Ü

TOP
STORIES

Gender
Ü
Issues pg 12

Law & Order

Ü pg 5

CENTRAL BANK OF LIBERIA

NO SHOOTER
IDENTIFIED

MARRIED
AT 13

MARKET BUYING AND SELLING RATES
LIBERIAN DOLLARS PER US DOLLAR

Shaki Report Leaves
More Questions
Than Answers

Young Girls Forced into
Adulthood in Liberia

FrontPage

BUYING
 

L$84.00/US$1

L$85.00/US$1

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2014

L$84.00/US$1

L$85.00/US$1

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2014

L$84.00/US$1

L$85.00/US$1

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2014

These are indicative rates based on results of daily surveys of
the foreign exchange market in Monrovia and its environs. The
rates are collected from the Forex Bureaux and the commercials
banks. The rates are not set by the Central Bank of Liberia.

www.frontpageafricaonline.com

Source:
Research, Policy and Planning Department,
Central Bank Liberia,
Monrovia, Liberia

PRICE L$40

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2014

VOL 8 NO.715

FRONTPAGEAFRICA CLINCHES REPORTERS
WITHOUT BORDERS 2014 MEDIA PRIZE

BIG AWARD
FOR FPA

The 2014 Reporters Without Borders - TV5Monde Prize for Press Freedom has been
awarded to Mexican journalist Sanjuana Martínez, Liberian newspaper FrontPage Africa
 
and Saudi blogger Raef Badawi. The winners’ names were announced at a ceremony
Wednesday in Strasbourg, France

INSIDE

LEARNINGFROM
THE EBOLA CRISIS

While it may be too late to pontificate on what President
Sirleaf and her government could and should have done,
it is not too early to consider how to prevent Ebola from
becoming endemic, Brumskine says

COMMENTARY Ü

 

p2

SELLING

SYLLA OUT OF
SENATE RACE

Media Issue - pg.8&9

Ruling Unity Party candidate Cites Medical Reasons
for Departing upcoming senatorial elections
Politics Ü p11

 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Page 2 | Frontpage

police have received their share of this money, immigration has
received, even fire service and DEA who don't have any role
to play in this fight have received, only us have not received
a cent,” the source, a corrections officer, explained. “We are
currently being threatened with dismissal if we talk about this
money anymore.”
Dirty game, lawyer slams police, magistrate
Atty. Edwin Martin, the lead lawyer for Koijee is pointing the
blame on the Liberian National Police, he accuses of preventing
him from securing a criminal appearance bond for his client.
Atty. Edwin Martin denied that they were incapacitated to
obtain US$15,000 criminal appearance bond for Koijee.
Atty. Martin is accusing state lawyers including the police of
playing games only to see Koijee go to prison. "They brought
him at 2:00pm and took him at the County Attorney Office
and left the County Attorney Office at about 2:15pm for the
courtroom. We spend 15-minutes in the courtroom before his
writ was issued on him as provided by law. Time was not in our
favor in order to obtain a bond. The Junior Magistrate James
S. Dudu refused to grant us 13.5 on ground that the court hour
had elapsed”, Said Atty Martin.
Chief Justice mandate ignored

Rodney D. Sieh, rodney.sieh@frontpageafricaonline.com

F

Monrovia ears of a possible first case of Ebola at the Monrovia
Central Prison has drawn concerns from supporters
of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change
regarding the safety of Jefferson Koijee, the party’s
controversial Youth Leader who was arrested and imprisoned
at the notorious facility last Friday, an action, critics say,
ignores a mandate from Chief Justice Francis Kporkor who
recently instructed magistrates to use their discretion by
ensuring that people are not taken to prison for offenses other
than non-billable crimes to avoid prison congestion.
Legal observers say kidnapping is a billable offense and
wonders why Koijee will be sent to prison in the wake of a
mandate from the Chief Justice.
Suspected Case Out of Prison Population, Official Says
Sources informed FrontPageAfrica this week that an inmate
who was admitted about a week ago showed all the signs of
the deadly Ebola virus. “His specimen was taken for testing
and he has been to one of the quarantined center. Before
taking him away, this guy had spent almost a week among the
other inmates, toileting with blood and vomiting,” the source
explained.
But Mr. Edwin Foley McGill, Acting Assistant Minister for
Prisons at the Ministry of Justice, acknowledged the allegations
when FrontPageAfrica sought clarity on the matter but said the
case has not been confirmed.
McGill said the prisoner who was taken in on a Theft of
Property charge has since been removed from the prison
population.
Said Mcgill: Three or four days ago and inmate showed
symptoms of Diarrhea and Fever and based on the mechanisms
put in place, we made sure to isolate that person from the
prison population immediately. The health team was called
and advised that it was in the best interest of the prison
population that the inmate be removed from the rest of the
prison population.”
McGill said the prison authorities agreed and the inmate was
removed since Wednesday. However, McGill said there was
no such thing as a confirmation. “We have mechanism put in
place to protect the population. The person who is charged
with theft of property has been removed; the judge has been
spoken to in a bid to see if the person can be released.”
Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor and the Ministry of Justice
recently began a program for pretrial detainees and convicted
prisoners under which those who would not pose any danger
to themselves or the society, to benefit from a bond initiative.

“The detention of Koijee and Morlu is now
clear that it is politically-motivated; to put
Koijee in a cell of a suspected Ebola case,
signals a quest to eliminate him. This is cruel
and as I speak to you Koijee’s temperature
is like 40 degree Celsius and very sick. If he
dies in the cell where he’s mentally tortured,
the Sirleaf regime will be held accountable.
Today, I am ready to sacrifice my job for the
survival of a Liberian like Duncan that was
spit on by the Silreaf dynasty.”
- Rep. Acarous Moses Gray(CDC District 8,
Montserrado County)
and the latest suspected case is no exception.
But sources tell FrontPageAfrica that correctional officers are
in dire straits. “Up to now, no correctional officer has received
a cent from the money allocated for security entities in this
fight against the deadly Ebola virus putting many at serious
risk of being infected with this deadly virus, a source told FPA.
The source said correctional officers are at risk even thought
new inmates received daily are quarantined in separate areas
for 21 days before mixing them with other prisoners. “We are
at risk of being infected and our families are also at risk. The

Recently, chief Justice Francis Kporkor as a measure of
fighting Ebola mandated magistrates use their discretion by
ensuring that people are not sent to prison for offenses other
than serious crimes.
Chief Justice Korkpor stated "while it true that magistrates
needed to perform their duties under the law we encourage
them to play a meaningful role in exercising discretionary
powers taking into consideration Section 10.12 and 13.5 of the
criminal procedure law.”
Koijee was charged with aggravated assault and kidnapping
and the failure of his lawyers to secure a criminal appearance
bond for his temporary release landed him at the Monrovia
Central Prison pending court trial. But despite the Chief
Justice’s caution to magistrates, Koijee was taken to prison.
On October 21, 2014, Mr. Gbeh Salinto Montgomery informed
police investigators that Korjee and Mulbah Morlu, along with
others flogged him at the CDC Headquarter because of his
alliance with the embattled chairman, Mr. Solo George.
Complainant Montgomery averred that Mr. Koijee and
Morlu later told him to declare on a video recording that he
(Montgomery) sexually harassed a little girl and that prompted
angry mob to attack him. Koijee is the only person now in
prison for the alleged act.
On Thursday, Rep. Acarous Moses Gray(CDC District 8,
Montserrado County) cautioned that the Sirleaf administration
would be held responsible for anything that happens to Koijee.
Said Gray: “The detention of Koijee and Morlu has made it
clear that this is politically-motivated. To put Koijee in a cell
with a suspected Ebola case signals a quest to eliminate. This
is cruel and as I speak to you Koijee’s temperature is like 40
degree Celsius and very sick. If he dies in the cell where he’s
mentally tortured, the Sirleaf regime will be held accountable.
Today, I am ready to sacrifice my job for the survival of a
Liberian like Duncan that was spit on by the Silreaf dynasty.”

Correction Officers Trained
In recent weeks, pretrial committees have reportedly been
working to clean the prison population and curb congestion.
“This is what has been done here,” McGill noted, explaining
that the MCP has put everything in place to curb infections
at the prison. “People who come there, including visitors,
are checked daily upon arrival; correction officers are being
trained and inmates coming in have to be checked properly.”
McGill said the MCP is doing everything to protect the inmates

 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Page 3

FrontPage COMMENTARY
EDITORIAL LEARNINGFROM THE EBOLA CRISIS
Frontpage

v

Commentary

WHAT IS LIBERIA’S PLAN
FOR IT’S MEDICAL HEROES

INVESTMENT IN
LOCAL HEALTH
WORKERS KEY TO
EBOLA SURVIVAL

VIROLOGIST Oyewale Tomori, a noted Nigerian who was
the World Health Organization’s (WHO's) regional virologist
for the African region in 1995 during the Ebola outbreak in
Kikwit in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, made a
startling declaration recently during the International Meeting
on Emerging Diseases and surveillance when he slammed the
handling of the crisis by African governments.
TOMORI alarmed that because international aid money
often simply disappears the African continent remains
“underdeveloped, totally and completely unprepared to tackle
emerging pathogens."
BUT TOMORI’S MOST damning comment came in reference
to the lack of respect African leaders have for their experts,
preferring to take and act on advice from external sources. “In
the end, they become the experts on Africa’s problems, not the
Africans. This is why I am angry with Africa,” Tomori lamented.
THIS IS TRUE in Liberia which has seen a massive loss of
healthcare workers.
AT THE JOHN F. KENNEDY Medical Center, several
prominent doctors have fallen as well as healthcare workers
and nurses. Dr. Abraham Borbor, Deputy Chief Medical Doctor
who was one of the three doctors local doctors to be injected
with the Anti-Ebola trial drug, ZMAPP died in August. The
hospital has also lost Dr. Samuel Brisbane, who was the top
doctor at the hospital.
DESPITE THE LOSSES, new and enterprising medical
practitioners are emerging.
DR. GORBEE LOGAN, A doctor in Bomi County has had
successful results treating Ebola cases. Out of sheer desperation,
his experiment with an HIV drug has proven to be effective. Dr.
Logan has given the drug, lamivudine, to several Ebola patients
with impressive results.
AT THE ELWA II facility, Dr. Jerry Brown’s unconventional
approach using the drug Selenium and other drugs used to treat
malaria has been effective.
IN A DEVELOP country, these two promising doctors would
be hailed as heroes, their brains tapped for knowledge and their
work and methods document and funded through a program
that could come in handy in the future.
IT IS EVEN POSSIBLE that the methods these doctors are
using could be formulated into a possible mass treatment for
Ebola.
WITH MORE THAN 400 healthcare workers infected globally,
and more than 230 death, Liberia and countries hit by the
outbreak must begin to herald and trumpet the success stories
of this crisis and seek funding to aid the effort of these emerging
heroes.
AS OF NOVEMBER 2, 2014, the total death toll was at
4,818 out of 13,042 cases, according to the World Health
Organization(WHO) which also cautioned that the figures
continued to be too low because of under-reporting.
THOSE NUMBERS could have been controlled and so many
lives would have been saved if countries like Liberia invested
more in healthcare workers.
WE AGREE WITH TOMORI that those countries experiencing
the bulk of the outbreak were ill-prepared. “After the first cases
occurred in West Africa, it took almost three months for WHO
to know. When the first patient came to Sierra Leone and died,
his son brought him back to Guinea and as far as Sierra Leone
was concerned, it was Guinea’s problem. People abandoned
their duty, they denied the problem, and when it became a big
problem they became incapable of handling it.”
IN ESSENCE, TOMORI is asserting that Africa had more than
enough time to prepare. “This is not the first time Ebola has
appeared in Africa. There have been more than 20 outbreaks
since 1976. Not one of them has been declared a global problem.
Of course, circumstances are different this time. But if we had

Charles W. Brumskine, Political Leader, Opposition Liberty Party, Contributing Writer

