‘Sirleaf May Not End Six Years If…’- Deepening Acrimony Between Two Ex-Allies
Written by Wade C. L. Williams
Source: Front Page Africa
Monrovia – No one ever imagined that representative Bhofal Chambers of Pleebo-Sodoken District Maryland county a former stalwart of the ruling Unity Party and a once close ally of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf would become her fiercest critic.
Chambers would seize every opportunity given him to criticize the Liberia’s first woman president and the stalemate between the two has also gone to a level where the Maryland lawmaker has threatened that Sirleaf may not end her six years in office if certain measures are not put in place to seek the welfare of Liberians.
“If madam president wants to remain as president of this Republic of Liberia; she must do what she is constitutionally elected to do, that is to bring happiness to the people of Liberia,” says Chambers.
Speaking at the funeral activities for the fallen Montserrado District # lawmaker Moses Tandapolie at the headquarters of the Congress for Democratic Change, CDC in Congo Town on Friday, the Maryland Lawmaker accused the president of Nepotism.
“To discourage nepotism Never Appoint Your Children to positions when you have qualified Liberians; nepotism is a crime in our constitution; it is against our constitution. Nepotism is even worse than tribalism. Madam President who kind of elevated herself above the stature of sins is acting worse than a sinner,” he says.
Chambers blames the leadership of President Sirleaf for not doing enough to protect the lives of Liberians by providing adequate and affordable healthcare for all which led to the death of Representative Tandapolie.
“There is something called defrabulator , it helps to restart the heart, but I don’t think in any single Liberian hospital this exists. It cost s from $1200 to 5,000 and I think we need to prioritize those things that will sustain our people,” he says.
Continued Chambers: “That is why honorable Tandapolie along with myself worked on a communication to the legislature, that has to do with prioritizing the health delivery system, my dear partisans, it’s a sad day because Liberia is in the hands of cleptocrats. We feel that many things are stolen away from our people, that is why we have this sad situation. We must work together to change things around.”
Chambers went on to threaten Sirleaf with removal from office if she fails to do the right thing: “If Madam President persist, if Madam President does not listen to the mighty voice of the people; the people; the people will democratically act on her. That is maybe six years will be too much for her.”
The Maryland lawmaker who deserted his mother party the UP over differences he had with the Liberian leader during her first administration over the failure of the President to act in the awarding of the cavalla plantation to SIFCA, says President Sirleaf is involved in acts of political corruption. He says the fact that the president has chosen to employ her children to all lucrative positions against logic and democracy is unacceptable.
“Nepotism is a crime in our constitution; it is against our constitution. Nepotism is even worse than tribalism. Madam President who kind of elevated herself to her stature of sins is acting worse than a sinner,” he says.
[B][IMG]/images/stories/chamb1.jpg[/IMG][/B]Continued Chambers: “We are not happy about her overzealousness , her domineering spirit; democratically we may impeach president Sirleaf if she continues to do what she’s doing, because it is against the interest of the Liberian people.”
Chambers maintained that there are more qualified Liberians than the President’s Children who should also be given a chance to work in the government.
Since the appointment of two of her sons to lucrative public portfolios, President Sirleaf has come under massive criticism but the president has maintained that her children are also qualified Liberians who are contributing to the country in a positive way and should be given a chance to do so.
Rep. Chambers has used every opportunity given him to lash out against the Liberian Presidency. Since his fallout with Sirleaf over SIFCA, Chambers has left no stone unturned in terms of his criticism of the Liberian leader and her administration of the state.
Genesis of the Chambers Sirleaf Acrimony
Rep. Chambers has led a robust resistance to the Cavalla Rubber Company’s parent company, SIFCA financial strength after it signed 50-year US$74 million concession with the Liberian government in January 2011 to operate an oil palm company in Pleebo, Maryland County.
The Maryland Representative has insisted SIFCA is not financially solvent to run the oil palm concession in the County.
Chambers’ fight with President Sirleaf and the UP saw him being was removed from his post as Chairman of the party’s Legislative Caucus in the 52nd Legislature. Chambers maintained that SIFCA is not financially strong to run the oil palm company in his district.
After the signing of the SIFCA agreement Chambers described the process as “nemesis” noting that President Sirleaf did not mean well for the people of Maryland County by agreeing to sign the agreement which, according to him, is intended to inflict sorrow on the people of Maryland County and stall the development of the County.
Chambers was angered that SIFCA deceived the government when it came into the country. He said the company boasted that it would do everything within its power to make sure its agreement was passed.
Accusations of bribery also surfaced wherein Chambers disclosed that the company promised him US$1.5 million and two houses, one to be built in Monrovia valued at US$100,000 and the other in Maryland County valued at U$50,000 an offer he rejected reportedly.
“SIFCA, in my view, is a kind of slave gangster, slave gangster because they have given our people sub-human treatment. I haven’t seen in this country where a group of investors will partition a district.”
“As you can see, this is a gate about eight feet high mounted in Pleebo Sodoken District partitioning towns and villages and if one has to get through any of these gates, one needs to ask the permission of a security, not government security officers but from a plant protection force. This is unacceptable, we cannot accept this,” he said during one of his interview to reporters on the issue.
Continued Chambers: “All these appear to me that SIFCA is a republic within this republic and all of government state security officers take instructions from SIFCA. Whenever it calls for some demonstration or petitioning for the people’s interest, whenever SIFCA’s name is called the ERU rushes on the people,” Rep. Chambers asserted.
Also condemning the SIFCA agreement, Rep. Biney disclosed that the agreement stated that any disagreement after the passage of the agreement could not be settled in any Liberian court besides the London International Court of Arbitration. Chambers is not wavering in his new criticism of Sirleaf appointing her sons to key positions in the Liberian government.