4 December 2012

Liberia: Snowe Begs Ellen & Son for Mercy

Nearly one month after he indicted President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and her son Robert Sirleaf for corruption and not of transparency, Representative Edwin Snowe has regretted his action, noting that he and other lawmakers recently reported to be at odd with the President and the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) were misled.

"Few weeks ago, you are aware of a major situation between the Executive and the Legislative branches of government and I can hold this microphone today and say to you from experience that most of the things that led to what the President called "family fuss" were based on gossip and lies, and so when we realized, we felt it was unwarranted", Snowe said recently in a rather turn-around.

He added: "And one of the things that we learned as we begin to put our broken pieces together is that we will not run our government anymore in the media, but we will hold consultation. People in this country lie; people live on lies; they will come to you and lie to you and the lies will be per the size of your pocket, if you have deep pocket and give them more money, they will lie more if you don't give them money, they will not lie. Had we not listened to some of the lies, maybe some of the press conferences we taught we had in the interest of the country, we wouldn't have had them."

The attack on the President and her son stem from vested interest in an oil deal with a Russian company that Snowe had fronted for, but did not get the blessing of the Executive.

Snowe acknowledged at the time what had been speculated for months that he and a cartel group of lawmakers were angling for the Russian firm GAZPROM, in their quest to acquire Oil Block 13.

He hosted a press conference here on October 30, 2012 and took President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to task, while calling for the resignation of her son, Mr. Robert Sirleaf from the National Oil Company of Liberia. He also demanded the prosecution of Mr. Sirleaf for his alleged possession of dual citizenship, claims that Mr. Sirleaf has dismissed since.

"Mr. Sirleaf holds a Liberian Diplomatic Passport number D 000189, issued December 2, 2009, and an American passport, which puts him in a dual citizen capacity. The laws of Liberia do not grant dual citizenship. I am therefore calling on President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to immediately discharge Mr. Robert A. Sirleaf from all activities of the Government of Liberia and have him turned over to the Ministry of Justice for prosecution", he further charged.

During the news conference, he expressed frustration at being left under the Palava hut when he escorted a group of representative from GAZPROM to meet with the President at her private residence.

But the former speaker, who lost the post through a vote of no confidence by his colleagues during the first term of this administration, admitted that he did erred in his relationship with the Executive, and noted that he has learned his lesson.

However, his latest apology clearly indicates that he continues on the confrontational path that threw him from grace six years ago.

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