I

would like to commend Hon. Tolbert Nyenswah, Assistant Health
Minister for Preventive Services at the Ministry of Health and Social
Welfare, for the professional manner in which he has served the
nation during this Ebola virus crisis. And I concur with his statement
of Monday, November 3, 2014, warning Liberians against complacency,
which could have the propensity to overturn the apparent gain in the
nation’s fight against the Ebola virus disease. Learning from the health
crisis over the last eight months in particular, and the last eight years in
general, the Government should begin a public health campaign in earnest,
to save the people from the reemergence of the spread of the deadly Ebola
virus and other infectious diseases.
At this point in the Ebola crisis it might be a good time to do some reflection
in an effort to draw lessons for the future.Why, for example,have more
than 2,500(official statistics) of our loved ones, relatives, and friends died
from the Ebola virus diseasein Liberia, while only nine died in Nigeria
and one in Senegal? Liberia has a population of about 4 million; Nigeria’s
population is about 174 million, while Senegal’s is about 14 million.
Notwithstanding, about 57% of all the Ebola virus-related deaths from
the current outbreak are in Liberia. On August 14, 2014, Blair Glencorse
and Brooks Harmon wrote that the “… Ebola outbreak isn't just a health
care problem. It's also about a crisis of governance.” Their article, “The
Cure for Ebola Is Accountability,” further stated that, “There is a clear link
between this governance failure and the current health crisis. In places
where governments are so rarely willing or able to act in the interests of
their citizens, we can begin to understand why the disease continues to
spread.”
Today, no country wants to see a Liberian passport holder or an entry stamp
from Liberia in any passport coming through their airports. Politicians
around the world want to ban all travel to our homeland and quarantine
anyone who would dare travel from Liberia, because we are all supposedly
infected with the deadly Ebola virus disease.
Why is Liberia’s Ebola virus-related death to population ratio so high?
Was it because of the condition of Liberia’s healthcare system prior to the
Ebola outbreak? Was it because the Government made no attempt initially
to contain the virus? Was the Government’s Ebola control message wrong
and too late, or was it simply a matter of the people’s lack of trust in the
Government? Was it because of our cultural practices? Or, was it because
the Government was waiting for the international community to step in
to help, providing some of the basic services that the Government should
have been in the position to make available to its people at the onset of the
outbreak?
An easy and less controversial response to such questions could be, “All
of the above.” But whether or not one assigns a specific reason for what
has obtained in Liberia since March, when Liberia experienced that first
case of Ebola, the bottom line is that the loss of lives, pain, and suffering
that the mishandling of the Ebola crisis has caused the people is the result
of a colossal failure of leadership. The impact on our country of the
mismanagement of the Ebola virusoutbreak— on the economy, set back in
the health sector, and the loss of class room hours for yet another generation
of young Liberians, just to mention a few, are yet to be determined.
But while it may be too late to pontificate on what President Sirleaf and her
government could and should have done, it is not too early to consider how
to prevent Ebola from becoming endemic or how we might prevent the
spread of other deadly diseases that might arise in the future. A good place
to begin is for the Liberian government to now catalogue lessons to be
learned from this Ebola national nightmare. So, what can the Government
learn? Here are a few areas for consideration:
Broader Definition of Health.First, Liberia mustembrace a broader
definition of health.Government programs must focus on the true causes of
ill health such as poverty, poor nutrition, inadequate housing, and unsafe
drinking water, among other things. This approach to health results in
global as well as individual outcomes.
Before the Ebola virus outbreak, about 43 percent of mortality in Liberia
was attributable to malaria, typhoid, and dysentery, which are easily
preventable and/or treatable for pennies on the dollar.Preventive health
measures, safe drinking water, and improved sanitation are less costly and
more effective measures for maintaining a safe and healthy population than
their curative counterparts. Furthermore, instead of waiting for handouts
from our friends in the international community, the Government should
place emphasis on improving preventive measures as well as educating
the people through the community health posts about preventive measures
that they can take.
The Government can also learn the true meaning of the rule of law. While
avoiding illegal arrests, detentions, and floggings are a part of the lessons
to be learned, the Public Health Law of Liberia has ample provisions
relating to public health emergencies. The Public Health Law mandates
that whenever any part of the Republic appears to be threatened by any
formidable epidemic, endemic or communicable disease, the Minister of
Health should declare such part an infected area and should make rules
to safeguard the public health, which may include preventing any person
from leaving and re-entering infected areas. And any person who has
been exposed to the infection of and may be in the incubation stage of
any communicable disease, and is not being accommodated in a manner
to adequately guard against the spread of the disease, that personmay be
removed to a place of isolation and there detained untils/he is free from
infection or able to be discharged without danger to the public health. But
the Government decided to ignore the law, and sat around helplessly until

the deadly virus had spread throughout the nation. When the Government
declared its State of Emergency, five months after the first Ebola virus
case,many had already died, and the disease was widespread.
Plan to Delegate.Next, theGovernment should also learn from this terrible
period of our national life to delegate the responsibility for health and
sanitation service delivery to local government,requiring the state to build
capacity at county and district levels, and to allocate more resources to
this purpose. The current “decentralization strategy” of the Ministry of
Health and Social Welfare is merely an outplacement of service, because
the Minister retains control of every local activity.
If the resources cannot be generated domestically or mobilized to
rehabilitate and upgrade community health posts, the Government should
invest in mobile clinics—purchase vans or twin-cab pickups, equip each
with medical equipment, and staff each with a physician assistant, a nurse
and a lab technician. The mobile clinics will be charged with providing
public health education about Ebola, HIV/AIDS and other diseases, and
basic medical care to combat curable ailments such as malaria, diarrhea
diseases; dressings for wounds, monitoring rural pregnant women and
young children for anemia, performing antenatal examinations, monitoring
and referral of pregnant women with antenatal problems, and providing
basic health, sanitation and nutrition education.
Of course, Liberia needs to train more health workers and pay better
salaries and benefits in order to retain healthcare professionals and to
attract others to the profession.On health and social welfare, prior to the
Ebola outbreak, the Government spent approximately $15.10,per annum,
for each Liberian (per capita). Of the $55.9 million proposed for the health
sector in the 2012/2013 budget, more than half--$29.3 million or 52% went
to staff salaries, fuel, vehicles, and general and special allowances.While
the nation begs for help, the Government has spent about US$64 million
for foreign travel and reimbursements since 2006.
Better allocation and proper management of public funds wouldallow
increase spending on health, education, and social development services,
infrastructure and basic services for the Liberian people. More efficient
use of the existing and increased allocation of public funds will reduce the
overall disease burden, allowing healthy families to spend more time at
school and/or doing what they need to do to survive. Certainly, the use of
resources in a transparent and accountable manner would have prevented
the rapid spread of the Ebola virus disease.
Government blames the Civil War that ended eleven years ago for Liberia
not having gloves, surgical masks, gowns, and other personal protection
equipment in the hospitals, which has resulted in the death of doctors,
nurses, and other health workers, who attended patients with the Ebola
virus disease. The Civil War is blamed for Liberia havingone doctor for
about every 86,275 persons in the country. The Civil War is blamed for
fourteen of Liberia’s fifteen counties not having an ambulance that would
have safely transported Ebola infected patients. But the Civil War can no
more be blamed for Liberia’s current woes, than the fall of Adam and Eve
can be blamed for the Civil War. Neither can be said to be the proximate
cause of the other; the intervening and superseding circumstances are
evident.
Develop Robust Disease Surveillance System. Finally, the Liberian
Government should recognize the critical need for a more robust disease
surveillance system and empower the County Health Teams (CHT) and
Community Health Workers (CHW) to be effective first responders. Any
future disease outbreak, and there might be others, can then be locally
managed with support from central government to ensure it does not
become as widespread as the Ebola contagion.
Liberia has many national problems begging for solution, but from the
perspective of national leadership, here are threecommon postures:
1.
Firstly, our national leaders live in a state of perpetual denial;
2.
Secondly, our national leaders have adopted the posture that
admitting missteps is a sign of weakness; and,
3.
Thirdly, every utterance that is in opposition to a Government’s
policyor action is viewed as either partisan or an outright unpatriotic
betrayal of the state—in the mind of those holding government positions
or otherwise benefiting from unholy grafts, there is nothing nationalistic or
patriotic about an opposing point of view. The preference for a common
position, “so says one, so says all,” obviates the need for tolerance of
alternative views!
As a result, democracy continues to elude Liberia, as our nation stumbles
through recurrent crises; we move from one botched opportunity to
another, awaiting the next crisis.
The Government has learned not to be proactive; its modus operandi is
to expect and await assistance from and depend on the benevolence of
the international community. And when the assistance of the international
community is forthcoming, the Government does not seem to have a
national agenda. And Liberia’s national leaders rarely take responsibility
for their actions or the lack thereof. Malfeasance, misfeasance, and
nonfeasance may abound, but how often do our national leaders stop to
say, “I am sorry” or at least, “I regret the mishaps”? Instead, it is always
someone else’s fault. Would someone be sanctioned for the terrible
handling of the Ebola virus crisis? Most likely not!
But instead of using the Civil War,anything it can imagine, and everyone
else, as an excuse for its non-performance, the Government could learn
a lesson or two from Paul Kagame and the Rwanda recovery story. Of
course, it is all about national leadership with a vision for the country, and
a passion for improving the lives of the Liberian people!

v

been prepared, if we had learned from the past, we wouldn’t be
where we are today.”
LIBERIA DEFINITELY HAS ITS work cut out and must begin
to explore how it can put the brains of its smartest doctors and
healthcare workers to use; how we can turn some of the successful
stories around and make their impact meaningful to our existence,
to our culture and the norms we take for granted and which

foreigners take advantage of.
WE MUST NOT and cannot afford to stand by idly and allow
good brains to go to waste. It would be a terrible waste if we do not
learn from this and prepare for the eventuality of a future calamity.
We can prepare by investing more in our healthcare gems, the
unheralded few who are making a major difference. Their efforts
must not go in vain, neither should their work go unnoticed.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Page 4 | Frontpage

FrontPage

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING
ABOUT OUR STORIES ON THE
WORLDWIDE WEB

COMMENTS FROM
FPA ONLINE

The Reader's Page

Send your letters and comments to:
editor@frontpageafricaonline.com
YOU WRITE; WE PUBLISH; THEY READ!

OPEN LETTER TO HER
EXCELLENCY, PRESIDENT OF
THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA

LIBERIA’S
FPA CLINCHES
FUTURE UNDER
REPORTERS
SERIOUS THREAT
WITHOUT
BORDERS 2014
MEDIA PRIZE
Dear Her Excellency, Pres. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf;

Thomas Natee Sumowalt · Top Commenter · Resources System
Manager at The Virginian
Bravo FPA

Philip Blidi · Top Commenter · Alvernia University
I knew that one day you and the Frontpage Africa were going to
receive a special media recognition from an international media
organization. Rodney D. Sieh, your engagement in the dissemination
of information to the public, meanly Liberians in the diaspora, is
like a dream come through for many of us who always want to
know what is going on in our beloved Mama Liberia. Keep on the
good job and don't let intimidation derail the progress you and your
organization are making. Congratulations to you and our Frontpage
Africa!!
Michael Sahr · Works at World Bank
Job well done FPA. Congratulations!!!
Elpaulay Jackson · Whatz High School?
Congratz y'all
Elijah Barnard · Top Commenter · University of Liberia
While I disagree with some of your reporting, overall you have
done a wonderful job exposing nine years of corruption and
mismanagement in Liberia. Congratulations Frontpage Africa.
Sylvester Moses · Top Commenter · Works at Self-Employed
Threats, law suits, jail, closure - FPA has experienced all in the
cause of informing its Liberian readers about matters germane
to their livelihood, health, safety, and protection; whereas, for us
abroad without FPA coverage a day isn't well - spent.
Brenda Brewer Moore · Monrovia, Liberia
oh Wow. Congrats FPA and Rodney Sieh. I am thrilled to hear a
Liberian won this award...!
Reply · Like · 2 · Follow Post · 11 hours ago
Jay Wion · Top Commenter · Works at NPRC
An absolute affirmation, not only recognized by Liberians, but by
global media houses. For me a Liberian journalist in America, I
have always told my listeners that FPA is, no doubt the number one
newspaper for and by Liberians in and outside Liberia.
We admire your courage, but then Rodney Sieh, it is perhaps in your
DNA, the grandson of Albert Porte, a pioneer crusader journalist
whose second home was dictator William Tubman's notorious South
Beach Prison, the same prison where our Nobel Peace Prize winner
president put you for a month simply for publishing her govt's own
official audit report. History is taking note of your courageous
deeds. Story to air on my LANS NEWS- 518-556-1343. More to
follow on "MY TURN" commentary.
Shana Ier
Congrats FPA!!
Andrew Gursay · Top Commenter
No surprise at all FPA gained this sort of international recognition
and award. There is a direct relationship between guts and glory.
Congratulations! Don't be intimidated by a shameless good for
nothing government.
Andrew Gursay · Top Commenter
No surprise at all FPA gained this sort of international recognition.
There is a direct relationship between guts and glory. Congratulations!
Don't be intimidated by a shameless good for nothing government.

