Washington D.C -A leaked email making the rounds among a few circle of Liberians speaks volume to the lack of cooperation and the level of infighting within the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf-led government, especially as the government winds down toward the 2017 elections just over a year from now.
In the email conversation thread which was initiated by the an associate of President Sirleaf, Dr. Abdulaye Dukule, the minister of Finance Amara Konneh comes under attack from two men; Dukule and former economic adviser to the President Sam Jackson. The pair accuse the minister of undercutting their association with the President and goes on to make some serious allegations.
The main point of contention in the email is the accusation that Jackson reportedly lost his place with the President because Minister Konneh allegedly told her that he (Jackson) was the author of an article in one of the local newspapers about the economy, which seemed unfavorable to the government. Dukule alleges that he was present when Konneh told the President that the article was written by Jackson.
“There were four people in the room when she expressed her anger towards that article and you were there and you know who said the “piece was written by Sam Jackson”,” stated Dukule.
The email also confirms the concerns of some Liberians that many who serve in the Sirleaf-led government, owe no allegiance to Liberia, because of their American citizenship, which is bragged about in one thread of the email conversations.
Dukule said: “Sam got angry at me because he thought I was the cause but he realized that I wasn’t the type to do that. Because I have enough confidence in myself and my capacity and dignity to never badmouth a colleague. I stand on my own and as a proud American, with enough knowledge and creativity, I can make life anywhere.”
Sam Jackson who is now a strong supporter of Presidential Aspirant Benoni Urey accuses the minister of finance of giving financial assistance to some young people, who in turn swear allegiance to him (Konneh) and attacks him (Jackson) on social media.
Konneh on the other hand despite the attacks from the two men retains his calm in soft responses, which Jackson calls weak in the wake of the allegations made by Dukule.
The intent of sharing the email with so many persons and making some costly allegations is unknown, but these men who are in one way connected to the President, seem to be telling the public that the path to 2017 is going to be a nasty one; people once best friends are bound to become sworn enemies.
Read the entire thread below and draw your own conclusions.
—— Original message——
Subject: Re: Fw: Christmas Greetings and Brotherly Truth
On Dec 15, 2015 12:45 PM, “Samuel Polypheus Jackson “wrote:
You are not a coward? How come you use surrogates to do your dirty work? I have been the victim of that several times. Your lackeys whom you support with public dollars are quick to offend me, doing your bidding when I even remotely make a mild criticism of the government. Your lackey, Lawrence Randall was the offender, who put in my box that I wrote the article in response to the rejoinder in Frontpage. He has to constantly do your bidding in order to earn the exorbitant fees of public dollars you are splurging on him and others, sending them to the best schools in the world as an insurance policy when the administration is over. Incidentally, I know Lawrence well, from our days with Charles Taylor when he worked with Aunty Nana as one of the rapid respond kids in the Taylor communications organization. He was also a member of CDC, including my good and dear friend Dr. James Kollie and the hundreds of young men who pretend to love you. Samuel Tweah is now one of the mouth pieces of the administration and you know how you and I tried to counter their fake economic stats during the elections of 2011. Now, I am enemy and he is a fully paid member of the establishment.
I am opposition, Amara. I’ve been that way since 2005. But we chose the lesser of two evils, Mrs. Sirleaf and worked to ensure that she ascended to power. I will do that over and again. I have a right to criticize this government when it goes counter to the core values we espouse; shared prosperity, economic empowerment, reconciliation, nationalism and patriotism. You choose to spend money on thousands of people who never supported Madam Sirleaf in the first election. People who were counting votes at kailondo for CDC. When you pay me pittance to write a report then you talk about it and make it seem as it your personal monies that you are spending on me. I earn it. You know my work habits, and how hard I work to make you and EJS look very good. We worked on socioeconomic progress, several reports including the study on youth economic empowerment.
I also wrote a concept document on keeping the narrative in our favor by constructive engagement with Liberia’s youthful population. I told you how public peace is restored in poor desperate societies.
Now to the point. Dukule will never lie on you. You told EJS that I wrote the article in Frontpage on the economy. It cost me the trip to Kuwait. The thing that pisses me off is that when a newspaper puts an article in their newspaper, they own it, even if I edit it, reviewed it and worked on it. You don’t have the courage to attack Rodney Sieh, because he is your friend who always tries to be nice to you by giving your agency a B when you and I know due to current decline in the economy, that is totally unwarranted. But I am the toilet seat that you piss on every time to advance your political and personal interests with EJS. You are wrong Amara to pretend that I am this man you respect, when in the dark you are ensuring that I suffer brutally in Liberia. You’ve offended me several times, but I chose to be very cool and have not responded in private or in public.
