Source: Public Agenda
“Corruption Under Ellen Is A Divine Curse”
|President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf|
|Dr. Amos Sawyer|
The former Defense Spokesman of the defunct rebel National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) of Charles Taylor has once again opened up, rapping on critical national issues and unleashing yet another barrage of scathing verbal attacks on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, his longtime political pal. After a long telephone conversation with this paper, Jucontee Thomas Woewiyu, spoke from the United States recently in an exclusive interview with Public Agenda. What does he think about the Sirleaf Administration and the future of Liberia? Editor-In-Chief, J. Lyndon Ponnie captured the exiled politician and militarist’s views.
Public Agenda: Welcome to this interview, Mr. Thomas Woewiyu.
Woewiyu: Thank you Mr. Editor
Public Agenda: We have learnt that you have been invited by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to testify before it to say what you know about the Liberian crisis. Is this information correct?
Woewiyu: That is correct.
Public Agenda: So, when will you return home to tell the TRC about what you know about the crisis in Liberia?
I received the TRC’s invitation sometime late last year. At the time, I could not travel due to some personal health reasons. Sometime early 2009, I informed the Commission through its Executive Director, Honorable Nathaniel Kwabo that I could make it to Liberia sometime in February. In my last communication to the Commission, I stated that I could be in Liberia on the weekend of February 12 to present my testimony on or about February 15 if all arrangements were consummated by the TRC. I have not heard from them since then. Let it be known that my testimony is completed. With or without the TRC it will be published in due course.
Public Agenda: Recently the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf appeared at the TRC and testified. During her testimony, she denied ever being a part of the NPFL, contradicting your open letter written in 2005. What is you comment?
As I stated in my 2005 open letter to Madam Sirleaf, she played a very important role in the first version of the NPFL led by the late General Thomas Quiwonkpa during his failed coupe in 1985. I said, she asked me to see Quiwonkpa in order to give him my blessing for the mission which he was about to embark upon. I told her that I did not want to have anything to do with Quiwonkpa and such a mission. She sent him anyway. Read the open letter again. I also said in the open letter that she also played the leading and sponsoring role in the organization and launching of the second NPFL adventure led by Charles Taylor. Without her support and approval, that whole adventure would never have gotten off the ground. I cited a 1987 conversation between Madam Sirleaf, Dr. Baron Tarr and me at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Estrada Bernard. The conversation had to do with her accepting responsibility for the political phase and Charles Taylor being responsible for the military phase of what eventually became the 1989 uprising against the Samuel Doe Regime. The disagreement between her and Dr. Tarr during that discussion was mentioned in the open letter. Dr. Tarr is an honorable man and should be in the position to recall the discussion.
Public Agenda: If she had been part of the inner circle of the former rebel group as your open letter states, to what extend was she involved?
Tom Woewiyu: I stated that her effort in raising funds for the NPFL amounted to about half of million dollars. She has admitted giving US$10,000.00 to start the war. She has admitted to flying from the United States to meet with Charles Taylor in Paris to plan the war. She has admitted and apologized for issuing the NPFL her genocidal order to level Monrovia and she would rebuild it. What she has not done is, apologize for the death and destruction caused by such a reckless order. As I said in my open letter, Madam Sirleaf spoke at the time as the Commander-in-Chief of the NPFL. She wanted the public to know that she was involved at the top level of the uprising. Read the open Letter again.
Public Agenda: Throughout the President’s testimony at the TRC, she made reference to you regarding all information she received from the NPFL at the time. What has been the relationship between you and Madam Sirleaf?
Tom Woewiyu: Thank God. Madam Sirleaf has vindicated me by confirming in her testimony that I was reporting to her. If she was not part of the NPFL, what was I doing reporting to her? Why did I not report to Dr. Amos Sawyer or Dr. Baron Tarr?
Public Agenda: In 2005, you warned of electing Madam Sirleaf as President, now that she has been elected, how do you see Liberia today and what do you think it will be in the next years?
