Bob Johnson

There is a saying “The friend who can be silent with you in your moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with you in your hour of grief and bereavement, who can fight for you, when you can no longer fight, that is a friend who cares, that is a true friend.

That is exactly what Robert Johnson have been to Liberia…… A true Friend.
Mr Johnson has worked tirelessly for the people of Liberia, investing and encouraging companies, and major corporations from around the world to invest in Liberia. Mr Johnson once said black Americans need to have the same commitment to Liberia that many American Jews have to Israel. “I believe passionately that African Americans have a responsibility to support Liberia, much like Jewish Americans support Israel. Given the long historical relationship between our two countries, we have a special responsibility to do whatever we can to ensure that President Sirleaf succeeds in her effort to rebuild the country.

Mr Johnson was in Liberia for Delta’s first direct flight to Monrovia.

As a Liberian, I truly admire and applaud the efforts of Mr. Johnson to bridge that gap between Africans and African-Americans.

Johnson, the founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies (RLJ),has significant business and development projects in Liberia including the nation’s first four-star oceanfront hotel.


The Executive and the Legislative branches of government in Liberia, are said to be locked up in continuing discussions over the passage of the new Maritime Act that, among others, seeks to transform the Bureau of Maritime Affairs into an Authority and gives it the power to collect its own revenue, creates its own security unit and immunes its officials from prosecution while serving a seven-year term, among others.

The United States Government, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund have all slammed the Act, with the US warning that it potentially violates Liberia Public Financial Management Law. Even other government agencies such as defense and finance ministries have respectively opposed the financial autonomy and the establishment of a security unity under the Act.

Last week renowned Liberian rights activist Kimmie Weeks joined the chorus of opposition by denouncing the act as an affront to the Liberian People, Mr. Weeks claimed that the Act, which is being debated by the Senate and stands to give the Bureau of Maritime Affairs and its commissioners a broad power, gives way to the creation of an entity that will be unanswerable to the Liberian people and removes safeguards that prevent widespread corruption.
”We cannot allow ourselves to go back to the years long ago when multinationals and large companies could convince the Liberian Government to pass loss in their favors, but which were extremely detrimental to the Liberian people in the long run. We‘ve been accused of passing some of the worse contracts in the world. Let‘s not let history repeat itself. Just say no to Maritime act,” Mr Weeks said.

As a huge supporter of the Sirleaf Administration, i have praised the President when ever she did good, and when ever she was wrongly criticize for political reasons for the many good work she was doing for the Liberian people, but this Maritime act submitted by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is just not a step in the right direction. We just cannot let an agency of the government collect its own taxes, have their own security force and at the same time give them a wide range of powers including policing themselves, with out the input of the Liberian people. The international community thinks the act is seriously flawed, the Liberian people wants it withdrawn, and we think the President should seriously consider withdrawing it from the Senate.

Happy birthday Liberia, and happy independence day to all my fellow
Liberians and friends of Liberia all around the Globe, as we all gather
to celebrate the 163 years birth anniversary of our homeland this July
26, let us not forget who we are or where we came from, let us remind
ourselves that though we may be of many tribes, we are still one people
with one common destiny.

Long live Liberia………………. Long live the peoples of Liberia.

President Sirleaf

One of the greatest achievement of the Sirleaf Administration came yesterday when the World bank agreed to cancel Liberia’s 4.6 billion dollar external debt.
Noting that the country “has successfully implemented its poverty reduction strategy and maintained a stable macroeconomic environment, despite the global economic crisis.

The debt relief is expected to free up resources for Liberia to rebuild its social services following years of civil war.
“Liberia can now mobilize additional resources to rebuild the road network and the electricity supply system, providing the infrastructure needed to allow economic growth, while continuing to expand the health care and education systems,” IMF mission chief for Liberia Chris Lane said in announcing the decision. “Liberia will also be able to further develop its own financial market and channel private savings to productive uses.”

Liberia becomes the 29th country to reach the completion point under the HIPC Initiative. The completion point marks the end of the HIPC process, which started in 2008 when the Executive Boards of the IMF and the World Bank agreed that Liberia had met requirements for reaching the decision point, when countries start receiving debt relief on an interim basis.
Tuesday’s announcement will reduce Liberia’s debt by 90 percent, according to the IMF, relieving 4.6 of the 4.9 billion dollars the country owes.

We applaud the President and her team in Monrovia, for doing a great job, The granting of debt relief marks a significant milestone in our Country’s path toward recovery, it would not have happen without the leadership of the President.

Dermot Mulroney will direct a film based on the life of Liberian football player George Weah. The actor – who recently completed filming on his directorial debut Love Wedding Marriage – and his partners are said to be excited about making a movie about the soccer legend.

