<!–[if !vml]–><!–[endif]–>The Secretary General of the ruling Unity Party in Liberia, Mr. Wilmot Paye has acknowledged that nepotism and corruption have characterized the Government of Nobel Peace Laureate, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
Secretary General Paye made the stunning admission yesterday morning in the Liberian capitol, Monrovia when he appeared on a local radio, Truth FM talk show. Mr. Paye alluded that the face of nepotism and corruption in the Sirleaf administration is her son, Robert Sirleaf who serves as Adviser to the President as well as Chairman of the National Oil Company of Liberia, the government agency in charge the country’s oil sector.
The admission of nepotism and corruption in Government by the Secretary General of the Unity Party led Government is the first high profile voice and the ruling party’s official acknowledgment of the vices that are crippling the country’s reconstruction effort despite tremendous out pour of money and support from the international community. The Secretary General statement lends official credibility to the widespread public outcry about nepotism and corruption being practiced by President Sirleaf.
Liberians have dissipated their frustration about corruption and nepotism and how these vices have permeated the government. There is a vivid outcry by Liberians, frowning on the appointment 17 family members in Government by the President including three of her sons, Robert Sirleaf, Charles Sirleaf, and Fumba Sirleaf to strategic and lucrative positions in government.
Mr. Robert Sirleaf is in charge of the oil country’s oil sector and also serves as Adviser to the President as well as head of their family owned bank, First International Bank, (FIB) as Chairman of the Board while Charles Sirleaf is Deputy Governor of the country’s Central Bank and Fumba Sirleaf is the head of security in the country, serving as Minister of National Security.
A cousin of the President is also put in charge of the mining sector.
The Liberian leader persistently denies the claim of nepotism and corruption in her government and strongly defends her sons’ appointments. For specific defense of Robert Sirleaf, the President says “he is qualified and boast of his 15 years experience on Wall Street, though she has never specified which specific work he did on Wall Street.
Nobel Peace Laureate co-winner, Leymah Gbowee has also accused the President of nepotism and corruption, tendering her resignation from the Liberia Reconciliation Initiative she was appointed by the President to head.
The Nobel Peace Laureate said she “regrets not talking against the Liberian leader’s corruption and nepotism” earlier, adding she could be “considered a coward for not speaking out earlier and her country lacks a moral voice.”
Ms. Gbowee also criticized President Sirleaf for appointing her three sons and other family members in government.
But it seems the accusation of nepotism and corruption is not her worry even though the Liberian leader once admitted it was worrisome to her but by her recent action, and trip to Japan, she took along Robert Sirleaf and seated him right by her side during the official deliberations of the two governments, that public image is a testament of the President showcasing nepotism and corruption on the global stage.
President Sirleaf refused to prosecute corruption cases brought before her, only to recycle those who have been accused of corruption to other positions in government.
The General Auditing Commission has indicted several government officials in countless audit reports and recommended them for prosecution but the President is yet to implement and prosecute any of those implicated, leaving them in the very government they committed their crimes against.