31 October 2012

Liberia: Student Group Detects Blackmail Against CBL Boss

In an attempt to counter a controversial secret audio recording linking Liberia's Central Bank Governor Dr. Mills Jones to boasting that he can better run the Liberian Presidency than most leaders, a student group here has termed the audio an act of blackmail which is criminal.

The Association of University Students to Promote Good Governance in a statement called on Governor Jones to exert every step under the laws of Liberia to bring the perpetrator to book, saying "acts of blackmailing and petty criminality are seemingly shadowing the facets of our society."

The statement issued under the signature of the group's chair Amos B.S. Kanneh came Tuesday, October 30th days after a local daily quoted Governor Jones from a purported audio as saying "If I want to be president of this country, I am a citizen and I am qualified; more qualified than most of the people who have been running, and equally qualified as anybody who has held that position and can do better..."

The local daily said it obtained the audio from a dismissed teller at the CBL Onikeh Bowen to whom Dr. Jones is said to have angrily made the expression "in his parting shots to her."

But in the midst of the controversy, the student group is calling on Dr.Jones to stand firm and not be deterred "by these paid-spree of disjointed propaganda carried out by persons who have become notorious for criticizing everything others do, even if the things are good for the people of Liberia."

It called on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf not to give credence to such flawed and fallacious intonations intended to undermine the confidence she has reposed in Dr. Jones.

Amos Kanneh and his group however argued that Dr. Jones' leadership at the CBL has provided over $5m for the empowerment of Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through the Liberia Business Association and other corporate institutions in the country to aid the expansion of businesses.

They also recalled Dr. Jones' contribution to the human resource development of Liberia through the provision of scholarships to young Liberians at the University of Liberia and other higher institutions of learning across the country.

"We also know too well the passion of Dr. Jones towards the development of young people and building a future that seems wonderfully bright, indicative of his strong support to the Liberia National Student Union (LINSU) and the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY)," said Mr. Kanneh.

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