By Henry Garneo
Their types and appetites
As it is often said, when the struggle for the belly intensify, even the integrities of men are swept under the carpet. Nowadays, the huge appetite for material wealth coupled with the unflinching desire for uncontrollable alcohol and womanizing has plunged some young brothers into acts deemed unholy to the socio-sacred religion of public service. Our fellow compatriots are primarily concern over wealth they can illegally accrue rather than honestly and professionally discharging the duties and responsibilities of the trust the people repose in them.
In a quest to satisfy their thirst for social amenities, some of our young comrades have consciously and/or unconsciously slaughtered their integrities on the bloody altar of corruption as a way to amass ill-gotten wealth and affluence.
The act of corruption and other financial malpractices among young people have become as common as a baby feeding on his/her mother’s breast milk. Such practice has eaten the fabric of our very existence to the extent that those who mustered the courage to uprightly look corruption in the face and rebuff such fiend conduct are considered fools and cowards by their peers.
Our society is so morally polluted that the poisonous odor of corruption is spreading on the garments of our national leaders including those in the youth and students service.
Our youth and student community has long suffered in the hands of self-seeking elements with mutilated characters and vitriolic agenda to wreck our most cherished testing grounds for national leadership (LINSU. FLY, MRUYP).
You will agree with me that there have been mountainous calls from elements of detraction against the entrustment of young people into key public functions on grounds of incapability and inexperience, while we are at the barricade confronting such thwarted logic and justifying why young people too can serve, some of our colleagues are validating the critics’ arguments by indulging into corruption and other administrative malpractices, while in offices that are miniature to national positions.
How will they (critics) not see us unfit when some of our colleagues who are placed in youth and students leaderships are heavily indulged in financial malpractices and even go to the extent of duping their colleagues when given public offices? Again, all they care about is their selfish interest instead of the overall goals and aspirations of the institutions they represent, and they will stop at nothing in their quest, not even if their integrities are on the line.
In our altruistic duty to liberate and protect the youth and students community from shams and sycophants, the naked characters of some neophytes and economic bandits who are dragging the legacy of the youth and students movement into perpetual obliteration must be brought to public glare no matter who they are or the number of henchmen and pen for hire they have ready to unleash their arsenal of debris. In fact, let it be made known that we are sophisticated enough to take them on and will not be deter by their feeble attacks on our persons, we have the intellectual wherewithal to debunk their avalanche of folderols wrapped in glittering iota of deceit and sophistry.
The tragedy at MRUYP-LC
The Mano River Union Youth Parliament-Liberia chapter (MRUYP-LC), a sub-regional youth movement established with the sole purpose of fostering cohesive advocacy and intensive youth engagement initiatives geared towards national youth development and participation in the Mano river sub-regions (Liberia, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone) has been plunged into the abyss of sleaze and venality.
This institution that has been the beacon of hope and the ultimate source of motivation for young people of Liberia desirous of engendering into regional leadership and activism has been face with extreme leadership deficit and administrative disorder since the election of a sophisticated novice and a minion of corruption in person of one James Kolleh.
Prior to the MRUYP-LC Speakership election in 2017, it was widely argued that brother James bears on his forehead is the emblem of corruption and is a insignia of anarchy and misrule, yet the parliamentarians with their unflinching enthusiasm for change went on to elect such czar of corruption.
Since the election of James M. Kolleh as Speaker of the aforesaid regional body, the institution has failed to live up to its mandate. Under the stewardship of this chap, the institution has since struggled to convene a single session least to talk about programs or initiatives tailored to the institutions goals or mandates.
Not just satisfied with his avalanche of conundrums which has rendered the institution paralyzed, this same James Kolleh went on an illegal spree to remove the signature of the Financial Secretary of MRUYP-LC, Hon. Mohammed Kamara, from the institution’s account, and maliciously replaced it with a non-parliamentarian with the sole motive to unilaterally and illegally withdraw funds from the institution’s coffers. When this information was brought to the notice of the Parliament, he (James Kolleh) went face down in shame and started pouring out crocodile cry for forgiveness. Out of comradeship and an effort to protect the sanctity of the institutions, this chap was pardon by his colleagues with a commitment never to repeat such act.
Again when it is within the nature of a person to be corrupt, there is no amount of shame or public disgrace can prevent him/her from diving into such sleaze. Not long after the humiliation of brother Kolleh, again his hands were caught in the cookies jar.
After the passage of the 2017 national budget, this young man informed his colleagues that in a sense of gratitude, the amount of $8,000.00USD was requested by Hon. Prince Moye, and colleagues as kickbacks for their invaluable contribution to the increment in the Mano River Union Youth Parliament’s budget, something his colleagues scantily believed yet they ensured the provision of said amount to their leader to be taken on their behalf.
As a means of follow up, the leadership paid a visit to Hon. Moye office to appreciate him for the work and confirm whether he received the fund, it was shocking to the leadership of MRUYP-LC when they were told by Honorable Moye that at no point in time did he or any of his colleagues ever solicit any form of gesture or good tidings, least to talk about fund from the Youth parliament as a form of kickback or whatsoever, again it was another scene of total embarrassment and humiliation for the ousted speaker, he was lost of words and in a complete state or derail.
For this and all other offenses rendered to the youth parliament, it was agreed by popular vote of the institution to remove the rascal James Kpolleh and his cronies from their respective positions and electing Hon. A. Mohammed Massaley as the new Speaker couple with other executives during the recently ended Bomi declaration on 10th March 2018 in the city of Tubmanburg, Bomi County.
However, since the expulsion of James Kolleh from the speakership of such noble body, this inane buffoon continues to do business on behalf of the institution, in fact, he went on to connive with the Youth Parliament account manager at the UBA bank to withdraw the amount of $5080.00USD plus $120,000.00LD from the institution account after letter was served the bank about the unfolding in the administration of the Youth Parliament, luckily for the current leadership, the bank has claimed responsibility for such withdrawal and since promised to bring the culprit to justice. Folks as we speak, James Kpolleh is currently undergoing police investigation as further court actions await him and his cronies. Moreover, it is therefore advisable that no member of the public should do business of whatsoever nature with James Kpolleh in regards to the parliament operations.
As I close, there are few questions that keeps running through my mind, I tend to wonder how come the Mano River Union Youth Parliament-Liberia Chapter, the heartbeat of youth service in the West African Sub-region has been consigned to such quagmire? How come one of the incubators for national leadership in Liberia (MRUYP-LC) has been confronted by such nemesis? How come, honesty and sincerity are virtues alien to our leaders? Anyway, this too is Liberia.
About the Author:
Henry Garneo is an enterprising young Liberian and an emerging economist; he is a critical voice in the youth and students’ community.
He holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc.) degree in Economics from the University of Liberia where he served as President of the Economics Students Association (ESA). He is one of the leading voices in Child Rights Advocacy in Liberia and from 2014-2016 served as Chairman of one of Liberia’s finest Child Rights movement, The National Children and Youth Advisory Board of Liberia (NCYAB-Liberia).
He can be reached via: Cell: +231777210670/+231886210670 Email: [email protected] Facebook/LinkIn/Instagram: Henry Garneo Skype: henry.garneo