DISCLAIMER

The comments expressed here are those of our online readers and
bloggers and do no represent the views of FrontPageAfrica

H

appy belated birthday Madam President, as the
saying goes: it is better late than never. As another
year has been added to your age, I wish you long
life, prosperity, and good health. Some Liberians
including me have some reservations about the way things are
being run, but that still does not change the fact that you are
our Mother, our president, and the first female Commander- IN
Chief of an African Nation. Thank you for letting go your usual
birthday celebration just for the sake of Ebola, we are deeply
honored.
As we gradually win the war against our unseen enemy (Ebola),
I hope that you will learn from the dilemma the Liberian people
under your leadership faced from the inception of the second
Ebola outbreak. Our health care delivery system needs tougher
reforms; please take tougher decisions to revamp the system in
order to prevent and minimize the possibility of another Ebola
outbreak even after this one.
While we battle Ebola out of our country, our future is under
serious threat, our educational system does not only need
reforms, we need a rapid respond mechanism in order to put
the high school students on the path towards a better future.
Our 14years of civil unrest can no longer be the immediate
cause of the massive failures in the UL entrance and National
Exams; for more than ten consecutive years, we have freely
gone to the schools of our choice without hearing the sounds of
guns, and your leadership through the Ministry of Education is
doing its sincere best in instituting programs and projects with
the aim of reforming our broken and dilapidated educational
systems.
We applause the Minister of Education, and her team for
their patriotic efforts, but the major problem that I see with
the MOE style of addressing our educational system wahala
is the negation of students who are the primary victims in its
implementation of projects and programs.
Madam President, our educational system can only be reform
when students take the lead in the implementation of projects
and programs while the MOE plays a supervisory role.
While it is true that the Liberia National Students Union that has
the statutory mandate to coordinate the affairs of the students
of Liberia has been facing some leadership crisis of late, its
elected fifteen counties auxiliaries that run their affairs at the
will and pleasure of their electorates (High School students) but
in accordance with the constitution of LINSU in our respective
counties have remain focus, and pressurize in our pursuit of

innovative and smart problem solving programs and projects
to rapidly address the future threatening educational problem
facing our students who are victims of massive failures in
public exams and the massive bribery, sexual harassment etc
that are among the root causes of our educational woes.
As the president of the Montserrado County Chapter of LINSU,
my leadership have written six smart problem solving project
proposals that are meant to be channel through the very high
schools students and immediate graduates who are the worst
and most vulnerable victims of our dilapidated educational
system. Madam President, while we have formulated those
projects, we are primarily depending on the GOL to aid us
financially in its implementation.
As we transition from the student organization of more
advocacies and less project oriented to a more projects focus
and constructive advocacy
one, the leaderships of the fifteen counties auxiliaries under
our coordinated banner called:
The Counties Council do sees the government of Liberia as a
working partner if we must reform our dilapidated system, and
so we expect you to see us as such.
I am patriotically asking you to request the MOE to give it
a try by allowing us to take the lead in the implementation
of all students related programs and projects while they play
the supervision role as the saying goes: “Only the victims of a
particular problem better know how to find lasting and smart
remedies to that problem”
Best regards:
MOHAMMED DOLLEY
0886821834/0770821834
mdonzo94yahoo.com/mdolle

NO NEED TO LIFT
CURFEW NOW!

President Sirleaf,

P

lease keep the curfew in place as at nov.6th, and
please close our borders with the other affected
countries. Lifting curfew at this time may bring the
virus back, and people will start dying again. Let
the WHO declare Liberia virus free before you lift the curfew,
Madam. All blames were placed on you, so please take this
advise and leave the curfew in its place until we're clinically
free of Ebola.
Ebola was not your making, but people blame you as our leader,
for not closing the borders. Liberian people quickly forget, and
sooner or later, they'll start abusing precautionary measures to
bring it all back on you. Keep the curfew on until WHO advise
you to lift it.
Thank you.
Molin Doelu

EDITORIAL TEAM

Rodney D. Sieh, Managing Editor, 0886-738-666;
077-936-138, editor@FrontPageAfricaonline.com;
rodney.sieh@FrontPageAfricaonline.com
Wade C. L. Williams, News Desk Chief, wade.
williams@frontpageafricaonline.com; 0880664793
Sports Editor, Danesius Marteh, danesius.marteh@
frontpageafricaonline.com, 0886236528
Henry Karmo, henry.karmo@frontpageafricaonline.
com
Al-varney Rogers al.rogers@frontpageafricaonline.
com, 0886-304498
Sports Reporter, A. Macaulay Sombai,macaulay.
sombai@FrontpageAfricaonline.com, 077217428

COUNTY NEWS TEAM
Grand Bassa, Alpha Daffae Senkpeni, 0777432042
Bong
County,
Selma
Lomax,
selma.lomax@
frontpageafricaonline.com, 0886-484666
Sinoe County, Leroy N.S Kanmoh, leroy.kanmoh@
frontpageafricaonline.com
0886257528
BUSINESS/ADVERTISING
Kadi Coleman Porte, 0886-304-178/ 0777832753, advertise@
frontpageafricaonline.com

Friday, November 7, 2014

CHINA TO
BUILD EBOLA
HOSPITAL IN
LIBERIA
Government announces plan
to send 1,000 aid workers
to Africa and open 100-bed
medical centre within a month

Frontpage

NO SHOOTER
IDENTIFIED
Shaki Report Leaves More Questions Than Answers
Wade C. L. Williams, wade.williams@frontpageafricaonline.com

C

hina plans to build a 100-bed medical centre in
Liberia to combat Ebola, officials announced on
Thursday, after criticism that the country is not
doing enough to fight the disease.
China will send 1,000 aid workers to Ebola-affected areas
“in the months to come”, and has already sent 252 people to
the three hardest-hit countries – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra
Leone – since the deadly virus broke out in March, the official
newswire Xinhua reported on Wednesday.
Foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei elaborated on the
announcement at a regular press conference on Thursday
afternoon. “In Liberia, we will build a 100-bed medical centre,”
he said. “On 9 November, 160 medical workers will set off for
Liberia.” He added that 320 additional workers would arrive at
the centre at a later date.
“All the construction materials, construction workers and
medical workers are in place,” he said. The centre is scheduled
to open in 30 days.
Hong said: “Many countries have evacuated their diplomatic
personnel, aid workers and enterprises from affected areas.
However, there are still several thousand Chinese people
working there.”
Hong’s comments partially contradict earlier reports that
scores of Chinese workers have fled Ebola-affected countries
since the spring. According to the Wall Street Journal, the
state-backed China Henan International Cooperation Group
pulled most of its workers from an $80m road-building project
in Liberia in August. China’s commerce ministry estimated
then that 20,000 Chinese people lived in affected countries;
since then, the number may have halved.
Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, told reporters
this week that “many countries in Asia who could help simply
are not [helping], especially when it comes to sending health
workers”. He did not mention China by name.
Last month Brett Rierson, the World Food Programme’s China
representative, urged China to do more to fight the disease.
“No one’s been willing to do anything big yet,” he said.
The US secretary of state, John Kerry, said last month that
the US and China, despite their many disagreements, hoped
to work together to curb the virus. China has sent a total of
$122m (£76m) to combat Ebola, according to the China Daily.
The US has pledged more than $1bn.
“China and Africa are good brothers who hold hands,” Hong
said. “When Africa is hit by Ebola, the Chinese government
and people feel like they’re suffering, so we offer assistance to
the best of our abilities. China is a developing country, but we
are doing everything we can.”

Page 5

T

Monroviahe
Independent
National
Human
Rights
Commission
has issued its report
into the West Point Shooting
Incident of August 20, 2014. But
it failed to identify the person
who fired the bullets that killed
15-year-old Shaki Kamara and
injured two others.
Speaking at a press conference
during the release of the report
into the shooting on Wednesday,
November 5, 2014 almost three
months after the incident, the
head of the commission, Cllr.
Gladys Johnson said the army
and police fired lethal weapons
that killed Kamara and wounded
two others.
“Shots were fired in the air
according to video recordings.
INCHR however says that the
bullets that shattered the leg of
the late Shaki Kamara leading
to his death, and the bullet(s)
that Titus Nuah received in his
stomach could not have been
fired in the air. Instead they were
live bullets fired into the crowd,
or directly at the victims,” stated
Cllr. Johnson on Wednesday.
The commission in its report
stated that unidentified witnesses
told it that Kamara was aimed at
and shot in the leg by a police
officer, but the commission
failed to name the police officer
that it claimed allegedly fired the
shots.

The commission further stated
that unidentified witnesses also
informed it that an Armed Forces
of Liberia (AFL) officer shot at
Nuah. Nuah had bullets removed
from his stomach several days
after the shooting. The INCHR
told journalists Wednesday that
the witnesses wanted their safety
guaranteed in exchange for
naming the shooters. But Cllr.
Johnson said the commission
does not have the capacity to
guarantee the safety of witnesses,
which leaves no one to take
responsibility for the shooting.
“The INCHR lacks the required
resources such as funds, expertise
and other logistical support to
address these concerns,” stated
the INCHR.
“We therefore recommend, that
the government of Liberia makes
the appropriate intervention,
in the interest of justice. When
the shooters shall have been
identified, the that the be stripped
of their immunities if any and
tried or prosecuted in a court of
law for their reckless disregard
for Shaki Kamara’s right to life
and Titus Noah’s right to a safe
environment and protection of
person by the government.”
Civilian threw stones
The commission stated that
civilians were throwing stones
in retaliation to a quarantine
imposed on August 20, 2014 by
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,
after a state of emergency was

declared. She said residents
were not given prior notice of  
the quarantine. The INCHR
chair stated that the military
responding to the stonethrowing youths moved in with
guns, firing indiscriminately at
civilians. The commission also
stated that the military assumed
combat posture, which inflamed
the situation.
“The military backup came
on the scene with lethal
weapons. INCHR condemns
the deployment of soldiers
and armed police to quell a
civilian uprising,” stated the
commissioner.
The commission in its report
noted that the use of nonlethal
weapon like teargas could have
been sufficient in disbanding the
stone-throwing residents. The
INCHR chair Cllr. Johnson said
the protesters stopped the stone
throwing after the police fired
teargas during the confrontation.
“The INCHR recommends that
the military be kept out of civilian
disorderly conduct problems.
That the military be deployed
to counter military insurgency,”
stated Cllr. Johnson.
In its report the commission
recommended the dismissal or
transfer of the commissioner
of West Point Miatta Flowers,
whom it says is wholly
responsible for the turn of events
that led to the shooting in West
Point.

 

“The INCHR recommends
that the President through the
minister of Internal Affairs,
reassign Madam Flowers if the
government still finds confidence
in her. But for her own safety and
the welfare of the township, she
should be replaced,” stated the
commission.
The commission stated that the
West Point troubles began when
the government made a decision
to open a holding facility for
suspected Ebola patients. It
stated that the government
instead of using the facility for
said purpose began bringing
in dead bodies and sick people
from elsewhere around the city.
This situation Cllr. Johnson said
angered the residents leading
some to ransack and loot the
center.
Shaki Kamara is said to have
died from profuse bleeding
because a negligent healthcare
system could not cater to him,
when it in fact could have saved
his life.
“Based on still photographs and
video images of the injuries
sustained by the patient in
those presentations, I can say
with certainty that the victim
of those injuries could have
been successfully treated by a
competent person or team in
Liberia and should not have
died as a result of such injuries,”
stated the commission quoting
the medical opinion of Dr. V.
Kanda Golakai, A. M. Dogliotti
College of Medicine.
The commission recommended
that the government make
financial compensation to the
late Kamara’s family and the
other two persons who were
wounded in the shooting.
Nuah who was shot in the
stomach said he does not want
any monetary compensation
from the government. He said all
he needs is to get proper medical
attention.
The failure of the INCHR to
find the shooter of Kamara and
others leaves more questions
than answers in a country where
impunity continues to triumph
over justice.

