacking laboratory, libraries and other basic needs for
students yet the Ministry has proven weak to inspect and make
these schools have the necessary systems in place before operating
as full high schools.
Many University graduates are finding it difficult to perform in
work places, further indication that the country education system
is very weak.
Student in many counties in Liberia still sit on the bare floor in
pursuit or education despite huge donor funding to the Ministry
of Education.
2014 HIGH: The Ministry of Education cannot boast of major
achievement during the course of the year besides a Education
by Radio program launched to provide classroom teaching for
students via radio. The impact of the Education by Radio program
is yet to be measured.
2014 LOW: the Mass Failure of students both in WAEC and the
University of Liberia Entrance and Placement examination speak
volumes about the appalling education system in the country.
GRADE: F
2015 OUTLOOK: With all schools now closed, how the Ministry
of Education will put in place the necessary mechanism for
successful resumption of school is a big challenge which the
Ministry must work to overcome.

With this initial purchase, MoCI hopes to kick start the process
and encourage other ministries to follow suit. MoCI is committed
to supporting local farmers and expects to purchase more locally
grown rice to fulfill our rice requirement in the future, said Pewee
Reed, Director of MoCIs Micro, Small& Medium Enterprise
Division.
The Ministry also further strengthened its grip on controlling the
prices of major commodities on the Liberian market.
2014 HIGH: The ability of the Ministry to ensure that prices of
commodities such as gasoline, fuel, rice and others remain stable
even in the wake of Ebola is remarkable.
2014 LOW: The Ministry of Commerce scored high mark during
the year, while prices of all the commodities traded on the Liberian
market are not staple; keeping the prices of gasoline, fuel and rice
stable is a hard task to accomplish during crisis period.
2015 OUTLOOK: Like other ministries of government keeping
on the good work after Ebola will be a huge challenge for the
entire Liberian government. How prices of basic commodities
shakeup after Ebola will be something to see in 2015.
GRADE: B
MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL WELFARE

MINISTRY OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY


In 2014 despite the outbreak of Ebola that affected all sectors of
the country, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has been able
to ensure that prices of essential products such as gasoline, rice
and others remain stable.
The Ministry in October announced reduction in the prices of
gasoline and fuel. The wholesale price for gasoline dropped to
US$3.63 cents and fuel oil is US$3.68, while the pump price for
gasoline also reduced to US$3.81 /LD$325 and fuel oil US$3.86
/LD$330. By late November prices of gasoline and fuel dropped
further with gasoline now being sold at LD 300 per gallon on
retail price.
The Ministry also made significant strides with Commerce
Minister Axel M. Addy attending the largest World Trade
Organization Public forum.
Minister Addy, who served as primed discussant on the panel,
expressed thanks to the WTO for the invitation and appreciated
the United States of America and other partners for working
with Liberia during these critical times. Minister Addy indicated
that Liberia is a country that believes in the multilateral trading
system and stated that months of travels across Liberia gave
him confidence in the resilience of the country to overcome the
unexpected Ebola outbreak.

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
During the year, the outbreak of Ebola led to the closure of all
schools giving the Ministry of Education less task to perform. But
before Ebola outbreak the performance of the education sector
was below par with mass failure in the University of Liberia
entrance and placement examinations an indication that high
schools across the country are not equipped to prepare students
for enrollment in universities.
Failure in the West African Examination Council (WAEC) has also
been alarming with the 2013-2014 version of the exams showing
that only 48%of 5,019 candidates making successful pass.
Out of five thousand, nineteen students who sat the West African
Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in the senior
high school category in May, 2014 only a candidate obtained

Ebola exposed the weak and terrible health sector of Liberia as the
virus tore apart the entire health sector with hospitals, clinics and
other health facilities shutting down.
People were left at the mercy of death with malaria, typhoid and
other common diseases killing thousands of people because the
Health sector collapse to one virus-Ebola.
It took the support of Liberias international partners to safe a
nation at the verge of complete catastrophe with people lying on
the floor and dying on main streets.
When Ebola started, the country could not boast of up to four
ambulances as Liberians could not depend on the sector to save
their lives.
Nurses, doctors and other health care providers consistently
complained of low incentives which could not be addressed by
the poor health sector.
Health Minister Walter Gwenigale was always at the center of
controversies, refusing to reinstate dismissed health workers and
also failing to put in place measures to address the welfare of
health workers.
The John F. Kennedy medical Hospital laid off of several nurses
in the name of restricting which led to protest.
2014 HIGH: The Ministry
of Health proved to be worse performing

ministry of government as it failed to address the needs of the
Liberian people when needed most.
2014 LOW: Liberians died of common diseases because the
Ministry could not put in place measures to provide health care
delivery services to a population hit by Ebola. Minister Gwenigale
was defiant to the National Legislature failing to adhere to
legislative mandate to reinstate dismissed health workers. The
Minister later told the body that he was suffering from high blood
pressure. He was later transferred as Advisor to the Ministry even
though the new Minister is yet to be confirmed.
GRADE: F
2015 OUTLOOK: After Ebola Liberians and the world at large
will wait to see what new measures will be put in place to avert
similar situation as Ebola and make Liberia ready to face any
future outbreak of Ebola or any other disease.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Page 7

FrontPage COMMENTARY
EDITORIAL
HARDSHIP
VS.
HOPE
A Christmas of Glaring Uncertainty
Frontpage

Commentary

THE PERFECT
RESOLUTION FOR LIBERIA

LOOKING TOWARD
AN EBOLA-FREE 2015
THE DOG DAYS of 2014 are drifting away into oblivion
and many are looking forward to putting a dreadful past
twelve months that put Liberia at the doorsteps of the
worlds mercy, behind.
BENEATH THE trenches of the pains, sufferings, deaths
and turmoil that saw many lose their friends, loved ones,
family members, brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers, lay
a chilling reminder of how the little things we take for
granted can strike us when we least expect.
EBOLA, in every sense of the world took Liberia off guard
because our leaders took their eyes off the ball by failing
to put the right mechanisms and health systems in place to
keep Ebola from our midst when it was knocking on our
doorsteps and already causing havoc in next door Guinea.
IT IS SAD THAT despite all efforts to have an Ebola-free
Christmas and New Year, it is inevitable that Liberia will
emerge into 2015 with the deadly outbreak still haunting
in our midst.
EBOLA has left a trail of dead health-care workers
including doctors and nurses who risked their lives saving
others.
THOSE DEATHS included not just Liberians, but foreign
doctors as well.
THE JOHN F. KENNEDY Hospital, the premiere medical
facility in the country lost several top doctors during the
year.
THE HOSPITAL FIRST lost DR. SAMUEL BRISBANE,
its leading doctor and later, Dr. Abraham Borbor, the
Deputy Chief Medical Doctor, who was one of three
doctors injected with the Anti-Ebola trial drug, ZMAPP.
Two Ugandan Doctors, Dr. Samuel Muhumuza Mutooro,
who died in July and Dr. John Taban Dada, a gynaecologist
and surgeon also lost their lives in the struggle against the
killer virus.
DR. KENT BRANTLY, an American helping respond to
the outbreak in Liberia and aid worker Nancy Writebol
of the medical humanitarian group, Samaritan Purse both
tested positive as did other American and foreign nationals
and health workers operating in Liberia.
IN NEXT DOOR SIERRA LEONE and Guinea, the story
has been the same, a killer virus with no mercy wreaking
havoc on West African nations shut out from its neighbors
because of Ebola and under the microscope of the rest of
the world.
TWO LIBERIANS, PATRICK SAWYER and Thomas Eric
Duncan were blamed for transporting the virus to regional
neighbors Nigeria and the United States of America but
the impact of the virus is still being deeply felt in West
Africa where Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are still
wrestling with curbing the virus.
SINCE LAST DECEMBER when the epidemic began in
a village near Guckdou, a trading town in rural Guinea
where it was not identified until February, regional leaders
appear unsure how to handle to virus, which at first was
considered to be lassa fever by authorities in Liberia.
THREE MONTHS LATER in May, the disease resurfaced
in capital, Monrovia, spilling out of control and killing
anyone within its reach.
THE WORLD finally answered numerous SOS call
and over the course of a few months, have managed to
help Liberia contain the virus with the availability of
more beds and medical personnel. But the reality is, the
outbreak remains a threat in neighboring Sierra Leone and
Guinea. With porous borders and still underperforming
health sectors, the challenge of total elimination of the
virus remains a daunted task for those at the center of the

