Monrovia — Ezzat Eid, a prominent Lebanese businessman in Liberia, was alleged in Facebook posts of 29 December 2019 to be in collaboration with the Council of Patriots ("COP") to protest against the George Weah Government and subvert the governance of Liberia through force and other illegal means. Specifically, the Facebook posts alleged, among other things, that Ezzat Eid is "one of the key sponsors of COP Jan. 6 planned protest".
The Facebook posts also alleged that Ezzat Eid and others "are foreigners doing business in our country (Liberia) but are undermining our government (the Weah Government) for personal interest and threatening the peace that we enjoy in our Country (Liberia)".
The Facebook posts also alleged that Ezzat Eid "was part of the COP meeting that was just held at the Tropical Beach Resort". And the Facebook posts also called on the Liberia National Police and other security apparatus in Liberia to be on the alert and do a thorough search of the Royal Grand Hotel (an enterprise which is part of the Ezzat Eid group of companies in Liberia) ... . beginning the date of the Facebook posts ... . "for possible arms and these mercinaries who were brought into the country to aid the COP protest".
The Facebook post further alleged that Ezzat Eid "is the one telling Costa to include in their counts the cancellation of the CTN scanning Contract from the present company operating it at the port because he Esa Eid wants the contract". Finally, another Facebook posts on the same subject of alleged attempt to subvert the Weah Government says "The car Costa currently rides in the US was bought by Ezzat Eid, owner of the Royal Grand Hotel. I am sure you'd want to know why will Eza buy Costa a car".
Ezzat Eid, who left Liberia in early December, 2019 for Lebanon for medical attention and is still in Lebanon, has had his group of companies issue a Press Release, which denies the Facebook posts and describes them as "false", "untrue", "malicious" and "diabolical". The Facebook Posts accuse Ezzat Eid, this prominent Lebanese businessman, who has lived and worked in Liberia since January 26, 1968 of collaborating with Liberians to subvert the Weah Government, to use the "force of arms" to pressure the Weah Government into submitting to demands of the COP; the Facebook Posts also accuse Ezzat Eid of meeting with the COP leadership at his Royal Grand Hotel, purchasing vehicle in the United States for Mr. Henry Costa, the COP Chairman, in order to foster the diabolical and sinister aim of changing the Liberian Government through force or other illegal means. Ezzat Eid has promised to consult with lawyers and explore the possibility of instituting legal action against that person or those persons responsible for the "false", "untrue", "malicious" and "diabolical" Facebook posts; but it is important to inform the Liberian public that throughout his early six (6) decades of residency and entrepreneurship in Liberia, Ezzat Eid has never ever engaged in or indulged in the kinds of activities which these Facebook Posts allege that he has engaged in.
For those who may not know, it should be repeated that Ezzat Eid first came to Liberia on January 26, 1968 and has remained in Liberia since then, even throughout the nearly fifteen (15) years of civil war in this country. It is while in Liberia that Ezzat Eid married his wife, Hoda, and they have had four (4) children - Marwan, Helen, Omar and Fares, who were all born in Liberia. Marwan and Helen are married and they live in Liberia with their spouses. Omar spends more time out of Liberia engaged in private entrepreneurship elsewhere; but Fares (the youngest) is also married and lives in Liberia with his spouse. Ezzat Eid began private entrepreneurship in Liberia in 1976 when he established Capital Electrical Company at Buzzi Quarters. Thereafter he established the International Aluminum Factory in 1998 and then he established City Builders Inc. in 2002, which is today one of the largest importers and sellers of construction materials in Liberia today. Ezzat Eid is engaged in a variety of business enterprises, such as: importation and sale of construction materials, equipment and furniture (City Builders Inc.); real property development and management ("Realty Management Corporation"); hospitality and entertainment (the "Royal Grand Hotel"); baking of breads (the "Loving Bakery"), rock-crushing plant ("Medina Rock Crushing Company"); manufacturing of construction and housing development materials ("International Aluminum Factory"); and the importation and sale of Chinese-manufactured vehicle ("Tayo Motors Liberia Limited"). Recently, he joined with other foreign investors to obtain a contract to contract a cement factory at Buchanan, Grand Bassa County pursuant to an agreement with the Weah Government; and they have already acquired the land to construct the factory. These investors will be in Liberia on Friday, January 10, 2020 for this project. Why would such a person with investments in so many physical structures engage in the activities which the Facebook posts accused him of engaging in when in deed and in fact any such protest could destroy all his investments in Liberia?
Since Ezzat Eid came to Liberia he has lived and experienced the tremendous destruction which politically-motivated protests and political uprising have done to physical structures, the unimaginable damages to the lives and safety of Liberian citizens and foreign citizens, and the total disruption of the body politics and the social fabric of this country. His experience with these utterly grave negative consequences started with the riots of April 1979 and culminated into the military coup of April 1980. He was here for the Quinwonkpa Invasion of 1985 and the commencement of the civil war in December 1989. He experienced the Octopus Invasion of October 1992; he experienced the April 1996 Fracas and World War III of the early 2000s. Each of these multiplicity of civil unrests, some of which started with a call for peaceful protests, affected Ezzat Eid, his family and his business enterprises, just as it affected every other Liberian and foreign resident in this country. Ezzat Eid continued to have faith in the future prospects of our country; and so instead of abandoning Liberia because of these civil unrests, he remained here and has expanded his business interests in our country. Can it be believed that this same Ezzat Eid, who has so much to lose, will collaborate with persons, whose intention is to destabilize Liberia with an onslaught of force and anarchy?
