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Ebola, Liberia

In the wake of recent calls for the President of Liberia to either lead or resign, many of her sternest supporters are battling the idea. Some called it an attempt to provoke another civil war in Liberia while others believe that a change in leadership will cause Liberians more harm than good. Even though there is no evidence to substantiate such claims, social media, especially Liberian Facebook chat-rooms have seen a surge in attack from proponents of the president and those calling for her immediate resignation.

Earlier today, Mr. Israel Akinsanya, executive of the Liberty Party, joined the call for the President to lead or resign. In a full page article posting on his Facebook page, Mr. Akinsanya further buttressed earlier call by Mr. Abraham Darius Dillon, who also asked the President to lead or resign.

Excerpt from Mr. Akinsanya post:
The call by Partisan Dillon is on point! For the last few years, I have been one of the most critical voices against the call of any President to step down from office. I have expressed that this President should finish her term, and we must see the democratic process stay its course. Partisan Dillon has always, since 2011 supported this same position. We, Liberians, have demanded for the removal of one too many presidents from office unconstitutional. He has also over the years tried to provide guidance on the way forward on the many issues he listed in his letter. All, to deaf ears!

His call had a list of issues that need to be addressed. Liberians love a Strong leader. When the President decides to lead on corruption, we will praise and support her. When she decides to lead on the issues raised in his letter, we will support her! The issues raised are not belly-driven; they are real bread and butter issue. Partisan Dillon’s position is clear, start behaving like the leader he voted for.

During Tmz Liberia Magazine's interview with residents from around Liberia, many expressed dissatisfaction in the President handling of the Ebola crisis and her inability to adopt a proactive approach to issues that affect them.  Other believed that the rampant corruption in her government and culture of impunity has caused them to loose confident in their government.

Some loyal Unity Party partisans expressed the same sentiment to RAM.  They stated that the President runs the country along with her cronies and pays little attention to their plight. One Unity Party executive, who asked to remain anonymous, cited a case where the candidate who won the party’s primary Ali Sylla was sidelined by the president in order for her son and trusted adviser Robert Sirleaf to run for the Senate in Monserrado. Our attempt to get a response from Mr. Sylla was unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, another disturbing letter has surfaced from the Mr. Lawrence Randall, media consultant at the Ministry of Finance. Mr. Randall cited the Microscope Newspaper as the source of his information. The letter alleged that some eminent opposition members and ordinary Liberians are planning a mass riot under the banner “Better Liberia Campaign.”

According to the article, a group of Liberians in the United States and Europe has raised $250,000, to sponsor mass protest actions in Monrovia and throughout the country to destabilize Liberia as the government deal with the Ebola virus.

The article alleged that Mr. Isaac Vah Tukpah, Chairman of the opposition party CDC is the ringleader of the movement. It also claimed that he is being aided by other well know Liberians.  Some of the alleged members of the group include George Fahnbulleh, brother of National Security Advisor to the President Boimah Fahnbulleh, John Brownell, Cyrus Gray, Isaac Zawolo, Mike Mueller, Bobby Whitefiled, Arthur Zakama, Emmett Watson, Piso Tarr, among others.

While Mr. Tukpah has not dismissed the entire allegation, he maintained that the intention of the group is not to destabilize the country. 

In one of his response to his accusers, he stated “My stance does not change regardless of what you do. My position is MADAM SIRLEAF SHOULD RESIGN AS SHE HAS FAILED AS A LEADER. You can cry all you want and describe it any way you want but her failure is absolute and she needs to exit the stage so VP Boakai can take her place.

As bloodthirsty as this government is, do you think anyone will be crazy to ask people to demonstrate? We already have Morris Kromah and Shaki Kamara. We don't need any more martyrs.

We will use international pressure to ask Madam Sirleaf to resign. Madam Sirleaf is not Liberia. Asking her to resign is not destabilizing Liberia. It's easy to see that her misrule destabilizes Liberia, and it's further exacerbated by folks like you.”

In a related development, one of the accused members of the group Mrs. Jeanine M. Cooper vehemently denied any involvement in the movement. Her response to the chat-room discussants Jeanine states "I AM APOLITICAL, AND I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF THIS GROUP AND I AM NOT A MEMBER. PLEASE REMOVE MY NAME FROM YOUR NONSENSE."

The furious Jeanine tried to defend herself against other supporters of the President who kept asking her to explain her role in the movement. Check below for part of the chat-room transcript.

Tmz Liberia Magazines' team is still following the discussion and will provide the latest update on the saga as it unfolds.

Article By: Al-Hussein


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