5 August 2013

Liberia: John Morlu Shuns Weah's Graduation

Former Liberian Auditor General, John Morlu, has always been linked to the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) even during his stay in Liberia as head of the General Auditing Commission (GAC) and even after his departure from the country, but latest development involving him and the party's political leader George Weah has created a dint that begs questions and even prompting critics to wonder whether is the end of the camaraderie they both enjoy.

According to reports emanating from the USA, the former AG shunned the CDC political leader by turning down invitations extended him to attend his (Weah's) recent graduation ceremony which took place on July 27, 2013 in Florida as well as the CDC leadership conference which was held from 1 through 4 in Philadelphia.

Morlu's brusque failure to show up at the program where thousands of CDC partisans assembled raised eyebrows as to the status of the reported political marriage between the two.

It is reported that CDC partisans, sympathizers, well-wishes and those at the helm of party leadership who have been optimistic in recent time for a potential Morlu- Weah or Weah-Morlu 2017 ticket were taken aback that Morlu was not in attendance for the graduation.

Morlu's apparent shunning of Weah's graduation program where he was widely expected has given reasons to critics to cogitate that the alleged "Dream Ticket hopefulness appears to be further gloomy when he turned down the next invitation, this time the Party international conference.

The bond of friendship between Weah and Morlu was cemented when both made public appearances together in 2011 raising wide conjectures of a probable alliance for Morlu-Weah or Weah-Morlu 2017 Presidential Dream Ticket.

It may be recalled that Morlu was special guest at Weah graduation ceremony in Florida , June 2011 when Weah earned his bachelor's degree from Devry University .

Just last year, Morlu ,at the invitation of Weah and the CDC, served as keynote speaker of the party's USA branch inauguration October 2012 where he provided a categorical analysis and recommendations of Liberia's governance and fiscal management problems.

Multiple sources, including some in the CDC who asked for anonymity agreed on an appearance of a feud between Morlu and Weah bordering on lot of issues.

"Morlu has never been a member of the CDC and we were hoping he becomes member as such configuration was going to be a strong youthful blend," the source is quoted as indicating.

Also, sources revealed that three stalwarts of the party are planning to resign soon from the party insinuating that the former AG is playing cool because he must have realized his expectations of the direction of the party proved contrary to what has been unfolding.

"Some higher ups in the party continues to use the party as a banking institution-hustling here and there from government and other external sources to get money in the party names and pocketed by those higher -ups whenever they get brook", one of the CDC insider who is bitter with the party how its handle national policy issues averred, "those party officials most times create a scenario of what appeared to be strong disagreement with government policy issues but when called in the corner, they compromised the overall good of the public for their person good. They often come in our series of party meetings and condemned the government is corrupt but they go in the back door to beg some of the same corrupt officials for gas, money and make compromise against the interest of the party and the general good of the state." At some extend partisans lost their lives ...

The truism of this source comment has not been proven as the CDC -US branch representative could not be reached for comment as his phone ring repeatedly without answer up to press time, but CDC own lawmaker Edward Forh made similar concern after his expulsion from the party last month.

Forh : "But it is CDC and I am not surprised. The party has been taken over by blackmailers and extortionists. Even the intent of making statements critical of the government most times has had extortionist motives. Listen to the radio everyday and you will hear strong statements from the CDC against the government. The intent most times is to extort money from the government in the end".

Sources also indicate that it is Weah who decided to keep a distance from Morlu. Since Weah was appointed Peace Ambassador by President Ellen, sources say, he immediately kept a distance from Morlu.

Varney Sherman ,the ruling Unity Party (UP) national chairman and UP Standard Bearer President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf are not in good rapprochement so Weah sees himself having a upper hand of a possible Weah and Ellen succession plan, leaving the UP with Varney Sherman. Ellen and Sherman relationship is further strained by Varney Sherman July 26, 2013 oration condemning the government, among other things of window- dressing the fight on corruption and impunity.

Invitation restriction could be another reason Morlu turned down the CDC -USA conference where Morlu was again scheduled to deliver the keynote address, the second time in CDC history.

A CDC insider who asked not to me named in this report, said the former AG was told by CDC officials not to be tough on CDC as he did October last year when he spoke at the CDC-US inauguration washing CDC dirty clothes outside to the surprise of Weah and the party, but Morlu refused to do so.

Morlu did not mince his words last year when he spoke at the CDC-USA inauguration last year. He blamed the problems of corruption and nepotism in Liberia not just the single effort of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf fighting those vices but the CDC.

Morlu:"They{CDC senators and representatives } have become part of the system. I will want to see the position of any of the CDC Senators and House of Representatives on the current budget that budgetized corruption and denied civil servants a raise in salaries. They are all enjoying the loot but then they like to throw mud at President Sirleaf."

Morlu: "When I was Auditor General, two CDC Senators were among the people that opposed and antagonized me. I busted the late CDC senator, may her soul rest in peace. The Senator sent her "friend" as a front to bid on the EU renovation of the GAC's building. When I asked for the procurement records because someone had whistle-blow to me that the supporting bank statement in the tune of US$123,000 submitted by the company was actually the bank statement of the CDC's Senator and then she tried to lie to me about it. I called EU and they put hold on the bid. The current CDC Senior Senator led the effort to create the Maritime Authority at any cost and then when she did not get all she wanted she decided to attack Commissioner Kesselly."

"Where is the Legislative agenda of the CDC legislators? Once the legislature does not have moral clarity on corruption, the presidency will always conceal its excesses under the lapses of the legislature. CDC must be forward looking," Morlu admonished CDCians when he served as keynote speaker.

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