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Friday, June 14, 2024

WHAT CAN AML DO ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY AFTER A SHAMBOLIC PHRASE I?

Date:

A Patriot’s Diary

With Ekena Nyanku Juah-Droh Wesley

The small West African nation had just come out of self-destructive conflict. A Transitional Government led by the late Charles Gyude Bryant was formed in Accra. The deal was dubbed the Accra Comprehensive Peace Accord! Liberia’s search for genuine peace had seen dozens of peace treaties – with no end in sight. Greed and power to blame.  Backed by ECOWAS and the International Community, the Transitional government landed in Monrovia amidst a factional composition.

Most often than not, business people- scrupulous or unscrupulous seldomly look for mineral-rich but poverty-stricken countries to prey on the dishonesty of public officials. Liberia was a perfect case to get on the bandwagon and go on a wild goose chase. The Transitional Government of Gyude Bryant was hastily bought over. Its leaders were mainly a bunch of men.

As a result, the Transitional Legislative Assembly, performing a legislative ad-hoc role – mindlessly – without proper due diligence legislated a Concession Deal for 25 years with AML to mine iron ore from the Nimba Mines initially occupied by the Liberia American-Swedish Mining Company (LAMCO).

Although William V.S. Tubman is often subjectively and consistently blamed for most of Liberia’s underdevelopment, the Terms of the LAMCO Agreement, ostensibly built a befitting Mining City that paid host to both Liberian-Foreign senior, junior management staff, technicians and unskilled staff members including their families.

LAMCO, like Bong Mine, was a paradise where many young people sought vacation during the Christmas, and Easter holidays in Liberia. Throughout AML’s Phrase I, nothing was heard of the once cherished and well-built LAMCO facilities.

The terms of the Agreement under LAMCO, allowed for schools, hospitals, shopping centers,and recreation centers to be built and the Concessionaire honored such stipulations. The children of staff were ferried to school on Company’s buses. The same could be said of Bong Mine.

Our 14-year old barbaric nightmare of bloodletting destructively impacted the once beautiful and scenic Yekepa built by LAMCO. When we historically recast our minds given the legacies of LAMCO and Bong Mine, we do so with the understanding that any group coming after the two previous Concessionaires will have to out-perform what they did. Not even an ounce could be said of AML’s somewhat unfortunate $900 million deal.

The Gyude Bryant Transitional Government took its exit amid a Shambolic scorecard. The new government of former World Bank executive, and long time opposition critic, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had inherited a broken and completely devastated nation.

A complete review and overhaul of the AML Concession Agreement (Mineral Development Agreement- MDA) was reordered. Despite some of the best minds available to negotiate a win-win deal, Liberia was shamelessly duped by AML without any significant transformation at Yekepa. The ruins left behind after years of a senseless war have remained virtually the same. A dubious $900 million Phrase I prove a complete fiasco. Mining communities have absolutely nothing to show!

Can we trust the same AML now trumpeting a so-called $1.7billion amid Phrase II? Facelessly, Liberia’s Vice President, Jeremiah Koung and son of Nimba County, is already celebrating AML. What manner of leaders have we brought unto ourselves? Can Vice President Koung tell the good people of Nimba and Liberia that AML has eclipsed a successful Phrase I and therefore deserves anything next to Phrase II? Is AML intent on buying lawmakers again with pickup trucks like they did in 2006/7? Of course that is what unscrupulous business executives do.

Liberia’s good-for-nothing lawmakers of the 52nd Legislature who wilfully, knowingly, selfishly and unpatriotically compromised our national interest for little pieces of silver and gold will continue to be haunted by the relics of their dubious actions against the people of Liberia. Shameless bigots!

AML unarguably set the stage for a sour Christmas eve! Obviously, the Christmas is bound to be a disaster! Can Liberia afford another nightmare in the face of a repudiating Phrase I? The mass of our people in Nimba, Grand Bassa and Bong Counties deserve better. Phrase I was a mess! Phrase II ain’t going to be any better after all. Our leaders continue to snowball the trappings of lack of integrity and are blinded by the ethos of accountability and transparency as far as the greater good of the people, for the people and by the people is concerned. Shame!

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Smart News Liberia is an online news outlet and a product of Smart Media Group Inc. Our website, smartnewsliberia.com, covers a broad spectrum of news content. For inquiries or information, you can reach us at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or email us at smartnewsliberia@gmail.com or info@smartnewsliberia.com.

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