Page 6 | Frontpage

P

resident Obama has
assured Americans that
none of the nearly 4,000
U.S. troops heading to
Liberia will treat Ebola patients,
but 70 uniformed officers of
the U.S. Public Health Service
Commissioned Corps will.
The corps, part of the Department
of Health and Human Services,
will open a clinic outside the
Liberian capital, Monrovia,
this weekend and is tasked with
treating Liberian doctors and
nurses who contract the deadly
disease. It is the first time U.S.
government personnel have been
given that assignment, although
all volunteered.
For those local medical personnel
willing to treat Ebola patients
— among the most dangerous
of jobs — the new clinic is a
means of support, Rear Adm.
Scott Giberson, acting U.S.
deputy surgeon general, said
Wednesday in a phone interview
from Liberia.
"We're here to bring safety and
security to those courageous
responders," Giberson says.
"They have to feel secure that
there will be a high level of care
provided if they do fall ill of
Ebola."
About 310 health care workers
are among 4,808 people who
have died from Ebola in the
current epidemic, according to
the World Health Organization.
More than half of those medical
personnel were working in
Liberia.
The high risk of infection among
medical workers has discouraged
professional volunteers from
helping out. The result has been
the creation of fewer treatment
facilities for lack of staffing,
according to the WHO.
Obama asked Congress on
Wednesday for $6.18 billion to
contain and end the epidemic.
The clinic staffed by U.S. Public
Service doctors, nurses and other
medical personnel will provide
treatment to medical workers -

F

PAGE
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EBOLA

U.S. UNIFORMED OFFICERS TO
TREAT EBOLA PATIENTS IN LIBERIA

both domestic and international
- who have become sick with
Ebola, Giberson said.
The 25-bed facility, called the
Monrovia Medical Unit, was
built by sailors, soldiers and
airmen and is located about
30 miles outside Monrovia.
Giberson said it's unclear how
many patients, if any, will be

admitted when it opens.
While the 6,800-member U.S.
Public Health Service is not
technically part of the armed
forces, its members look very
much like military personnel,
wearing uniforms similar to
U.S. Coast Guard fatigues and
carrying military titles.
"We're a fully uniformed service

with all the same customs,
courtesies, rank," said Giberson.
Among other duties, it is the
health care service for the Coast
Guard and falls under command
of the U.S. Surgeon General.
The Public Health Service is one
of the nation's seven uniformed
services, which include the five
armed military branches along

with the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration.
Giberson said it remains
accurate that no armed military
servicemembers from the Army,
Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps
or Coast Guard are providing
direct medical treatment to Ebola
patients in Liberia.
The Public Health service

personnel in Liberia are all
volunteers, among some 1,700
who expressed a willingness to
be deployed when the outbreak
occurred, he said.
"Although I do have the general
concern that there is high risk,"
he said, "I know that ... they're
willing to accept that risk in
order to succeed in the mission."

we're not fighting the elements."
The U.S. has pledged to build
ETUs all across Liberia with
the idea that others will manage
those facilities.
Volesky says that's part of the
reason the ETUs aren't going up
faster: Constructing them is only
one piece of the equation. They
also have to make sure they can
put health care providers in them
to treat patients.
"What we want to do is not
accelerate the ETU construction
and then have an empty ETU that
we've got to secure," he says.
From the beginning of this
operation, President Obama
made it clear that U.S. Army
medics will not be treating
patients at the new centers. The
World Health Organization
says it's still searching for
international aid groups to run
and staff 14 of the yet-to-be-built
ETUs.
 
Even before any of these
proposed wards open, there are
signs that the Ebola epidemic
may be weakening in Liberia.
Many of the existing Ebola
hospitals there — which were
completely overwhelmed in
September — now report having
empty beds.
Volesky says these changes on

the ground could alter what the
U.S. finally builds: "What we
don't want to do here, as the
military, is come in here and
build capacity or capability that
the Liberians can't sustain."
That's a lesson he picked up from
serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He still expects to construct all
the promised treatment units but
some of them might end up being
smaller than originally planned.
Liberia has gone from having
more than 400 new cases of
Ebola each week in late August
to reporting just 50 cases in the
last week of October. Some
researchers are even questioning
whether the country needs
hundreds of additional Ebola
treatment beds.
But there have been other ebbs
and flows in this outbreak,
warned Dr. Bruce Aylward,
the assistant director-general
at WHO, who is in charge of
the organization's operational
response to the Ebola outbreak.
"My God, the single biggest
mistake anybody could make
now is to think, 'Well, do we
really need all those beds?' " he
said in a press conference last
week in Geneva. "Absolutely,
because remember, what you're
looking at is treatment centers
that are geographically located
across these countries in hot spot
areas."
If the U.S. military follows
through with its plan to build
an Ebola ward in every county
across Liberia, Aylward said,

Ebola cases from rural areas
could be isolated much faster,
which would prevent the spread
to new communities.
He added that right now is a
critical moment in the outbreak.
"I'm terrified that the information
will be misinterpreted and that
people would start to think, 'Oh
great, [Ebola] is under control,'
" he told reporters. "That's like
saying your pet tiger is under
control or something. This is a
very, very dangerous disease."
It's not the time, he said, for the
international community to back
off.
Volesky says the American
military isn't. In fact, its presence
will grow significantly — from
1,300 servicemen right now to
3,000 by the end of the month.
In addition to constructing the
treatment centers, U.S. troops
have started training health care
workers in Monrovia to work in
the Ebola wards. The U.S. Navy
is running mobile laboratories
to test blood samples for Ebola.
The Army just sent soldiers
from its Chemical, Biological,
Radiological, Nuclear, and
Explosives Command from the
Aberdeen Proving Ground in
Maryland to set up more mobile
labs in Liberia.
Volesky's operation now also
has helicopters at its disposal.
He says the U.S. military can
provide speed and flexibility in
the battle against Ebola — and
he expects it to play an even
bigger role in the weeks to come.

U.S. MILITARY RESPONSE TO EBOLA
GAINS MOMENTUM IN LIBERIA

T

wo new U.S. Ebola
treatment
facilities
are expected to open
in Liberia over the
next week. One is a 25-bed field
hospital near Monrovia's airport,
specifically to treat local health
care workers who get infected.
The other is a 100-bed Ebola
treatment unit, or ETU, in the

Friday, November 7, 2014

town of Tubmanburg, north of
Monrovia.
The 25-bed hospital is finished
and set to open this weekend. But
overall, progress has beenslow
in building the 18 field hospitals
that the U.S promised Liberia
back in September. However,
Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky from
the 101st Airborne, who is

commanding the U.S. forces
in Liberia, says five are under
construction and work will begin
soon on 12 more.
"Now that we are out of the
rainy season, we've been able
to make pretty good progress
on building," says Volesky. "So
you'll see these ETUs coming up
online a lot quicker just because

 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Frontpage

Page 7

Page 8 | Frontpage

T

he 2014 Reporters
Without Borders TV5Monde Prize
for Press Freedom
has been awarded to Mexican
journalist Sanjuana Martínez,
Liberian
newspaper
FrontPage Africa and Saudi
blogger
Raef
Badawi.
The winners’ names were
announced at a ceremony
Wednesday in Strasbourg.
The 2014 “Journalist of the
Year,” Sanjuana Martínez,
is a freelance contributor to
the Mexico City-based daily
La Jornada who has been
harassed and threatened
because of her commitment
to defending mistreated
women and children.
The winner in the “media”
category, Liberia’s Frontpage
Africa, has proved that quality
investigative journalism is
possible despite government
intimidation. The “netizen”
category
winner,
Saudi
blogger and human rights
activist Raef Badawi, has
paid with his freedom for his
fight for the truth.
Awarded annually for the past
23 years and in partnership
with TV5Monde since 2011,
this prize aims to encourage,
support
and
increase
awareness of journalists,
media and netizens that have
made a notable contribution
to the defence or promotion
of freedom.
Held for the second year
running at the World Forum
for Democracy in Strasbourg,
the award ceremony was
attended by Reporters Without
Borders (RSF) secretarygeneral Christophe Deloire,
RSF board chair Alain Le
Gouguec, TV5Monde news
director Pascal Guimier,
Strasbourg mayor Roland
Ries and a representative of
the Council of Europe.
“This year’s press freedom
prize jury included such
prestigious figures as Nobel
Peace
Laureate
Shirin
Ebadi, Italian investigative
journalist Roberto Saviano,
and Michèle Montas, a
former Haitian journalist
who was Ban Ki-Moon’s
spokesperson,”
Reporters
Without Borders secretarygeneral Christophe Deloire
said.
“With
violence
against
journalists
reaching
a
hitherto unimaginable level
of horror and scale this year,
it is vital that we pay tribute
to journalists, news media
and netizens who have
demonstrated a heroism of
the kind that benefits millions
of people.”
“As a French-language TV
channel that projects the
French-speaking
world’s
universal values in the 200
countries where we have
a presence, TV5Monde’s
reasons for being involved
with Reporters Without
Borders are obvious,” Pascal
Guimier said.
“We are a loyal supporter of
this prize because we want

F

PAGE
RONT

MEDIA ISSUE

Friday, November 7, 2014

FRONTPAGEAFRICA CLINCHES REPORTERS
WITHOUT BORDERS 2014 MEDIA PRIZE

BIG AWARD
FOR FPA
FrontPageAfrica Clinches Reporters Without Borders 2014 Media Prize

to demonstrate our commitment to those who
constantly strive, sometimes at the cost of their
lives, to cover this world in turmoil, this world
beset by wars that pose an ever-growing threat to
democracy and media freedom.”
Journalist of the Year Sanjuana Martínez received
death threats after writing a book about sexual
abuse by members of Mexico’s Catholic clergy.
As well as her newspaper reporting, she has also
written books about other alleged Catholic Church
scandals, Mexican drug trafficking and immigration
into the United States.
The recipient of many national journalism
prizes, she was included in the US magazine
Forbes’ September 2013 list of the country’s 50
most influential women. Mexico is the western
hemisphere’s deadliest country for journalists, with
more than 80 murdered since 2000 in a clear or
probable connection with their work.
FrontPageAfrica has distinguished itself for many
years with rigorous investigative journalism that
has shed light on many cases of corruption and
nepotism within Liberia’s ruling elite. Its readiness

to tackle taboo subjects and the reliability of its
reporting, which is recognized internationally, have
made it one of the main sources of information for
the Liberian diaspora.
Its coverage of Liberia’s ongoing Ebola epidemic
is a classic example of a country where journalists
have to fight to work. Because it makes waves, the
government resorts to all possible means to prevent
it from publishing and, in 2013, it had to close for
three months while its editor, Rodney Sieh, was in
prison. Liberia is ranked 80th out of 180 countries
in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom
index.
Aged 32, Saudi blogger and human rights activist
Raef Badawi helped to create the Liberal Saudi
Network website as a forum for discussing political,
religious and social issues in Saudi Arabia. It was
because of the site, which the authorities have
closed, that he was arrested in June 2012 for
violating article 6 of a cyber-crime law banning
content that “undermines public order, religious
values, public decency or privacy.”
In July 2013, a court sentenced him to seven years

in prison and 600 lashes on charges of violating
Islamic values and spreading liberal ideas. In an
appeal hearing in May 2014 that was marked by
irregularities, the sentence was increased to 10 years
in prison, 1,000 lashes and a fine of 1 million riyals
(about 200,000 euros) for “insulting Islam.” This
was upheld by a Riyadh appeal court in September.
Saudi Arabia is ranked 164th out of 180 countries
in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom
index.
Reporters Without Borders and TV5Monde also
pay tribute to this year’s other nominees:
In the “journalist” category: Sarmad Al-Ta’ I
(Iraq), Ilya Azar (Russia), Tomislav Kezarovski
(Macedonia), Bheki Makhubu (Swaziland), Hamid
Mir (Pakistan) and James Risen (United States).
In
the
“media”
category:
Malaysiakini
(Malaysia), Radio Puca Opalaca (Honduras) and
Turan(Azerbaijan).
In the “netizen” category: Ilham Tohti (China),
Emrah Uçar on behalf of the Ötekilerin Postasi
website (Turkey) and Zone 9 (Ethiopia).

