The NEWS (Monrovia)

7 November 2012

Liberia: 'I Hold a Liberian Passport, Not American'

Photo: James M. Garresen, II/Executive Mansion
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on an oil rig.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Oil Company (NOCAL) says he is a proud son of Liberia, and that his navel string was buried in one of Liberia's fifteen (15) counties.

Montserrado County District #6 Representative Edwin Melvin Snowe recently accused Robert Sirleaf of being an American citizen in possession of both Liberia and American passports.

Rep. Snowe, during his press conference recommended that the NOCAL Board Chairman be arrested and turned over to the Ministry of Justice for prosecution for reportedly violating the laws of Liberia.

But, the NOCAL Chairman said most of the litany of falsehoods and half-truths is intended to besmear his image and thwart the country's historic achievement in the divestiture of oil bloc LB#13.

Mr. Sirleaf, son of President 2012, I know of no country on the face of this earth which requires its citizens to display a visa to enter its territory...," Mr. Sirleaf stated.

He said he is aware that confidence in the public sector needs to be improved, but indicated that it requires lots of effort and time to be reversed.

He said he had restrained himself from responding to the various attacks on him as individual in the exercise of his duties as Chairman of NOCAL.

"There is very little doubt that the attacks were largely personal and disguised as exposing the "ills in our society."

Strangely, he noted that the only "ills" exposed was how low greed and selfishness will permit individuals to sink, which he noted, is sad and an example of what is still wrong with Liberia's development.

"Wholly self-serving, hateful attacks were clearly motivated by the failure to have me participate in the decadent business of putting personal interests above the interests of our country, a practice which has led time and time again to the impoverishment of our people..." Mr. Sirleaf stressed.

The NOCAL Boss indicated that he expects more personal attacks from individuals as he strives to carry out the necessary reforms at NOCAL, adding, "This is what people do to promote their personal agendas."

Mr. Sirleaf said he will continue to lead NOCAL into responding to the needs of the Liberian people who have seen enough deprivations.

He said: "I have no animosity, only sympathy for the attacker or anyone who, after all that our country has endured, still thinks that we ought to settle for business as usual - that we ought to take care of ourselves at the expense of those who appointed or elected us to serve them.

He stressed that the attackers and their associates should know that he will not participate in deals from which a few will get richer and the life of the ordinary man, woman and child stays stagnated."

The NOCAL boss also vowed not to participate in deals that will increase the number of Liberians who must abandon their pride only to beg for bread and for school fees at the gates of a few who have gotten richer by depriving the people of what is rightfully theirs.

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