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Open Letter to Jewel: Where Was Your Advocacy During Taylor-Led Reign?

Open Letter to Jewel: Where Was Your Advocacy During Taylor-Led Reign?

Dear Madam VP Aspirant,

I write with grave disappointment in your response to my query about your whereabouts during the Congress for Democratic Change’s rally on August 19, 2017.

The issue of your absence at such a major rally was alarming and speculated in major news outlets. In response to that, you attributed your absence to situations beyond your control.

As a citizen, I highlighted your response and professionally asked you to point out the tangible reasons to defend your absence contrary to public suggestions of your recent marginalization within the ranks of the CDC.

Unfortunately, your unprofessional and unsophisticated defense was that I must not allow myself to be used as you are poised to become Liberia’s next vice president.

According to your response during that time you will advocate for the women of Liberia.

Now, take heed very keenly, in an attempt to rally support from the CDC, do not ever use any perceived family differences I may have with Senator Weah.

This strategy by you is dull and it will not give you relevance in the CDC. I have principle differences with him because I am no coward but our differences have nothing to do with your inability to provide concrete reasons to explain your absence, especially when the party leader addressed his loyal supporters happily with no mention of an excuse of your absence.

Since you claim that as vice president, you will advocate for women of Liberia, you may want to learn a thing or two from me about advocacy, because you have no record of advocacy for anything except for increment in the salary of lawmakers.

According to you, you make US$10,000 plus $US2,000 worth of fuel, yet in that economy the amount is small and the fuel is not enough to allow you visit your constituents regularly.

Unlike you madam VP aspirant, as a very young woman I advocated against corruption in your NPP-led government. I am on record for using my platform as youth representative at the All Liberian Conference in 202 to ask your husband, former President Charles Ghankay Taylor to admonish Senator Myrtle Gibson to give account to the Children’s Village Funds raised in the name of the Liberian children in Italy.

I have never hesitated to give my divergent views on issues that I believe were a threat to our democracy and peace in our country.

In political institutions that that I was or am a part of, I stand up for principles that I am convinced about and I am on record for standing against those I deem detrimental to democracy. The records are there, Madam Aspirant.

I openly challenge you to sum up your record in advocacy.

Where were you when your former husband waged a war that claimed the lives of 250,000 Liberians and destroyed the nation’s infrastructure? Did you one day denounce the war?

Where were you when your former husband targeted Senator George Weah, ordered his house burned and ran him into exile? Did you one day denounce that or advocate that his contributions as a soccer icon be acknowledged and that he live freely in his country?

No, Madam Taylor, you remained mute.

When great advocates like Archbishop Michael Kapala Francis, Samuel Kofi Woods, Hassan Bility and others had their lives threatened and some of them jailed and wounded during your husband’s tyrannical regime, where was your advocacy? You remained mute, while amassing wealth.

Even today, when the economy of our country is so weak and people cannot afford to provide for their children the basic necessities of life, you are advocating solely that your salary and benefits be increased.

Did you not hear Hon. Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence and others calling for a bridge in income disparity? Where then is your advocacy?

You are living in an emerging democracy today and witnessing peaceful transfer of power because of others unlike you who stood against ills in our society.

Madam Taylor, there’s a reason you were sanctioned by the United Nations. Be grateful to Her Excellency Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, through whose benevolence and advocacy, you can travel conditionally today.

It is said not so much the actions of the so-called bad ones, but the silence of the so-called good in the times of justice that matters.

If you remained mute during the NPFL war, and watched ills within the NPP government, you are equally a culprit.

It is said that the true indicators of future performance is past performance.

As First Lady and Senator of the Republic of Liberia, I can see no record of your advocacy for the women of Liberia, how can you claim as Vice President you can do such?

Okonkwo remarked in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, “Those whose Palm Kernels were cracked for them by benevolent spirit should not forget to be humble.

Madam Taylor, you are Senator today because we live in a benighted nation with a high illiteracy rate, be humble!

Running under the canopy of your infamous husband, a convicted war criminal is nothing to be proud of in any civilized society.

Today, you are standing under the umbrella of the CDC, and running as VP alongside with a man who spent his resource to help end the civil war you failed to condemn, so be humble, your emergence as VP Aspirant to Senate George Weah is a complete luck for you and a political liability to the party.

You are lucky that hardliners like us are no longer with the CDC, because we would have opposed your political baggage Madam Taylor.

You are unable to expand the support base of the CDC significantly. Instead by your close alliance, people are linking a peaceful Senator Weah to an agenda to free your convicted former husband. Be humble!

If you think I hate the party or the standard bearer your thought process is flawed, I will support a CDC government, if I am convinced that Senator Weah is paired logically on the right ticket that reflects the values that we seek and of helping him rebuild Liberia.

To this note, never mistake me for a soft target in a political debate. Stick to the issues, because with that you are stronger.

When the history books are written, we know the women who stood up and fought for the women of Liberia and that includes the unsung heroes in persons of the many women in white head ties in the streets praying peacefully, protesting and appealing to warlords to end the civil conflict.

We remember women of the Inter-Faith Council, Muslims and Christians alike who worked for the restoration of peace.

When the likes of the late Mother Mary Brownell, Laymah Gbowee, Ruth Caesar, D. Musulyn Cooper amongst others were championing the cause of women, where were you Madam Taylor?

Maybe if you were a genuine patriot and advocate, you would have advocated against bad governance and ills within the NPP-led government that could probably have led to your husband been free and retired today. Instead you were mute!

Again, be humble. Today, you are masquerading shamelessly under the CDC banner calling yourself ever potent VP Aspirant, when you are ever potent your absence is not questioned.

Hence Acquiesce!

Maeapeh Kou Gono,
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