 

Friday, November 7, 2014

F

PAGE
RONT

MEDIA ISSUE

Frontpage

FPA PUBLISHER CALLS FOR SANCTIONS FOR
NATIONS CRIMINALIZING JOURNALISTS

T

he publisher of FrontPageAfrica Mr. Rodney Sieh is calling for
international sanctions against governments encouraging the
criminalization of journalists. “The world must never allow
governments who punish journalists and media practitioners
and treat them as criminals to go free. I have been a victim; my newspaper
has been a victim. They must be punished, sanctioned and erased from the
face of the earth,” the FPA publisher said Wednesday, when the newspaper
received the 2014 Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Prize which was
announced in Strasbourg, France.
Below is the Full text of Reporters Without Borders 2014 Media Award
Acceptance Speech delivered via skype

It is with great joy and appreciation that I accept this year’s Reporters Without
Borders PRESS FREEDOM MEDIA PRIZE on behalf of the hardworking and
dedicated journalists at FrontPageAfrica, a group of passionate and dedicated
soldiers who have been there through thick and thin in pursuit of the basic ideals
we hold and cherish as members of the Fourth Estate.
When the chips were down, the odds stacked against us, and we were locked up,
imprisoned and all hope seemed lost, our journalists braved the rains, the sunshine,
the pains, the pressures, intimidations and politically-polarized environment that
sought to break our will, to deliver powerful stories and images of Liberia to the
world, in most instances to our own detriment but to the benefits of our readers.
Today, we are proud to join an elite group of past winners from Afghanistan, Burma,
Somalia, Chechnya and North Korea - nations notorious for clampdown against the
media and unfriendly toward to press.
In my country Liberia, the press has been a force for decades, standing up against
brutal dictatorships and oppressive governments in search of an environment
wherein journalists can be free to report and practice their craft without fear or
favor.
Many of our fallen heroes, including my late uncle Albert Porte, John Vambo,
Charles Gbenyon and a hosts of others paved the way for today’s generation of
journalists who are weathering the storm despite immense obstacles, difficulties
and trials.
Today, the guns of war may be silent and the haunted memories of past dictators
Samuel Doe and Charles Taylor are no more, but injustice continues to creep up
within our midst through a corrupt and most times compromised judiciary that
allows corrupt government officials to take journalists to court seeking millions
of US. Dollars in damages against publications based on government audits and
investigations, and media institutions that would never afford, even if all of them
combined their resources;
A system that promises a trial by a jury of peers but randomly picks up people
from the streets and put them in a court room with limited knowledge of the case
in question;
A system that still encourages the shutting down of newspapers and the raiding of
publishers’ offices;
A system that continues to tread the path of our painful past, while trumpeting
values of human rights; a democratic society; and a free press.
We have been down that road, many times.
In 2010, when we published a commentary from a contributing writer raising
concerns about potential bias and prejudices of the high court in a case involving

 

the alleged rape/murder of a 13-year-old girl, I was summoned to appear and
explain why we published the opinion, when I tried to explain that our opinion
page was a marketplace of ideas available to our readers to express their views, I
was held in contempt and thrown in jail for questioning what I felt at the time, was
the dictatorial badgering of the high court.
In 2013, when a former government minister took us to court for libel because we
published a story based on a General Auditing Commission’s finding suggesting
alleged theft; misuse of government funds intended for an army worm epidemic,
we were found guilty even though the government’s own auditors testified in our
favor that the official could not account for the money. The government would later
dismiss its own agency’s findings as being not credible all because it had me in
their grasp.
When we declared that we could not afford to pay, I was sentenced to prison for
5,000 years, the period it would take us to pay the US$1.5 million damages the
former official sought at US$25 dollars a day.
Our newspaper was also shut down for three months during a painful ordeal that
denied our journalists a chance to earn a living and practice their craft.
Today, we are proud that we have fought a good fight.
This is why we are grateful to Reporters Without Borders for recognizing our work
and our contribution to the defense and promotion of press freedom.
I have always had a passion for investigative journalism and an eye for the unknown.
At FrontPageAfrica, we believe that information is a very powerful tool that can
change the world; a tool that, if used in the right way, could prove to be the difference
between right and wrong; between good and evil; between good governance and
bad governance; between a transparent and accountable government and that of a
corrupt and unjust one.
In 2005, I along with a few close friends, started FrontPageAfrica from my home
in Parsippany, New Jersey with a single laptop and a single correspondent in my
homeland Liberia with the hope that a nation emerging from war was in desperate
need of a tool to keep a check on the powers that be.
Speaking truth to power and exposing the ills in our post-war society has not been
an easy task, amid arson attempts, sabotages and intimidations.
Today, We have crossed many paths and are proud to have set a new standard for
journalism in Liberia with groundbreaking reporting that has brought down senior
government figures and exposed corruption at all levels. In partnership with our
partners, New Narratives, FrontPage Africa has also shone a spotlight on issues
impacting large swathes of ordinary Liberians that are not regularly reported such
as female genital cutting, the impact of rising food prices, drug trafficking, human
trafficking, teen pregnancy and prostitution.
Today, we are also proud to have broken new grounds in the large number of
women journalists in our employ. Wade Williams is Liberia’s first ever woman
newsroom chief. Mae Azango and Tecee Boley are among the first women to reach
Senior Reporter ranks.
It pains me today, that I cannot be in Strassburg, France to personally accept this
award on behalf of our paper because my passport containing my visa which
was seized when I was arrested last year, is still in possession of the government.
Nevertheless Our consultant Mr. Cletus Nah who is based in Rotterdam, Holland,
has been kind enough to accept on our behalf.
I accept this award on behalf of our readers, fans, supporters, well-wishers and
even those who have issues with our approach and aggressive and investigative
reportage.

Page 9

We also express our gratitude
to all who stood by us during
our ordeal, including the Press
Union of Liberia and many of
our supporters who through
their letters and calls to local
radio talk shows helped pile the
pressure on the government to
come to its senses.
Our gratitude also goes out
to all the international media
organizations
including
Reporters Without Borders,
the Committee to Protect
Journalists and a host of others
time would not permit us to
name here. Most importantly,
to Mr. Peter Quaqua, the
former head of the Press Union
of Liberia, whose leadership
played a major role in bringing
our ordeal to an end.
I also accept this award on
behalf of the many persons who
have fallen prey to the deadly
Ebola virus in West Africa and
other parts of the world.
Information is a tool we take
very seriously; journalism,
a craft we wholeheartedly
embrace. It is our hope that
governments still trapped in
the past and entrenched in the
twilight zone of yesteryears
will finally come to the
realization that the times have
changed. Modern technology is
making it easier for journalists
and media practitioners to
tell their stories, forcing hatewielding dictators and foes of
the free press to struggle to
keep up.
Today, I wish that the days were
gone when rulers and dictators
willfully used their might to
oppress journalists. Sadly, it
still exists today in Ethiopia
and other places, where many
of our colleagues are being
oppressed, hunted and forced
into exile or jailed.
Even as we observe this week,
the first International Day
to End Impunity for Crimes
against Journalists, the unjust
laws which took me to prison
are still on the books.
U.S. President Barack Obama
was right when he said in
observance of the day this
week, that “All governments
must protect the ability of
journalists to write and speak
freely.”
I hope all leaders across the
continent and in my own
country, Liberia will take
notice.
Irina
Bokova,
DirectorGeneral of UNESCO, is also
right when she said this week,
that “Freedom of expression
is a basic human right that is
essential for human dignity,
for the rule of law and for good
governance.”
The world must never allow
governments who punish
journalists
and
media
practitioners and treat them
as criminals to go free. I have
been a victim; my newspaper
has been a victim. They must
be punished, sanctioned and
erased from the face of the
earth.
I thank You…

Friday, November 7, 2014

Page 10 | Frontpage

Ecobank Liberia Ltd is part of the Ecobank Group currently operating in 35 African
countries and in Paris, France. Ecobank Group also has representative offices
in the Middle East and in Europe. Ecobank Liberia is eager to offer employment
opportunities to committed, dynamic and enthusiastic individuals.

ADVERT DETAILS
Job Title:
 

 

 

Senior  Legal  Officer   Location:

Department: Legal

Date Open:

Monrovia
November 03, 2014

Job Purpose:
The Legal Officer should work with External Lawyers of the Bank and under
the general supervision of the Head of the Legal Department to carry out the
following duties:
Key Responsibilities:
➢Conduct comparative legal analyses on a range of issues in a given area,
identify legal and policy issues, research relevant precedents, and propose
appropriate solutions.
➢Provide legal support to ongoing projects, transactions, cases, and other
matters.
➢Review Ecobank Liberia’s documents for adherence to Bank Group legal
policies and procedures, and business objectives.
➢Prepare briefs on diverse topics/issues, as required.
➢Participate in task/project teams to ensure legal compliance.
➢Provide legal advice to the bank on legal and policy issues.
➢Draft, review, negotiate and finalize legal documents for operations, investment
activities, finance, administration, and other matters or practice areas.
➢Assist the Head of Legal with the Quarterly Board of Directors’ meetings.
➢Ensure the bank is in compliance with the National laws.
➢Conduct perfection with the relevant court to ensure effective credit collaterals.
➢Perform ad hoc assignments as requested by the Head of Legal and or
Managing Director.
The above functions should be performed at a level of complexity to
commensurate with the Legal Officer level of experience. Consistent with
business needs, the Legal Officer is expected to work with as broad as possible
a range of internal and external counterparts (lawyers). Assignments for the
Legal Officer should be coordinated by the Head of Legal and or the Managing
Director.
Job Profile
a. Experience

Practice law for at least two (2) years

Ability to communicate to and persuade business on Legal initiatives

Good understanding of Banking systems and practices

Must demonstrate a good understanding of Business Continuity Process

Good negotiation skills

Good moral standing
b. Education

Law school graduate from the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law

Computer literate
c.



Personal Attributes
Good verbal and communication skills
Ability to be a good team player
Ability to be Innovative and creative
Must be organized, have an eye for details

MODE OF APPLICATION: Application letter and Curriculum Vitae
addressed to Human Resource Office, Ecobank Liberia Ltd, Ashmun and
Randall Streets, Monrovia, Liberia. Closing date for application: Friday,
November 14, 2014 Send applications to this email address: HRLIB@ecobank.
com, or submit in person to the address above. Successful applicants will be
invited for interviews.

EFFORT BAPTIST IDENTIFIES
WITH ETUS, OTHERS

A
Monrovia-

s part of its response in the fight against Ebola and cognizant of the critical roles of the Church
in the society, the Effort Baptist Church located on Weaver Street, Paynesville, has identified
with the Community in which the Church is situated and some Ebola Treatment Units (ETUS).
The Church, through the wisdom of its Pastor, Reverend Trocon W. Langford recently launched
a special call for members to contribute bleaching materials and others to enable the Church distribute to
the community
According to the pastor, his call was overwhelmingly embraced and donations from members of the
church were taken to the Paynesville City Hall Community, and were distributed to homes.
Together with the bleach, the church offered prayers and provided a message of hope with a total of 216
homes and two orphanages visited.
The Effort Baptist Church also donated ten buckets with faucet at the launch of the Paynesville City Hall
Community Ebola Response.
Additionally, the Church continues to educate its members to observe all the health advice and the Church
has set up a committee which operates on three important legs including relief which objective is to assist
individuals experiencing hardship due to the outbreak of Ebola virus disease.
The beneficiaries of the relief program included people from the Extension Ministry of the Effort Baptist
Church in Foya, Lofa County, Salala, and the Harvest Time Baptist Fellowship in Wein Town Lower
Johnsonville. The relief component also considers the sick-n-shut-ins, the needy and old folks of the
Church including the Community.
Private school teachers at that Effort Baptist Church who are currently jobless also benefited. Distribution
of these relief items started on Wednesday, October 29, 2014. The total of twenty three (23) people outside
of the Church received assorted relief items, while fifty six (56) people in the Church received assorted
relief items. Items received included: sugar, tea, coffee, rice, tuna fish, unsweetened milk, soap, salt, and
salt.
The second program introduced by the church deals with reactive activities which objective is to assist
institutions or individuals involved with care-giving to victims of Ebola virus disease.
To fulfill this objective, the Church visited two institutions on Friday, October 31, 2014 including Island
Clinic ETU which received ten cartons (24 in each) bottle of mineral water and 12 cases (12 in each)
tropical fruit juice. These items were received by Dr. Williamatta S. William-Gibson, a doctor assigned at
that ETU.
In response to Dr. Brown SOS call, on 31st October 2014, the ETU in Bomi County, Tubmanburg City
also received ten cartons (24 in each) bottle of mineral water and 8 cases (12 in each) tropical fruit juices
as gifts from the Effort Baptist Church for patients at the ETU.
The Lofa Extension Ministry received 12K bags of rice, 1 bag of salt (20 in each), 2 cartons can mackerel
(50 in each, and 1 large bag of milk; Salala Extension Ministry received 7K bags of rice, 1 bag of salt (20
in each), 1 carton can mackerel (50) in each.
In continuation of its charity activities, the Effort Baptist Church also donated bags of rice to the Harvest
Time Baptist Fellowship.
On the preventive measures or Ebola education, the Committee is working with communities on training
workshop. The objective is to partner with communities in conducting training for community leaders on
practical preventive methods of Ebola and assist communities with Ebola preventive items where possible.
The training is scheduled for November 8, 2014 at the Effort Baptist Church, jointly sponsored by the
Effort Baptist Church and Tubman Memorial United Methodist Church. Beneficiaries of the workshop
include: GAS Road Community, Paynesville City Hall Community, Voker Mission Community, Sand
Town Community, 12 Houses Community, AB Tolbert Road Community, Police Academy Community,
Harmon Field Community, Paynesville Joe Bar Community and the Cow Field Community.
The Effort Baptist Church Ebola Response Committee was set up on Sunday October 12, 2014 to
strategically utilize the funding set aside for the Church response. The committee is headed by the Church
Administrator, Reverend Frederick N. Gbatu, Sr. and co-chaired by the Deacon Ministry. Members of the
Committee were co-opted from the Church’s Auxiliaries and Ministries. The Pastor serves as an ex-officio
on the Committee.
The Effort Baptist Church, in partnership with the Mount Olive Baptist Church U.S.A. and Effort Reunion
(Effort members in the Diaspora), as well as members in Liberia, provided the funding.