During the course of his residency and entrepreneurship in Liberia, this same Ezzat Eid has served three (3) times as President of the World Lebanese Cultural Union of Liberia and has served for several decades as a member of the Executive Committee of this auspicious organization. Can it be believed that other Lebanese people resident in Liberia would have vested confidence in Ezzat Eid if he were a person who would engage in Liberian politics in violation of Liberian law, and advocate and support the subversion of the Liberian Government?
Ezzat Eid has denied any relationship with the COP and its leaders, especially Mr. Henry Costa; he has also denied any knowledge of or engagement in the "false", "untrue", "malicious" and "diabolical" allegation and actions for which he has been accused by the Facebook posts. He denied ever purchasing any vehicle in the United States or anywhere else in the world for the use of Mr. Henry Costa; he says he doesn't even know the man (except seeing his photos in Liberian newspapers) and has never ever personally met him. Anybody should wonder how the writer of the Facebook posts would have known had Ezzat Eid or any third party purchased a vehicle for Mr. Henry Costa in the United States. Ezzat Eid also says that he has no interest in the container scanning contract (CTN contract), which another Lebanese businessman has. To the best of our knowledge and information, it was the Liberia Chamber of Commerce, not Ezzat Eid, which initially opposed the CTN contract but abandoned its opposition when the National Port Authority explained that the CTN contract was economically beneficial to Liberia and was in compliance with Liberia's international obligations under custom treaties and agreements. As a matter of fact, the Lebanese businessman who has the CTN contract with the National Port Authority is a tenant of Ezzat Eid and lives at one of Ezzat Eid's compound houses at a discounted rent. Truth be told, Ezzat Eid is effectively sponsoring this Lebanese's businessman's CTN contract with the National Port Authority and the writer(s) of the Facebook posts state to the contrary that one of the reasons why Ezzat Eid is supporting the COP is that he wants the CTN contract for himself. This diabolical and malicious untruth against Ezzat Eid is not supported by any facts.
But all these denials are not sufficient, Mr. Ezzat Eid, a deterrence to similar occurrences and untruths about him and others in the future, Ezzat Eid should see through his threat to investigate into and institute legal actions against whomever published the Facebook posts. More than this, while it is true that Ezzat Eid's hospitality enterprises are public places, he should not encourage the use of those facilities by any person or persons who publicly profess an intention to destabilize the Liberian Government or to bring havoc and chaos to the body politic or the social fabric of our country. Those persons have no right to the use of the facilities of Ezzat Eid's hospitality enterprises for their meetings and all persons in the hospitality business should be alerted to deny access to their hosting services to such persons. The alternative is that, as innocent as they may be, other persons (including the security apparatus) could assume that allowing access to the instigators of chaos and destruction for their meetings is equal to collaboration with them. One can only empathize with the inconvenience (personal and business) which Ezzat Eid and members of his family have experienced when search warrants were issued to search the Royal Grand Hotel and other places owned and operated by them and their business partners.
Liberian law is clear that only Liberians are allowed to engage in politics in Liberia. Non-Liberians have always respected this provision of our laws; not only have they never engaged in politics but they have never ever supported any political activity in this country. Whichever regime is in power, the Lebanese people in our midst have always unquestionably cooperated with that regime in the latter's exercise of political powers and authority. The Lebanese Community has always cooperated in providing social services to the Liberian people and supporting the social programs of the Liberian Government in power. The accusation today that Ezzat Eid and the owner of the Tropicana Beach Resort are collaborating with the COP is strange and unprecedented; more importantly there isn't an iota of truth in those allegations, especially so when the security searches which were mounted at the instance of the Facebook posts yielded no information to substantiate those accusations.
The Facebook Post
WHY WAS EZZAT EID AND THE OWNERS OF THE TROPICANA BEACH RESORT TARGETED WITH THESE MALICIOUS AND DIABOLICAL ACCUSSATIONS WHICH COULD PLACE THEIR PERSONAL SAFETY AND THE SAFETY OF THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS AT RISKS AND DESTROY THEIR BUSINESS ENTERPRISES? IS IT ANY OF HIS BUSINESS COMPETITORS WHO WANTS TO MALIGN AND DESTROY EZZAT EID's BUSINESS IN LIBERIA? OR IS IT SOMEBODY WHO BELIEVES THAT BY CONTRIVING SUCH DIABOLICAL AND MALICOUS LIES ABOUT EZZAT EID HE OR SHE WOULD GET INTO THE GOOD GRACES OF THE WEAH GOVERNMENT? WHATEVER THE ANSWER TO THESE QUESTIONS MIGHT BE, EZZAT EID SHOULD RELENTLESSLY PURSUE HIS THREAT TO BRING THAT PERSON TO JUSTICE AS SUCH FALSE AND MALICIOUS ACCUSATIONS EXPOSE THE VICTIM TO CONSEQUENCES AND INJURIES FOR WHICH COMPENSATIONS SHOULD BE PAID BY THE WRITER(S) AND/OR PROPAGATORS OF SUCH STORIES.