31 July 2013

Liberia: Robert Sirleaf's Headache

Mr. Robert Sirleaf, the Chairman of the National Oil Company of Liberia or NOCAL, may be a very strong-hearted man, not because he chairs the Board of the lucrative oil company, but simply because of his ability to play down repeated calls for his resignation to safe himself the headache.

And what makes his resistance more interesting is that many of his mother's (President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf) critics see him as an easy prey to criticize her policies and even launch stinking attacks at her leadership style.

So, Tuesday July 30, 2013 was no exception when fellow Nobel Laureate, Layma Gbowee, who now appears to be one of President Sirleaf's most vocal critics, after her short spell as head of the National Reconciliation Commission renewed call for his resignation.

Ms. Gbowee told her Truth FM Talk Show hosts that if President Sirleaf means well for her fight against massive theft in Government here then she must as well dismiss her son as head of NOCAL Board. Gbowee said the presence of Mr. Sirleaf as head of NOCAL Board is a recipe for the ongoing corruption within government.

Ms. Gbowee said until President Sirleaf can dismiss her son, and show an example by prosecuting, for instance the recently dismissed duo Auditor General Robert Kilby and the former GSA boss Pearine Parkinson, then her declared war on corruption is still a joke.

"Mr. Robert Sirleaf was doing well as Senior Advisor in the Office of the President," Ms. Gbowee said. Ms. Gbowee told her audience that the only thing President Sirleaf's government can boast of is the road networks that are been constructed throughout the country but that the President has failed to address the issues of education and other social needs of the Liberian people.

She said the president has forgotten so soon about what she spoke and fought against in past regimes. "I'm surprise to see Madam Sirleaf encouraging these same things like nepotism and corruption in her government- the very things she fought against in the past," Ms. Gbowee said.

Gbowee, whom others have described as having a political ambition also criticized the General Auditing Commission saying they are jokers and there are no aggressive auditing unfolding there at the moment, while suggesting that it gets finance autonomy.

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