Friday, November 7, 2014

F

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POLITICS

Page 11

SYLLA OUT OF SENATE RACE
Ruling Unity Party candidate Cites Medical Reasons for Departing upcoming senatorial elections

T

Monrovia he
Montserrado
County
Senatorial
race is now one
candidate short with
the withdrawal of Mr. Ali Sylla,
a candidate for the ruling Unity
Party.
In a statement Wednesday,
Mr. Sylla’s “Political Action
Committee cited medical reasons
for the pullout.
The statement reads:
USAThe Ali Sylla Political Action
Committee (ASPAC) regrets to
inform all our supporters and
well-wishers that our candidate
Hon. Ali Sylla has withdrawn his

S

Monroviaince
the
Liberia
Anti-Corruption
Commission
made
its
recommendations
for the prosecution of some
government officials, the agency
has been blasted and criticized by
those forwarded to the Ministry
of Justice for prosecution.
The latest to blast the LACC
is the former Superintendent of
Sinoe County; J. Milton Teahjay
who believes the LACC should
have directed its allegations
to the county Senior Senator
Mabutu Nyenpan.
Teahjay believes that the LACC
recent recommendations are
politically motivated.
“The LACC report is a
composite of politics and law.
This indictment will not hamper
my election, I have been cleared
by the National Elections
Commission,” Teahjay said.
Teahjay has given the LACC
thirty days to remove his name
from the list forwarded to the
Ministry of Justice adding that
if the Commission fails, he
will take legal action against
Cllr. James Verdier, head of the
LACC for falsely accusing him
of corruption.
“I am demanding the LACC to
retract my name from that mess
and rubbish they sent to the
Ministry of Justice within thirty
days,” Teahjay said.
The former Superintendent of
Sinoe said, he took no contract
and is not associated with any
contractor as insinuated by the
LACC.
“There is nowhere that says
Milton Teahjay took contract or
is associated with any company.

candidacy from the forthcoming
Montserrado
county
midterm Senatorial election. This
decision comes as a result of
the urgent need to seek medical
attention as advice by his doctor
and after series of consultations
with family members, wellwishers, friends, as well as party  
officials.
Our candidate, also a member
of the Unity Party, said that
although his candidature was
overwhelmingly
endorsed
by partisans of the UP after a
competitive and democratic
process, he regrets that this
time around, he will not be in

the position to contest due to ill
health. Our candidate remains
loyal to the Unity party and will
continue to be supportive of the
party’s programs geared towards
socio-economic development of
Liberia
We also expressed gratitude to
the officials and members of the
Unity party as well as executives
and members of ASPAC for the
confidence reposed in Hon. Sylla
during this process and promised
to be of service to the party in
different capacities whenever
called upon.
Meanwhile, we urge party
members to remain united and
focused for the benefit of the
party and the society at large.
Signed
JWilson
Joe Wilson
Press & Propaganda
Sylla’s candidacy was always
marked with an asterisk since Mr.
Robert Sirleaf, son of President
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf announced
that he was a candidate, running
as an independent for the coveted
seat which is also drawing the
likes of football legend George
Weah, Mr. Christopher Z. Neyor,
former head of the National Oil
Company of Liberia, Benjamin
Sanvee of the opposition Liberty
Party and the incumbent Joyce
Musu Freeman.
It is unclear
how Sylla’s
withdrawal will alter the shape
of the race and whether Sirleaf
who has a strain relationship
PAGE
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F

with the ruling party will mend
fences in a bid to woo them to his
corner.
In a FrontPageAfrica interview
back in July, Sylla appeared
confident that he was in the race
for the long haul amid concerns
that he could buckle to pressure
to the President’s son. “Well,
the first thing is I am from the
party and we are looking at the
fundamental ideology. We are
fundamental ideologies of our
party, including the standard
bearer. So realistically, she is
from the institution and I believe
she is an institutional person.
So it is required upon her, it is
obligated upon her to support the
candidate of the ruling party and
I want to believe in my mind that
she will commit herself to that”,
said Syla.
Syla went on to say that UP
partisans who attended the
petitioning ceremony of Robert
Sirleaf could have done so
because of their closeness to
him but that did not necessarily
mean they would support him. “I
think those of our partisans who
were there, maybe they were
doing it based on their closeness
to Mr. Sirleaf and I respect their
decisions, but withstanding, I
think they will be reminded that
they are from a political party
and they need to give the party
their support”, confident Syla
told FPA.
Pressed further whether he
would back out of the race if

COUNTY NEWS

approached by President Sirleaf
in order to protect her son, Syla
said he did not believe President
Sirleaf will do so because
she is an institutional builder,
insisting that there no way he can
relinquish his quest to become
senator of Montserrado.
“You know credibility matters,
we are an emerging leader
coming out of Liberia so we
need to be cognizant of our role
so not somebody that I respect,
and admire to say that you
should pull out of the race, why?
We won the primary fairly and
square and so we are calling on
everybody to support us and we
are of the conviction that this
process, we will win it”, he said.
Syla says he is not under pressure
from any sources to relinquish
his quest for the senatorial seat.
“I am not under pressure at all;
I mean you see me here today, I
am not under pressure”.
Candidates in the race have
come under fire of late. Besides
candidates Neyor and Sirleaf,
most of those seeking the seat
have been in an out of Liberia.
Both Sylla and Sanvee are said
to be currently in the U.S. while
Weah is said to be out of the
country.
Recently, the Chairman of the
National Elections Commission
(NEC), Cllr. Jerome G. Korkoya,
formally proposed Tuesday,
December 16, 2014 as the new
date for the Special Senatorial
Elections.

The NEC boss informed Speaker
Alex Tyler of the House of
Representatives and Senator
Gbehzohgar Findley, President
Tempore of the Liberian
Senate, that the new date was
overwhelmingly accepted during
consultations organized by NEC
in collaboration with the United
States Agency for International
Development (USAID) through
the International Foundation for
Electoral Systems (IFES) and the
Electoral Assistance Division of
the United Nations (UNEAD).
President Sirleaf had earlier
by Proclamation, suspended
the Senatorial Election, which
was set for October 14, 2014
following a Joint Resolution
from the National Legislature.
The President acted under
authority of the Constitution and
"pursuant to powers vested in
her by both the Constitution of
Liberia and the Declaration of
the State of Emergency."
Cllr. Korkoyah noted that
the proposal of the new date
is in compliance with the
Joint Resolution adopted by
the National Legislature and
approved by President Sirleaf,
in which NEC was mandated
to conduct Special Senatorial
Elections
not
later
than
December 20, 2014, and to
hold consultations with relevant
stakeholders to set a new date.

TEAHJAY, NYENPAN CORRUPTION
SAGA- WHO’S TELLING THE TRUTH?
Al-Varney Rogers avarney.rogers@frontpageafricaonline.com 0886304498

We made all the information
available but yet and still the
LACC never intended inviting
Nyenpan and Representative
Mathew Zarzar for their role in
the implementation of projects
in the county”, the former Sinoe
County official further said.
The former superintendent
pointed direct finger at Senator
Mabutu Nyenpan for being
responsible for the many
abandoned projects in the county.
Teahjay said, Echo Trading
was one of the companies that
abandoned projects in the county
adding that the company was

taken to the county by Senator
Nyenpan.
Nyenpan denies claims
Senator Nyenpan has denied
having anything to do with the
company adding that he doesn’t
have any share in the company as
claimed by Teahjay.
“Teahjay should go to court and
disprove his indictment rather
than looking for people to go
down with him,” Nyenpan said.
Teahjay said, the LACC boss
and Senator Nyenpan were
classmates at the Law school
something Nyenpan is terming
as untrue. “Verdier was my

human right instructor not my
classmate.”
Teahjay added that LACC is
not interested in looking for
thieves but rather coming after
individuals.
Teahjay continues: “If the LACC
didn’t see Milton Teahjay in their
conclusion they wouldn’t be
satisfied, there are lots of strange
things happening at the LACC,
the intent and purpose of creating
the LACC is to go after the
thieves but in the cases of Sinoe
the LACC was participating in is
stone wording turning it back on
the evidence.”

Senator Nyenpan said that the
LACC has not invited him
because there is no information
linking him to corruption in
Sinoe.
“If the LACC has noticed my
involvement into any corruption
they would have included my
name in the report like they did
with the speaker, I am not above
the law” Senator Nyenpan said.
Teahjay is alleging that the
LACC has been bought by
his political opponent. Did
somebody buy them off, if so
how much did they receive to
turn their back on the truth, he

asked.
“The LACC is not looking for
the wrong doers but individuals
that it can humiliate, what they
gave the LACC to turn their
back on the evident and run to an
individual who has no linkage to
the corruption,” Teahjay said.
Teahjay said, he provided all
information needed by the
Commission to acquit him
adding that the commission set
the information aside in order to
get at him.
“You under obligation to pursue
the facts void of politics, I gave
the LACC payment lists and
gave the LACC contractors
everything they wanted, just to
acquit myself yet they set aside
those pieces of evidences to get
me, they are violating my rights”,
the former Superintendent said.
Teahjay said, the latest LACC
report has brought the Verdier
brothers into negative lamp light.
“I do not claim to be more
nationalist than any other
Liberians but I can cast my doubt
on you base on the way you
conduct yourself, this particular
LACC report has brought the
Verdier brothers into a negative
lamp light in our country,”
Teahjay said.

Page 12 | Frontpage

D
Monrovia-

espite the existence
of strong laws
against rape and
other forms of
sexual exploitation in Liberia,
the cultural practice of forcing
young girls into early marriage
to older men is still being
practice, FrontPageAfrica has
gathered.
“I was thirteen when I married
the papay who my pa says I
must marry because he get
plenty animals and he will
take good care of me, “says
early bride and young mother
Fatumatta.
Coming from a religious
Muslim background, young
Fatumatta who refers to her
husband as “the papay” due
to his age begged that her
surname not be mentioned, due
to fear of being beaten by her
family.
Fatumatta, is among many
young girls across the Country,
from the Muslim faith, that
are forced into marriage under
a government that has been
strongly advocating against
rape and other forms of gender
base violence.
With the advocacy against
rape, many would wonder what
the government of Liberia is
doing about the situation of
child marriage which could
be considered statutory rape,
according to the law.
Forceful marriage, a crime
Gender and Development
Minister Julia Duncan Cassel
says the act of forcing young
girls into marriage is a crime.
“Be it cultural practices or not,
it is a crime under our law, to
have your under aged daughters
marrying to men, old enough
to be their fathers. Marrying
out your under aged daughters
in Liberia is considered a rape,
and should be reported to the
Ministry of Gender, whenever
seen,” said Minister Cassel.
The Minister, who sounded
angry during an interview with

MARRIED AT 13
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GENDER ISSUES

Friday, November 7, 2014

Young Girls Forced into Adulthood in Liberia
Mae Azango azama20062007@yahoo.com

FrontPageAfrica via mobile,
said it is a serious offence in
Liberia, for a child under 18 to
be forced into marriage.
Minister Cassel pleaded with
this reporter to provide more
information in order to have
the family prosecuted and
was later informed by some
residents of the community in
which the marriage took place
that the Fulani family travelled

to Guinea when the Ebola virus
infection was on the increase in
Liberia, than it was in Guinea
at the time.
Some residents near the
Newport
Street
Mosque
informed FPA that most of
the marriages between young
girls and older men take place
at the various Mosques during
the Muslim holiday, Ramadan
festival.