On many occasions, you have made my relationship with EJS sour. On the issue with Chris Neyor’s letter, you said to one of my friends, it was Lewis Browne who told EJS that I wrote Chris’s letter. You know the agreement we had and what I was supposed to do for the administration. But because major dollars were involved, you and Lewis sought to ensure that I was pushed out. I only wanted to help. I always am willing to help my country, not on your terms of sycophancy and absolute loyalty but on a foundation of the truth. My credibility with the public is important to me. When I see evil creeping and don’t criticize, I lose my public persona as a diehard social democratic progressive. You know the hundreds of time, when my financial and economic interests have been injured and those many times, the public has suffered dearly. Iron ore, oil, construction, etc. You all decide who gets rich, who eats and who starves. This is not capitalism, but what Marco Rubio calls corporatism.
Then when my sister was dying and I ask you for a loan, not a gift, you told me to go to the bank. You don’t tell me to go the bank when your interest is at stake. You run and provide the cash immediately. That is the kind of hypocrisy I dislike about you. Only when you interests or those of EJS and the administration are involved, and mind you only when it makes Amara Konneh look good, even if is bad for Liberia.
I am really tired arguing with you and your squad of really disloyal Liberians. You don’t care about post 2017. You only care about Amara and his political agenda. I will not go into further details. You know despite my disagreement with you, certain conversations and evidentiary materials remain sacrosanct.
I just want you to know that I am not your enemy even if you perceive me as such. I am not on the other side. I am on the side of the poor dejected Liberians who are suffering the consequences of the crony capitalism that you oversee. I know enough that you do not have the power to affect any change in that order, but to the public, you are the architect of their misery and you will have to answer to them, not me. I am old, sick and have very little time on this earth. I am doing a biopsy on January 22 that will determine the length of time I have to stick around.
By the way, it was not your money, or government money for the HLP. We secured our own funding from SIDA and then you sought to underplay our importance by giving us a take it or leave it proposition. Do you think 5,000 a month is good enough for putting together a post 2015 global development agenda? Do you know how many hours of research it took just to do the conference in Monrovia on Economic Transformation? How many hours of debate and discussions with professional colleagues? It is not easy, Amara to conceive, plan and execute such a massive global event. But we are Liberians and we deserve pittance while others live five star lives. SMDH.
I don’t have time to deal with people who are messing up their future by doing irrational things based on blind ambition.
And so it goes.
On Tuesday, December 15, 2015 2:32 AM, Amara Konneh wrote:
On Dec 14, 2015 7:53 PM, “firstname.lastname@example.org” <email@example.com> wrote:
This is a weak response to some serious charges.
You have no worries. You are Minister of Finance with unlimited access to state resources. You can afford to be glib and arrogant.
Sent from my MetroPCS 4G Android device
—— Original message——
From: Amara Konneh
Subject:Re: Fw: Christmas Greetings and Brotherly Truth
“When politics turns to be the only commodity for a whole generation and resources are limited, you get this and that… “Dr. Abdoulaye Dukule.
Amara M. Konneh
Minister of Finance and Development Planning
National Coordinator, Liberia Development Alliance
Broad Street, Monrovia
Republic of Liberia
On Dec 14, 2015 6:19 PM, “Samuel Polypheus Jackson” <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I am really aghast at what has been transpiring. I accepted you as a son. I deliberately avoided criticizing you publicly and the Ministry of Finance has been out of my cross hairs. I deliberately limited myself to events before you took over the ministry in 2012. I supported your agenda. I worked with you. I have been a strong proponent of the Agenda for Transformation. I did not know that you would be backstabbing me with Mrs. Sirleaf as it is now demonstrated by this email from Duke. Duke is a straightforward man. He does not mince his words.
I have nothing much to say. I hope you can live with your conscience. I will continue to treat you as a son and pray that you can change your errant ways. You are making too many enemies. The country is getting too small for you. I never thought I would get to this point where I would essentially say I give up on trying to give you good advice for your own sake. Just remember that those people you are paying to be loyal to you will not be loyal one day after the day in January when the power is no longer in your hands. You have to give up power and cede it to new people and move on with your life. I hope you understand that I personally will never do anything to hurt you, but I can say that you’ve made too many enemies even among your own colleagues.