Martin K. N. Kollie, Martinkerkula1989@yahoo.com, Contributing Writer

he day to celebrate Christmas is just few hours away


and everywhere, especially market areas are receiving
huge crowd every minute. The major roads cannot even
accommodate all of the moving objects as a result of
an immovable traffic. Shoppers and Sellers have no choice,
but to walk far distances in order to achieve their ultimate goal
during this festive season. Pen-pen riders, taxi-drivers, push-push
carriers, shoeshine boys, street peddlers, marketers, and almost
everyone are taking advantage of this moment to maximize profit.
As the momentum of Christmas increases, it is obvious that not
everyone will have an entertaining moment. Some will smile,
while others will frown.
Christmas is a time of a great amusement and excitement. It is
a season to commemorate the birth of Jesus. This day brings
along a lot of great memories, and it is also a moment to forgive
and share gifts. Unfortunately, how many persons on Christmas
day will have an opportunity to enjoy themselves and be happy?
The economic status of most residents especially on this eve
of Christmas is still unknown as their hope to observe a better
Christmas increases even during these hard times.
It is an indisputable fact that Christmas will be very good for few
people, while many others will have no option, but to surrender
to sadness and self-pity. This day does not only bring happiness,
but it also deepens the existing wounds of many poor people who
live in slum communities. It is apparent that on Christmas day not
everybody will have food to eat or water to drink simply because
of acute hardship. Some people will sleep hungry, while others
will have sufficient to din and wine.
With the presence of the Ebola Virus Disease in Liberia, anyone
can easily predict a future of glaring uncertainty during this historic
season of global festivity. I can imagine what some kids are going
through right now. In fact, some of them are busy selling cool
water, face towel, biscuit, and other provisions among moving
vehicles. Every day, they risk their lives just to stay alive. In an
attempt to survive, some of them are even abused and maltreated
in ways that contradict international protocols. They usually
travel from one street to another on empty bellies. The countless
number of children doing petit trade in our country today speaks
volume.
The expression on the faces of our people clearly shows an extreme
anxiety for economic change. They run around every year without
achieving anything tangible. They are compelled to struggle for
survival from January to December, even though they live in a
country of abundant natural resources. Poverty is their best friend
as they strive to defeat this nightmare day after day. Some of them
have become professional beggars overnight. Nothing seems like
they are making progress. They have lost appetite to commemorate
Christmas any further, because they lack those basic ingredients to
make the occasion what it ought to be.
In this age and time, there are two major crises ongoing in Liberia.
These crises include health and hardship. As a result of Ebola,
many families especially peasants are mourning the sudden death
of their love ones during this festive season. It is not an easy thing
for those orphans and widows whose hope for a brighter tomorrow
remains uncertain. Ebola has brought deep pain and grief to
Liberians. This fatal disease has put an end to several lives this
year, and we must not forget to defend ourselves and communities
against it. Even in the midst of adversity and uncertainty, we must
sustain our collective inspiration and strength to overcome this
life-threatening virus.
It has not been an easy ride this year. The road has been rocky
and gloomy especially for those who are less-fortunate. Liberians
from different backgrounds will always remember 2014 as a year
of multiple complications. The burden our nation had to shoulder
during this year was too heavy to carry. Up to date, our destiny as
a country remains vague. The safety and survival of our people
is under serious threat as the countrys economy moves in a

counterclockwise direction. Gambling has become a common


way of life in Liberia.
The number of tricksters and criminals has double during this
season. Everyone is hustling and hoping to celebrate a joyous
Christmas, but up to this hour, it is unclear whether many will
even have what it takes to observe an amusing day. The surety
of most kids to wear new clothes is impractical as their parents
wander in search of better economic condition. The disparity
between the working class and non-working class is too extensive
as unemployment remains a major challenge. The gap of inequality
between the have and have not is still wide after more than a
century of sovereignty.
The need to ensure economic revival in Liberia is a popular
demand and if genuine steps are not taken to elevate the livelihood
of the people, the fragile peace and security we are enjoying
now will be undermined by public discontent and displeasure.
It is time to rebuild an effective national framework of inclusive
governance. Our people are too vulnerable to poverty. They have
no alternative, but to accept just anything. They continue to fall
prey to a lot of human abuses in their own country. Some of them
work for foreigners whole round year without accomplishing
anything substantive. Labor abuse and trafficking are increasing
very fast in our country, because key stakeholders and enforcers of
our laws are prioritizing self-gain over national interest.
The anger and internal bitterness of Liberians can be seen through
their words and actions. They no longer have hope as hardship
continues to crumble their dreams and aspirations. They live
in a country where there is limited or no access to basic social
services. They feel frustrated every other day, and some of them
have even given up. Most of them have shown signs of regret and
disappointment. Their main concern now is, what will Christmas
bring? Will it be good or bad? Will it be pleasant or unpleasant?
Will it be joyful or sorrowful? These questions seem too hard to
answer considering existing realities.
My heart is besieged with sadness each day as I continue to witness
the appalling situation of our people. Nothing really shows that
their living condition will improve five to ten years from now.
They wake up and go to bed without any valid plan to advance
themselves as human beings. They are overlooked, ridiculed, and
underestimated because of their lowly status in society. They are
seen by others as people who have nothing to offer and contribute
to nation building. Poverty has made them older than their real
ages. It is not easy to narrate their story, because they have gone
and continue to go through thick and thins.
As Christmas is less than 24 hours from now, I empathize with
all downtrodden masses who have lost hope during this cheerful
season. I share in your distress and trouble with an unbending
courage that there will be an inclusive change one day. A day
where we will have no cause to worry about what we will eat. A
day when our children will have an opportunity to choose among
different designs of clothes and shoes. A day when our purchasing
power will increase for us to decide what kind of entertainment
we want. This day is possible if we work towards it together as
one nation and one people.
I wish all Liberians a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I
know this wish is insignificant to some of us especially when we
are doubtful about having a meal on Christmas day. One hard truth
we need to know is that no condition is permanent. Therefore, I
encourage all of us to celebrate this Christmas will smiles on our
faces hoping that our testing times will soon be over. If you dont
have it now, you can have it tomorrow. We must not afford to
allow our adversities overcome us. We must defeat hardship with
a spirit of commitment, collectivism, and courage. The uncertainty
of our future is glaring, but even in the midst of all these human
sufferings, we must not succumb to those natural enemies of life
(poverty, ignorance, and disease).

epidemic.
IT IS OUR HOPE THAT authorities in nations far and wide
will see the need to beef up preparation and implementation
of medical facilities in order to ensure that 2015 will be a
much safer year for the West African sub region.
TOO MANY PEOPLE have lost their lives and too many
more remain vulnerable. Nevertheless, some, if not many are
adopting a complacent posture which is giving rise to the

emergence of more new cases during this holiday season,


particularly in the Grand Cape Mount area.
AS WE ENTER 2015, it is important for all Liberians, Sierra
Leoneans and Guineans to make Ebola free from our midst.
2014 was bad but 2015 can be better, if not the best year
for redemption as we move toward redefining our lives and
making more a meaningful charge toward an Ebola-Free
New Year.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Page 8 | Frontpage

FrontPage

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING


ABOUT OUR STORIES ON THE
WORLDWIDE WEB

COMMENTS FROM
FPA ONLINE

DECISIONS; DECISIONS: LIBERIAS


SENATORIAL ELECTIONS RESCHEDULED
TQ HARRIS TOP COMMENTER CEO AT HV WOODGAS
TECHNOLOGY
What is wrong with an electorate that puts a person into office for
NINE YEARS (18 YEARS for those re-elected) without knowing their
platform or having enough time to quiz the candidate due to a rushed
election? Why encourage Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to destroy our country?
Wake up, my fellow Liberians, we can do better. Change is on the way.
PHIL GEORGE TOP COMMENTER
Mr. Harris, I don't always agree with Ellen but I disagree that Ellen is
destroying the country. I think your ill-conceived charcoal machine
poses a serious threat to the environment. Where do you plan to get all
that wood from to operate your charcoal machine, or WoodGas machine
as you call it.
RAYMOND SUMO TOP COMMENTER CUTTINGTON
UNIVERSITY, LIBERIA
Ebola is a deadly virus that with the help of the international community
will be eliminated. However, the virus that is slowly killing Liberians
daily is corruption in government. Can the Supreme Court rule on
corruption cases too or will the court regard corruption cases as a
political matter in the future when such case is before the court?
ALPINA CLAY OUTREACH OFFICER AT DEN-L
Matter lay to rest finally, the High court has given its decision. Election
scheduled for Dec. 20, 2014. let this one election go ahead my people.
JAY WION TOP COMMENTER WORKS AT NPRC
MY TURN: Look at the illogical reasoning of the two dissenting justices,
Banks and Kibena, that these two men didn't know Ebola fear is NOT
a constitutional issue baffles me. Now you know why Banks has been
trying to overshadow Chief Justice Francis Kporpor, and why Banks put
the "stay order" on this frivolous lawsuit. And why in most instances
Banks is awarded the "Justice in Chambers" role? That a "smart" Banks
as "Justice in Chambers" could not find that the rule of law was abused,
and question of constitutional violation in the FPA/Rodney Sieh versus
Chris Toe case tells me how some on the Court are "pushing personal
agendas" or trying to legislate from the Court.
SAINTM75 (SIGNED IN USING YAHOO)
Philip Banks is not an astute judge and can only be a judge in Liberia.
Where is the Nigerian man's money? Ja'neh is a rebel and is also not
qualified to sit on the bench. I have not read in any news media any
creditworthy dissenting opinion from these two judges. They feel
because a group of Liberians filed a lawsuit so it's their constitutional
right to be heard. Stupid. Only in judicial matters should this be the case.
The decision by the Legislature to hold elections with Ebola measures
in place was not unconstitutional. Both Ja'Neh and Banks are agents
of Ellen Sirleaf. The names Laveli Supuwood, Emmanuel Bowier and
Blamo Nelson should have been a red flag. Selfish old men who have
been involved in Liberian politics for over 100 years with nothing to
show for it. They hoped their selfish political greed would have halted
the elections. They lost. They should all be fined for wasting the court's
time on their selfish political interests. Supreme Court opinions are based
on "Reasoned Judgment". Where is the "Reasoned Judgment" in Ja'neh
and Banks opinions? None. Zero. Ebola is not a constitutional matter.
People are so dumb.
JAY WION TOP COMMENTER WORKS AT NPRC
Saintm75: You are very correct, and these are the characters Ellen put on
the Supreme Court. And the Senate helped to confirm them.
Yes, I forgot to mention the $500, 000.00 taken from the Nigerian man
at RIA. In court, Banks who was the Justice Minister could not produce
the money (evidence). Instead, Banks said he used the money to chase
down runaway prisoners who broke jail from the Zwedru Palace of
Corrections/jail. Newspapers reports including FPA had it that some
of the money supposedly went to putting up a fence around President
Sirleaf's house. At one point, President Sirleaf hinted that the Nigerian
man was said to be "a drug dealer and money launderer."
That Nigerian man is now an elected member of the Nigerian Parliament.
When Liberia was given a judgeship on the ECOWAS Court, the
Nigerian argued that Liberia does not deserve the seat on the Court if
Liberia refuses to abide the Court's decision to give him his money.
Hence, the Liberian taxpayers had to pay for the criminality of Philip
Banks. And now Banks sits on Liberia's Supreme Court. The curse on
Liberia takes many forms from the president who confessed to funding
our civil war that killed 250, 000 Liberians, to warlords who carried out
orgies of mass killings now in our Ligislature. But 99 days for rogue, and
one day for master.
In the end, the Liberian taxpayers paid back the Nigerian man's money
after he sued L I beria at the ECOWAS Court in Abuja, Nigeria.

