Weah Against Corruption
– Can He Win the Fight?
Without doubt, one of the serious challenges that will stand in the way of President George Manneh Weah’s pro-poor agenda administration will be taking a tougher stance on the wave of corruption he inherited from the past government.
In his inaugural address to the nation on January 22, 2018, President Weah promised a zero tolerance to corruption, adding that we will confront it and fight in a similar way that was promised by his predecessor, Ex-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
This is why the administration of His Excellency President Weah came out strong against the wave of corruption in the country in an apparent reference to some government officials of the previous Sirleaf administration. As a fulfillment of that promise, the CDC led government is therefore exposing rather shielding government officials whose names appear in a recent Global Witness, Wall Street Journal and other international media concerning their alleged implications in shady deals that involved the sale of oil bloc 13 during the second term of Ex-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s regime.
According to a recent press release from the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT), signed by Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe, the Government of Liberia is in receipt of information from several international groups, including Global Witness, Wall Street Journal and other international media alleging grave acts of abuse of power, misuse of office and bribery on the part of several former government officials relating to the sale of Oil Block 13 to Exxon Mobil.
The Government promises severe punishments to anyone found guilty of the alleged grave acts of corruption, and in this regards the President has already commissioned a general concession review to ascertain those found wanting, including concessions in the oil sector.
Due to the deep concern of government, Minister Nagbe said the President has instructed the Minister of Justice Cllr. Frank Musa Dean Jr. to investigate the matter and submit a preliminary report to him within two weeks, noting that if illegality is determined, those culpable will bear the full weight of the law. He urged all concerned to cooperate. Some lawmakers can hardly be removed from having received brown-envelopes or bribes.
It will be a mistake for anyone to assume that the CDC led administration has any hands in this alleged corrupt malpractices in the sale of oil-bloc 13 to Exxon Mobil, as at the time the CDC was the main opposition party in the country, and in view of that some CDC stalwarts claim they were at the time advising government officials in the UP administration that founding oil in any country can be a blessing that can be turned into a curse if not well managed.
It can be recalled that at the time the press did their homework well in uncovering some of the corruption that was going on in NOCAL for example. A lump sum of half a million U.S.dollar that was donated by NOCAL to the Ministry of Education to augment the Ministry’s capacity to offer scholarships has up to now not reached its destination, as a senator has recently revealed. Who actually should be held accountable? (By JLM).