I have refused to support the recent actions of my mentee, Amb. Abraham Keita but I apologize to all on his behalf for the illicit actions attributed to him. For the past weeks now, there have been speculations in the corridors of every corner of Liberia that as his mentor and nominator of the 2015 International Children's Peace Prize winner, Amb. Abraham Keita of Liberia, I have encouraged him to insult the President of Liberia and not to present the award to the Government as well. This speculation came about when the young man said in an interview with FrontPage Africa that he recognizes Madam Laymah Gbowee as the true Nobel Laureate in Liberia on grounds that she did not participate in the Liberian crisis.


In the opinion of FrontPage Africa after he made this statement, it was concluded that President Sirleaf's hands are " Unclean" as it was carried on the front page story of the paper few weeks ago which has placed the young man in a serous difficult position to be welcomed by many, including those in government.

As a mentor that respects the value of women and leaders in Liberia, I like to repeat again that such statement from the young man was not healthy even-though he did not say directly that Madam Sirleaf hands were unclean but that statement as mentioned above was divisive as the award was only meant to unite all Liberians. Prior to our departure from Barcelona where we attended the 15th World Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, I reiterated to the young laureate that upon our arrival in Liberia, he must avoid making any statement that will bring about division. I also reminded him to be very humble and carry on serious consultations before making any public statement as the Keita he was yesterday was different from the Keita he is today.

However, it was very unfortunate for him to have been quizzed like an adult by the media which eventually brought out the response that has caused him serious problem, including me as many are construing now that I was the one who actually told him to say what he told the press. As a sound man, I can never incite the kid to say things that are unhealthy, especially so to the President of Liberia despite my disagreement with the Government of Liberia on some policy issues. I have been an objective critic of the government and I have applauded the government and the President for the good job she has done.

After making this statement which eventually put him in the wrong path in the minds of others, he was again sported at an occasion organized by some Muslim Youths in Liberia where it was alleged that he presented the award to a former war-lord, Professor Alhaji G. V. Kromah of former ULIMO “K”. One Emmanuel wrote on facebook specifically The Darius Dillon Center: "After criticizing Ellen Johnson Sirleaf award from the international community, Abraham Kieta presented his award to Alhaji Kromah, another man who is in the same boat as Ellen. You trained the kid to insult Ellen because according to you, she has blood on her hands. You forgot to train him to avoid the same kind of people. Small child can run, but can't hide".

This statement has led hundreds of persons to insult me for presenting the award to the Professor. As a mentor, I think the kid has the right to associate with his kinsmen with the Professor been of no exception and that should not be construed as a wrong thing. However, the fact that Professor Ahaji Kromah was presented the award by the Muslim Youths, organizers of the ceremony and not Keita himself as I was told and having seen the award been displayed in front of him (GVK) is a complete contradiction of the statement made by the lad previously in which he argued that Madam Gbowee is the only true Nobel Laureate in Liberia which he prefer sharing the award with.

While it is true that the Professor is not a Laureate and I respect him so much as an educator, but for the organizers to have allowed that award to land in the professor’s hand given his role he (GVK) also played in the Liberian crisis was an act of misleading the kid as he did not understand at that very moment the negative impact such presentation would have done to him. Had the kid not made the negative comments which came out of him when some media persons, who did not take into consideration that Keita is a minor but chose to ask him jeopardizing political questions which led to him (Keita) eventually putting out an answer that did not go down well with many people, then there will be no need of people criticizing him for taking the award Professor Kromah.

As a mentor and one who stands for social justice, I like to state here clearly that his action was not in the right direction as it relates to the presentation at that gathering though it had a significant good intent when it comes to the respect for his tradition, kinsmen and religion. Again, I like to frown on the ORGANIZERS of this event for not informing me as a mentor to the kid but to allow that award to be presented to the Professor, knowing that the kid had earlier made a statement in which he refused to share the award with people who participated in the war in Liberia, something that was unhealthy!

Finally, I like to state here that though I nominated him and he won but I should not be perceived as the one behind him (Keita) making those negative comments that tend to be disrespectful to national leaders as others have construed. I know success has many followers but I like to admonish those followers to be very careful on how they direct the lad as he pursues his dream in advocacy. As an institution that nominated him, we still maintain that Keita was the right person for the award and he remains our hero and the hero for all the children in the world! Mistakes are not allowed to be made but when they are made, they should be accepted and corrected. That is why I am making this correction so that the lad can grow to be one of the best species in Liberia.

I think he is been over coached and over directed by the new followers and this must stop! Please allow him have some consultations, as influencing him to go against his will, perhaps based on cultural, traditional, religious and social backgrounds could lead him in the wrong direction which will be very hurtful to his future. Despite the speculations that I, as mentor have been the brain behind those unhealthy comments been made by the young laureate, I have been to several media institutions providing clarity on this matter and asking public officials not to listen to what was attributed to Keita.

My institution has officially written the Office of President of Liberia and presented the communication since November 10, 2015, requesting her permission to allow us present the award to the people of Liberia through her office. We hope that our communication will be treated with nationalistic feelings and appreciation. Though it is still rumored that the President refused to recognize the kid at the launch of the program marking the 16 Day of Activism in Liberia, I like to state clearly that this must not be perceived as deliberate as the President was not in the know of his presence as the lead organizer (Ministry of Gender) of the event refused to make that official recognition by presenting him to the Head of State since she was present at the occasion.

Again, I apologize for whatever the actions of Keita may have caused you as many persons are now beginning to perceive him as a disobedient child and that he might not go further.

Sincerely,
Vandalark Patricks

 

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