DISCLAIMER

The comments expressed here are those of our online readers and
bloggers and do no represent the views of FrontPageAfrica

The Reader's Page

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editor@frontpageafricaonline.com
YOU WRITE; WE PUBLISH; THEY READ!

THE MANDATE
IS DELIVERED!!
THE EDITOR,

he December 20, 2014 special senatorial elections results


will usher in a new Senior Senator in Gbarpolu County. The
results changed the ways that people of Gbarpolu County
are going to feel, listen, do things politically and relate
to one another. Everyone I talked to during the political campaign
expressed concern that the County was leaning toward a strange
political era. Their political friendship was being shaped by either
political rhetoric or fallacies but some admitted that reality would set
in after casing the ballots.
The feelings expressed were as divided as polling stations across
the county. One thing voters were very passionate and united about
was change. Subjects like road construction and development
were discussed in commercial vehicles, market places, front and
back porches, farm roads and drinking spots around the county. The
idea that the campaign was very peaceful show that the electorates
had something to contribute to the rest of the world by campaigning
peacefully and hoping for a violent free transparent elections meant
a historic shift not only in Gbarpolu County politics but Liberia as a
whole.
For Gbarpolu County, the December 20, 2014 special senatorial
election marked a transcending moment of one of the many obstacles
confronting the County. The ghost of painful political memories stand
tall whilst political pond it's pen their predictions in the county. The
coming years are likely to be suspicious for political actions and
countywide renaissance as sign by the electorates response to the
elections results. In my opinion and political view, the time has come
for Gbarpolu County to force the hands of history for its own good.
The outcome and electorates response to the December 20, 2014
special sanatoria elections must give Gbarpolu County a pause and
reasons to re-evaluate its political future, monitored the next years to
come and strategize the next course of political actions.
As to the orderliness, fairness, credibility and transparency of the
electoral process, it was in this case, unlike other pre-war instances,
very objective. To underline the fairness and transparency of the
process, the ruling Unity Party, in Gbarpolu County, lost her seat.
True enough, if the process was compared to the 1985 and 2007
undertakings which were fraught with overt and gross irregularities,
the results would be far different.
As the results from different polling places pulled in, It is now clear
that the dignified people of Gbarpolu have spoken through the ballot
box. What I 'm quickly saying to myself is it would be a dreadful
mistake to move on to doing business as usual without closely looking
at events and analyzing the anger that brought about the 2011 political
change in Gbarpolu County.
Frankly, this time should be used for alternative county wide
introspection; not a moment for cross and unbridled triumphalism
despite the deep political divide in the County. The next nine years will
provide the new senior Senator of Gbarpolu County the opportunity
to move the county in the direction he portrayed during his political
campaign. nine years may sound like a century but in the twinkle
of an eye, we will be back to the ballot box to be evaluated for our
campaign promises and to be politically rewarded. If the incoming
Senior Senator fail to address the obvious and not-so-obvious pitfalls
on which his campaign was based, he too should be prepared for
similar and even more dissembling political actions against him at the
ballot box comes the next elections.
Mr. Sam K. Zinnah
Monrovia

THE FUMBLED AND


TWISTED READING OF
THE RIVER GEE ELECTION
PROVISIONAL RESULTS

The Editor:

e congratulate the national election commission for


conducting what is considered to be a peaceful, free
and fair election.
Notwithstanding this commendable efforts, we have
reasons to doubt some of the reading of the results from River Gee
county. This is a reason for concern because commissioner Davidetta
Browne Lasannah gave a blurred picture of transparency when she
misread figures or assigned and reassigned
votes or numbers to different candidates in the reading of the River
Gee provisional results.
Commissioner Davidetta Browne Lasannah in her reading of the River
Gee election provisional results initially read that candidate Jonathan
Boy Charles Sogbe received a total votes of 2672, constituting 26.1
percent and Conmany Wesseh, the commissioner pulse briefly, but
failed to read Mr. Wesseh's number and said "let me start from the
top, if you don't mind".
Commissioner Lasannah for the second time read Sogbe received
1719 votes, Wesseh received 742 votes but retracted her words
and said "there you go again". The next reading was the swapping
of numbers and reassigning of votes to read as Wesseh received a
total votes of 2672, the number earlier assigned to Sogbe and now
reassigned to Wesseh.
What a mistake! A mistake too grave to throw out the window that we
thought deserves an explanation beyond the fumble.
Looking at commissioner Davidetta Browne Lasannah's performance
from a rational perspectives would be that the commissioner read all
the other candidates provisional results in a clear and straight forward
way, but consistently gave confusing account twice when reading the
Sogbe and Wesseh's results, thus swapping the two positions with
Sogbe finally dropping to Wesseh. This resemble an orchestration of
modus operandi, or a doctored results, though this assumption could
be wrong.
Therefore, we want to know whether this was an inadvertent error,
typographical error, or a critical error, she referred to as "sorry for
the fumbled".
This concern is far stretched because according to opinion polls
considered to be credible and conducted in River Gee county prior
to the election, Boy Charles was considered the leading contender
far ahead of Mr. Wesseh who struggled to clinch a fourth place in
the polls.
This is also a serious issue because commissioner Fromoyan, former
chairman of NEC was in similar position in 2011 which inflicted a
dent in his credibility and subsequently removed from his position.
We the people and stakeholders of River Gee are raising this concern
now to ensure that whosoever is declared the winner in the River Gee
polls will enjoy the mandate of the people of River Gee. This will
save the county from political bickering and undeserving leaders who
siphon the county coffers.
We have to face up to the challenge now and elect a deserving
leader who is a consensus builder. We call on this paper to do an
investigative story on the fumbled and twisted reading of the River
Gee provisional results.
Thanks
Tony Hiton
tihiseentarty.2012@gmail.com
Baltimore, Md.

EDITORIAL TEAM

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077-936-138, editor@FrontPageAfricaonline.com;
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williams@frontpageafricaonline.com; 0880664793
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frontpageafricaonline.com, 0886236528
Henry Karmo, henry.karmo@frontpageafricaonline.
com
Al-varney Rogers al.rogers@frontpageafricaonline.
com, 0886-304498
Sports Reporter, A. Macaulay Sombai,macaulay.
sombai@FrontpageAfricaonline.com, 077217428

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Monday, December 29, 2014

Frontpage

Page 9

ENEMIES
OF
LIBERIA
ALARMING
L
INCREASE
49 NEW EBOLA CASES IN CAPE MOUNT;
GOL WARNS TRAVELERS TO BEWARE

The Incident Management System the overarching body for


Ebola Virus Disease Response is concerned about the alarming
increase of Ebola Virus Disease cases in Grand Cape Mount
County, he said. In the past 25 days, December 1-25, 2014,
forty-nine cases have reported, 27 confirmed, 9 probable, and 13
cases suspected. It puts Grand Cape Mount County in the Red
County Category as the epidemiological map shows, second to
Montserrado as counties with highest burden of EVD. - Mr.
Tolbert Nyenswah, head of Liberias Ebola response

Monroviahe Incident Management System an arm of the Liberian


government and partners responsible for the containment
of the Ebola virus disease in the country has stated that the
disease is growing at an alarming rate in Grand Cape Mount
County. Speaking to Journalists at the Incident Command Center on
Sunday, the head of Liberias Ebola response, Mr. Tolbert Nyenswah
said a total of 49 cases have been reported in the area and this hike
in the number of cases is due to failure to follow health procedures
laid out by the government of Liberia. He said the county now joins
Montserrado as the two counties with the most Ebola cases.
The Incident Management System the overarching body for Ebola
Virus Disease Response is concerned about the alarming increase of
Ebola Virus Disease cases in Grand Cape Mount County, he said.
In the past 25 days, December 1-25, 2014, forty-nine cases have
reported, 27 confirmed, 9 probable, and 13 cases suspected. It puts
Grand Cape Mount County in the Red County Category as the
epidemiological map shows, second to Montserrado as counties with
highest burden of EVD.
He said the disease continues to spread of a high level of complacency
on the part of community dwellers in gross disregard for the
preventative measures that has been laid out by the ministry of health.
Mr. Nyenswah said the migration of suspected and probable cases
within and out of the county, continuous denial by community
dwellers that people are dying from Ebola. He said despite such
denial the bodies that are being tested turn out to be Ebola positive.
Mr. Nyenswah said traditional and cultural practices are still
entrenched and people are refusing to stop touching or bathing dead
bodies. He said in many cases due to denial, some are even hiding the
sick in their homes and caring for them and when they eventually die,
the family arranges secret burials for their dead relatives.
We even noticed secret burials are still ongoing in Grand Cape
Mount County, he said.
He said people are no longer washing hands with chlorinated water or
the use of sanitizers or other items.
He said in wake of this grave health alert, the government and its
partners are holding an emergency meeting in Sinje, Grand Cape
Mount County, something that coincides with the opening of the first
Ebola Treatment Unit of 100-bed in Grand Cape Mount County.
He said the government is installing an Ebola lab to test all cases
swiftly and the mobilization of all partners to move into the county
to give support.
The assistant minister for health of Liberia said there has to be
drastic behavioral change if the county must reverse its current Ebola
numbers.
He said in Montserrado County, a corpse was dressed up as though it
was a passenger in a taxicab and taken to Margibi County for burial,
but the health team intercepted the ceremony and when a test as done
it turned out to be Ebola positive.
Mr. Nyenswah said in Nimba, a 12-year-old crossed the border from
neighboring Guinea got sick and was tested and confirmed to have
Ebola. He said at the moment 46 contacts are being traced in the
county and two persons infected with the virus have died in the county.
He said Nimbas Ebola outbreak was under control for over sixty days
until the traveler from Guinea entered the county.The government is
warning people traveling to and from the region to be careful because
the area with a population of 140,991 with 524 communities is now a
red zone in terms of the Ebola epidemic.

