…Says Tarloh Quiwonkpa
When President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf appears at the 68th UN General Assembly in New York City, she will be greeted by calls from Diaspora Liberians, including her long time friend Tarloh Quiwonkpa, who along with others, are calling on her to step down for failure to fight corruption and impunity in Liberia.
Tarloh Quiwonkpa said the protest is being organized by two groups, the Concerned Liberians against Corruption and Impunity (CLACI) and the Movement of Liberians Against Corruption (MOLAC).
According to her, the President has also failed to live up to the oath of office.
She claimed that the Liberian leader has paid lip service to the fight against graft. She explained that despite the establishment of several anti-graft institutions in Liberia, corruption remains extremely high in the country.
Tarloh recalled when President Sirleaf took office in 2006, she declared corruption Public Enemy Number One. However, she said the Liberian leader has failed to deal with corruption as promised.
The 2013 Global Corruption Barometer ranked Liberia number-one in the world. The country is also ranked amongst the world’s poorest with most of her citizens living on One US Dollar a day.
Tarloh Quiwonkpa is the wife of slain former commanding general Thomas Quiwonkpa who was killed in the November 12, 1985 abortive invasion. Gen. Quiwonkpa, who led the invasion, was captured and killed by forces loyal to former military dictator Samuel Doe. Madam Quiwonkpa had often linked President Sirleaf to the abortive invasion.
“Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is coming to America at this time, with corruption being at its peak in Liberia and on the international front, we will express our concerns to the United Nations and let them know that she needs to step down because she has not lived up to the oath of office that she took when she was inaugurated. She is extremely disconnected from our people. The corruption numbers are there, and we need something done so that the money that the international community continues to invest in our country can reach our people in the villages,” she said.
Under President Sirleaf’s regime, anti-corruption structures are in place with the power to prosecute. However, prosecution of officials allegedly linked to corruption has been difficult to take place.
During President Sirleaf’s first term, her former Auditor Generator John Morlu, accused the government as being two times more corrupt than the previous administration. Morlu’s allegation was perhaps the basis for which President Sirleaf refused to renew his contract; even though the European Union provided funding (and still provide funding) to the government.
But Tarloh Quiwonkpa criticized the President for paying lip service to the corruption fight. “The thing is, when you play lip service by establishing special presidential committees to fight corruption and you don’t do anything with the findings, it’s lip service. In the history of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, there have been eight different presidential committees. These Liberian scholars went to work and investigated the corrupt practices and came up with their findings. What has Madam Johnson Sirleaf done with those findings? She hasn’t done anything. All she does is circulate these officials, give them new positions and turn a deaf ear to our people’s needs. We need these people prosecuted.”