Grand Gedeh 2014 Senatorial Election (Commentary)
Eventhough the 2014 Senatorial race for Grand Gedeh county seems to by distance away, I thought it is very important to start engaging the process now, with the hope of establishing a national dialogue that will scrutinize the possible names of would- be contenders of said race.
Few days ago, a trusted friend of mine, who is also a Grand Gedean, called me from Liberia, and asked me about my take on the 2014 Senatorial elections of Grand Gedeh County. At first, I told him that I was putting an exploratory team together to visit Grand Gedeh, with the intent to dig deeper into the minds of our people in terms of who will they vote for, to represent them in the Legislative branch of government. He immediately registered his support for me and begun to encourage me about considering the prospects of contesting said race. I told him that I appreciated his trust reposed in me, but my intent was to determine as to whether Grand Gedeans will elect a Leader or a Weakling.
For a while, he couldn’t understand why “such a political voice”….as he calls me, will not seek to represent the people of Grand Gedeh who, according to him, “need an independent mind to navigate the hostile Liberian political terrain.” Anyway, I managed to convince my friend by stating that “there is time for everything” and I was sure that the time will come when I will seek to represent my people.
Having excogitated the supra, he reluctantly agreed with me and said “I really wish to live to see you fearlessly engaging the Liberian political process. I assured him that I will actively participate in the 2014 election process with the hope of shaping said election. Even though currently, I have not interacted or pledged my support for any of the names in the grapevine; I will certainly have an impact in educating Grand Gedeans.
You see, this conversation with my friend (a Grand Gedean) is indicative of the views and aspirations of many Grand Gedeans who, at this point in our political history, want to be fearlessly represented.
Over the past years, Grand Gedeans both at home and in the Diaspora have given different definition to Leadership. There are some who believe that Leadership is manipulating those you lead, by dishonestly engaging in acts that conspicuously undermine the interest of the constituent they represent. They even called their deceitfulness or robbery “Politics” at the expense of the complexities that come with this noble profession.
Actually, I think whenever Leadership is based on manipulation to get what you want, instead of inspiration and motivation; said individual involved is an active hustler; this has nothing to do with the arts of politics!
On the other hand, there are some who believe that Leadership is when a person serves as an example of integrity and loyalty to the people he/she represents, no matter what will be the temptations or difficulties of the issues at bar. In simple term, such leadership style will respect, consult, and fearlessly serve the interest of the people it represents to the fullest.
Now, the 2014 senatorial election of Grand Gedeh County will obviously be crowded with names of fellow Grand Gedeans who fall into the supra. In my judgment, the role of a Senator for Grand Gedeh County or for any County for that matter will indeed require an individual with real gravitas.
Over the past years, the ineffective leadership style by our County officials had made Grand Gedeh County the most exploited County or people in the whole of Liberia. Whether most Grand Gedeans know it or not, we have been exploited, marginalized, sidelined, and Psychologically harassed by some News media whose stories are intentionally crafted on fabrications to turn public opinion against us as a people and even endanger the lives of our kinsmen in Liberia.
I believe if we had a robust leadership at the Legislature, these kinds of ill-treatments of Grand Gedeans could have been challenged to the fullest. After all, over quarter of a million people did not die for us to sit and entertain such deviltry.
Sometimes it pains me to see some of our leaders maintaining lip-service to the injustices inflicted on the people they claim to represent. Take for instance, in 2007, when it was established that Andrew Dorbor was held in detention by NSA for about six months without charges, most of our leaders especially members of the Gedeh caucus, if it was practically functional back then, were afraid to speak out on the constitutional violation of Mr. Dorbor’s right. For heaven sake! We all know the story….
After the Liberian government knowingly lied, jailed and systematically tortured the late Charles Julu and Andrew Dorbor, what happened when they were found “Not Guilty?” Instead of setting precedence so the government will learn, and desist from political witch-hunting, especially against the people of Grand Gedeh; some of our county officials intentionally manipulated Messrs. Julu and Dorbor to meet with Ellen and maybe get the usual press coverage and a brown envelop, thereby making Ellen to appear like a leader who wants Liberia to be a better nation.
Wow! I think had Julu and Dorbor pursued legal redress for the lied, tortured, and humiliation they went through, the government could have had less than 50% chance of futuristically repeating such actions. But the inability of our leaders to understand this logic has emboldened Ellen Sirleaf and her Son, Fumba Sirleaf on their criminal venture against the people of Grand Gedeh.
This is evident by the prolonged detention without trial of our kinsmen by the government for allegedly perpetuating cross-border attacks leading to the death of seven United Nations Peacekeepers in neighboring Ivory Coast.
Again, our leaders have decided to maintain lip-service on the gross violation of our kinsmen’s constitutional rights; according toArticle 21 (f) of the Liberian constitution: “Every person arrested or detained shall be formally charged and presented before a court of competent jurisdiction within forty-eight hours.” For heaven sake!These guys have been in prison without the chance to face their accuser (Liberian Government) for almost ten months now and what our leaders are doing???
They occasionally engage in some forms of political pageantry to impress us that they are doing their job, but the real motive is to get press coverage. Their actions are only limited to press statements, or in more cases, harangues that stop short of legal options. For the sake of precedence, I will encourage our leaders (legislators) to seek the legal means that will compel the government to either charge or set our kinsmen free.
From the diaspora to Liberia, we have spoken, written, and even warned the government, but the government is not listening. Maybe the court will make the government to listen!
In the wake of these assaults on the people of Grand Gedeh, coupled with what appears to be a leadership lacuna within the structure of our legislators; I think it is important for Grand Gedeans to demand better in 2014.
Grand Gedeans need better representation to fearlessly and objectively speak out against any forms of political marginalization or exploitation. Somewhere, I once wrote that “the Liberian civil war may be over, but we are fighting a new kind of war; a war that has the ability to create dreadful characterization against whole group of people. This war will require different soldiers to effectively deal with the enemies; the soldiers of ideas, visions, and the intellectual fortitudes to withstand or combat misinformation and disinformation against us as a people.” The recent diabolical fabrication by a sub-standard news paper called “heritage” should be a wake-up call for all of us.
I will continue to remind Grand Gedeans about what is at stake in 2014, but the outcomes will surely rest on the shoulder of those Grand Gedeans who are on the grounds and will be voting.
They could perceive the reality of their current condition and change it through the ballot box or they could allow themselves to be manipulated by individuals (fellow Grand Gedeans) who usually impose certain reality on them, other than the actual deplorable living conditions they are experiencing. This is one of the creeds of democracy! But for the sake of posterity, a political weakling will not help our current situation. The hint to the concerned should be an eye-opener.
Hon. Mathew Zarzar Meets Sinoe Citizens in MN
Hon. Zarzar and some of the Attendees
Over the week-end, the Representative of District # 3 of Sinoe County, Hon. Mathew Zarzar met with the people of Sinoe County residing in Minnesota to express his thanks and appreciation for what he called “unflinching support” during the just ended April 3, 2012 special elections in Liberia. Hon. Zarzar was quick to remind his countrymen that the elections are now over and it was now time to reunite the people of Sinoe in order to “collectively rebuild Sinoe County.”
Hon. Zarzar also used the occasion to address what was initially seen to many of his supporters as inconsistency on his part and somehow a disappointment to their hopes and aspirations in terms of his abrupt withdrawal from the Senatorial race for Sinoe County on October 11, 2011 general and presidential elections.
Mr. Gbodoway, Mr.Free and Hon.Zarzar
It can be recalled that in 2011, many citizens of Sinoe County residing in the Diaspora, especially the United States, decided to support Hon. Zarzar candidacy for senator, that is, when Hon. Zarzar was petitioned and agreed to contest said position. They had fundraisers and even some of them became intellectual foot soldiers making the case for Hon. Zarzar. But few weeks into the political process, Hon. Zarzar withdrew or decided not to pursue his candidacy at the disbelief of those (supporters) who had invested time, energy, and finances.
Perhaps, Hon. Zarzar was cognizant of the aphorism that says a businessman who makes a mistake is not doom to failure on that account; but his chances of success are greatly reduce if he will not admit and correct his mistake when he has the time. This was so because Hon. Zarzar wasted no time in extending his apologies to his fellow citizens. The Honorable told his people “I apologize for any inconvenience my action may have caused you; the politics relating to said issue was a bit deeper externally.”
One of the Elders giving Blessings to Hon. Zarzar
Hon. Zarzar explained the ups and downs that entangled him and made him to succumb. After all the clarifications and apologies, Hon. Zarzar was forgiven by his people. They in returned thanked him for such a gesture and wish him a bright and promising future as he represents the people of Sinoe County. The program/meeting was climaxed with food, drinks, music and the combination of modern and traditional dances.