Monroviaiberian businessman
Benoni Urey has
described the recent
sale of some of
Liberian oil blocks as stealing
the wealth of the country,
calling on Liberians to fight
people he is describing as
enemies of the country.
I know they have stolen
almost everything from our
country; recently, they just sold
two oil blocks to a Nigerian oil
company, owned by the very
lawmakers with direct shares
into this company. You made
the first Nigerian a millionaire
from our oil block, and then
you sell another two blocks
to a Nigerian Company called
Liberty petroleum. We have to
take control of our destiny,
Urey expressed.
Urey seized the opportunity to
express his dissatisfaction over
the recent sale of two oil blocks,
while making remarks recently
at the opening of a peace hut in
Frank Town, and unveiling of
the Voice of Rural Montserrado
(VRM) Transmission house,
constructed by Mr. Desire
S. Satia, in Crozierville,
Montserrado County.

Enough is enough
Urey described poverty as
the biggest enemy to Liberia
saying that the Liberian people
are suffering while the country
is endowed with vast natural
resources.
The biggest element to any
country is poverty. If they want
to kill me, let them do it, but
enough is enough, because
it is painful to see our people
suffering and dying. When
they prosecuted us a few years
ago, saying we were corrupt,
where was the corruption,
when we did not even have a
budget of 33 million, but they
are stealing disgracefully, all
of our mountains, rivers banks
and our oil blocks are all gone.
The businessman is calling on
all Liberians to stand up and
fight corruption and other evils
in the society.
My people we are in trouble.
We must stand strong and fight
the enemies of our country.
When you tell them they are
stealing, they will demonize
you all kinds of ways because
you are telling them to stop
stealing, said Urey.
According to him whenever the
truth is spoken there are attacks
from different fronts against
those speaking the truth.
When you talk, they put you
on all kinds of bans, but we
will not be quiet. If you say
I was rouge, I say God has
changed me, so what about
you? You should also stop.
What gives them the right to
do this to us? Then when you
talk, they unleash all of their
dogs on you, but we wont
be perturbed. As this man has
brought this radio station; lets
help ourselves to clean the
road, Urey further said.
Also speaking, Christine T.
Norman, Mayor of Bentol
City said it is time to stand and
fight ignorance and poverty,

Urey Frowns of Sale of Oil Blocks

Mae Azango maeazango@frontpageafricaonline.com/azama20062007@yahoo.com

something she said the Late


President William R. Tolbert
stood and fought against.
She vowed that she would take
it very seriously and dedicate
herself along with the council
and use the establishment to
fight and rage a real war against
ignorance poverty and disease
that all comes from the mind.
It is time to change our mind
set, it is about time that we
change from asking all the time
and be ready to give as well. It
is time to set good example,
Mayor Norman said.
The mayor praised the
sponsor of the radio station for
contributing immensely to the
upkeep of the local government
office.
Said Mayor Norman I am so
amazed by the kind of person
Disire is, I never knew this
young man before, but when I
was appointed as Mayor, I was
informed by the government
that there was no budget for the
city. I had no salary neither did
I have benefits since I took this
job but I needed salary to pay
professional staff to develop
this city. But I shared with Mr.
Satia that I did not have money
to pay my staff, and from then

on, he has dedicated money to


pay my staff every month.
According to Mayor Norman
Satia informed her that he only
wanted to help.
Speaking to reporters, the man
at the center of praises, Satia
said youth from the area visited
him and appealed that they
needed a peace hut to discuss
issues and as a youth himself,

one of the best in Liberia and


he is working toward it.
Said Satia Mr. Urey did not
even know that he was the
person who encouraged me to
move home, after he moved on
his farm in Careysburg. Just by
seeing him living on his farm,
when I used to drive by, made
me to move back home and
help my people.

he was moved by their idea to


build the hut.
As the chairperson of the
Board of the Voice of Rural
Montserrado, Satia said he
wants the radio station to be

After the unveiling program,


Mrs. Theresa Leigh Shaman
lit the Christmas tree in the
central point of Crozierville.

Monday, December 29, 2014

NEW FACES ON THE BLOCK


Page 10 | Frontpage

Monroviaiberia now has 15


new lawmakers who
will resume official
legislative duties early
January 2015 to complete the
30-member Liberian senate
known as the Upper House
of the National Legislature of
Liberia.
The
National
Elections
Commission
of
Liberia
following the conduct of polls
on Saturday December 20 has
released the final results with
15 candidates emerging out of a
total of 139 who opted for the
15 slots.
Announcing the final results
Saturday,
Cllr.
Jerome
Korkoyah, Chairman of the
NEC described the process as
crucial.
Said
Chairman
Korkoyah
Today marks the end of the
crucial journey, we started a
year ago, we have gathered to
announce the final results to
declare winners of the December
2014 special senatorial election.
Before I proceed to announce
the final results I will like to
recognize
institutions
and
organizations that contributed
to the success of this election.
In a country where ordinary
people now feel that their
elected officials do not care
about their plight, only 25.2% of
registered voters 479,936 turned
out to cast their ballots.
Grand Cape Mount County
had the highest numbers voters
turning out to vote 38.2%
representing 23,458 closely
followed by Grand Kru County
in southeastern Liberia with
37.5% or 13,303 voting during
the election.
Montserrado County recorded
the lowest number of voters
turning out to vote with just
130,616 representing 20.1%
and nearby Margibi County
also recorded low turnout with
27,339 representing 20.7% of
voters turning out to cast their
ballots.
Amongst the high profile
winners are former soccer
legend George M. Weah who
won as Senator of the most
populous county-Montserrado,
obtaining the highest number
of votes, 99,226 representing
78.0%.
The next winner with high
number of votes is Nimba
County incumbent Prince Y.
Johnson who obtained 56,923
votes representing 66.6%.
Cllr. Varney G. Sherman of the
ruling Unity party and Grand
Cape Mount County won with
a high percentage, 61.7% and
Jonathan L. Kaipay of the
Liberty Party and Grand Bassa
County also won with 57.4%.
Some candidates won with very
low percentage of votes with
Francis Paye of River Cess
County becoming a senator
after obtaining just 1,959 votes
representing 22.8% of total
votes cast. ConmanyWessh
of River Gee County and the
Unity Party also won with just
2,672 votes about 26.1% of
the votes and Daniel Naatehn,
Sr. of Gbarpolu County and
Alternative National Congress
also won with just 3,962 votes
representing 34.3% of total
votes cast.

Weah, PYJ Score High as Liberia Gets 15 New Lawmakers

The final results indicates


that out of a total number of
13 incumbents senators that
contested the election only two
were lucky to get reelected
with Senator Prince Johnson
of Nimba maintaining his
seat comfortably with a vote
difference of 31, 991 form his
main rival Edith GongloeWeh
of the Liberty party.
Another
incumbent
Jewel
Howard Taylor winning with a
vote margin of 1,935 over her
nearest rival Henrique Tokpa an
independent candidate.
Out of the 15 new lawmakers,

there is only one female


candidate representing 7% with
14 male or 93%, a continuation
of the trend of governance in
Liberia where male dominate in
elective positions.
Women
participation
in
the election stood at 14%
representing 20 candidates with
men accounting for 86% or 119
candidates.
Following months of bickering
on whether to hold the special
senatorial
election
amid
Ebola, the Supreme Court of
Liberia ruled against a writ
of prohibition filed by some

Liberians against the holding of


the election.
Seen as an indicator to general
and presidential elections in
Liberia in 2017, the results send
out different thoughts on the
shape of politics come 2017.
The opposition Congress for
Democratic Change will still
count on its popularity in
Montserrado and Grand Gedeh
counties while the Liberty Party
won two populated countiesGrand Bassa and Lofa.
In terms of number of seats,
the ruling Unity Party will be
satisfied with the results based

on the number of seats won but


in terms of numbers, the party
won four counties with low
population-River Gee, Grand
Cape Mount, Bomi and Sinoe
Counties.
Four Unity party candidates in
four counties won combined
votes of 31,952 while the
Liberty Party two candidates
in two counties won 29,093
slightly below the combined
Unity Party numbers.
In terms of numbers of votes
the CDC will be the happiest
after its two candidates George
Weah and Marshall Dennis both

won 105,374, far more than


the Liberty party and the Unity
party.
CDC candidates in Maryland,
Margibi, Grand Cape Mount and
Gbarpolu counties performed
very well Dr. Bhofal Chambers
narrowly losing out to eventual
winner Gbleh-bo Brown with
just 5% of the votes.
In Grand Cape Mount, CDC
candidate
Fodee
Kromah
managed runners-up with 3,431
votes representing 15.5 percent.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Frontpage