Statutory rape, lawyer says
A human right lawyer says
forcing girls as young as
thirteen into marriage is
statutory rape.
“Marrying a thirteen year old
girl in Liberia is a statutory
rape according to the laws on
the books. No matter what
religion you practice, you
should abide by the laws of

the land, and that law forbids
rape,” says Tiawon Gongloe,
Human Rights lawyer.
In neighboring Nigeria, it was
reported that an under aged girl
from the North of the country,
which
is
predominantly
Muslim, was forced into
marriage by her parents, when
she was only thirteen.
The girl is said to have later
killed her husband with poison
that she prepared in the food.
Accordingly,
the
girl
mistakenly killed two of her
husband’s friends in the process
and it is reported that the case
in still in court.
There are organizations still
advocating
against
child
marriages, including ‘The
Elders and Girls Not Brides’.
According to some statistics
from the organization, “Girls,
Not Brides” there are fifteen
countries that practice a high
rate of child marriages in
Africa, including; Ethiopia,
Egypt, Niger, Somalia, Kenya,
Zimbabwe, Uganda, Burundi,
Senegal,
Nigeria,
Ghana,
Guinea, Liberia, etc.
The organization observed that
young mother’s children are in
worse health conditions than
the children of older mothers.
“Child marriage is dangerous,
because there is a huge health
consequences associated with
it. When these young girls
get married, they are under
pressure to have children
afterward to prove their
fertility, and very often, their
bodies are not ready to give
birth, so they are most likely
to die, or suffer complications
such as fistula,” says Laura

Dickinson,
Communication
Officer, Girls Not Brides.
“Like for example, if you are
in a small village and you are a
parent and everyone is marrying
their daughter at age 12, even if
you do not want to, you would
be pressure and you would
think that if your daughter
reaches age 18, she would be
too old to get married. There
are many countries where the
laws are on the books but not
implemented,” Ms. Dickinson
emphasized.
Dickinson, further narrated
that her organization, (Girls not
Brides) founded by The Elder,
a group of African leaders
including Nelson Mandela,
is presently operating in fifty
countries and they are setting
a platform for men in countries
and communities that practice
child marriage.
Stressing that there are many
child marriages that occur all
over the world and the UK and
the USA are no expectation.
“But we met few girls who told
their parents that marriage was
not the best for them and they
are in college now.”
Also, according to “The
Elders”, a group of independent
global leaders brought together
by Nelson Mandela in 2007,
says child marriage is violence
against women. “How can a
child marry when she is just
12 or 13 year old? It is not just
the intense and emotional and
social pressure the young bride
is put under, but the danger
in having children. Because
early child bearing itself can
be devastating to a girl’s body
across the entire developing
world, in that childbirth is the
number one cause of death for
girls aged 15-19,” Says Elder
Ela Bhatt.
Giving another scenario of
a case in Ethiopia, Elder Ela
Bhatt said they met a woman
called Himanot who was forced
to get married when she was 13
years old. “She was not forced
or dragged to her wedding in
chains, in fact, she wanted to
run away. But her mother told
her she would kill herself if
Himanot, ran away. So what
choice did the child have?”
Elder Ela Bhatt further said
she won’t judge Himanot’s
mother too harshly for her
actions, because most parents
who marry off their daughters
young, have their interest at
heart because not many of
them would willingly have
their child face the shame and
stigma of defying tradition.
Back in Liberia, while many
parents are still pressuring their
daughters into early marriages
regardless of the law, there are
reports that many young girls
are forced into the nightmare
of early marriage during
Ramadan.

Friday, November 7, 2014

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COUNTY NEWS

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Page 13

REGULATOR STILL IN LACC DRAGNET
Commission on Higher Education Director General long Corruption tale

HARVESTING IN TIME OF HUNGER
Bomi Making Strives in Farming
L
Monroviaiberia has a fertile
soil supported by
fresh rain forest and
lowlands
suitable
for growing all forms of food
including fruits, vegetables
and others but the country has
never really invested in its
agriculture sector to make the
country self-sufficient.
Rice, the country’s staple is
imported in huge quantity
from Asian countries including
China and Taiwan, to feed
nearly the entire population
as subsistence farmers in the
hinterlands are only able to
grow little for consumption
lasting less than half a year and
not commercial purpose.
A few Liberians are making
attempts to grow rice on a
larger scale to help the local
communities.
Amid the outbreak of the
deadly Ebola virus, food
shortage is predicted to hamper
the country in the next few
months due to the inability of
local farmers who work in a
communal way to continue
their farming activities, as
gathering to work could lead to
further spread of the virus.
Many farms were abandoned
in several counties across the
country with Lofa, dubbed
the breadbasket of the country
due to its high farming yields
becoming one of the two main
epicenters of the virus.
Locals in Bomi Celebrate
While the farming situation
is bad in other parts of the
country, many locals in
rural communities in Bomi
were over the weekend seen
pounding newly harvested
country rice from a farming
program initiated by Dr.
Michael Jones, a Liberian who
has seen farming as a way of
providing jobs for people of
the county and also helping
to provide food for several
communities.
Six towns in Bomi County
with support from Dr. Jones

Al-Varney Rogers avarney.rogers@frontpageafricaonline.com 0886304498

planted ten acres of rice each
with residents heaping praises
on Dr. Jones for what they
are describing as his timely
intervention.
William Johnson, a resident of
Bola Town says the farm has
done a lot for his town adding
that it has provided income for
them.
“Many of us who did not make
farm this year because of the
Ebola will depend on the rice
from Dr. Jones farm to feed
our families”, Johnson told
reporters.
According to Johnson the
method of farming introduced
by Dr. Jones will improve the
living condition of many in
Bomi County.
Said Johnson “I want to thank
Dr. Jones for his help extended
the people of Bomi County.

This project is good; I feel this
man came to help us.”
The Bola Town resident
said, the next the phase of
the project involving the
planting of rubber and rice on
a larger scale is a welcoming
development
adding
that
such program has never been
initiated by people whom he
said consider themselves sons
and daughters of Bomi.
“We have so many educated
and big big people [eminent
people] coming from this
county how many of them are
thinking about making our
lives better”, Johnson inquired.
Johnson said he hopes that the
farming initiated by Dr. Jones
will continue as it is helping
many to support their families.
Improving locals lives
Dr. Jones has indicated that the

purpose of starting the farming
project is to use the local
expertise from the people to
improve their lives.
“Well the purpose of starting
these farms was to uplift
the people of Bomi County;
primarily we started in ten
different towns in all of the
districts in Bomi,” said Dr.
Jones.
He added “I am very happy
to report that we are now
harvesting rice, we will have
about six thousand bags of rice
and that rice has been harvested
as we speak and yield is quite
substantial, the people of bola
jawajeh will be having food to
eat”.
Dr. Jones disclosed that the rice
harvested will provide food for
the locals longer than their
usual three to four months.

“This will carry the people
a long way than their usual
harvest that last for three to
four months. I am happy to
report that from the concept in
my mind to implementation, I
can say we were successful in
these areas,” Dr. Jones noted.
Transforming lives
He said, beginning November
the farms are going to grow
from ten acres to five hundred
acres adding that the initiative
is going to create jobs and
opportunities for locals in
Bomi.
“We will be planting about
five hundred acres of rice in
these areas, starting November,
we also intend to plant rubber,
my goal is to transform the
lives of the people, that they
will no longer be involved in
subsistence farming but one

that will give them a better
income,” Dr. Jones said.
He is projecting that the
rubber farming will generate
approximately twenty to thirty
million dollars in five years.
Dr. Jones further added “there
will be total transformation
because the rubber being
planted on three thousand
acres will transform their
lives, in five years these farms
will generate 20-30 million
dollars”.
Longer lifespan
Dr. Jones averred that the
rubber will have a longer
lifespan.
“People will continue to earn
that with a life span of the
rubber for twenty-five years,
this will totally transform the
lives of the people and the
future of their children”, he
observed.
Dr. Jones furthered that part
of the farming project is job
creation. “We started with 250
people last year but we will be
hiring about 700 people, as the
year goes on it will increase.”
He pointed out that proceeds
from the farming project will
go toward education and health
for the people of Bomi.
“We will provide scholarship
for students of Bomi who want
to continue their education
after high school, we will
give grants and loans for
education, the proceeds will
help to improve the clinics and
hospitals in Bomi,” Dr. Jones
added.
The philanthropist is a son of
Bomi who is heavily involved
into farming, with several
farming activities in every
district in the county under his
farming initiative.

Page 14 | Frontpage

IN BRIEF

U.S. MONEY-LAUNDERING
PROBE DRAWS IN PUTIN'S
INNER CIRCLE: WSJ

U
(Reuters) -

.S.
prosecutors
have launched a
money-laundering
investigation
into
a member of Russian President
Vladimir Putin's inner circle,
the Wall Street Journal reported
on Wednesday, citing people
familiar with the matter.
According to the report, the
U.S. Attorney's Office for the
Eastern District of New York is
investigating whether billionaire
Russian gas trader and Putin
associate Gennady Timchenko
transferred funds related to
allegedly corrupt deals in Russia
through the U.S. financial
system. The Justice Department
is helping the investigation, it
said.
The Attorney Office and the
Justice Department could not
be reached for comment outside
regular U.S. working hours.

 

F

PAGE
RONT

WORLD NEWS

NAVY SEAL WHO SHOT OSAMA
BIN LADEN REVEALED AS VETERAN
COMMANDO ROB O'NEILL
O’Neill, 38, was the man who shot Bin Laden three times in the forehead during the SEAL
raid on Abbottobad which also saw four others killed and no casualties among U.S. forces

T

he US Navy Seal
who fired the fatal
gunshots at Osama
bin
Laden
has
revealed his identity.
Commando Rob O’Neill was
a key figure in Operation
Neptune Spear, the daring
night-time mission which saw
the al-Qaeda chief shot and
killed on May 2, 2011.
O’Neill, 38, was the man who
shot Bin Laden three times in
the forehead during the SEAL
raid on Abbottobad which also
saw four others killed and no
casualties among U.S. forces.
His identity was revealed an
a MailOnline interview with
Rob’s father, Tom O’Neill who insists he isn't scared of
any retribution from his son's
outing as the man who killed
bin Laden.
Tom O’Neill told MailOnline:
‘People are asking if we are
worried that ISIS will come
and get us because Rob is
going public.
 
'I say I'll paint a big target on
my front door and say come
and get us.'
Rob O'Neill is reportedly

NATO CHIEF VOWS NO LOSS
OF GAINS IN AFGHANISTAN

N

KABUL (Reuters) ATO
Secretary
General
Jens
Stoltenberg
on
Thursday
reaffirmed
the
alliance's
commitment to stabilizing
Afghanistan and ensuring that
the gains made are preserved
after the foreign combat
mission ends in 2014.
Afghan security forces have
been largely left to fight the
Taliban on their own this year,
in their first real test since the
militant Islamists were ousted
from power in 2001 by U.S.led forces.

one of the most distinguished members
of the Navy SEALs and was personally
congratulated after killing bin Laden,
according to his father.
The raid in 2011 saw a team of Navy SEALs
in Blackhawk helicopters swooping on Bin
Laden's hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
The operation was ordered by President
Barack Obama after the CIA traced
Bin Laden's courier to the high-walled

compound.
However, O'Neill now faces being shunned
from the tightest circles of the U.S.
military for disclosing one of America's
most closely held secrets.
The commander of US Navy SEALs issued
a stinging rebuke to troops who have
broken the elite force's hallowed tradition
of secrecy and humility by publishing
memoirs and speaking to the media.