Political observers believe that Hon. ZarZar apologies to his people epitomize his leadership style. “A leadership style that is free of bigotry and pomposity,” one observer stressed.
In a related development, Rep. Zarzar is to meet with some officials of Minnesota State government to discuss his development agenda for district # 3 in particular and Sinoe County in general. He is also expected to meet with his constituent/ Sinoe Citizens residing in Philadelphia in the coming days.
The Sinoe County District #3 lawmaker was elected on April 3, 2012 to replace the late Hon. Nelson Wah Bah from the Congress for democratic Change, who died shortly after his reelection during the 2011 presidential and legislative elections.
Today, June 23rd marks the third anniversary of the Grand Gedeh Association of Minnesota (GGAM). As such, the Gedeh Press decided to interview president Saylee on the current state of the Association and current events affecting Grand Gedeans back home, especially in Grand Gedeh County. Here are the excerpts from the interview with president Saylee.
President Jerry B. Saylee
Gedeh Press: Hello president Saylee. Thank you for granting us this interview especially on the anniversary of the Grand Gedeh Association of Minnesota. As you may already be aware, there are lots of issues to be discussed, but we will like to start with the anniversary of the GGAM. What is the current state of GGAM? Are there plans to have a colorful celebration this year as usual?
President Saylee: Thank you very much. The current state of GGAM is strong and I have no doubt that GGAM will remain strong intellectually, financially and socially for the many years to come. This year’s anniversary falls around the time we are receiving terrible news about our kinsmen in Grand Gedeh County. As such, the leadership of GGAM has decided not to engage in any colorful celebration so as to identify with our fellow Grand Gedeans who have been continuously browbeaten, harassed, and psychologically tortured by the Liberian ‘security forces’. In the midst of these troubling news, GGAM thinks it will be irresponsible and insensitive to be partying here while our fellow Grand Gedeans in Grand Gedeh County are undergoing injustices at the hand of their own government.
Gedeh Press: There was a crossed border attack into Ivory Coast that led to the deaths of eighteen people including seven United Nations Peace keepers. This incident led the Liberian government to go after Grand Gedeans because Grand Gedeh County shares border with Ivory Coast. The government created a list, mostly of Grand Gedeans who they think maybe responsible for the attack in Ivory Coast. The government also put in place curfew in Grand Gedeh County.
So Mr. President, what is the position of GGAM in what many people are referring to as an assault on the peace loving people of Grand Gedeh County? The Grand Gedeh Legislative caucus has expressed concerns and even out rightly called the action of the Liberian government “witch hunt” especially taking into account the listing of eight Grand Gedeans as “Most Wanted” when there is no legal basis for such action. We have also gathered information that the list is much larger than the ten persons that were mentioned. Sources in Liberia have told us that more krahn people were on the Liberian government so-called “MOST WANTED” list, but because of fear of a backlash, the government has decided to instead invite individual Grand Gedean for questioning. This was evident in the recent invitation by the Liberian government extended to Mr. Thomas Y. Nimley.
President Saylee: The Leadership of GGAM wants to join other Leaders of Grand Gedeh County in making it clear to the government of Ellen J. Sirleaf that the harassment of our people is completely unacceptable and must come to an unconditional end. We believe that this situation has the propensity to disturb the relative peace and stability we have enjoyed and continue to enjoy for almost eight years now. Liberia belongs to all of us. We do not need any Liberian to validate our existence as a people. We will not tolerate any forms of intimidation or harassment. We believe that the unannounced curfew where people are being arrested at any time of the evening hours because they do not know when curfew starts or ends is another form of aggression.
We will not sit back and watch any government or organization placing restriction on our freedom. We believe over 250,000 have paid the prize for this nation and its citizens to live in freedom.
We want to take this time to commend the Grand Gedeh Caucus for its swift action in exposing the dangerous behavior of the Liberian government against the people of Grand Gedeh County. We hope the caucus will now make it way to the county to assess the security situation and the condition of our people. We also want to take this time to commend Mr. Tillman Collins and his institution of Grand Gedeans for the position statement on the status quo in Grand Gedeh County in terms of the Liberian government aggression against our people.
Gedeh Press: Now, let look at another issue. Sometimes ago, it was reported that Mr. William Karyee was appointed by Ellen and subsequently confirmed by the senate. However, we learned later that there was an objection of Mr. Karyee appointment from a group calling themselves Concerned Grand Gedeans. Their objection of Mr. Karyee was based on allegation that he was under indictment by the GAC and as such, he lacks the character to manage development effort in Grand Gedeh. Now, many people thought that this group, having failed to stop the confirmation of Mr. Karyee, could just retreat into hibernation and accept Mr. Karyee. Instead, they managed to convince Ellen to replace Mr. Karyee with Mr. Peter Solo. Who do you think is the current superintendent of Grand Gedeh County and Why?
President Saylee: In my view, Mr. William Karyee is still the Superintendent of Grand Gedeh County until otherwise. The Liberian Senate also believes that Mr. Karyee is the superintendent until the president can commissioned and subsequently fired him for cause. But in Liberia, anything is possible in terms of bad governance. I think there is either an attempt to keep us divided or president Sirleaf is, perhaps too doddery to politically perform.
Gedeh Press: There have been more than twenty cases of indictment from the GAC on alleged corrupt practices. However, we have not heard of any prosecution of those cases until lately. Former superintendent of Grand Gedeh County, Chris Bailey is now a wanted man in Liberia. What is your view on the latest government action to declare Chris Bailey a wanted man for what it called economic crime, corruption, mismanagement and etcetera?
President Saylee: I think if anyone is committed to fighting corruption, it should be done holistically rather than selectively. There are many cases of alleged corruptions from the General Auditing Commission that the Liberian government needs to send to court. Chris Bailey should indeed be held liable for his actions while serving as superintendent for Grand Gedeh County. The same should be the case for others who have been accused by the GAC for corruption.
Gedeh Press: The Gedeh community was again slapped by the cold hands of death this month. We lost our dear brother and friend, Mr. Jackson Wonde. How will you describe the late Jackson Wonde?
President Saylee: May the soul of Mr. Wonde rest in peace. I think his services to our community will forever be remembered. We will surely miss such a great man in the Gedeh community.
Gedeh Press: Mr. President, thank you very much for exchanging your views with us. Is there anything you want to finally say on this interview?
President Saylee: We want to take this time to thank the Gedeh Press for such a wonderful interview. I look forward to such interaction in the near future. We also want to take this time to encourage our people to be mentally strong in the wake of these provocations by a government that should be protecting them. We are watching the situation with every bit of our eye vision. We are listening attentively with opened ear. May God bless the people of Grand Gedeh in these trying times.
Thank you again.
Jerrilyn Saylee Graduates from High School
06.08.12 Miss. Jerrilyn Saylee, the Graduate
The daughter of president Saylee, Miss Jerrilyn Saylee graduated yesterday, June 7, 2012 from Robbinsdale Armstrong High School. Indeed, it was a great day for the president, his daughter, friends, relatives, and well wishers. No doubt, graduation day brings the sense of achievement to the graduate (Miss. Saylee) and the smiling face of pride to her father. It provides the ambience of celebration that deeply speaks to the hard work by Miss. Jerrilyn Saylee.
The Leadership of the Grand Gedeh Association of Minnesota wishes to extend a congratulatory message to Miss Jerrilyn Saylee for such a wonderful milestone. We are also proud to hear that Miss Saylee has been accepted at McDaniel College located in the State of Maryland to pursue her Bachelor’s degree. We wish you the very best as you take on the next challenge in your academic sojourn. Again, Congratulation Jerrilyn! You have made us proud.
President Saylee With the Graduate
Friends of the Graduate
The Debate: Mr. William Karyee as Superintendent
In his attempt to explain the bemusement of human nature, Swiss Psychiatrist and Psychologist, Carl G. Jung once said that the pendulum of our minds oscillate between sense and nonsense; not between right and wrong. I think this assessment holds true today in our body politics in Liberia generally and Grand Gedeh particularly.
In recent weeks, Grand Gedeans both at home and abroad have been highlighting their approvals, disapprovals, disappointments, protests, and concerns about Mr. William Karyee, who was nominated by Ellen’s government as Superintendent of Grand Gedeh County and subsequently confirmed by the Liberian Senate.
