By Edwin G. Genoway, Jr, 18 April 2013
The Government of Liberia has confirmed bribing planners/organizers of the much publicized ‘April 12, 2013 demonstration’.
Deputy Information Minister for Press and Public Affairs, Isaac Jackson disclosed that the Coalition for the Transformation of Liberia and civil society groups received money to cut off the planned protest.
Though the minister failed to disclose the amount received by would-be protesters, he, however, accused them of being belly-driven groups under the pretense of civil society activists.
“These guys go about getting money from individuals and government officials under the pretense of being civil society advocates around here,” Minister Jackson added.
He made the disclosure during a local radio talk show-“the New Dawn,” on Fabric FM in Monrovia and Radio LIB in the United States, an online radio.
The statement by the minister instigated a serious debate, with some Liberians calling on the government to stop spoiling tax payers’ money on unscrupulous individuals, including planners/organizers of the would-be ‘April 12, 2013 demonstration.
Speculations had it here that planners/organizers of the ‘April 12 demonstration’ received US$30,000 from the government to halt the protest.
Many believed that the would-be protesters used whatever situation currently on hand in the country to blackmail the government for their personal aggrandizements.
The President of the Coalition for the Transformation of Liberia Archie Sannon, on the same show challenged Minister Jackson to prove to the public that they (organizers of the demonstration) received money from the government or anyone to cut off the protest.
“Let me make it clear to Liberians listening to me that we did not received a dim from anyone to cut off the protest; so for the minister to come on the radio to say that we received money from the government is unfortunate and let him prove it,” he said.
The last minute dramatic U-turn of the so-called protesters came amidst mounting speculations of a trade-off between the government and them.
At the end of the last talks in the office of Vice President Joseph Boakai, one of the organizers who demanded anonymity, revealed that they took over US $30,000 from the government to offset expenses incurred during their preparation for the so-called demonstration