An opinion by Paul Kanneh, a Liberian Journalist
A good reason why Cdcians should rethink attacks on Mr. Brown and others, as every political party have a problem child
As many people condemn the attacks on Lewis Brown by people believe to be supporters of the ruling party, some of us think it is time for the ruling party to rethink and withdraw their attacks as every political institution have got a problem child.
But is Lewis Brown the only problem child in Liberia? Let us look at the past of the number two lady in the CDC, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor. Too often, Cdcians say their Vice Standard-bearer, Jewel Howard Taylor should not be blamed for things her husband; Charles Taylor did both as rebel leader and President. This debate has shifted from one direction to the other. Some say she was just a wife, while others hold the view that crimes are not transferrable.
In fact the general view is that Jewel was just a mere wife who had no fish to fry in Taylor’s war affairs. To the contrary, critical minds believe that Jewel should be placed in the category of Charles Taylor because she had several options available to her.
The world over, no woman nor man has got to engage into relationship he/she knows nothing about. Both lovers must have seen or gotten attracted to something they believe can be of benefit to them.
I remain that one person who believes that only crooks marry crooks, thieves marry thieves, etc. In the event that the opposite meet, such relationship is considered short-live because they are not compatible or belong to the same school of thought.
Socially, no two individuals of different orientations have got the opportunity to work together in peace and harmony lest to say accept to get into matrimonial affairs (Joe Boaki and Alexander are classical examples). And if by a coincident the opposite characters find themselves mating, the one with the rightful conscience will begin to contemplate on whether or not the union should continue. According to information, Jewel and Taylor met in the early ’80s, when Jewel was a first-year student at the University of Liberia, and soon had a child together.
At a later time, Taylor was declared wanted by President Doe for embezzling 1 million and fled to the United States of America. The first ever option for Jewel to know who actually was her new boyfriend unveiled itself right before her very eyes-the Government of Liberia versus her husband to be.
Notwithstanding, the woman considered as Liberia’s second powerful woman freely decided to travel to America in search of her darling boy, who had fled there after being accused of embezzling $1 million under the government of Samuel Doe.
But, by the time she arrived, Taylor, who was being held in a correctional facility in Plymouth, Mass, had mysteriously escaped jail. The second option for the CDC deputy political leader to know the true color of her son’s father better was at hand. But was she prepared to do so?
Perhaps not knowing how to reunite with Taylor, Jewel stayed on in the U.S. to attend the American Institute of Banking in New Jersey and later found herself working in bank in the U.S. until probably, when BBC announced that Charles Taylor had launched a rebel war on Liberia in an effort to remove the man that caused him to go to jail (even though for a good cause). Of course, the third option for Jewel to decide was again available.
Holding everything constant and knowing her boyfriend, Jewel voluntarily decided to return to Liberia in 1996, the year after Taylor proposed to her, and the both got married in a “fairy-tale wedding” shortly before he became elected in a landslide victory.
From there, the couples lived together, and Jewel, I am sure, was now happy that her goal has been achieved. Few months into Jewel husband’s presidency, the world became increasingly concerned over his involvement into the Sierra Leonean crisis on grounds that, he along with the RUF was trading diamond for guns. They called it blood diamond.
That bad PR, which characterized Taylor’s involvement into that crisis, was enough for the Vice President of the ruling party to decide. But instead, she chose to remain on board and effectively and consciously function as first lady amid massive killings and amputations in Sierra Leone, with her husband accused of being the Chief Engineer by United Nations.
Also in the early year of their leadership, Jewel’s husband supposedly ordered the death of Sam Duckie and his entire family, who were enroute to their county of nativity. CDC’s deputy leader still had the option to decide after reports of the slaughtering of an entire generation by her darling husband came out.
After, perhaps, willfully benefiting, it was now time for Jewel to complain. Before long, the fairy tale started to sour. Jewel said she had a difficult relationship with her husband’s other wife and his mistresses.
In August 2003, after Taylor had signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Accra, Ghana, and had agreed to step down, Jewel deliberately accepted to go into exile with her husband in Calabar, Nigeria. This was again another perfect opportunity for her to disassociate herself from him. Did she really have to go with him?
While in Calabar, they were soon joined by Taylor’s wife Victoria, a young Liberian woman whom he had married in an Islamic ceremony in 2002. Jewel found herself living in a separate house from Taylor and Victoria in Calabar.
In a rather dissatisfactory mood, Jewel traveled back to Liberia in 2004. Upon her return, she discovered that she had been placed under a U.N. travel ban and was separated from the family. She also found out that Victoria was pregnant.
It appears finally that Jewel could no longer have a final say in Taylor’s home with the presence of her mates. This proved to be the end between Jewel and Taylor. Jewel filed in for divorce in 2005, months before Taylor was arrested to be extradited back to Liberia.
Therefore, CDC must rethink and withdraw their attacks on Lewis Brown and other persons associated with the war because their number two person is as equally guilty as those being attacked by them.