I think the issue about appointing Mr. William Karyee as Superintendent or not, have indeed brought out some of the chasms in us as a people. In my view, after all is said and done, history will judge every comments and advocacies, and somehow reward those who may have been right on this issue.
Since the appointment of Mr. Karyee, there have been some Grand Gedeans who think that Mr. Karyee lacks the moral fortitudes to lead development efforts in Grand Gedeh County. They argue that Mr. Karyee is facing an indictment from the General Auditing Commission (GAC) for his role, while serving as the man in charge at the National Housing and Savings Bank (NHSB). I think those who opposed Mr. Karyee were referencing a GAC report of 2010.
In that audit report Mr. William Karyee was indicted for alleged corruption and asked to restitute the amount of US$6,300, which he allegedly received from state coffers under falsehood.
On the other hand, there are Grand Gedeans who support Mr. Karyee and called his appointment as the“restoration of hopes and aspirations of the citizens of Grand Gedeh in terms of genuine peace, unity and reconciliation.” Whatever that mean…..
My fellow Grand Gedeans,whatever view points you hold in these debates; I am not in the business of predicting the consequences of ambidextrous politics, but a political proclamation made to exploit the gullibility of our people; will surely have a long term negative consequence on those responsible for such exploitation.
The ordinary people of Grand Gedeh County have continued to live in beggary because of the deviltry of some of our brothers and sisters who continue to shamelessly rob their own people. I hope the firestorms generated from these debates will beat some senses in our heads as we search for better services for our people.
I believe that the future of our county rest in the impeachable characters of us all. As such, scrutiny of such characters should never be substituted for sectional alliance, family affiliation, or friendship at the expense of our people.
In my view, if Grand Gedeh County is to be a better place for all of us, we have to do away with those dishonest behaviors that most of the time leads to distrust for each other’s commitment to the rebuilding efforts. I completely disagree with those who think such debate is counter- productive to maintaining unity amongst us. I think since the current system gives the head of the Liberian government the power to appoint or for better word, imposed on the people; it is important for the people to be proactive rather than reactive in somehow determining who leads them.
Maybe the tactics to achieve this goal may have bruised our brotherly and sisterly relationship, but it is/was a healthy exercise given the current system of the Liberian government. Now the next move should be to collectively fight....not only Grand Gedeans, all Liberians for Superintendents and other county officials to be elected by their own people.
Knowing the kind of political characters that are emerging in our political system, if we do not act quickly to stop this kind of imposition, someone(a president of Liberia) will one day appoint let say, a kpelle man to be superintendent for Grand Gedeh, Lofa, Cape mount or other counties which this kpelle man has no linkage. But this president will be within his constitutional right to do so. What will be your constitutional argument to combat such action?
GGAM Extends Condolence to the Deah’s Family
The Late Hon. Deah
Few days ago, Hon. Philip Deah was taken by the cold hands of death in a manner that brought pain and sorrow in the Gedeh community in particular and Liberia in general. The death of Hon. Deah is indeed a great loss to all of us. This loss surely reminds us about the silly and arrogant nature of death.
That is, death has the natural means to infix pain and sorrow on the living by claiming the life of one of the livings. It imposes sadness and grieve that human nature cannot explain. It sometimes dodges or spares the life of people who may have caused suffering to humanity at the disbelief of ‘good’ people. It plays on the intelligence of the living by making us to wonder about the prospects of ever seeing our dead love ones in the near future. It creates a void in our family’s composition that can never be filled and as such, leaves the indelible imprint of memories that live with us forever. It is always and will continue to be an uninvited guest as long as human nature exists.
Indeed, the nature of death is silly and incomprehensible! It hurts when the death news of Hon. Deah was announced few days ago. We believe that Hon. Deah was one of those voices of reason that brought intellectual awakening to both the old and young in his speeches.
Whenever he was given the podium, he tried to educate, teach, and make his point in a manner that made him to be admired by many people. He was a true Representative of Grand Gedeh County during his tenure in the legislature. As such, he was never afraid to be braggadocios about his services to his people and humanity.
He advocated in making Konobo district, a statutory district while serving in the House of Legislature of the Republic of Liberia in the 80s. He was one of the founding fathers of the Konobo district Association in the Americas.
The leadership of the Grand Gedeh Association wishes to extend condolences to the bereaved family of Hon. Deah as they mourn such a great man.
Our prayers and support will be with you as you mourn the death of the late Honorable.
We know that words, however kind, under these circumstances, can't mend the heartache this loss has brought, but we pray that the bereaved family will find strength in the love of family, in the warm embraces of friends and in the reassurances from fellow Grand Gedeans, Liberians, Konobo people, Americans and Africans. May the soul of Hon. Deah rest in perfect peace and may his memories serve as inspiration to us all.
Signed: Secretariat, GGAM
Approved: Jerry B. Saylee, President, GGAM
THERE WILL BE NO ROOM FOR DECEPTION IN KSDA
Jerry B. Saylee
I am not sure what Mr.Nyonbeor Boley and his expired board wants to accomplish. However, let it be clear: Whatever strategies Mr. Boley is trying to employ or use to destabilize our noble institution, will be resisted, challenged, and met with stiff opposition, especially taking into account that he (Mr. Boley) and his board are operating on borrowed time.
Fellow Citizens of Konobo Statutory District, I think we should all call a spade a spade. Mr. Boley and his board, having been busted for trying to unconstitutionally give the people’s power to Mr. Arthur Quaye, a postal boy of Boley; And having failed on that endeavor, now decides to muscle the current National Administration by engaging in listless arguments as it is indicative in his(Mr. Boley’s) letter below:
Dear President Williams:
Exactly nineteen(19) days have gone by since you were approved by the Board of Advisors to succeed Mr. Solomon Tardey as National President of the Konobo Statutory District Association, (KSDA). In that communication you were directed by the Board to submit the names of your new executive officers for confirmation by the Board of Advisors consistent with our Constitution within thirty days. This was necessary since we do not have the time to assemble your Team for proper installation. Ten days later on January 19, 2012, you complied with the Board's directive and submitted the names of your new Team.
In accordance with procedure I informed all members of the Board of you r submission and planned a weekly interview or discussion with each member of your Team to assure us of their commitment to the ideals of the KSDA. During this process you requested to have a teleconference to inform the entire membership of your submission of names to the Board. I plainly explained to you that this kind of arrangement is not necessary since after the entire confirmation process the Board will be obligated to introduce you and Team to the membership of the KSDA. You told me that Mr. Jallayu who had not been confirmed has scheduled the teleconference:
(1) To our surprise you reportedly addressed the entire membership as the new President and laid out your agenda for the future. This was not what you discussed with me on that day.
(2). On January 24, 2012 you contacted me with information that Mr. Solomon Tardey has sent you a money order in the amount of $600.00 (six hundred dollars), a promissory note, and important documents from the Youboty's Administration. I instructed you to send the money order to Mrs. Mariah Elliot since we do not have a bank account at this time. You said that you rather send the entire package to me instead. I accepted your suggestion. Again, to our surprise you sent me a photocopy of the money order with no corresponding documents as discussed.
(3) While the confirmation process is underway, and without approval, you secretly opened a bank account by inviting Mr. Gibson Duolo and Mrs. Angeline Kyne to join with you as signatories to the new account. If Mrs. Kyne had not told me of this incident we would not have known any thing about such transaction. Mr. Duolo amd Mrs. Kyne are not yet formally confirmed and presented to you when they became signatories to the account you opened.
Given our experience of the past few weeks with the embezzlement case and your recent behavior I want you to know that we are discussing these disappointments or deceptions and are very troubled by them. If it meets the approval of the majority of Board members you will be cited for explanation.
Dr. Nyonbeor A. Boley, Sr.
As one reads Mr.Boley’s letter to President William, it is regrettably clear that Mr. Boley needs some lecture on the function of the board. I mean a board that is constitutionally legitimate and is not on a borrowed time. According to our constitution, specifically Article IV section 3 a, b, c, d, e, f, g and h outlined the functions of the board. For the purpose of education, here are the direct quotes from the constitution: Under Article IV section 3----The board shall:
(A) Elect its own officers, who shall include a chairman, co-chairman, and a secretary;
(B) Promulgate and establish its own rules consistent to the provisions of this constitution and By-laws;
(C) Advise the president on all policies and programs of the Association;
(D) Meet twice every year to review the general performance of the Association;
(E) Have the power to hear and determine charges brought against elected officers, including board members, and shall submit it rulings to the General Assembly for appropriate action. Provided, that, no board member against whom charges shall have been brought, or who shall have been directly or indirectly connected with, and/or involve in the pending case, shall be eligible to serve as hearing officer, sitting judgment thereof;
(F) Promote unity, genuine brotherhood and cooperation among the members, and shall encourage useful administrative relation between the National Administration and local chapters of the association- while paying watchful eye on their performances;
(G) Every section of the Konobo Statutory District shall be represented on the board provided, nonetheless, that no persons hailing from the same section shall serve at the same time on the five –member board; and that no three persons hailing from the same section shall serve on the seven-member board at the same time.