Page 11

Page 12 | Frontpage

Monday, December 29, 2014

POLITICS

REGULATOR
STILL INDID
LACC DRAGNET
HOW
JEWEL
IT
F

PAGE
RONT

Monday, December 29, 2014

Jorquelleh District, Bong County


hey
boasted
that
she
would
lose.
They distorted her
achievements
and
cooked false allegations against
her during the campaigns. They
branded her all sorts of names. In
a final bid to snatch victory, they
attempted to disrupt the collation
of results at the National Election
Commission (NEC) office in
Bong County.
But she hurried to the finish line
so fast that they could not catch
up with her. And, so, by Saturday
at 14: 00 GMT, December 27,
2014, she, Jewel Howard-Taylor
of the former ruling National
Patriotic Party (NPP), was duly
returned as the winner of the
Special Senatorial election held
on Saturday December 20, 2014.
The mathematics of HowardTaylors victory is interesting
for at least two reasons. First,
she scored 13, 672 votes, while
her closest rival, Dr. Henrique
Flomo Tokpa, an Independent
Candidate, scored 11, 737 votes.
The margin of Howard-Taylors
victory was so clear at 1, 935
votes that Tokpa would not
be the next Senator of Bong
County as he was introduced to
citizens in electoral district two
by Bong County Representative
Prince Moye the previous
Saturday.
Second, Howard-Taylors votes
translate to 32. 5 per cent of valid
votes cast in the election, while
Tokpas translate to 30.2 per
cent. What is interesting about
these numbers is the predictive
value of a poll conducted one
week before the election by
Radio Gbarnga, a community
radio station in Gbarnga, which
suggested a 54 per cent chance of
victory for Howard-Taylor and a
33 per cent chance for Tokpa.
The relative improvement in
Tokpas chance may have been
due to the manipulative tactics
allegedly employed at some
polling areas, especially in four
of the centers in Suakoko district,
his home base.
Be that as it may, there could
be no better vindication for
good governance and effective
performance than HowardTaylors electoral victory.
A clear majority of voters in

Frontpage

Page 13

Mator, a renowned woman in the


district, has declared support for
Howard-Taylor.
Long before the election,
Howard-Taylor as a political
strategist had plotted her reelection by identifying with
the people and their needs and
providing for them when she had
occasion to visit them.
The Bong County senator had
reserved all her arsenal for the
last days before the election. A
few days to the December 20
election, the senator started an
unusual thing.
Howard-Taylor
tied
her
campaign programs to the
inauguration of projects. As she
went for any rally or political
meeting, she carried along a
transformer or a mini-bus, which
she donated to the community
hosting the rally or political
meeting.
All over the county in the last
two weeks, Howard-Taylor
inaugurated
road,
awarded
scholarships and many other
projects as part of ways of
winning the hearts of the people.
Many of her critics had dismissed
her antics as too obvious to fool
the electorate. But the electorate,
who needed the facilities, it
appeared, knew better than that.
The senator had steadily and
consistently taken groups and
groups of home-based and Bong
County people in the Diaspora
round the county on guided tours
of her leaderships projects in the
county.
At the end of such visits, she held
dinner meetings and also gave
the guests details of how she met
the county in comatose and how
she had worked hard not only to
rehabilitate the infrastructure but
to positively change the attitude
of the people.
Howard-Taylors
repeated
visits to towns and villages in
the county endeared her to the
rural folk, who many times had
confessed that they had never
been privileged to have a senator
visit them.

Commission on Higher Education Director General long Corruption tale


Selma Lomax, selma.lomax@frontpageafricaonline.com

Bong County rejected detractors,


by using their votes to say
OYes to her educational
programs; to completing, or
embarking on, numerous road
projects across the county,
including the employment of
2,000 youths so far through
the Bong Youth Empowerment
Scheme; and to training no less
than 1,000 youths in Information
Technology throughout the
county.
The NPP factor
Additional reasons have to do
with Howard-Taylors popularity
and accessibility of the NPP in
the county. The Bong County
senator not only held monthly
sessions for citizens to ask her
any question, she also literally
toured towns and villages in
the county on a regular basis.
Howard-Taylor never missed
singing and dancing with
the citizens at the slightest
opportunity.
Howard-Taylor, a former first
lady, may not be flamboyant.
She may not even look like a

senator. But you cannot take


the knowledge of practical
politics away from her. Not
Bong County politics, but
the kind of pragmatic politics
that maximizes the connection
between a leader and the people.
No wonder Howard-Taylors
ratings on character, personality
and
credibility
remained
consistently high in opinion
poll after opinion poll. The
reverse was the case with Tokpa,
whose negative baggage was
a hindrance to his electability.
Incidentally, he reportedly carried
the negativity into the campaign
by focusing on misinforming
voters about the Bong County
senator and her programs. Rather
than induce voters by selling his
programs, he paid more attention
to the distribution of rice and the
killing of cows across the county.
If Howard-Taylor did not
campaign effectively throughout
the length and breadth of
the county to correct all the
misinformation, she probably
would have lost more votes.

The Bong County Wake-up


Call
Although many Unity Party (UP)
stalwarts refused to acknowledge
it openly, the party went into
the Bong senatorial election
knowing defeat was a likely
outcome. Some party chieftains
were unhappy with Ranney
Jackson, the partys candidate,
whom they accused of alienating
them and they refused to work
for him.
Also, the UP was fractured in
the county as a result of internal
conflict. The loss in the county,
even though not surprising to
party chieftains, raised an alarm
in the party as a dangerous signal
to what could become of UP in
2017.
The loss was originally thought
to be Jacksons problem, but
it soon dawned on the partys
strategists that it was not only
humiliating, it was also capable
of sending a message to Bongese
(citizens of Bong County) that
the
Ellen
Johnson-Sirleaf
factor of UP was no longer in
charge of the county.
With several reasons adduced
for Jacksons loss including
a fall-out with ex-combatants
in the county Howard-Taylor
benefited from this by quickly
making amends. By moving
quickly to address the grievances
of the ex-combatants, HowardTaylor was able to re-connect
with them in a matter of days.
The failed religious card

Howard-Taylor was cast as a


religious fanatic by the Tokpa
camp, who pointed out several
actions taken by the senator as
an anti-Muslim. The senator
has been leading the campaign
for Liberia to be recognized
as a Christian state. The plan
generated
some
religious
tension. However, the religious
flag did not fly at least not on

election day.
Apart from the fact that there are
probably more Christians than
Muslims in Bong County, this
gave her a double advantage.
Most
importantly,
though,
religion has never been an
electoral issue in the county
where Muslims and Christians
live together peacefully.
But accused of being a religious
bigot, Howard-Taylor reached
out to key Muslim leaders,
including an Imam of Gbarnga,
Vashabu Konneh, and it
effectively doused the tension
in the Muslim community.
Howard-Taylors politicking
The Congress for Democratic
Change (CDC) chapter in Bong
County went into the election in
bad shape an ironic mirror of
what happened to CDC chapter
in Nimba County. The primary
of the party which saw the
emergence of Augustus Flomo
as its candidate was trailed with
discontent tune which resulted
into a faction of the party in the
county.
Delino Kollie, an elite member of
the party in the county, declared
his intention for Howard-Taylor
whose flag he eventually flew
in the election. Howard-Taylor
moved deftly to cash in on this.
She got Kollie to team up with
her campaign a masterstroke,
given that the man called
Jarfarma is a very popular
politician in Panta District, one
of the big political constituencies
in the county.
Next, Howard-Taylor got the
endorsement of the power
brokers in Zota District, where
Jackson comes from. It was
another big score for the former
first lady. And then, Edwin
Juah, a former lawmaker of
the district, joined the race a
few months to the election.
Even though Jackson did not
win Zota, it was a set-back for
the UP, especially after Susana

Performance and the Taylor


factor
Another factor that led to
Howard-Taylors victory was
that the last two months to the
end of her first tenure witnessed
the flag off of many projects in
many parts of the county and the
feeling of the people was that it
would be better to remain with
somebody who had committed
herself towards the execution
of such projects than gambling
with a candidate who was only
making promises that were non
committal.
Also, Howard-Taylors main
campaign rested on the need
for Bong County people to see
her as the symbol of her former
husband, Charles Taylor whose
legacy remains indelible in the
hearts of citizens of the county.
Howard-Taylor had brought an
audio purporting to be the voice
of Charles Taylor. The purported
Taylor audio cautioned citizens
of Bong County not to vote
against the NPP. The audio in
part said: I have been out of the
country for a long time. Vote my
wife Jewel Howard-Taylor, my
wife if you truly love me. I thank
you.
The audio sent shockwaves
among the citizens and perhaps
it was the issue that HowardTaylor to re-election.