T

 

T

Lagos (AFP) he dismal state of
Nigeria's roads is a
constant source of
exasperation for the
long-suffering population but a
tongue-in-cheek campaign on
social media is trying to shame
the authorities into action.
Posting under the hashtag
#MyRoadIsWorseThanYours,
Nigerians have been sharing
examples of the country's worst
highways.
Bomb crater-sized potholes,
roads resembling muddy rivers
in the annual rainy season and
some unrecognisable even as
public thoroughfares have been
posted online.
"Here's one Lagos road (state
governor Babatunde) Fashola
needs to repair fast," says

one tweet, with a picture of
a motorcyclist navigating a
flooded road, with water nearly
up to his saddle.
The tweets have an underlying
seriousness:
when Africa's
leading economy and oil
producer claims to have
pumped 1.4 trillion naira ($8.5
billion, 6.75 billion euros) into
infrastructure
improvements
since 1999, why are the roads so
bad?
They
have
also
helped
balance out the pages of selfcongratulatory
newspaper
advertisements taken out by state
governments, proudly displaying
the smooth tarmac of upgraded,
traffic-free roads.
- Deaths, strikes, responsibility Olanrewaju Adenekan is a
clearing agent at Lagos' main

port of Apapa. He is 51 but looks
two decades older and is in poor
health. Both he and his doctor
blame it on his daily commute.
Adenakan leaves his house in
Sango-Ota, north of Lagos,
before 4:30 am every day to  
reach Apapa at around 9:00 am.
The distance door-to-door is just
37 kilometres (23 miles).
"The traffic situation is bad. I
spend between four and five
hours for a journey that should
take less than one hour," he told
AFP.
Adenekan owns two cars but
prefers to take public transport
because it is cheaper -- and also
because the badly maintained
roads take a debilitating toll on
his vehicles.
"Nigerians spend a lot of
money on maintaining their

 

Rear Admiral Brian Losey, the head of
Naval Special Warfare Command, wrote to
his troops denouncing anyone who seeks
fame or fortune by revealing details of
secret missions.
'A critical tenet of our Ethos is 'I do not
advertise the nature of my work, nor seek
recognition for my actions,' Losey and the
top enlisted sailor, Force Master Chief
Michael Magaraci, wrote in the letter.

NIGERIA'S ROAD SHAME GOES
ONLINE IN HOPE OF BETTER DAYS

U.S. DENIES TELLING YEMEN
EX-PRESIDENT TO LEAVE OR
FACE SANCTIONS

SANAA (Reuters) he United States on
Thursday
denied
delivering any threats
to Ali Abdullah Saleh
over what Washington suspects is
his role in destabilizing Yemen.
An official source at Saleh's
General
People's
Congress
(GPC) party said on Wednesday
that the U.S. ambassador to
Yemen had delivered a message
through a mediator for Saleh to
leave the country by 5 o'clock
on Friday or face international
sanctions.
"The GPC statements about
threats to Saleh from the
U.S. are untrue," the State
Department said in a statement
emailed to Reuters. "There have
been no meetings between the
ambassador and GPC officials at
which any such statements have
been made."

Friday, November 7, 2014

vehicles because of potholes,
which damage tyres, wheel
rims, shock absorbers and other
components," said quantity
surveyor Alani Amusa.
Time spent in traffic jams is also
dead time, robbing businesses
of productivity and effective
workers. When they eventually
arrive, they are often exhausted.
Motorists stuck for hours in
jams are sitting ducks for armed
robbers.
And bad roads mean more
accidents. Nigeria had the
highest road fatality rates in
Africa in 2010 at 33.7 deaths
per 100,000, the World Health
Organization said in a report
published last year.
Recently, petrol tanker drivers
threatened to go on strike if
the bad roads were not fixed,
blaming potholes and gullies for
causing accidents.
Nigerian states and the federal
authorities have been in dispute
about who is responsible for
maintaining and improving the
roads -- meaning nothing gets
done.
The Lagos State government for
example has been at loggerheads
with Abuja over reimbursements
for repairs to federal-owned
roads dating back to when Lagos
was the country's capital.
- Corruption, under-funding As in so many walks of Nigerian
life, corruption is also part of the
problem.

"Contractors like to cut corners
by not working to specification,"
said Amusa, who is involved in a
number of road projects in Lagos
state.
"They connive with corrupt
officials to use sub-standard
materials in order to maximise
their profits.
Many roads lack proper
drainage, turning them into
swimming pools within minutes
of a downpour; roadside culverts
overflow; tarmac disintegrates;
traffic lights and road signs are
often absent.
Project costs can also be grossly
inflated.
The 338-kilometre (212-mile)
dual
carriageway
linking
southern oil-producing states
was awarded at a cost of 138.9
billion naira ($835 million, 670
million euros) in 2006 under
former president Olusegun
Obasanjo.
Eight years later, the cost has
increased nearly three-fold to
347 billion naira -- and the road
is not yet finished.
Questions have been asked too
about the cost of reconstruction
of the 127.8-kilometre LagosIbadan expressway -- the busiest
road in west Africa, carrying an
average of 250,000 vehicles per
day.
The contract was awarded for
167.9 billion naira but some
experts believe it could have
been revamped for a lot less.
Most people, though, just want
their own muddy, potholed
streets
paved
and
wellmaintained to make the journey
from their front doors to the
main road less of a bone-shaking
obstacle course.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Sports

Frontpage

EVEN MORE TO COME FROM
MESSI, SAYS MASCHERANO

Page 15

SPORTS

YAYA TOURE APOLOGISES
TO MANCHESTER CITY
FANS FOR RED CARD

Y

aya
Toure
has
apologized
to
Manchester
City
supporters
for getting sent off during
Wednesday's
shock
home
defeat to CSKA Moscow in the
Champions League.
Two goals from Seydou
Doumbia gave the Russians
their first even win on English
soil, while Fernandinho received
two bookings in the second half
and Toure was shown a straight
red for petulantly pushing over
Roman Eremenko.

 

BAYERN FEAR LENGTHY
ALABA ABSENCE

B

B

arcelona defender Javier Mascherano believes Lionel Messi is not at the
peak of his powers yet and is only going to get better over the coming
years.
The prolific Argentine attacker netted both goals in the Catalans'
2-0 Champions League win over Ajax at the Amsterdam Arena on Wednesday
evening, thus equaling Real Madrid legend Raul's all-time record of 71 goals in the
competition, and Mascherano had nothing but praise for his compatriot.
"It’s huge that Messi has equaled Raul," the versatile defender told the official
Barcelona website.
"That shows what Leo Messi is doing as a player. He’s equaled a legend like Raul,
such a historic player, and he’s still only young.
"We know that he’s got a long future ahead of him and that’s very important for
Leo."

The defender then went on to voice his satisfaction with Barcelona's win over
the Eredivisie champions, which sealed the Catalans' place in the last 16, but
acknowledged they still have room for improvement.
"“I’m happy with the win," the 30-year-old said. "We knew perfectly well the team
did a lot of good things, but we are also aware that we need to improve. We’re on
the right track and hopefully this will all serve for the future.
"Ajax controlled the ball in the first half and if they didn’t generate situations of
danger, they did generate situations of control. We found it hard to adapt, but then
Messi scored and we felt calmer.
"We knew we’d just lost two games and what our opponent was doing started
creating doubts among the team. So, it’s very important that we were able to win
this game."

ADEBAYOR ABSENCE PURE
COINCIDENCE - POCHETTINO

T

he Togolese frontman
has been left in
England for the past
three Europa League

away fixtures and again misses
out as Tottenham prepare to
take on Asteras in Greece
Mauricio
Pochettino
has

fended off suggestions that
he has had a falling out with
Tottenham striker Emmanuel
Adebayor.

 

Adebayor has been ommitted
from the Spurs squad for the
trip to Asteras in the Europa
League.
Yet despite suggestions that
there may be a rift between
the pair, Pochettino insists it
is merely coincidental that he
has not selected the Togolese
forward.
He told reporters: "It is the
same situation. For every
mission, for every trip, we
have our organisation and
selections."
Tottenham thrashed Asteras in
the reverse fixture, triumphing
5-1 at White Hart Lane to
record their first win in Group
C but only lead Thursday
evening's opponents by a point.
It means Pochettino will select
from a strong squad as he
looks to move one step closer
to qualification for the last 32
with the likes of Federico Fazio
returning to the starting XI.
"We can take confidence from
the first match," Fazio said.

"But we know it will be very
difficult, very close.
"Maybe the result of the last
match was slightly harsh on
Asteras because they played
well and they have a good
team."
Fazio moved to Spurs from
Sevilla in the summer and has
had a mixed start to life in north
London, with his only Premier
League appearance ending
early as he was red-carded in
the 4-1 loss to Manchester City.
However, the Argentine is
looking to build on his last
performance for the club,
during which he kept a clean
sheet in the League Cup win
over Brighton.
"It's the most important thing
as a defender to ensure our
opponents' players cannot
score goals," he added.
"We are always looking for the
next win."

ayern Munich have
received
some
disappointing news
on the injury front
in the aftermath of their 2-0
Champions League win over
Roma on Wednesday evening,
with David Alaba facing a spell
on the sidelines with a knee
problem.
The Austria international was
forced to leave the pitch in the
closing stages of the game at the
Allianz Arena and the German
champions have now confirmed
that he will undergo further
tests on Thursday to clarify the
extent of the damage.
"David Alaba picked up a
medial collateral ligament
injury in the match. There will
be further tests in the morning.
Get well soon!," Bayern
announced on their official
Twitter handle.
Head coach Pep Guardiola
fears that the versatile left-back
could be out of action for the
remainder of 2014.
GENIUS MOMENT: UNBEATABLE
NEUER KEEPS ROMA AT BAY

I

t there was one Bayern  
Munich player not totally
satisfied with his side’s
7-1 mauling of Roma two
weeks ago, it was Manuel Neuer.
The
Germany
goalkeeper
had twice denied Gervinho in
stunning fashion before the
Ivorian finally hit the back of the
net, denying Neuer a clean sheet.
It mattered little in the grand
scheme of things, but world
champions tend to set very high
standards.
Back in Munich, Neuer was not
to be beaten. Franck Ribery and
Mario Gotze scored either side of
half-time to put Pep Guardiola’s
team in control before another
moment of genius.

 

FrontPage
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Sports

WEAH’S PATIENCE PLEA
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2014

VOL 8 NO.715

PRICE L$40

Football Legend Urges Caf To Give Morocco Time On Africa Cup of Nations Decision

T

he former AC Milan star hopes the north African country
will not be rushed into a making a call on whether to stage
the event
Former world footballer of the year George Weah has called
on the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to allow Morocco to
host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations at a later date in order to avoid a
spread of the Ebola virus disease.
Morocco has asked for a postponement to make sure all safety
measures are in place.
Caf responded by setting Morocco a deadline of November 8 to decide
whether it wants to remain host as concerns continue over the effect
of Ebola in three west African countries, including Weah’s Liberia.

Former footballer turned politician Weah, however, believes it is
unfair to put a timescale on such a decision – and hopes common
sense will prevail.
“Let us be positive about everything. We are aware of the fact that
the world is experiencing the [Ebola] epidemic and it is something
nobody should handle with levity and we should all fight very hard to
eradicate it in our midst,” Weah told journalists in Abuja.
“I hail from a country where Ebola has killed thousands of people. So
the best thing to do is to take precautions.
“If Morocco need time to put precautionary plans in place to ensure
that those players and officials that would come for the Afcon are
safe, then let’s give the country time to achieve this.

“I think that is the right thing to do. We should be helping Morocco to  
put in place measures that will ensure the safety of those that would
participate in the competition.
“So if Morocco wants extended dates for us to be safe when we come
for the Nations Cup then let’s give them the extension of date.
“Everybody loves this game and nobody wants to go to the Nations
Cup and come back dead.”
Caf has said it would announce a new host if Morocco decide against
hosting the competition that is scheduled to take place between
January 17-February 8, 2015.

VISIT UNCLE ZEH'S LAUNDRY & DRY CLEANING SERVICE ON CROWN
HILL, BROAD STREET WHERE THE CUSTOMER COMES FIRST

CALL: 0775 149 376, 0775 149 161