(H) The Board may, in its discretion, cause the out-going administration to be audited before leaving office.
The above provisions are the only responsibilities given to the board in our constitution. There is nowhere in our constitution that give the board the power to confirm elected leaders. Even though it may appear to be the normal thing to do, but if it is not constitutional, it is not bounding! Why will Mr. Boley make big deed of something that is not constitutional? Over the years, I have pushed for constitutional amendments, so as to avoid these kinds of problem, but some people thought I wanted to delete their “hardwork”. So, this is not time to craft an imaginary constitutional provision(s) to suit power thirst individuals in our Association. Until there is a constitutional amendment(s), I will suggest that we should learn to work with what we have for now.
In recent days, there have been an effort by Mr. Boley and his postal boy, Mr. Arthur Quaye, to strongly undermine the leadership of our National president, Mr. A. Cisco Williams. They have become pseudo constitutional scholars over night, twisting provision or manufacturing provisions that are not in our constitution.
My fellow countrymen, I think Mr. Boley, in his attempt to give himself a constitutional responsibility that does not exist in our constitution opted to make misleading statement like the one in the first paragraph of his letter in which he said: “In that communication you (Mr. Williams) were directed by the Board to submit the names of your new executive officers for confirmation by the Board of Advisors consistent with our Constitution within thirty days”. I am completely shocked by this pronouncement coming from Mr. Boley whom I really thought has unique understanding of his constitutional responsibilities. Having read such statement from Mr. Boley’s letter, I am wondering why will Mr. Boley deliberately practice deception in such manner. There is no provision in our constitution that mandates a president to submit names of his executive officers within thirty days. Frankly, I want to challenge Mr. Boley to state any provision in our constitution that supports his quasi constitutional provision.
I am cognizant of the fact that these quasi constitutional arguments, rational or irrational as they may be, have the ability to play on the innate sense of security of his Excellency Mr. A. Cisco William, National President, KSDA. As such, I want to tell him not to be moved by such feeble threat coming from an individual who happen to be the head of a body that is constitutionally illegitimate.
Sincerely, based on the content of Mr. Boley’s letter to our president, in which he stated a constitutional provision that does not exist in our constitution, coupled with his attempt to instruct our president to turn-over the association’s money to Mrs. Mariah Elliot, who is not the Treasurer of our Association; clearly warrant “discussing these disappointments and deceptions” as they seem to be very troubling to me.
I hope Mr. Boley and his weakling board of directors will soon come to grasp with the reality that the seed of twisted logic or manufactured constitutional provision will never go unchallenged within KSDA.
Mr. Jerry B. Saylee
Tillman Collins Does Not Represent or Speak for GGAM
President Jerry B. Saylee
On January 11, 2012 there was a press release published by the Liberian Journals Online News Magazine titled: “Grand Gedeh
Leadership in US Disassociates itself from “Politically-motivated” Memorial Service.” In that press release, Mr. Collins, on behalf of his institution of Grand Gedeans disassociates itself from what it called “Politically-motivated” Memorial Service which is slated to be held on January 14, 2012 in Philadelphia by a group of Liberians called Concerned Liberian Citizens in the Diaspora (CLCD).
In that vein, the leadership of the Grand Gedeh Association of Minnesota wants to inform the whole world that Mr. Tillman Collins and his group of Grand Gedeans absolutely has the right to make statement(s) that reflect their interest. However, it should be stated here, that Mr. Tillman Collins does not represent or speak for the Grand Gedeh Association of Minnesota.
Having read Mr. Collins' press release, GGAM finds it completely troubling to note that Mr. Collins failed to educate the public on what he and his Grand Gedeh Association sees as “politically-motivated” Memorial Service, but instead opt to make statement like “ The national leadership of the Grand Gedeh Association in the Americas believes that any program designed to honor the memories of the victims of the Liberian civil conflict must be based on broader consultations with families of those who have lost their lives and must take into account the determination of the Liberian people to put the war behind them with the view of re-building their lives and country.”
We believe that the above quote from Mr. Collins press release is more “politically-motivated” than the scheduled Memorial Service which he alleges to be “politically-motivated”. What is “politically –motivated” about a group of Liberians having service to memorialize victims of the Liberian civil war?
GGAM believes that in the world of real politics and government, indeed certain actions, like in the case of Mr. Collins' press release, is “politically-motivated” because he is trying to paint a picture that bears a classical hallmark of the political subterfuges of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf government. A government that believes it is time to move-on, even though it has failed miserably to provide the political prescription for national healing.
The leadership of GGAM finds it completely incomprehensible that people who considered themselves as “ most of those who have suffered immensely during the Liberian conflict” will choose to make feckless statement which has the proclivity to send poor signal to those who master minded the suffering of the Liberian people in general and the Grand Gedeans in particular.
GGAM believes that the proposed January 14, 2012 memorial service by the Concerned Liberian Citizens in the Diaspora (CLCD) is one of the many ways to psychologically remind or torture the remorse of those who killed our love ones. You can call it whatever you want! The fact of the matter is, our fellow Liberians who were killed for naked political power need to be remembered. GGAM takes exception to those who think by memorializing our dead, we are “opening old-wound”. This kind of political deception should be resisted and rebuked by all well-meaning Liberians.
We hope Liberians in general and Grand Gedeans in particular, will understand that no amount of mischaracterization will weaken the resolve of well-meaning Liberians to remember the victims of our brainless civil war.
GGAM wants to congratulate the planners of such an event and hope it will be done annually from state to state.
Approved: Jerry B. Saylee, President, GGAM
Mr. Nyonbeor Boley: Why replaced bad behavior with Dishonorable behavior?
Mr. Jerry B. Saylee
Few days ago, the president of the Konobo Statutory District Association in the Americas, Mr. Solomon Tardey was accused of stealing over six thousand dollars from the Association’s account. As a member of that institution, and as a strong advocate against corrupt practices or for better word, stealing in any form; I applauded the swift manner in which the national board under the leadership of Hon. Nyonbeor Boley was able to alert the membership. That, for me is a sign of a good leadership.
However, I think the National Board is guilty of side-stepping the organic laws that govern us as an institution. There is no question! The president’s alleged action was completely detrimental to our Association. His removal from office was a very bold step and an excellent way to safe-guard the interest of our organization.
But, if his replacement was done outside the laws that govern us, as it appears to be for now, then, in my view, there is a sign of a conspiracy theory which will make the fine work by the board to metamorphose into a political crisis.
I need not lecture Mr. Boley on our constitution in terms of the ascendency clause. The membership and even friends of our noble institution are wondering why the vice president could not replace the president when from all indications he was never part of the alleged criminality exhibited by the president. Why should Mr. Arthur Quaye replace a president who had a vice president? How did Mr.Quaye come into this leadership picture, when he was never an executive in the first place?
Is Mr. Boley and his board telling us that all the democratically elected officials of KSDA are guilty of the alleged crime committed by the president? You see, this is where Mr. Boley’s seriousness comes into question and the possibility of a conspiracy theory.
The ideas of conspiracy theory, as I learned, are based on the notion that complex plots are put into motion by powerful hidden forces aim at “stealing” from the people. In this case, Mr. Boley and his Board’s decision to select Mr. Arthur Quaye as acting president, when the democratically elected vice president of our Association was not guilty or accused of any wrong doing, clearly point to the kind of “stealing” that rob the people of KSDA of their democratically elected leader.
This, for me is like trying to discourage bad behavior while on the other hand, practicing dishonest behavior. The only difference is, one involves stolen money and the other involves stolen leadership. I think the people of KSDA should allow the constitution to take its course by insisting that Mr. Cisco Williams by virtue of the ascendency clause be the next president of our Association.
Mr. Boley and his board should once more rescue our noble Association by quickly recognizing Mr. Cisco Williams as the next president. Anything short of this demand has the propensity to bring Mr.Boley and his board to public disrepute, thereby undermining our noble institution. As a member of KSDA, I will not rest until the proper thing is done!
