4 January 2013

Liberia: Two Civil Society NGOs Lash Out At Each Other

Two local based civil society Organizations (NGOs) in the Township of Gardnerville outside Monrovia, over the weekend went into war of words over the manner in which Representative Richmond Anderson, Montserrado County District # 12 Representative in the National Legislature was treated by the Chairman of the Independent Forum for the Protection of Democracy in Liberia (IFPDL), Amara Fofana.

The National Chairman of a civil society group, Foundation for Better Liberia (FOBEL) Mr. Baba B. Kamara, accused the head of the IFPDL Amara Fofana for showing disrespect to Representative Anderson when appeared at the IFPDL forum.

Mr. Kamara in an interview with this paper, said that all started when the office of Rep. Anderson requested the leadership of the IFPDL for the use of their forum for Rep. Anderson to present his ongoing legislative report to his constituency residing in that part of the District as he has being doing since he started his agriculture break.

He said that upon request to the Forum, IFPDL through its leadership acknowledged the Representative's request and they all agreed to begin the forum at 4:00 pm, but due to a meeting which Rep. Anderson had with the Liberian leader President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, which lasted for almost three hours, the District #12 Representative arrived at the occasion at 7:00pm in an apologetic posture, stressing that his late arrival at the forum was due to the County Development Fund meeting which the Montserrado County Legislative Caucus held with the President and expressed his regret over the situation.

He said that Rep. Anderson promised to purchase two gallons of gasoline to fuel the generator so as to continue the forum, but Mr. Fofana rejected the appeal and requested that the visit be postponed to another date because he has violated potion of their Forum's Constitution, a situation which according to him, caused uncertainty amongst the gathering.

Speaking further, the FOBEL Chairman indicated that despite Rep. Anderson's appeals to the gathering, Mr. Fofana with no respect to the office of the Representative abruptly cut off the forum on grounds that the Representative violated their forum constitution leaving the gathering in a state of confusion.

He used the occasion to warn Mr. Fofana to desist from being disrespectful to people in authorities adding that as a young Liberia aspiring to be a member of civil society advocate.

For his part, Mr. Fofana told the gathering that his decision to cut off the was in no way showing disrespect to Rep. Anderson but as the head of group he only implementing their organization's constitutions. He said that several persons who has found in violation of the constitution suffer similar wrath despite their status in society.

For his part, Rep. Anderson, in an interview with this paper pointed out he was not deterred with the disrespectful attitude which demonstrated by Mr. Fofana stressing that as the Representative of the District, he will continue to turn the 17 communities in the District to report the District on legislative agenda.

He however warned against all vices that may lead to confusion something he said may not do the District any good.

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