BOOKED
Monday, December 29, 2014

Page 14 | Frontpage

Sierra Leonean Woman Accused of LD$1M Theft in Liberia

Monrovia Sierra
Leonean
woman
indentified
as Gbessay Sackor
has been accused of
allegedly stealing one million
Liberian Dollars from a Business
Center in Liberia.
Police transferred the woman to
the Monrovia Magisterial Court
for prosecution after she was
charged with theft of property
and burglary.
Judge Kennedy Peabody of the
Monrovia Magisterial acquainted
the suspect of her rights saying
the crime is billable under our
law but added that failure to
secure a valid bond will leave the
court with no alternative but to

place the defendant in a common


cell as provided by law.
Defense lawyer Zumo Jallah
informed the court that his
client was unable to secure a
valid bond because of time and
pleaded for 13.5 in order to file a
proper bond as provided by law.
The request was however
denied because of the gravity
of the amount in question and
the suspect was remanded at
the Monrovia Central Prison
pending Court trial.
A Lebanese businessman Allie
Ezzeddine informed police
investigators that on December
16, 2014 Madam Gbessay
Sackor and three other women
entered his store to asked for

lappas but says he did not know


after looking at the lappa bill
in the warehouse comprising
three compartments, one of three
women in question reportedly
hid
herself in one of the
compartments.
According to Lebanese national
the woman stayed in the
compartment until the store
was closed at 17:45 Ezzeddine
said that on December 17, 2014
when he opened his store passed
behind his counter, he observed
that some of his US and Liberian
dollars he left in a carton was
missing.
Immediately,
Ezzeddine
explained he ordered the store
gate close and a search began.

He revealed that while the


search was ongoing they spotted
Madam Gbessay Sackor coming
from a warehouse with lappas
in her hand and pretended that
she was a customer which raised
eyebrows. He said it was during
inquiry with the suspect that a
small black bag containing over
LD$1million was discovered.
The defendant, Madam Gbessay
Sackor admitted to the act,
stating that her colleagues, who
are still at large were part of the
operation, according to court
document.
Madam Sackor arrived in Liberia
on December 16, 2014 and
resides at a local motel called
Kailondo Guest House.

LIBERIA: ECO-LIGHTING HELPS BATTERED


MONROVIA SEE BEYOND EBOLA

Monrovia
n a shop near the heart of
the densely packed West
Point neighborhood in
Liberia's capital that was
quarantined in August to slow
the spread of Ebola, retiree
Abubakar K. Sherif is hard at
work
Around the Waterside, one of
Monrovia's largest markets,
drivers are constantly honking
to make a path through the
multitudes
clogging
the
road. Street hawkers scream
their wares, while marketers
try to claim the attention of
passersby.
Amid the chaos on Mechlin
street, one of the interlinking
thoroughfares of the market,
the Liberian Energy Network
(LEN) has its Monrovia office,
which also doubles as the point
of sales. Inside, boxes of solar
panel lights are stacked on the
floor. Sherif, LEN's president,
sits behind one of two desks in
an office shared by assistants.
A man who looks to be in his
early twenties sits at the only
visible computer..
With the help of an allLiberian staff, Sherif, a
former ministry of internal
affairs official, presides over
the sales and distribution of
products that literally spread
light during a very dark time.
Before images of West Point
during the height of the Ebola
crisis were splashed across
screens worldwide, Sherif's
organization had sent 5000
solar-powered lights around
the country in 2014, with a
goal of doubling that number
by year's end.
Only 1.5 percent of Liberia's
people
have
access
to
electricity, so even projects
that start small can make a
measurable difference. And
flexible, nimble innovators

LRA AX FALLS
Several Businesses Shutdown For Tax

can address needs that larger


operators cannot.
Among the unusual uses of
LEN's lights is by fishermen,
who take their small boats out
into Monrovia's rough ocean
currents before dawn and after
dusk, when catches are better.
James Logan, a 25-year-old
high school graduate, chaired
the fishermen association at
Banjor Beach, a section of
coastline in a western suburb
of Monrovia. Trudging through
the sand to reach the gathering
of fishermen and canoes is
made to look effortless by
market women, chattering as
they advance towards towards
the boats, toting pans to carry
the fish they come to buy.
Logan was put in charge of
distributing LEN's solar panel

lights amongst the fishermen.


"With the help of the lights," he
said, "We can go far and stay
longer time over water. The
more you stay there, the more
you catch."
In a neighborhood and a city
with protein deficiencies and
not enough jobs, more fish
mean more revenue for both
the fishermen who catch them
and for the market women who
buy from them and sell the fish
to the public.
Enhanced safety the lights
provide is also a welcome
benefit.
A
middle-aged
fisherman, James Arthur, has
been navigating the tumbling
waters off Monrovia's coast
for 15 years. "When we are
about to put nets in the water,"
he says, "we use the lights to

see and it keeps us safe from


ships and whatsoever thing is
passing around."
Supplying such needs was
interrupted when Ebola struck
the Liberian capital. Staff at
LEN were unable to work in
August. The neighborhood was
cordoned off and movement
in and out was limited to
health workers, security forces
and humanitarian workers
distributing food.
When the quarantine was
lifted, LEN operations rapidly
geared up again. The enterprise
decided to focus temporarily
on helping to fight Ebola.
Within weeks it had distributed
over 300 solar powered lamps
to health workers caring for
Ebola patients.

Monrovia everal Lebanese Business institutions have been shut down


for depriving the Liberian government of revenues.
The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) which is responsible
for collecting government income, obtained a writ of search
and seizure warrant through Ministry Justice from the Monrovia
Magisterial Court at the Temple of Justice.
LRA Legal Counsel Atty. Max T. Duncan along few LRA staffers,
backed by court officers were seen enforcing the court order last
Saturday evening on Broad and Randall Streets where several
Lebanese stores were shutdown.
According to the Court document, 18 business institutions were
affected.
Stipendiary Magistrate Kennedy Peabody in his writ of search and
seizure warrant to the sheriff of the court stated: You are further
commanded that upon the discovery of these items, to bring them
before this honorable court in keeping with law and make your
returns and endorsed at the back of this writ as to the form and manner
of service therefore. And for so doing, this shall constitute your legal
and sufficient authority.
Lawyers presenting some of the Lebanese inform journalists that the
writ of search and seizure warrant prayed for by Liberia Revenue
Authority to shut down several Lebanese business institutions was
unlawful as provided by law.

Monday, December 29, 2014

PAGE
RONT

POLITICS

Frontpage

Page 15

WHOS TELLING THE TRUTH?


T

Monrovia
he
speaker
of
Liberias House of
Representatives, Alex
Tyler, has denied news
reports that he manipulated
elections workers to influence
the outcome of the December
20 special senatorial election in
President Ellen Johnson Sirleafs
home province of Bomi County.
Senator Lansanah was arrested
by police along with his wife
following
clashes
between
supporters of the two camps.
A supporter of Lansanah told
local media that the senators
arrest was engineered by Speaker
Tyler in an attempt to manipulate
the outcome. Tyler said the
allegations are farfetched and
untrue.
In a VOA Daybreak Africa
interview, Speaker Tyler said:
Like any other citizen, I went on
Saturday, the 20th [of December]
to my village where I had to
vote. From there I went to my
residence in Tubmanberg where
I was until after the election
before returning to Monrovia,
he said.
Tyler said even though he
endorsed one of the candidates in
the election, he was never on the
ballot and could not have carried
out the alleged bribery.
He said hes being used as a
scapegoat by people who are
refusing to accept the will of the
voters.
The allegations could be
coming from people who did not

Senator Johnson Accuses Speaker Tyler of Election Manipulation

win the election. Im not in this


election, so why would I carry
out bribery? the Speaker said.
Tyler said he does not have the
authority as speaker of the House
to order the arrest any citizen as
alleged by supporters of Senator
Lansanah.
Im not head of the Executive
Branch of government. I head
the Legislative Branch that does
not have police power. And since
I left Tubmanberg on Saturday
evening, I havent been back
there. So, how could I order
the arrest of somebody when I
wasnt even there? Tyler said.
He
said
allegations
of
manipulation and bribery are
being made by people who are
not willing to accept defeat.
Election is one of the elements
of democracy. People need

to accept results when they


do not win and stop pointing
fingers. When people do not an
election they find scapegoats.
And thats what happened. They
tried to scapegoat me. Even the
Senate Pro Temp did not win,
but he accepted the results and
graciously walked away, Tyler
said.
Tyler said no official from the
National Elections Commission
has approached him because
they know the allegations are not
true.
Last week, rival supporters of
both candidates have been at
loggerheads in the past few
days since the votes were cast
and initial results announced.
But things got out of hand last
Wednesday when Lansanah was
arrested along with his wife and

blamed for the disturbance in the


county.
The couple was arrested after
their supporters on Tuesday
threatened to set the local
National Elections Commission
office in Tubmanburg on fire.
FrontPageAfrica learnt that
officers from the Police Support
Unit (PSU) of the Liberia
National Police (LNP) were
deployed at the Bomi County
National Elections Commission
(NEC) Office to combat electoral
violence.
The officers, who eyewitnesses
said slept on the grounds of
the NEC office, were posted
because some unsatisfied voters
threatened to burn the NEC
claimed cheating in the process.
According to the eyewitness,
some supporters of the incumbent

Lansanah, are unsatisfied with


the tallying result, and claimed
that NEC was cheating their
candidate.
Lansanah joined the NPP after
deflecting from the National
Democratic Party of Liberia
(NDPL) on whose platform he
won the 2005 senatorial election
receiving the highest number of
votes which made him the senior
senator.
On Wednesday, several Senators
including Dan Morias(National
Patriotic Party, Maryland) and
Jewel Howard Taylor(NPP,
Bong County) marched at the
headquarters of the Liberia
National Police to demand their
colleagues release.
Senator
Morias
told
FrontPageAfrica
Wednesday
while awaiting update on his
colleague that the LNPs action
was unfair. This is a sitting
Senator of the Liberian senate. if
you accused him of committing
a crime it is still an allegation.
Since this morning it has been
absolutely no justification to
hold him here but he is still being
kept here and we feel hurt as a
branch of Government that we
will request in the coordination
of government that one of our
colleague is being arrested and
brought to the Liberian Police
not for killing anybody but for
an allegation that is yet to be