I hope Mr. Boley and his board hastily come to the realization that stealing is not limited to only someone unlawfully or surreptitiously taking money from the organization’s coffers, like in the case of Mr. Tardey; it also means to seize, gain, or win by trickery. Frankly, the replacement of the president with Mr. Quaye is another form of stealing which cannot go un-noticed. This is not a good way to start the New Year! Why replaced bad behavior with dishonorable behavior????
Jerry B. Saylee
The president’s Holidays Message and 2011 Report
Jerry B. Saylee, President,GGAM
The president of the Gedeh Association of Minnesota, Mr. Jerry B. Saylee, will be visiting family and friends in Des Moines, Iowa this week-end. The president is expected to spend the Christmas with his family and other friends. He will be expected back in the Twin cities by December 27, 2011.
In a related development, the head of the secretariat of GGAM, Mr. Ronald Free, will also be departing the Twin cities for Washington D.C., Virginia, Delaware and Maryland respectively for the Holidays. He is expected to be back in the Twin cities by January 15, 2012.
Meanwhile, the president of GGAM has extended happy holidays’ greeting to all GGAM donors, fellow Grand Gedeans, friends and well wishers. “As we celebrate these holidays (Christmas and New Year) with families and friends, GGAM wishes everyone God’s blessings”, the president added.
Knowing that these kinds of holidays have different meanings to all of us, the president, in what appears to be an honest caution, urged everyone to be very careful during these holidays’ seasons.
“We sincerely hope and pray that everyone will keep save and act responsibly during these assumed merry- making periods”, the president cautioned.
On Sunday, December 18, 2011, during the regular meeting of GGAM, the president made his 2011 report. He expressed what political scholars are calling robust plans for the coming year.
In the president’s 2011 report, he outlined the activities of GGAM during said year and expressed gratitude to the membership and GGAM donors for the continuous support. He said GGAM would not have survived two and the half year without their resilience and persistence.
Adding,” GGAM leadership is very grateful to all who has directly or indirectly made this institution viable over the years.” “GGAM has decided never to blow her own trumpet in terms of the social and political impact or role it is playing now and will continue to play in the Gedeh community”, the president noted.
As for the coming year (2012), he outlined the focus points of GGAM by stating that “GGAM will continuously shape the body politics in the Gedeh community both in the Diasporas and back home in Liberia; rally the needed resources for our suffering people; help in the rebuilding of our devastated county; articulate the power for the powerless; provide voice for the voiceless; awaken the consciousness of the unconscious minds and provide vision for the visionless. These are our missions as we approach 2012. These missions will embolden our resolve to robustly deal with the challenges that we will encounter in the coming year”, the president observed.
As you will recall, GGAM was founded in 2009 and has since been a viable institution that has managed to serve some of our suffering people back home. The president’s latest blue prints for 2012 have been observed by the membership as powerful. Some said it almost reminded them about a forceful campaign. The meeting ended with a Christmas Party which brought together some of GGAM donors, members, Americans, friends from the Ghanaian, Cameroonian, and other African communities. At the end of it all, the membership pledged their fullest support to the GGAM leadership in the coming year and thanked the leadership for such a wonderful get together at the end of the year.
A Big Thank you for your Support
The Bemah's and Free's Families want to extend thanks and appreciation to all Liberians, Grand Gedeans, Friends, and well-wishers for the intense show of support during the baby shower of Mrs. Sundaye Aggie Bemah on October 29, 2011.
We certainly appreciated your time and your individual support that make the baby shower very successful. We couldn’t have made this celebration a great one, without your support, time and of course, your presence. Again, we say thank you very much!
Signed: Ronald Free; on behalf of both families
Know your Candidates for Grand Gedeh Legislative Election
Today, September 9, 2011, the National Elections Commission of Liberia published the names of candidates who are finally qualified to contest the legislative seats of our County, Grand Gedeh.
In that light, the leadership of the Grand Gedeh Association of Minnesota is pleased to educate Grand Gedeans in the Diasporas on the names of candidates who will be contesting the legislative seats for our county.
GGAM thinks it is important that Grand Gedeans get to know their potential county officials, so as to enable them raise concerns, if any, about said individuals before the ballots are cast.
This decision was made after GGAM quizzed some Grand Gedeans over the week and realized that these Grand Gedeans were completely unaware about political happenings back home, especially the coming legislative election or least to say, the names of would-be legislators of our county.
We believe that all Grand Gedeans, be it a voter (in Liberia) or not a voter (out of Liberia) should help in scrutinizing all these candidates. Below are the break downs and explanation to guide you in understanding the pending legislative election of our county.
For the sake of education, there were some inquiries made to some of the contestants about the switch in positions of all the three districts of our county. The explanation provided was a bit cogent.
However, we still believe that such confusion is unwarranted and jejune in nature.
For instance, in the 2005 legislative election, Gbarzon district was considered district #1, but on the election commission’s website, Gbarzon district has become district #3 for the ensuing 2011 legislative election; konobo district has become district # 2 as opposed to its previous district#3 status; and finally, Tchien district has become district #1 as opposed to its previous district #2 status in the 2005 election.
Our research was matched against all the incumbents. As it stands for now, aspirants for the House of Representatives are structured as follow: there are twelve (12) aspirants from Gbarzon Statutory District vying for one seat; there are four (4) aspirants from Tchien/ Cavalla Administrative District vying for one seat, and eight (8) aspirants from Konobo Statutory District vying for one seat. For the House of Senate, there are six (6) aspirants vying for a single seat. So, the total number of seats to be contested for, that is, from both houses are 4(four), with 30 candidates.
District # 1(Tchien): The below listed Individuals are the contestants(House of Representatives)
1. Camile Vlendy Charafeddine----CDC(Congress for Democratic Change)
2. H. Nyounkpao D. Funnebo--------UP (Unity Party)
3. Gwion, Sr. Erol Madison-----------LP(Liberty Party)
4. Zoe Emmanuel Pennue(incumbent)-------------INDEPENDENT
1. Patrick Gweah Bowah Jr.------LTP(Liberian Transformation Party)
2. Kai Garlo Farley(incumbent)-----------------CDC
3. Joseph W. Geebro--------------LRP(Liberian Reconstruction Party)
4. A. Nathaniel Tailey Geelia-----PRODEM( Progressive Democratic Party)
5. Moses Z. Jackson-----------------MPC( Movement for Progressive Change)
6. Pyne Wallo-----------------------NDC( National Democratic Coalition)
7. Morrais Tarwoe Waylee--------UP
8. William Bedell Yorke------------ULD( Union of Liberian Democratic)
1. Wahay T. Collins-----------CUP(Citizens Unification Party)
2. Helena N. Deh---------------UP
3. Rufus W. Gbieor(incumbent)------------NDC(National Democratic Coalition)
4. William Glay----------------GDPL( Grassroot Democratic Party of Liberia
5. Alex C.Grant------------------MPC
6. D. Abugarshall Kai-----------LTP
7. William S. Karyee------------OCPOL(Original Congress Party of Liberia)
8. Justin B.G. Quetoh-----------LRP
9. Maxwell Z. Tody-------------VCP( Victory for Change Party)
10. David T. Togba---------------PRODEM
11. Kai Mathew Whyee----------ULD
12. Teddy T.Gbowoe---------NPP(National Patriotic Party )
For the House of Senate, the below listed individuals are the contestants
1. Cyrus S. Cooper II--------NDC
2. Marshall A. Dennis-------LTP
3. George S. Dweh Jr.-------NDPL
4. Alphonso Gaye-----------UP
5. Thomas Y.Nimely---------LP
6. William C.Sandy(incumbent)----ULD
The Development of Grand Gedeh Matters; Mr. Monah should be applauded.
As the Gedeh Community in the diasporas, especially in America, struggle to redefined itself, some individual Grand Gedeans in the U.S are taking bold steps in the reconstruction efforts in our County. This is a clear indication that a Grand Gedean doesn’t have to form part of any Gedeh Association to contribute his/her quota to Grand Gedeh County.
Last night, GGAM Secretariat viewed a News story on The Daily Observer about a son of Grand Gedeh who is undertaking a project to at least stamp-out some level of illiteracy in the Konobo District area in particular and Grand Gedeh in General. We think such story is an encouraging sign for the Development of Grand Gedeh County. As such, we believe that Mr. Monah actions as a Grand Gedean living in the U.S should be applauded; especially at the time when the Gedeh Community in the U.S. seems to be working over-time to re-established itself, in terms of seriousness.
Please Read the below Link:
GRAND GEDEANS: ARE YOU UP TO THE TASK?
