The former Auditor General of Liberia, John S. Morlu turned down invitations from the political leader and Standard Bearer of Liberia’s leading opposition party, Congress of Democratic Change (CDC), George Weah to attend his MBA graduation ceremonies held on July 27, 2013 in Florida and the CDC party leadership conference which took place from 1 August 1 through 4 August in Philadelphia.
CDC partisans, sympathizers, well-wishes and those at the helm of party leadership who have been optimistic in recent times for a potential Morlu- Weah or Weah-Morlu 2017 Dream Ticket were taken aback that Morlu was not in attendance for the graduation. There Dream Ticket hopefulness appears to be further gloomy when he turned down the next invitation, this time the Party international conference.
The former Auditor General Morlu and soccer icon and opposition leader, George Weah bond of friendship began to cement when both made public appearances together in 2011 raising wide conjectures of a probable alliance for a Morlu-Weah or Weah-Morlu 2017 Presidential Dream Ticket when he was a special guest at the graduation of the opposition leader graduation in 2011 in Florida when he earned his bachelor’s degree from Devry University.
Last October, the Auditor General, at the invitation of the opposition leader and party, the CDC, served as keynote speaker of the party’s USA branch inauguration where he provided a categorical analysis and recommendations of Liberia’s governance and fiscal management problems.
It has been speculated lately that what was seen as some sort of dream ticket pairing the two for a 2017 presidential bid is a dwindling relationship which had no prospect from the very start because both men do not share much in common, especially the Auditor General’s uncompromising stance on corruption, transparency, and governance, sources close to the CDC and the former Auditor General said.
“Auditor General John Morlu has never been a member of the CDC and we were hoping he becomes member because a configuration of such magnitude was going to be a strong youthful blend”, the source indicated.
Sources say the CDC Standard Bearer, George Weah kept a distance from Auditor General Morlu since his preferment as Peace Ambassador by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Ambassador Weah is keeping away from the Auditor General because of his strong stance on corruption and the strained relation he has with the President as the result of the war he wage on corruption and exposed corrupt officials, aggravating the President and her officials resulting she not renewing his contract when hi four-year tenure elapsed in 2011.
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 be named, said the former Auditor General was told by CDC officials not to be tough on the party 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 Mr. Morlu refused to be restricted to reign praises on the party rather than presenting a rigorous and balanced realities unfolding in Liberia.
It can b recalled that when the former Auditor General spoke at the CDC-USA inauguration last year and did not mince his words, blaming the problems of corruption and nepotism in Liberia not only on the effort of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf but the failure of the CDC for not fighting those vices, a moral mantra the party has been entrusted with by the people by virtue of been the leading opposition party but a trust betrayed.
Mr Morlu chastised the CDC party because as he put it, “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.”
“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, Hanna Grant. 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”, Mr. Morlu asserted in his speech.
Continuing, the Auditor General asked the opposition CDC, “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” last October.
“The former Auditor General is now a businessman since he left the Liberian Government three years ago and is focusing on his auditing firm, “JS Morlu, LLC”, a licensed CPA firm in Virginia and Washington DC, with extension in Haiti and offices soon to be established in Liberia”, disclosed a source close to Mr. Morlu said.
“Jobs creation and training opportunity for his staff are among his priorities. Few of his staff are initially undergoing intensive month-long training programs in various sphere of auditing and he is opting to extend this to Liberia in few months creating jobs opportunity and career path for many Liberians”, the source said.
Do we have to depend on foreign audit firms when we have highly qualified Liberians with viable experience and expertise to do the same work and even more than those foreign audit firms? A source close to Mr. Morlu rhetorically hinted.
Lee H. Williams
About the Author
Lee H. Williams is a free lance journalist based in Boston, USA. He is the author of several articles including his most recent article. “Measuring Budget Performance in the Public Sector: The Way Forward.”
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