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Thursday, June 20, 2024

FLAC’S CHAIRMAN WARNS JOHNSON AGAINST IMPERSONATING AS PRESIDENT

Date:

The chairman of the organizing committee of the ensuing elections of the Federation of Liberian Association in Canada (FLAC), Theophilus Kiadii, has warned his colleague, Leo N. Johnson, against impersonating as president of the organization.

Kiadii has said that the organization doesn’t have a legitimate president as is being insinuated, but is rather heading to elections from whence the leadership will come to the fore to spearhead the activities of Liberians in that part of the Diaspora.

The elections organizing committee’s chairman’s clarity was precipitated by recent remarks by Mr. Johnson at a meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister, Marwine Diggs, where he stated that he is the president of FLAC.

Johnson was in Monrovia as head of a delegation of Empowerment Squared, a Liberian Canadian based that is about to construct a massive public library and business incubation center in Paynesville.

A local paper, in which Johnson termed himself as FLAC president, put the Library project at half a million.

But just over a week after Johnson’s statement, he has been accused of impersonating, as he is not the president of the group.

According to Kiadii, it is completely erroneous and therefore misleading as Mr. Johnson is not and has never been President of FLAC and his claim to this position is illegal.

“We have also filed in all of our tax returns, so they are not eligible to use our name. In fact, if you are not-for-profit organization, the Canadian government will not force you, however, they will not do business with you under their law,” Kiadii said.

He disclosed that the Federation is currently undergoing change under a transitional leadership team, of which Mr. Johnson is not even a part.

“We want to inform the public that Mr. Leo Nupolu Johnson who claims to be president is erroneous and misleading. We are therefore calling on the general public as well as our compatriots in the diaspora not to do business or any interaction with that “so-called leadership” because they are illegitimate,” Kiadii stated.

Kiadii added that “Mr. Johnson is a very good gentleman and I don’t have any personal problem with him, he is also one of the hard-working guys for the organization and even worked with us to establish the constitution but our problem has to do with the level in which he has taken the institution with regards to the federation.”

He, therefore, used the occasion to call on all Liberians living in Canada to come together and build a strong organization because it is now time that “we build a strong community that will seek the interest of not just Liberian in the diaspora but fellow Canadians and as well as in Liberia and other parts of the world.”

These developments bring to the fore the leadership crisis that has engulfed the Liberian community in Canada—continues to deepen as the legitimacy of who leads the organization remains in limbo.

Two groups are tussling over the leadership of the (FLAC).

Established in 2015, FLAC is yet to be led by elected officials as the interim leadership is headed by Francis Hinnah, whose mandate has since expired.

Though given a period of one year with some objectives to accomplish, Hinnah and his team failed to achieve any of those and even failed to take the group to the election.

Predicated upon, the group unanimously dissolved the interim leadership and set up a transition team that is conducting elections later this month.

In response, Johnson debunked Rev. Kiadii’s accusations against him, noting that he is the legitimate head of the association. In what he termed as a high-level timeline of the association’s activities since its founding, Johnson noted that Kiadii is one of six people who are causing confusion for the association.

He added that the membership of FLAC has since mandated the interim body to ensure that elections are held, a process that is well on the course as opposed to Kiadii’s assertion that a transition body was set up.

“By consensus, everyone agreed that the membership of FLAC that elections should be held in no more than one year as of the convention in July 2018. The motion was made and passed unanimously mandating the interim leadership to implement.”

He disclosed that one month after the convention, a letter is circulated by Theophilus Kiadii who had just returned from Liberia and did not attend the convention to Liberians in Canada that the interim leadership of FLAC has been overthrown due to overstaying their mandate and their refusal to register the organization with the government in Canada, Theophilus Kiadii declared himself president and declared his fellow plotters members of a new “Transitional Leadership Team” to take over the organization.

According to him, they proceeded and registered the organization as a nonprofit listing themselves as board and trustees, and openly said they will hold the organization hostage with the registration documents until their demands are met.

After a series of efforts by various Liberian Community leaders individually and collectively, Johnson said, “our brothers who are basically six people in total have used the issue of registration as a bargain to take power. They have basically told everyone that the only acceptable solution for them is for the interim leadership to resign and turn over things to them unilaterally without any democratic process.”

As a result, Johnson added, the interim leadership proceeded with the preparations for elections as was mandated in July 2018 and invited them to participate, which they refused. The election was held in Windsor where nine (9) out twelve (12) Liberian Communities in Canada participated and elected the first official elected leadership of the federation, which brought “me to power as president of FLAC.

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