Ronald Y. Free
By now, I am of the strongest conviction that Grand Gedeans back home are actively engaging the political process of electing legislators of our county and president of our country. There are some who will be voting and there are others who will be seeking votes.
This year’s elections should not be taken for joke. The future of our children lies in the decisions the grown-up will make in these elections.
Grand Gedeh County will indeed rise again! But in order for such prediction to be realized, it will take the collective good- will of all Grand Gedeans both in the United States and back home. We must never lose sight of our role and responsibility to each other.
Grand Gedeh needs better representation, the world-over. As such, I can only hope that one day, we (Grand Gedeans in Americas) will once more be the paragon of integrity and hope.
The Liberian civil war may be over, but we are fighting a new kind of war; a war that has the ability to create dreadful characterization against whole group of people. This war will require different soldiers to effectively deal with the enemies; the soldiers of ideas, visions, and the intellectual fortitudes to withstand or combat misinformation and disinformation against us as a people.
We can no longer sit back and allow our entire ethnic group to be misprized or traduced, while those that represent us maintain their posture of appeasement.
We will need better representation to crush any imposed negativity against us as a people. We will need better representation to build our decimated county. We will need better representation to fearlessly and objectively speak out against any forms of political marginalization.
Indeed, Grand Gedeh County will need a committed and dedicated individual to fully represent her interest. Make no mistake; the rebuilding of our county will require a leadership with practical vision and the fair share of us all.
In few months, Grand Gedeans will be going to the polls to elect Representatives (legislators) of our county. I learned that those seeking votes are providing potential voters with some goodies, to showcase their love and commitment for their “people.”
In other words, some politicians are trying to bribe the conscience of our people; thereby robbing them of their judgment. These kinds of attitudes sometimes work in a nation where majority of the citizens are living in hardship and deplorable social conditions. But I have no doubt, the people of Grand Gedeh County know better.
Whatever tactics these vote seekers choose to explore, one thing is clear to me: Grand Gedeans know that the future of Grand Gedeh rest in their (voters’) characters. As voters, they have a duty to ensure that the future of our county is imbued with the virtues, values, and sound leadership that will make most Grand Gedeans proud.
Yes, this is the task for the 2011 elections. Grand Gedeans: Are you up to the task? For the sake of posterity, you better be!
Miss. Comfort Z. Quaye
The president of the Grand Gedeh Association of Minnesota, Mr. Jerry B. Saylee has appointed Miss Comfort Quaye as chairlady for the membership Committee of GGAM.
Miss Comfort Quaye just relocated from the East Coast to the Twin cities and has since been member of GGAM. Also an appointment was made on the Secretariat.
Mr. Eric Moore, who was recently granted membership to GGAM, was appointed. Mr. Moore appointment to the Secretariat comes in the wake of the political developments unfolding in Liberia and here in the diaspora.
Mr. Moore has promised to work with the General Secretary of GGAM, Mr. Ronald Free in fully representing the Grand Gedeh Association of Minnesota to the best of his ability.
Some political observers who personally know Mr. Moore see such appointment as a powerful signal that the Grand Gedeh Association of the Minnesota is serious about enhancing its media engagement.
One member of GGAM expressed satisfaction with Mr. Moore’s appointment and said “it will help our powerful secretary, Mr. Ronald Free who was recently offer a powerful position by a political institution.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Free called the appointment of Mr. Moore “timely and rewarding;” adding, “GGAM is on the verge of greatness.”
According to the president of GGAM, “these appointments take immediate effect.” The president use the occasion to extend hands to other Grand Gedeans in Minnesota who seem to be setting on the fence.
Many diasporas Liberian organizations continue to experience what experts called “the scar of disunity” which often time rob these organizations from collective undertakings. The Gedeh community in the Americas is no exception to this assessment. As such, the Gedeh Press decided to interview the president of the Grand Gedeh Association of Minnesota, Mr. Jerry B. Saylee on many current events in the Gedeh community.
President Jerry B. Saylee
Here are the excerpts from the interview:
Gedeh Press: Mr. Saylee, thank you for accepting our invitation. We believe this interview is necessary if Grand Gedeans are to understand the mindset of the Grand Gedeh Association of Minnesota, especially with Mr. Tillman Collins now heading a national institute of Grand Gedeans.
Now, our first question starts like this: Have you talked with Mr. Collins since he was elected president for a national institution of Grand Gedeans? If so, can you explain? If not, why?
President Saylee: Thank you very much. To answer your question: yes, I have spoken with Mr. Collins. Our conversation was very encouraging. I really think that Mr. Collins theoretical intention for genuine peace and unity within the Gedeh Community should be applauded. But if the Gedeh community is to be once more, a viable county organization in these United States, the concept of theory and practice will have to be concomitant.
Gedeh Press: Is the Grand Gedeh Association of Minnesota prepared to work with Mr. Collins?
President Saylee: Absolutely! But Mr. Collins being the progenitor of the Gedeh community in Minnesota, I bet he understands the politics that is currently at play in Minnesota. As such, we will remain an independent institution armed with the ability to speak for our Group of Grand Gedeans on national issues that affect us as a people and a community.
Gedeh Press: What is the possibility of having a single institution of Grand Gedeans in Minnesota?
President Saylee: I think it is possible. But I am not good at predicting the behavior of others.
Gedeh Press: The other group of Grand Gedeans in Minnesota is planning to have their elections, with the hope that a new leadership will later meet with you to initiate a peace talk. How do you see such approach?
President Saylee: This approach is completely laughable. I hope this is not true. We have invested a lot in the Grand Gedeh Association of Minnesota. As such, any peace talk should be based on verity other than conspiracy. Let me be clear about this: elections now and peace later, is not a workable formula that will create a single institution of Grand Gedeans here in Minnesota.
Gedeh Press: What impact the two Gedeh institutions in Minnesota will have on the Gedeh community in the Americas as a whole? Do you think such impact has the appetence to undermine Mr. Collins?
President Saylee: I believe the impact will be like the past two years, where the Gedeh community could not speak with one voice on national political issues that affect us as a people and community. The Grand Gedeh Association of Minnesota is an independent institution which will not allow any other institution of Grand Gedeans to speak for it. To answer the second face of your question: I think such a bold representation will always be perceived as undermining someone, especially when their views contrast ours.
Gedeh Press: Unlike Mrs. Kannah, Mr. Collins seems to have the overwhelming support of the Gedeh community in Americas; will this make the Grand Gedeh Association of Minnesota nervous?
President Saylee: Nervous? No. We do not have problem with any Grand Gedean who heads an institution of Grand Gedeans, but as an independent institution, the Grand Gedeh Association of Minnesota is capable of representing itself. So, there is no group, no matter how popular your support may be amongst Grand Gedeans in the Americas, has the right to speak for us.
Gedeh Press: Mr. Saylee, what will you like to say in your concluding remarks?
President Saylee: I want to take this time to thank you for these exchanges. I think the Gedeh community in the Americas has the potential of becoming the most powerful county organization. We should all work towards this end in an honest dealing with each other. May God bless the people of Grand Gedeh and Grand Gedeh County in every undertaking.
Gedeh Press: Thank you very much Mr. Saylee. We look forward to such opportunity again in the near future.
Gedeh Press: We plan to publish the next portion of Mr. Saylee's interview with us in our next edition. Please watch out for what many Grand Gedeans, especially political pundits are calling "a Firestorm" as we hear from Mr. Saylee on his political views in the forth coming presidential elections in Liberia.
President Jerry B. Saylee
The Leadership of the Grand Gedeh Association of Minnesota (GGAM), today, 04-27-11, read a News story from MN Web titled: “ Gedeans Endorse Morson For Mayor”.
In that story, it was stated that Grand Gedeans in Minnesota “overwhelmingly endorsed the candidacy of Mr. Boyd Morson” for what they termed as " Mr. Morson track record of many contributions to the Brooklyn Park Community."
The Leadership of GGAM will, in this public spheres, disassociates itself from such an endorsement from Mr. Alex Barmon and his group of Grand Gedeans.
We believe that such endorsement is clouded with sophism, lacks substance, and does not represent the view of most Grand Gedeans residing in Brooklyn Park, MN.
While Mr. Barmon and his group of Grand Gedeans may have the right to engage into the Liberian community issues; GGAM believes such endorsement by few Grand Gedeans, should not be misconstrued as the view of the Grand Gedeh community in Minnesota.
The misuse of our county's name by few overzealous individuals in our community is totally unacceptable and a distinction should be made; this is why the leadership of the Grand Gedeh Association of Minnesota has distanced itself from such a careless, irresponsible endorsement of Mr. Boyd Morson.