Tom Woewiyu: When I met with Madam Sirleaf in the Mansion regarding her five million dollar lawsuit against me for defamation of character, I asked her as to who she trying to impress with her suit? I told her Liberians have never listened about the characters of those they put in power. I said to her, Ellen, if my intention was to stop you from being elected, which it was, it did not work. You were elected anyway. So, what did you lose? I asked. I reminded Madam Sirleaf in that conversation that it was my open letter to Samuel Doe back in 1984 telling him to stay out of the 1985 election that she and the late Jackson Doe used as their campaign document. I also reminded her that it was my written position and public pronouncements against our mutual friend, Charles Taylor that she used in the 1997 election as issues while Taylor should not become President. I also asked Madam Sirleaf in the Mansion as to what she did not understand about me after all these years of political affiliation. I told Madam Sirleaf that in the same manner that I tried to warn the Liberian people that Doe and Taylor were not the right people to lead Liberia, in my open letter to her I warned the Liberian People that she, Madam Sirleaf did not possess the qualities to be President of Liberia. Her Administration of the nation with corruption being three times higher than the three previous regimes combined, has indeed confirmed my warning.
Public Agenda: Mr. Taylor was arrested as a result of Madam Sirleaf’s request to Nigeria to have him turned over to the Special Court to answer to allegations of his involvement in Sierra Leone. Do you think that was in the right direction?
Tom Woewiyu: As I said in my open letter, Charles Taylor was a foot soldier for Madam Sirleaf and our exiled leaders. He was sent on a mission which was accomplished. Clearly, the ills of the mission caused a devastation of the total infrastructure of the nation and snuffed the lives out of 300,000 Liberians. By Madam Sirleaf sending Mr. Taylor to the Sierra Leonean Court, is she implying that the lives lost in that country are worth more than the ones lost in Liberia where Taylor was directly responsible first as a rebel leader and second as President of the Nation? I think Madam Sirleaf naively believes that her part in our national tragedy will remain hidden by focusing the spot light on Taylor in that international conspiracy. The saying goes in Liberia that “the same rope that hang monkey could hang baboon”.
Public Agenda: It is being rumored in Liberia that you are one of the witnesses for Mr. Taylor in The Hague, how true is this information?
Tom Woewiyu: No one has asked me to do so.
Public Agenda: There is so much news of corruption in Liberia under the leadership of President Sirleaf; do you think Madam Sirleaf is the right person to fight this virus?
Tom Woewiyu: Corruption under Madam Sirleaf is not a virus. Virus can be cured by the proper medical remedy. Corruption in the Republic of Liberia under Madam Sirleaf is part of a “divine curse”, it has no cure. I am saying this to my fellow Liberians; let us pray with all of our hearts and ask God to forgive us for not understanding his will and acting accordingly. 2 Chronicles 7:14: “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land”. It was the realization of the power of this verse of the Holy Bible the people of God in Liberia held the three day prayer vigil entitled, “Liberia for Jesus”. President Taylor dressed in white swear-in suit prostrated on the platform and said “Lord I am not the President of your People, You are, may your will be done”. Did the Lord’s will get done? Yes. He abdicated the seat of the Presidency and went into exile. Here is another verse of the Bible that Liberians must think of as we pick our leaders: Proverbs 28:12.When the righteous triumph, there is great elation; but when the wicked rise to power, men go into hiding.
I said corruption under Madam Sirleaf’s Administration is part of a divine curse because I see how God is showing Madam Sirleaf that no sin and absolutely no sin go on punished. Just as it was with Pharaoh in Egypt thousands of years ago, when God told him “let my People go”, God is telling Madam Sirleaf to either do the right thing or quit the leadership of Liberia while she can. God has shown her signs that he is not happy with her. He has allowed the devil to drop a few plagues on Liberia as a way of making his point. For instance:
Tom Jucontee Woewiyu recounted four plagues that be said have befallen the Sirleaf administration.