Weah known in Liberia as King George rose from the slums of Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, to not only become one of the best soccer player in the world, but also the only person to win FIFA World Player of the Year, European Footballer of the Year and African Footballer of the Year in one season (1995). He used his popularity as a sports figure to help child soldiers lay down their weapons during Liberia’s civil war, and he was a factor in bringing down the bloody dictatorship of Charles Taylor, presently on trial at the Hague for international war crimes.

Mulroney, along with producing partners Tharita Cutulle and Rainier Negri, recently secured a deal for Weah’s life rights after making a final presentation to him at his Miami home.

I have been following the case of five Liberian girls who were adopted in 2005 from an orphanage in Liberia, by an Oklahoma couple who were later convicted early this year of abusing the oldest child.
Members of the Liberian community in Oklahoma and other concern groups have been trying to have the Oklahoma department of human services remove the remaining children from the care of this couple, but in a huge setback yesterday an Oklahoma judge ruled that the children should remain in the care of these monsters.

In a closed hearing Monday, Major County District Judge Vinson Barefoot ruled that the girls would remain with their adopted parents Verlon Tyler and Penny sue Tyler despite testimony from the couple’s own 28-year-old son that he, too, was abused by them as a child.

The abused older girl, now 13, endured abuse from her entire adopted family, the girl was tied to bedposts, forced to sleep outside and denied food for several days as punishment, authorities say.

The Tyler Children have been convicted with sexual assault, and battery

She also was abused by the Tyler’s biological children. according to court records the couple’s son Ashton Tyler 20, was charged and convicted with rape by instrumentation, and their daughter who is 21 was charged with assault and battery. She is living with relatives in another state.

This is truly unbelievable, how can a judge who is suppose to be looking out for the interest of these kids, let venerable children stay in the care of these monsters?

Melvin Johnson a Liberian attorney who is based in Atlanta, and represents the girls, said he will appeal the decision, and has plans to investigate the couple for adoption fraud.”These children should not be living with convicted, longtime child abusers,” Johnson said.

We urged Liberian communities all across the U.S to get involved with this case, we also urged the Liberian Embassy to do what ever it can to get these girls out of the care of these people, they are still technically Liberian Citizens, and our government must do all it can to ensure their safety and protection.

When President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf finally declared that she intends to seek the Presidency for a second term earlier this year, many of us who are her loyal supporters were ecstatic, and overjoyed.
Since the President’s announcement that she would seek a second term in office, her detractors and some opposition politicians in Monrovia have attack her move as unconstitutional. Some like Charles Brumskine of the Liberty party have said the Sirleaf administration has been an utter failure,

Brumskine stated that no administration in the history of the country has received more international aid, benefited from more multilateral assistance, and been the target of such international goodwill as the Sirleaf government.

“Yet after four years of being in power, about 85% of the population is still unemployed and four out of every five Liberians cannot find $1 dollar a day on which to live. For the ordinary Liberian, not much has changed. In fact, life has gotten harder”, he said.

Most of us Liberians have had it with these so call politicians who are all talk but nothing else, what really do they expect? that the country would build itself, and go back to its prewar status in just four years, even if Mr Brumskine was President would he have accomplished half of what the Sirleaf administration have done so far? we have seen the effect of what these kinds of nonsensical statements have had on our society before, we remember clearly the 1979 rice riot, in which opposition politicians claimed the progressive government of President William R Tolbert was corrupt, and encourage our people to violence which ultimately led to the brutal assassination of the President, all for what? because Baccus Matthews and other politicians said the price of rice was too high. Today our country is still paying the price for what happen thirty something years ago.

Looking at where we are today, and compared to where we were before President Sirleaf took office, we can rightly say with full confidence that the country is in a much better shape, that the President and her team have done a remarkable job under the many difficult circumstances to put the Liberian people and the Country back on the road to prosperity. The Country’s Image abroad has been restored, the rehabilitation of the nation is in full swing, the Country now boast one of the freest press in all Africa, something we could only dream of just few years ago.

President Sirleaf said that she was ignoring her pledge in 2005 not to seek re-election, as she was not aware then about the huge amount of hard work to be undertaken in rebuilding the country which is recovering from years of civil war. She also said that her decision to seek re-election was prompted by her successes in governing.

We could not agree more, She is an able and experience leader, and she continues to be in my opinion the right person, the only person, to lead Liberia for a second time at this critical time in our history.
So Madame President we wholeheartedly support your bid for a second term as President of Liberia………… MA ELLEN FOR PRESIDENT IN 2011