Brumskine’s U-turn in Liberian Politics

first_imgCounselor Charles Walker Brumskine became politically prominent when he contested the first post-war elections in 2005 but lost to Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.Posing himself at the time as a “Man of God” to get Christians and their sympathizers on his side, Cllr. Brumskine, however, dropped by the wayside not even in the second, but the third place. Still hoping to ascend to the country’s highest seat, the Liberian lawyer and politician decided to contest the 2011 elections despite the overwhelming weight of President Sirleaf, George Weah of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) and Prince Y. Johnson of the party in disarray – National Union for Democratic Progress (NUDP) dominated by Gio and Mano people.Interestingly that year (2011), Cllr. Brumskine had an interview with the Daily Observer in which he promised, “If Ellen Johnson Sirleaf wins this election, I will surely resign from politics.” With God on his side, Cllr. Brumskine fell from third place in 2005 to fourth in 2011, and he publicly resigned in accordance with his promise after that election in which Ellen Johnson Sirleaf won.Describing himself earlier as a “Man of God,” many Liberians held him to his word, believing that he would uphold the Judeo-Christian ethics of honesty and consistency. To my dismay and that of many others, the “Man of God,” lawyer and politician has overturned his decision again and is gearing up for 2017.When I heard about his ambition for the presidency a few months ago, I thought that Liberty Party was not capable of putting forward any political leader besides Cllr. Brumskine. When I inquired from some partisans, they told me, “A wise man changes and Brumskine’s word is not the Bible.”If this is the philosophy that the “Man of God” and his partisans are holding on to, then, what belief can we have in them? To look at the issue, the Bible that Cllr. Brumskine and most of his political followers believe says in the book of James 1:8, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”Liberians, like people of feeble nations, are tired of hearing political rhetoric but are seeking for a leader who will inspire a spirit of patriotism in them. The Liberian lawyer, “Man of God” and politician, knowing that he had been in the game and would still surface in the field where the incumbent’s manipulation would be less, should have withheld his emotion and refrained from making such a public statement that he would withdraw from politics.Proverbs 13:3 says, “He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life, but he that openeth his lips shall have destruction.” Liberians have known their politicians to be deceptive people with sweet words, but at the end when they obtain power, they become the bitterest fountain. They grab the country’s resources for their families, and leave the people deprived of their needs.With such inconsistency, there is no doubt that Cllr. Brumskine would be the same as other politicians, who promise constituents and the entire country, but fail to deliver the goods and become a thorn in their flesh.To remind the “Man of God” and politician about another danger, let us see other verses in the Bible. Proverbs 12:22 says “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.”Furthermore, Proverbs 13:5 says, “A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame.” I know the conjunction ending this verse makes no impact on the “Man of God” having diverted from consistency to inconsistency; however, he should be aware that by his confession and decision, Liberians hold him now as a deceptive politician.In addition to his inconsistency, you will also recall that in 2011 during the day of the launch of voter’s registration in Liberia, Cllr. Brumskine went to Buchanan, Grand Bassa County to register.There he told the people of the county, “Bassa people, if you want development, elect a Bassa man and vote the Liberty Party. This is the only way you will get development in this county.”I do not know how fluent Cllr. Brumskine is in the Bassa language or how accustomed he is to its culture, but from time to time, he has been tribally sentimental and divisive in his politics.He was again recently heard urging the Bassa and a portion of the Kpelle people in Margibi to join Grand Bassa to produce the next President of Liberia. How sure can the Bassa people be that Cllr. Brumskine would deliver to them, considering his first confession to Christians of being a man of God and by making a u-turn?His statement simply indicates that getting power through the Liberian people’s votes would only yield into tribal divide and the long existing sectionalism that has torn this country apart.Cllr. Brumskine should know by now that Liberians are gradually becoming mature in the political game, unlike the past when many of them were swayed by a few bags of rice and dollars.He should know that even those who have failed to deliver at the level of the Legislature will all be retired in 2017 and 2020. To publicly say something and then later change your mind demonstrates a sort of inconsistency that goes to prove, as you may have realized, the reason for your declining popularity among Liberians.Until you set your record straight, Cllr. Brumskine, Liberians still hold you by your word and decision, and you must respect consistency in your word to them.About the authorJoaquin Sendolo is a senior student studying Mass Communication at the University of Liberia. He earned his first Bachelor’s degree in Management and attended several workshops and seminars both in Liberia and abroad. He has also covered key international events including the 49th annual meetings of the African Development Bank in Kigali, Rwanda and the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. He participated in reporting tours both in the United States and China (PRC). He now serves as a diplomatic and business correspondent for the Daily Observer and can be reached at 0886838535/0777463853. Email: jmeahkeehsendolo@yahoo.co.uk. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

“Appropriate Actions, Forensic Audit of NOCAL”

first_imgThree major committees of the Senate have made several recommendations to plenary on the state of affairs at the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), among them, appropriate action against all employees, senior management and Board members who have betrayed the public trust.The recommendations were contained in a report dated August 17, and was submitted to plenary yesterday by the Committees on Lands, Mines, Energy, Natural Resources and Environment; Committee on Public Corporations, and the Committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Budget.In their 12-page report, the committees, among other things, recommended that appropriate action be taken against all employees, senior management and Board members who have betrayed the public trust; but however, recommended that all those who have been severed receive their just benefits in accordance with the Law of Liberia.The report comes in the wake of mounting concerns that the company is facing financial difficulties, and that some of the major oil companies were pulling out of petroleum acreages.At the same time, the committees are recommending that the General Auditing Commission (GAC) conduct a forensic auditing of NOCAL for unaudited periods.Considering that Liberia is still a frontier area in terms of oil exploration, the committees recommended the development of an aggressive program, both to retain companies in the program and to attract others in the face of competition from other countries some of whom have found or are producing oil.In view of this, the committees are suggesting that the current management structure of NOCAL be reviewed, eliminating the many vice presidents and other senior management position. They further recommend that the total employment level of NOCAL be reduced significantly to the bare bone minimum, and that priority for retained employees should be given to technical fields such as geology and engineering, since they are the most needed at this stage of the oil program.The committees outlined several cardinal factors they believe are responsible for NOCAL’s current predicament, among them a huge payroll to accommodate an-over-bloated staff and a plethora of vice presidents and other senior management positions, coupled with an unrealistic corporate social responsibility program.Other areas reported on in the committees’ document showed that NOCAL was carrying on “an overly ambitious local and foreign scholarship program without due attention to priorities as a frontier country; very expensive, very frequent and often very unnecessary foreign travels, donations in millions of US Dollars to government agencies for extra-budgetary expenditure, and general spending spree as if Liberia were an oil-producing country.”The report revealed that the companies which pulled out of their petroleum acreages generally completed their work programs without finding oil, and said the drop in the price of oil also served as a disincentive for the companies to remain in Liberia due to competing demands on their global operational and exploration budgets. “An aggressive and innovative strategy is required to keep the Liberian oil program active,” the committees concluded.In the debate that followed after the presentation, several Senators agreed that NOCAL be audited, especially from the stage when oil blocks were awarded to companies.However, a greater number of Senators refused to buy the recommendations that severance payments be made to individuals considered for such, and that the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning assists NOCAL financially when such demand is made.Others argued that some of those receiving severance benefits were the same ones who led the company to its downfall, and that it would make no sense paying for their administrative ineptitude.Several recommendations were then made and plenary voted to send the report back to the committees for a final report, and that the report be submitted to the leadership of the senate for onward submission to the Executive for action. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more