March 30, 2023

Shiekh Al-Moustapha Kouyateh demands investigation into the deportation of Turkish nationals from Liberia to Ghana.

A Liberian politician Shiekh Al-Moustapha Kouyateh has applauded the Liberian government’s fight against terrorism, particularly the issue of an alleged terrorist group known as the Fethullah Gulen Movement, which operates the Turkish Light International School in Liberia, and has urged the Liberian government to conduct a proper investigation on the deported Turkish nationals regarding their deportation to Ghana rather than Turkey.

“First and foremost, I will like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Liberian government on its efforts to combat terrorism, particularly in the case of an alleged terrorist group known as the Fethullah Gulen Movement, which operates the Turkish Light International School in Monrovia’s Airfield Shortcut.”

It may be recalled that on Wednesday, April 20, 2022, the Liberian government halted activities at the Turkish Light International School and deported two of the school executives to Ghana for “Security Reason.

Mr.  Kouyateh in a press conference, on Monday, April 25, 2022, at his office on Ashmun Street said, while he opposed terrorism, he hope that the government does not keep silent on the matter and that the deportees are given due consideration under international human rights laws since it is only an allegation and such an issue has the propensity to scare away investors if not handled appropriately, adding that he is also curious as to why the Turkish weren’t deported to Turkey but instead to Ghana. “The government of Liberia needs to tell us their crime”, he added.

With the current situation, the Montserrado County senatorial hopeful urged that the school be run by an independent agency established by the Liberian or Turkish government to allow students to complete their academic year, particularly those in grades 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 12th who will be taking national exams.

He continued, “For that reason, it is imperative to establish an immediate communication channel on the issue with Turkish authorities in order to increase the school’s infrastructure, lower tuition fees, raise the salaries of the staff employed, and facilitate access to higher education studies in Turkey through scholarships. Meanwhile, I want to utilize this platform to confront the  government of Liberia about its inability to provide security for its citizens, which has resulted in an alarming number of inexplicable deaths, rape, bizarre autopsy reports, and brutality against women and children.”

According to him, the Liberian government’s failure to provide security for its citizens, which has resulted in an alarming number of mysterious deaths, rape, unbelievable autopsy reports, and violence against women and children; requests that the Liberian government conduct an extensive audit of all government ministries and agencies, as corruption has become the norm.

Adding that he observed President Weah responding to the waves of instability sweeping the country in November 2020 by urging citizens living on less than USD $1.00 per day, including some who struggle to get food, to purchase CCTV for security purposes. His declaration was an affirmation of the social contract he made with the Liberian people upon his election and subsequent takeover as president to defend the lives and property of all Liberians within Liberia’s geographical frontiers.

“We are aware of President Weah’s government’s inability to provide security for its citizens on a daily basis, with references to the mysterious deaths of late Emmanuel Barten Nyenswah, Princess Cooper, Albert Peters, Gifty Lamas, Malvin Togba, and others, with investigation results leaving the most room for answers.

“Regrettably, a child is raped in Liberia virtually every day, despite the president declaring rape a national emergency. Following the civil war, Liberia has made significant investments in national healing and peacebuilding. But, behind that arduous trek, there is a deeper issue that current and previous governments have failed to address. According to the Liberia Women Empowerment Network, the number of rape cases has recently risen to frightening levels, with over 600 incidents reported in less than a year”, he stated.

Still talking about rape, politician Kouyateh expressed that despite the fact that rape has been declared a national emergency, women and girls continue to live in terror while politics delays the adoption of measures that would offer some feeling of protection to the most vulnerable, asserting that a rape epidemic is now raging in Liberia.

“Liberia presently ranks 177th out of 188 nations on the total metrics used to calculate the gender inequality index on a worldwide basis. Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and harmful behaviors have all reached epidemic proportions. The new human rights report from the US Embassy in Monrovia speaks volumes. Instead of just saying things, the government should do something about it. The government has not put its words into action to end violence against women, children, and disadvantaged groups, instead of disrupting the country’s peace and security, with increased media attention resulting in citizen demonstrations.

“Finally, I am proposing that the Liberian government conduct a full audit of all government ministers and agencies, as corruption has become a normal routine. It should also be remembered that during President Weah’s inaugural speech, he committed to tackling corruption to the core. President Weah, unfortunately, has become Liberia’s principal architect of corruption. When president Weah was a legislator in Montserrado County and faced a child support issue, he claimed that he could only afford to pay $160 USD since he had two other children to maintain and his salary was not much too sustain him and his family.

“President Weah had less than $50,000 USD in his bank account during the 2017 presidential race. President Weah erected duplexes less than a year after taking office. He now lives and dresses in luxury while the majority of the citizens suffer in abject poverty. Individuals in charge of most government ministries and agencies, including LISGIS, the National Elections Commission, the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Port Authority, the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, and other ministries and agencies, have been accused of corruption.”

Liberia was listed among the worst-performing nations in the fight against corruption in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for 2021. Liberia was placed 136th out of 180 nations, with a score of 29. I am calling on President Weah to take action. If Liberia must get better, there is a need for transparency and accountability. I am kindly asking all citizens of Liberia to join me in this fight, he said and added that “I urge the international community to sanction President Weah and government officials involved in corruption, human rights violations, and abuse of state power.”

Reported by:   Stephen G. Fellajuah

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