This is a total disrespect to some Grand Gedeans of the Alex Barmon Grand Gedeh Association who do not share or approved such endorsement, but are members of said institution.
This is where the line is drawn between the Alex Barmon Grand Gedeh Association and the Grand Gedeh Association of Minnesota: Unlike the Grand Gedeh Association of Alex Barmon, the Grand Gedeh Association of Minnesota (GGAM) is cognizant of the diverse political backgrounds of its members. As such, it will be politically irresponsible to commit itself to any individual(s) contesting to be president, governor, councilman, union leader, sheriff, auditor and e.t.c
We believe that this empty endorsement for political recognition by these handfuls of Grand Gedeans, could not have worth our time, if it was not made to look as if said endorsement represents the view of all or majority of the Grand Gedeans in Minnesota.
The GGAM leadership wants to inform all of its members, especially those that are qualified to vote on April 30, 2011, that there are twelve candidates for the position of City Mayor of Brooklyn Park and you should vote for any candidate of your choice.
Mr. Ronald Y. Free, Secretary, GGAM
Mr. Jerry B. Saylee, President, GGAM
Alex Barmon May Face Possible Impeachment
February 15, 2011 Alexander Barmon
The chairman of the GGAA-MN Board, Hon. Nehemiah Garley, has hinted us that Mr. Alex Barmon could be questioned by his honorable offices for what he called gross incompetence and corrupt practices.
It can be recalled that on January 26, 2011 the Grand Gedeh Association of Minnesota website carried a story Titled: “Alex Barmon Accused of Massive Corruption”. In that story, the chairman of the Board of GGAA-MN, Hon. Nehemiah Garley accused Mr. Alex Barmon of corrupt practices and failure to report on the financial activities of the GGAA-MN for almost two years since he (Alex Barmon) assumed the leadership of said institution.
Political observers believe that the pressure from this no nonsense Chair of the GGAA-MN Board has come to bear. Apparently based on the pressure, on February 14, 2011, Mr. Barmon was quoted on the MN-Web as saying “I take full responsibility for the delay in submitting my Administration’s financial report, to the membership several months ago.”
When asked what he (Hon. Garley) thought about such proclamation? He said “I was not in that meeting nor was I served copy of said report.” However, from this proclamation “I know that Mr. Barmon has hung himself.” “This brother should be commended for admitting to gross incompetence.” Adding, “Article XIV, section 2 of our constitution provides remedy for such incompetence.”
Since we were not familiar with said provision, we asked the chairman to tell us what is/are those remedy/ies.
Hon. Garley relaxingly quoted said provision by stating that under that provision, the president can be impeached if he/she had “demonstrated gross incompetence, inability to conduct the affairs of the chapter, or the position to which any official was elected.”
When asked if the GGAA-MN Board under his leadership has the backbone to take Mr. Barmon to court or impeach him, Mr. Garley said “time will tell.”
In a related development, Mr. Garley told us that Messrs. Tarnyon Nyenon and Alex Gaye have resigned from the GGAA-MN Board. In an effort to verify this news, we called Messrs Nyenon and Gaye, but up to press time, our calls were not returned and a voice message requesting a return call was also ignored.
We will not suggest that we have been “black listed” by Messrs Nyenon and Gaye. However, we hope that Messrs Nyenon and Gaye realize that such an important issue in one section of the Gedeh community worth the input of all parties concerned.
If the news about Messrs Nyenon and Gaye is truth, political pundits predict that such move will undermine the effectiveness of Hon. Garley’s leadership and could render the board insignificant; since constitutionally the president has the power to appoint an election commission to conduct elections to replace them.
According to those pundits, it is completely unlikely that Mr. Barmon will be motivated in taking such step especially; owing to the fact that Hon. Garley’s leadership has already made him to succumb in submitting a belated financial report which is described in some quarter as a blindfolded financial report.
We managed to contact other members of the Alex Barmon GGAA-MN who told us that “We were never given any figures from all the programs we had since 2009; as such, Mr. Barmon’s mis-spoke when he use the word “comprehensive report.” Adding, “How can a report be comprehensive when we did not know the initial amount generated from all programs/events?” they asked.
“Alex Barmon produced his own figures; we were never aware of a specific amount in our account for almost two years” they told us. Adding, “How could we authenticate the break downs of expenditures that show our current total balance as $477.00 when we did not have initial figures” they wonder.
Legal analysts believe that such blindfolding of the membership by Mr. Alex Barmon is criminal in nature. Adding, “We think such criminal dealings should be disciplined.”
Many people are now asking: “Can the leadership of Hon. Garley bring the needed fiscal discipline that has been lacking in the Alex Barmon GGAA-MN for almost two years?” This one million dollars question is anyone guesses, especially in the Gedeh community where corruption has metastasized and seems to be incurable.
President Saylee Departs Minnesota for Jacksonville, Florida
The president of the Grand Gedeh Association of Minnesota departs Minnesota today for Florida where he is expected to spend a week. This visit by the president coincides with recent consultative meetings with some Grand Gedeans residing out of MN.
While in Florida, the president will meet with few Grand Gedeans living in that state. Knowing that so many brothers and sisters living out of Minnesota have expressed interest in working with GGAM, the president is weighing the seriousness of those requests by engaging in teleconferences, visits, meetings, and town hall forums.
“GGAM is planning to expand its scope of operations” said the president. The GGAM leadership has managed to relatively convince some of its membership for a broader name that will incorporate other Grand Gedeans out of MN, in the event it chooses to go National.
Meanwhile, some members of GGAM are completely opposed to any attempt by the leadership to expand GGAM. They argued that GGAM is financially, intellectually, and socially viable and as such; joining other Grand Gedeans could complicate the smooth manner we have operated over the years.
President Saylee has listened to those concerns and is expected to finally put such ideas to the general membership for vote upon his returned from Florida.
Political analysts believe if GGAM transform into a national entity of Grand Gedeans, it could bring smiles on the faces of many Grand Gedeans who have become despondent with the activities of the Grand Gedeh Association in the Americas.
The membership of GGAM wants to wish the president save trip and look forward to his save return.
Alex Barmon Accused of Massive Corruption
Mr. Alex Barmon
Corruption in many Grand Gedeh Associations in Americas has become a household name. Those who are new in our community seem to be overly shock to see some of their leaders conspicuously exhibiting corrupt behavior. A recent case in point is the allegations made by Mr. Nemiah O. Garley.
On January 22, 2011, a letter written by Mr. Nemiah O. Garley caught our attention, especially coming from a Grand Gedean who is relatively new to Gedeh politics and one of the leaders in the Alex Barmon’s GGAA-MN.
Upon receipt of Mr. Garley’s letter, we called him and asked: why now? He told us that he is a new comer in the Gedeh politics, but is quickly coming to grasp with what he called “reality and myth” in our community. Adding, “I see why there are two institutions of Grand Gedeans in Minnesota.”
To confirm what was in Mr. Garley’s letter addressed to one Dr. Quiah, we asked Mr. Garley when he (Mr.Garley) became chairman of the GGAA-MN board. Mr. Garley stated that since September 7, 2010 he assumed the chairmanship of the Board of MN chapter of the Grand Gedeh Association in the Americas.
When quizzed further, Mr. Garley said “since I was elected as chairman of the Board of GGAA-MN; I have exercised restrains in the name of peace, but it seems that I have been taken for granted.” Adding, “I have called, emailed, written letters and even invited Mr. Barmon at my residence to have dinner with the possibility to discuss, but such efforts have been ignored,” said Mr. Garley.
Mr. Garley, GGAA-MN, Board Chair
“Will you believe me if I were to tell you that Mr. Barmon has not made any report since he assumed offices in 2009” asked Mr. Garley.
“He has not made reports on the Inaugural Ball; 1st Cookout; 2nd Cookout; Valentine Day Ball; Doe’s Birthday; things shipped to Grand Gedeh; Membership Dues and even the trip in which he accompanied Mrs. Kannah” noted Mr. Garley.
According to the GGAA-MN board chair, his leadership was concerned about the manner in which Mr. Alex Barmon, the president of said institution was conducting the day to day affairs of GGAA-MN.
“Some members, including the chair of the inaugural committee complained to me on numerous occasions that Mr. Barmon may have mismanaged the Associations funds” said Mr. Garley.
When asked as to whether Mr. Barmon action should be considered incompetence leadership style or corruption; Mr. Garley said “this is a complete act of both corruption and incompetence which equal massive corruption.”
Adding further, he said, “for almost 2years now, Mr. Barmon has been unable to make a single report and has been practically in hidden; refusing to answer his phone or return calls on such matters” observed Mr. Garley.
