Dew Mason, a Liberian business tycoon and one time Liberia’s Ambassador accredited to France has now joined the long roster of the over twenty-four pool of candidates contesting for President of Liberia in the October 2011 elections, says he regrets the imprisonment of Dr George Boley, former rebel leader of the defunct Liberia Peace Council (LPC), one of the warring factions during the Liberian civil war.
Ambassador Mason expressed his regrets over the imprisonment of the former LPC rebel leader on Sunday evening when he appeared as guest on “Liberia Speaks”, a teleconferece-style town hall forum in response to a question posed by former Information Minister, Thomas Nimely who asked the Ambassador whether it was fair that President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to be enjoying the privileges of power while George Boley languishes in a United States prison because of his involvement in the Liberian civil war though the President was equally involved in the war as well. The National Democratic Coalition Presidential aspirant also said he supports the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC’s) report and clarified that he was never invited by the TRC to appear before that body during its sitting. Liberia Speaks is a United States base program of the Liberian Group, which organizes teleconference-style call and sit-in town hall forum and invite leaders and Liberians to discuss issues affecting their country.
When asked to explain his role in the Liberian civil war, the NDC Presidential aspirant said he was never involved in the war but only served as envoy of the Amos Sawyer interim government and it was the description of his job which made him made several trips to Taylor’s lines in a bid for President Sawyer and Charles Taylor , the National Patriotic Front (NPFL) rebel leader to have both men to begin to talk to bring lasting peace to Liberia and it was through his sacrificial role at the great peril to his life that both men finally got to talk to each other.
Mr. Mason used the forum to unveil his plan for Liberia, which include building a deep water port to accommodate large iron ore container vessels, emphasizing, it could bring about real economic benefit to the country while at the same time underscoring his disappointment that despite Liberia being a producer of iron ore, the country does not have such a facility. Establishing mobile clinics, building the capacity of farmers to graduate from old farming method to taking advantage of today’s farming technology are but few of the many plan of action he has for Liberia if elected President which he will be revealing very soon as he unveils the NDC platform.
Touching on why he supported President Sirleaf during her 2005 Presidential bid as a core financier of the President’s campaign and why is he now against the President, running for the Presidency, Ambassador Mason said in a Liberian parable “When Christmas is coming, we go in the bush and dress the devil to come to town to dance. But the devil we dressed (President Sirleaf) who we thought could dance, came out and we have seen, she can not dance. It is our responsibility to carry that devil back in the bush and undress it and bring in a new devil who will dance good”, this is why we are in the race, the Liberian businessman said.
When asked what has he done for Liberia and why not bring some of his investments into the country, Professor Mason paraded his personal investments already in the country including, the United Bank of Africa (UBA), one of the largest banks in the country, a pharmaceutical company, insurance company, an oil company (Royal marine and Oil Company) and many more. Ambassador Mason said he serves as chairman for all of his companies but will put them in a trust if elected President just as it is done in the United States and other parts of the world to avoid conflict of interest.
When pressed how he got his millions and whether he did not get his riches through shady deals, the Liberian businessman said he was one of the few Liberians who resigned his post as Liberia Ambassador to France because of how his country was being mismanaged and went into business, to be precised, got involved in the oil business in Nigeria, assuringly saying, he made his millions from outside of Liberia. The Liberian businessman and presidential aspirant did not however say where and how he got the financial resources to invest in the oil business, an industry which demands substantial amount of capital if one is to venture into it. The forgotten apostrophe about the how and where puzzles of how the Ambassador got the financial resources to venture into the oil business did not do well to quell the wide held belief that he fraudulently got his money from the Liberian government and people when he served as Chairman of the Liberia Investment Commission, many years ago.