DOING IT ALONE
F

PAGE
RONT

NEWS EXTRA

Brewerville Mayor Showcases Development Initiatives

G
Monrovia-

eorge V. Curtis
took over as Mayor
of the City of
Brewerville barely
2 years ago but the level of
work he has done is more than
his predecessors pre-war era.
Citizens of Brewerville will
tell you that they now see a

remarkable change in the way


the city is being run by Curtis.
He has given the city hall a new
look with major extensions.
The first extension includes the
creation of a modern kitchen
and bathrooms separately for
men and women, which did not
exist for over forty years.
Curtis has given the city hall

a front view, which provides


convenience for dignitaries and
physically challenged people.
The blind and handicapped
have a pathway on which they
can walk without being taken
up stairs.
The new mayor walks in the
line of great family figures
that have been mayors of

Brewerville before him. His


father Alfred B. Curtis Sr.
was mayor when the late
former President William R.
Tolbert broke grounds for the
construction of the city hall
in 1975. This groundbreaking
followed construction of the
first floor of the city hall to
which current mayor Curtis

has added second floor, which


is nearing completion.
The city which saw many of its
residents perish to the deadly
Ebola virus is set to see the
arrival of two ambulances and
Mayor Curtis says it is better
late than never.
We have two ambulances that
will be leaving the US this
week. It will be coming from
New York, he said. The city
partnered with a clinic here
called Imani house. We had
problem in getting funds to
ship those ambulances, they
were given to us since early
April, but today we were able
to pull through.
He said though the Ebola
epidemic is slowing in Liberia,
the ambulances would come at
a time when the communities
need them the most.
The Ebola epidemic has also
stalled efforts to recondition
the roads in the city, which
links Monrovia to the rest of
Western Liberia with the St.
Paul River Bridge.
There is a need for modern
market structure said Mayor
Curtis, as the current ones that
serve the people of Brewerville
are all temporary structure.
Residents of the area often
travel across the St. Pauls

proven.
Earlier
Senator
Sando
Johnson(NPP, Bomi), a key
supporter of Senator Lansannah
told
FrontPageAfrica
that
Speaker Alex Tyler was the
mastermind behind the arrest.
He accused the Speaker of trying
to manipulate the outcome of the
elections.
Senator
Johnson
showed
FrontPageAfrica a text message
exchange between he and the
speaker in which he cautioned
the speaker against paying or
bribing poll workers to influence
the outcome of the Bomi
elections, to which the speaker
obliged and agreed to stop.
Article 42 of the Liberian
constitution states that Members
shall be privileged from arrest
while attending, going to or
returning from sessions of the
Legislature, except for treason,
felony or breach of the peace. All
official acts done or performed
and all statement made in the
Chambers of the Legislature shall
be privileged, and no Legislator
shall be held accountable or
punished therefor.
Senator Johnson insists that
Senator Lansannah and his wife
were in their home at the time of
their arrest and were not part of
the disturbance on the streets of
Tubmanburg.

Bridge to the shopping district


of Duala to get food items. But
the mayor said he wants all that
to change.
We are working on a market
to relocate the citizens from
Moulton, Corner; for the fact
that Moulton Corner where
they are squatting is privately
owned and the owner wrote me
asking me to get rid of them, so
I am working on a market place
for them, said Mayor Curtis.
Unlike the City of Monrovia
and
the
Township
of
Paynesville, which gets support
from the national government
the city of Brewerville is not
allocated for in the government
budget. The city depends on
a strange means of support to
keep moving.
Brewerville City income
comes from hall rental and
the grave spots. Since I took
over as Mayor, all I do is just
beg and ask for help, said the
mayor. Thats what I would
be doing, begging some of
the politicians, government
officials and friends to help pull
through for the marketers.
Through the instrumentality
of Curtis, the city now has a
newly constructed magisterial
court building and a police
station is under construction.
The city is set to have its first
bank open. Curtis says he is
doing everything possible to
make Brewerville into a true
city by visible developmental
activities including roads,
clinics and a clean environment.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Page 16 | Frontpage

LIBERIA ELECTRICITY CORPORATION


P.O. BOX 165 - MONROVIA, LIBERIA
PRESS RELEASE
December 28, 2014

IMPROVED LEC POWER


SUPPLY TO MONROVIA SOON

Maintenance work has begun on the Liberia Electricity


Corporation, LEC power supply generators which provide
electricity for residents of Monrovia and its environs.
The work began on Monday after spare parts for several
generators which broke down at the height of the Ebola crisis
arrived over the weekend to boost LECs power generation
capacity.
A release quotes the LEC management as saying that their
engineers and technicians are working aggressively to ensure
the restoration of improved power supply in a reasonable
time.
The LEC is commending the public for its continued
understanding of the companys challenges and is calling
on them to exercise patience as the company is doing
everything possible to ensure that customers receive
improved electricity supply.
The recent load shedding has been attributed to the
breakdown of 11 of the 22 Mega Watts of the high speed
generators which were installed between 2006 and 2010.
The generators have outlived their life span as they were
only meant to be used for up to five years after the civil war.
The LEC management however, noted that the solution
to the energy needs of Liberia rests in the completion of
the three Heavy Fuel Oil plants totaling 38 Megawatts of
power, the Mount Coffee Hydropower Plantas well as other
rural projects such as the Cross Border, Transco CLSG and
WAPP among others will provide sustainable electricity to
the people of Liberia.
Construction works on these projects were suspended
indefinitely in late July after engineers and expatriates left
the country due to the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.
The first 10 Megawatts HFO being constructed through a
friendship grant from the Japanese government was due to
have been commissioned on December 15 this year. But the
project came to standstill in July during the installation of
the engines when the deadly Ebola virus broke out.
Signed:
Management

Monday, December 29, 2014

Frontpage

Page 17

"LIBERIA'S DWIGHT JOSEPH WINS


PROFESSIONAL BOUT IN THE US"
He continues to make fans in America and Liberia proud- having added what could be seen
as a crown to his string of success in the entertainment- mixed martial art industry. From
amateur successes Dwight Jaytee Joseph, son of Baker Tilly Liberia CPA had his debut
professional bout in Ralston Arena , Nebraska on December 13th 2014, against a contender
Tony Ortega whom he had floored at the amateur level in 2013.

Page 18 | Frontpage

IN BRIEF

MALARIA KILLING
THOUSANDS MORE THAN
EBOLA IN WEST AFRICA

GUECKEDOU, Guinea (AP)


est Africa's fight
to contain Ebola
has hampered
the campaign
against malaria, a preventable
and treatable disease that is
claiming many thousands more
lives than the dreaded virus.
In Gueckedou, near the village
where Ebola first started killing
people in Guinea's tropical
southern forests a year ago,
doctors say they have had to
stop pricking fingers to do blood
tests for malaria.

KABUL (Reuters)
he U.S.-led coalition in
Afghanistan
formally
ended its combat mission
on Sunday, more than 13
years after an international alliance
ousted the Taliban government
for sheltering the planners of the
Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on American
cities.
About 13,000 foreign troops,
mostly Americans, will remain in
the country under a new, two-year
mission named "Resolute Support"
that will continue the coalition's
training of Afghan security forces.
The Afghan army and police are
struggling to fight against Taliban
militants who this year killed
record numbers of Afghans.
"Today marks an end of an era
and the beginning of a new one,"
said U.S. General John Campbell,
commander of the International
Security Assistance Force (ISAF),
at the ceremony marking the end
of the mission held at the ISAF
headquarters in Kabul.

IN U.S.-CUBA PRISONER
SWAP, MYSTERY SURROUNDS
THE UNNAMED 53

WORLD NEWS

Monday, December 29, 2014

PLANE GOES DOWN


Search for missing AirAsia jet #QZ8501 bound for Singapore from Indonesia suspended

U.S.-LED MISSION IN
AFGHANISTAN ENDS COMBAT
ROLE; THOUSANDS OF FOREIGN
TROOPS REMAIN

HAVANA (Reuters) uba's most prominent


dissidents say they
have been kept in
the dark by U.S.
officials over a list of 53 political
prisoners who will be released
from jail as part of a deal to end
decades of hostility between the
United States and Cuba.
For years, dissident leaders have
told the United States which
opponents of Cuba's communist
government were being jailed or
harassed, but they say they were
not consulted when the list of
prisoners to be freed was drawn
up or even told who is on it.
The lack of information has
stoked concern and frustration
among the dissidents, who worry
that the secret list is flawed and
that genuine political prisoners
who should be on it will be left
to languish.
"We're concerned because we
don't agree with the silence,
because we have a right to know
who they are. Who are they?"