In order to create a balance story, we decided to call Mr. Alexander Barmon, but our call was not answered, nor returned up to press time. We managed to talk with Mr. Tarnyon Nyenon, whose picture is still carried by the MN Web as the chairman of the GGAA-MN Board. When asked about Mr. Garley’s claim to the chairmanship of the GGAA-MN Board, Mr. Nyenon confirmed that Mr. Garley is the current chairman of the GGAA-MN Board, but due to procedure errors, Mr. Garley may not have been given the necessary recognition.
When asked further as to whether the claims of Mr. Garley have merits? Mr. Nyenon said “Mr. Garley claims have 99.9% truths embedded, but the manner in which he has chosen to go about such leadership lapses, was not appropriate at this time.”
When asked what could have been the appropriate way? Mr. Nyenon said “as member of the GGAA-MN Board, I think the chairman should have called a meeting of the Board first.”
“But for the chairman to write a Dr. Quiah whom is not known by both local and national leadership to complain about our leader, Mr. Barmon, was repugnant” observed Mr.Nyenon.
However, during our exclusive interview with the Chairman of the GGAA-MN Board, he said since he assumed offices on September 7, 2009, Mr. Nyenon has not attended a single meeting. So, to think that “I have not called meeting of the Board, is just playing the usual deceptive politics” observed Mr. Garley.
We managed to also talk with some members of the Alex Barmon’s Grand Gedeh Association who decided to speak on condition of anonymity.
Those Grand Gedeans were somehow angry, personal and terribly mean. They told us that Mr. Barmon was a former Black Money Geek who has decided to exhibit his talent among Grand Gedeans. “What do you expect from a career criminal” they asked.
When asked to expand what they were talking about; they assumed that we understood what they were talking about even though we did not.
This news about Mr. Barmon inability to report for almost two years on the financial activities of an institution that he heads, come as no surprise to some political observers in the Gedeh community.
However, they expressed surprise and shock for what they called the “state of coma” by the memberships of GGAA-MN. They wonder why such high levels of incompetence and corrupt practices by Mr. Barmon’s leadership have gone un-noticed, especially in this media age of the MN-Web.
One political pundit in the Gedeh Community said “I think the MN-Web has failed the test of objectivity and reliability.” Adding, “I thought what appears to be a massive corruption almost two years now could have been exposed by the MN-Web long since.”
In a related development, GGAM president, Mr. Jerry B. Saylee was contacted by Mr. Garley to help in exposing such corrupt practices. In his reaction, president Saylee said, “GGAM has no interest in whatever happens in other Gedeh Associations”, but with the appeal from Mr. Garley who is the GGAA-MN Board Chair, he will help to expose corrupt practices, since the MN-Web seems to be on the low on this story/issue.
“Call on us at anytime, we will give you the forum to be heard” the GGAM president assured Mr. Garley.
With this assurance from President Jerry B. Saylee, many political observers believe that the GGAA-MN Board chair will use the needed media pressure to make Mr. Alex Barmon’s leadership succumb to making the almost two years of financial and other reports of said institution.
A Rejoinder to “We Must Make a Difference”
Ronald Y. Free
On January 20, 2011, the Editor in Chief of the MN Web, Mr. Tarnyon Nyenon wrote an editorial titled: “We Must Make the Difference”. In that editorial, Mr. Nyenon somehow amused me with his adroit writing style, especially when it came to the recognition of media institutions owned and operated by institutions of Grand Gedeans.
Take for instance, Mr. Nyenon wrote: “The first being the Gedeh Website established in 2002, by Mr. William Grear Nyanue, while serving as National President of the GGAA.
The second badge is the Gbarzon Radio and Website, established by Mr. Nathaniel Pour, in October of 2008 and February of 2009, respectively.
The third informative Gedeh Medium Institution is the Website of the Grand Gedeh Association of the Minnesota (GGAMN), established in June, 2009, by Mr. Ranold Free, under the Administration of Mr. Jerry B. Saylee.
Then came the forth, the Minnesota Website, otherwise known as the ‘MN Web,’ which was established in October of 2009, under the leadership of Mr. Alexander Barmon”
As you can see above, Mr. Nyenon single-out individuals who he thinks established those media institutions, but as he approaches the MN Web where he serves as Editor in Chief, he portrayed it as collective establishment by cleverly saying “the MN Web was established under the leadership of Mr. Barmon.
Why couldn’t Mr. Nyenon state the same for all the other institutions? Why try to single out individuals when it came to other institutions? What is the motive behind this kind of acknowledgement?
For the records, I will like to inform the entire world, that the Grand Gedeh Association of Minnesota’s Website was not established by me (Ronald Free) as an individual. It was established by the leadership of Mr. Jerry B. Saylee. Why should Mr. Nyenon give me credit for a project that was undertaken by an institution under someone’s leadership?
I think the same should be said in the case of Messrs. William Nyanue and Nathaniel Pour. I think Mr. Nyenon should have said under Mr. Nyanue’s leadership, Gedeh Website was established. In my view, to single-out an individual, is a dangerous sign that has the propensity to de-value the efforts by the membership and other individuals that make-up the leadership.
Based on the logic of individualism as established by Mr. Nyenon, why if Mr. Nyanue as an individual decides to take credit for the “scholarship program” under his leadership? I think if said program actually existed, it was done by GGAA as an institution; not an individual. This is my point!
I thought when it came to the Gbarzon District Association’s website and Radio; the Editor in Chief totally disregarded the leadership of Mr. Alphoso Zeon-Soe and decided to single-out Mr. Nathaniel Pour who may be member of the leadership structure. I challenge Messrs Nyanue and Pour to set the record straight as people who believe in institution.
Another issue that caught my attention in Mr. Nyenon’s editorial was when he said “Attempts at trying to mix our African Traditional values, with western democratic values is totally unacceptable”. Even though I am an executive of the Grand Gedeh Association of Minnesota, an independent institution and as such, will careless about what happen in another Grand Gedeh Association; I thought such statement was worth my contribution.
I really hope my comrade will understand that civilization is the development from one culture to another; not the negation of one’s culture for another. In other words, you cannot abandon all your cultural beliefs, values, and tradition; to wholeheartedly ascribe to the cultural beliefs, values, and tradition that you don’t even understand well.
Who told you that in a democracy, there is no “arm twisting,” “maneuvering,” and from some people’s perspective “undue influence peddling?” These things happen in politics! Sometimes, when these things happen, a person can choose to obey or rebel against his/her based.
Take for instance, when the Democrat realized that New York’s Governor, David Paterson who was also a Democrat did not stand a chance of winning re-election, president Obama along with the Democratic Party leadership asked Governor Paterson to step aside for the sake of the party. Should Mr. Obama and some party leaders be considered anti-democratic elements? Or are they not ascribing to the “western democratic values”? Please read and decide for yourself: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE58J0CW20090920
I believe that sectional organizations in our community seek to perform similar functions since elections in county organizations are not base on political parties. In my judgment, sons and/or daughters of a sectional organization could be rejected by that sectional organization based on interest. And in return, said sons and/or daughters could also rebel against their base as Mr. Paterson initially did.
However, he later on saw the need to step aside, thereby giving Mr. Andrew Cuomo, a democrat and the Democratic Party the needed victory in the November 2010 mid-term elections.
If we are using “western democratic values” in the context of America, then I see nothing wrong with what the elders of Tchien and Konobo Districts may have said to Messr Gwyan and Youboty.
I hope my comrade and the Editor in Chief of MN Web, Mr. Nyenon understands that America is a society that believes in wholehearted cosmopolitism.
In America, we are told that no person or group of people should be discriminated against based on cultural, religious, ethnic and sexual practices. So, I don’t know by which measures, the editor in chief of MN Web thought it was “unacceptable to mix African Traditional values with western democratic values.”
Trying to describe possible statements made by some Elders of Tchien and Konobo Districts as “so-called African traditional values”, only point to some of the problem confronting us today as a people.
The elders in this case were not calling for the cancellation of elections; they were doing the same thing that president Obama and the leadership of the Democratic Party did to Governor Patterson of New York.
Mr. Editor in Chief, in this case, some of our elders understand political precedence!
As a proponent of African Traditional values, I am prepared to intellectually engage Mr. Nyenon or anyone for that matter on this topic in the future.
I believe that if we are to make a difference as Grand Gedeans/Africans, we must not misrepresent the African traditional values just to make some political points, as in the case of the editorial by the Editor in Chief of the MN Web.