God bless and continue to keep you. Just change your ways, young man. Life is too short. You don’t need all these enemies. I will never get angry enough to be part of the rising chorus against you. My heart is clear and free to you. I hope God touches you.
And so it goes.
On Monday, December 14, 2015 12:05 PM, Binyah Kesselly wrote:
Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
On Mon, 14 Dec, 2015 at 4:17 pm, samuelpjackson wrote:
Sent from my MetroPCS 4G Android device
—— Original message——
From: Abdoulaye Dukule
Date: Mon, Dec 14, 2015 8:38 AM
To: Amara Konneh;
Subject:Christmas Greetings and Brotherly Truth
Few years ago, after the second round of the elections that brought back the President in for a second term, you called me and said that you were worried because Lofa people were ganging against you because they were accusing of wanting to kick Ngafuan from Finance to take his job. I remember asking you if this was true and you said no, and that you will never undermine a fellow colleague and a friend. That came to pass.
I am bringing this to your attention in the aftermath of the email that Sam Jackson sent out today. Although I was not present when the article he referred to was presented to President – about bad handling of the economy – you were the one who told the President that the article was written by Sam Jackson.
Three years ago, when Swedish government gave money to run the HLP and we had set our salaries at international consultant standards, you were the one who said that we did not deserve those high pays and that we should be told to “take or leave it.” We took it.
Again a month ago, the MoS submitted to your office a request to fund the gap for the remaining three months of our work for a meager $100,000.00 you response was that it was time to shut down the office because the HLC is finished. Knowing that the President still had to make a final comprehensive report to her colleagues at the AU Summit, that our office still had the responsibility to set in motion the transition towards domestication and the Paris Climate conference was on its way, I went back and got the funding from another source.
Some of us did not join Madam Sirleaf to become millionaires or President, we joined her – in my case 2001- because we believed in her as a human being, as a political leader and a woman of substance with a vision. We will stand with her until the last day in office and will help build a legacy that will survive this generation.
I don’t plan to buy a VP post at CDC at 3 million and I have no means to squander public money for personal blind and misplaced ambition. I have my integrity, my character and my total loyalty to the President although on many occasions I have also been victim of gossips like Sam. Sam complained to me on several occasions and could not understand why he was pushed away for the AU -HLC although he could have served that committee so well. I remember the President had accepted for him to come to Kuwait with us and work the corridors. But just before I could get in touch with him to tell him, the President called me back and said that because of that article, she did not want him around. There were four people in the room when she expressed her anger towards that article and you were there and you know who said the “piece was written by Sam Jackson.” Sam got angry at me because he thought I was the cause but he realized that I wasn’t the type to do that. Because I have enough confidence in myself and my capacity and dignity to never badmouth a colleague. I stand on my own and as a proud American, with enough knowledge and creativity, I can make life anywhere.
There are other things that I didn’t want to raise with you but since this may be a one-time thing, I should tell you that the only reason I never translated the President’s book into is because you inserted yourself in it, falsely, making yourself a hero of statistics… but you do remember two facts: it was I who delimited the geographical extend of the polling you did for the first round 2005 ( you wanted to do 15 counties and I said you only needed four and I also wrote for you the sample question…). And in 2005, you were not there for the second round: it was Medina, Morris Dukuly and I who used the services of Joe Mulbah and communications students to conduct polls in Opong strongholds and reported to the her daily. Aunt Jenny paid the US $1,500.
We did not talk for a long while because I never took these issues very seriously but political season is beginning and people will play games. And as Sam put it, someone us have seen many administrations, from Tubman to Sirleaf.
I am an American citizen but I care about Liberia and I will remain loyal to the Madam until the end of our lives. I also always consider you as a friend and a Muslim brother. So, as the Prophet said it, “if you can’t tell the bitter truth to someone, then you are not friends.” Maybe.
You are young and have a long political life ahead of you.
Sam’s email of today touched me and I had to vent this to you. No, I don’t need anything from you. Do you know that GoL owes me $90,000 for my work at the embassy in DC (94-97) and the President asked me to take it up with Finance? Sayeh left before she could complete it, NGafuan gave the process to Fumba who went to school and when you came, I decided not to submit it to you. Guess why? Ask your secretary YYea. She knows.
Have a nice day and May Allah continue to bless your path.
Note: Email exchange has already circulated in the public domain