PAGE
RONT

ndonesia air traffic control


lost contact with AirAsia
flight
QZ8501
bound
for Singapore from the
Indonesian city of Surabaya on
Sunday morning.
Search and locate efforts were
launched but Indonesia later
suspended the operation as
darkness fell. The national
search and rescue agency said
the operation will resume at
first light on Monday morning,
with the search area expanded
to include mountainous areas on
land.
Earlier, AirAsia released a
statement listing 162 people
on board, with 138 adults, 16
children and one infant making
up 155 passengers along with
seven crew members (two pilots,
four flight attendants and one
engineer).
The passengers comprise one
Singaporean, one Malaysian,
one British, three South Koreans
and 149 Indonesians, while the
crew consists of six Indonesians
and one French (the co-pilot).
See the full manifest here.
The Civil Aviation Authority of
Singapore (CAAS) confirmed
that the Singaporean on board
the missing flight is a two yearold girl travelling with her father,
the British national.
QZ8501 lost contact with
Indonesian air traffic control at
7:55am local time, 42 minutes
after departure and an hour
before it was scheduled to land
in Singapore.
Reuters reports that the aircraft
was between the Indonesian
port of Tanjung Pandan and
the town of Pontianak, in West
Kalimantan on Borneo island,
when it went missing without a
distress signal.
The plane was on the submitted
flight plan route before it asked
for permission to deviate to avoid
"bad weather" described by

officials as dense storm clouds,


strong winds and lightning.
"The plane requested to the air
traffic control to fly to the left
side which was approved, but
their request to fly to 38,000 feet
level from 32,000 feet could not
be approved at that time due to a
traffic, there was a flight above,
and five minutes later the flight
disappeared from radar," said an
Indonesian air transport official.
The captain in command had
a substantial total of 6,100
flying hours and the first officer
a total of 2,275 flying hours,
said AirAsia, adding that the
jet underwent its last scheduled
maintenance on 16 November
2014.
Air Asia chief Tony Fernandes
confirmed the plane had been

given the all-clear by aviation


technicians, was in "good
condition" and "has never had
any problems whatsoever".
Indonesia
responded
by
dispatching seven aircrafts, four
navy ships and six boats from its
search and rescue agency. It has
also received offers of support
from Australia,
Singapore,
Britain, South Korea and
Malaysia so far.
A C130 plane was deployed by
the Republic of Singapore Air
Force in the afternoon, with
another of its aircraft due to join
the search on Monday morning
along with four vessels from the
Republic of Singapore Navy.
In a statement late Sunday
afternoon, the CAAS said
that the next-of-kin of the

Singaporean on board were


contacted and were at the Changi
Airport Relatives Holding Area
(RHA).
"They are being provided
with all necessary assistance
and support," CAAS said.
"Assistance and support are
likewise being provided to the
relatives and friends of affected
passengers who are at the RHA."
According to the Changi Airport
Group, as of 6:30pm on Sunday,
47 relatives and friends of 57
passengers on board the missing
flight have registered at the
holding area.
"Help and support are being
provided to them at the RHA by
36 Changi Airport Group (CAG)
care officers and four counsellors
from the Ministry of Social and

Famiy Development," it said,


adding that other staff from
AirAsia, airport partners and
officials from the Indonesia
embassy in Singapore were also
assisting.
According to Airbus, the missing
A320-200 is a twin-engine
single-aisle aircraft seating up to
180 passengers in a single-class
configuration.
It was registered as PK-AXC and
was delivered to AirAsia from
the production line in October
2008. Powered by CFM 56-5B
engines, it had accumulated
approximately 23,000 flight
hours in some 13,600 flights.
Airbus said it would provide
full assistance to authorities in
charge of the investigation.

fire although the ship was still


burning. Two tugboats were
present, one of which had
managed to approach the ship
to try to extinguish the blaze.
Greek
Shipping
Minister
Miltiadis Varvitsiotis said
the very bad weather, with
winds of up to 55 miles (88
kilometres) per hour earlier,
made the operation extremely
difficult.
"We are doing everything we
can to save those on board
and no one, no one will be
left helpless in this tough
situation," he told reporters. "It
is one of the most complicated
rescue operations that we have
ever done."
Coastguard officials said the
Norman Atlantic, which was
also carrying more than 200
vehicles, was 44 nautical miles
northwest of the island of
Corfu when it radioed for help.
It was travelling from Patras in
western Greece to the Italian
city of Ancona.
Lagkadianos said 56 people had
been successfully transferred

from the rescue boat, on which


150 people had escaped to the
container ship Spirit of Piraeus.
INTERNATIONAL RESCUE
EFFORT
Command of the operation
was transferred to Italy after
the ship drifted out of Greek
waters but officials were
coordinating closely and an
Albanian coastguard vessel
was also taking part.
A coastguard official said
nearby passenger and container
ships had attempted to form a
ring around the burning vessel
to try to form a windbreak to
allow small rescue boats to
approach, but the rough seas
made the manoeuvre difficult.
Officials said there were 478
passengers and crew on the
Norman Atlantic, of whom 268
were Greek, while a foreign
ministry official said there
were also passengers from
countries including Germany,
Italy, Austria, Turkey, France
and the Netherlands. Many
appeared to be truck drivers.

AIRLIFT BEGINS FOR HUNDREDS TRAPPED ON BURNING ITALIAN FERRY

ATHENS (Reuters) ir crews began


lifting passengers
off
a
burning
ferry adrift in
the Adriatic Sea on Sunday,
racing to rescue as many of
the hundreds trapped on board
as possible before nightfall
as storms hampered seaborne
operations.
Helicopters
were
taking
passengers off the Italianflagged Norman Atlantic in

pairs and transferring them to


a nearby vessel, officials said.
There were no confirmed
reports of casualties and
differing accounts of how
many people had been rescued
from the ferry, which was
carrying almost 500 passengers
and crew when it sent a distress
signal early on Sunday after
fire broke out on its lower deck.
Greek authorities said 131
people were clear of the danger
zone while an official said 150

had managed to get off the ship


aboard a rescue boat.
Each air transfer was taking
around 15 minutes per
helicopter,
according
to
a Greek defence ministry
official. Another official said
two Italian and two Greek
helicopters were involved in
the rescue.
Coastguard spokesman Nikos
Lagkadianos said the heavy
rain that was hampering the
rescue had helped contain the

FrontPage
www.frontpageafricaonline.com

Sports

SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST


MONDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2014

VOL 8 NO.750

BYC president foresees positive outcome in Caf Champions League


~ Danesius Marteh, danesius.marteh@frontpageafricaonline.com ~

PRICE L$40

alternative will be to closely work with


the LFA determine [our next course of
action], he answered.
New folks to come

arrack Young Controllers


(BYC) President Sekou
Konneh is upbeat about
their continental chances
despite a fairly tough draw on Monday.
BYC will meet The Gambia's Real
de Banjul between February 13-15
in Banjul and in Monrovia on the
weekend of February 27-March 1.
Based in Banjul, Real were founded
in the 1966/67 season after a group
of secondary schoolboys international
team returned from a trip to Thies
in Senegal and named it as Benson
& Hedges FC before two changes
followed.
The 1970 change from Real de Bathurst
to Real de Banjul led to the expansion
of the team owning basketball (male
and female), volleyball and athletics
teams.
Real then consisted of the youngest

talented players in comparison to other


teams and won its first league title in
1971/72.
With 12 championships, two FA Cups,
seven Champions League appearances
and a Confederation Cup cameo in
2000, Konneh knows a thing or two
about the Gambians.
The draw is a good draw because
we are still in West Africa for the
preliminaries. However, weve been
doing some research and not much we
know about the team. But one thing we
are clear about is that Gambia have a
very good youth program.
So I am sure it must be a good start.
So we are focusing on our preparation,
which we are starting hopefully on
the 3rd [of January], right after the
holidays, to put our acts together, he
said.
Konneh said BYC will mobilize the

finances needed for their participation


but admits his players are match-rusty
with the league, having ended in March
instead of June.
Well, thats the work of the technical
staff and weve had series of meetings
with them. And they know it is a huge
challenge for them but [that is] not
insurmountable.
So we trust their judgment and we
hope that they can work overtime
to be able to shape the guys into the
form that will help them competitively
participate in the competition, he
added.
There could some added expenses
for clubs from countries worst-hit by
Ebola if Caf dont lift an August 12
ban, which it said was "a preventative
measure to avoid mass gatherings that
could facilitate the spread of the virus".
There have been no words from Caf

on a measure that should have lasted


until mid-September as Guinea used
Morocco as its home ground while
Sierra Leone twice played their
opponents in their home during the
2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Liberia werent affected because it
were either eliminated or withdrew
from all international competitions
but Konneh is hoping for a change in
fortune.
We are aware of that and we are
hoping that before the commencement
of the competition in February, we are
certain that the ban will be lifted by that
time, he said.
Does BYC have an alternative venue if
the ban isnt lifted in time for the return
leg?
Well when we get to that stage we
will cross it but we are very hopeful of
the ban will be lifted. Otherwise, the

Defender Teah Dennis and midfielder Isaac


Pupo have left for pastures anew. Although
Konneh said they will be replaced, he felt
short of names calling.
Well, there are few but we want to keep
it tight to our chest until we can finalize
because they are players of other clubs. So,
we are negotiating with these clubs. So we
dont want to preempt anything. Once that
is finalized, then we can let the public to
know, Konneh disclosed.
Defending champions Entente Sportive de
Setif awaits the aggregate winner.
The Algerians, Coton Sport of Cameroon,
Congo's AC Leopards, Egypt's Al Ahly,
TP Mazembe of DR Congo and Tunisias
CS Sfaxien and Esperance were exempted
from the preliminaries.
But Konneh, whose team caused the
greatest shock of last season, said when the
story will change when the ball bounces.
BYC loves big names; we like breaking
records. Last season when we were paired
with Asante Kotoko [of Ghana], there
were very few people in this country who
thought we would cross that boundary and
we managed to cross it. I think we arent
scared by those big names.
Infact, we think it is an opportunity once
we have those kinds of chances to take
advantage. So we think big names though
but they are going to be 11 versus 11 on
the field. So we are determined to be able
to crack that kind of hard nut that will
build our profile, concluded Konneh on
Tuesday.
BYC will make their second successive
appearance in the competition although
their junior team debuted in the
Confederation Cup in 2013.
Elsewhere, FC Fassell were drawn against
Guineas Horoya in the Confederation
Cup with the first leg in Conakry between
February 13-15.

VISIT UNCLE ZEH'S LAUNDRY & DRY CLEANING SERVICE ON


CROWN HILL, BROAD STREET WHERE THE CUSTOMER COMES FIRST

CALL: 0775 149 376, 0775 149 161