The recent issuance of Liberia’s Diplomatic passport to Sheik Bassirou Kante, who was recently arrested in the U.S., has opened further wounds than imagine to the passport fraud.
This has resulted to President Fr. George Manneh Weah ordering an investigation into the latest saga.
In his directive, the President ordered that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately stop the issuance of Liberia’s Diplomatic Passports to anyone unless otherwise authorized by him.
The Liberian Chief Executive also directed Minister Kemeyah to submit a full report detailing a review of how Liberian diplomatic passports are issued.
The report by the Foreign Minister is to be submitted within one week of the date of the President’s directive, May 10, 2022.
But on the backside of that directive, Liberians aren’t happy with their leader’s decision and want, thus opting for an independent to do so instead, asserting that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should not investigate itself.
Speaking to this paper at different corners of the society ranging from business to academicians, Liberians welcomed need for investigation, but want an independent investigation instead of the Foreign Ministry headed by the Minister, who perhaps, could have some involvement into the saga, investigate itself.
According to them, the Liberian leader should set up a board of inquiry inclusive of some of the best independent minds and experts investigators so as to bring rationality to the discourse.
This, this pointed out, will avoid the “business as usual” as constantly been seen under this regime in past investigations conducted.
“We want the matter at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be investigated to the letter, but that same investigation cannot be done by the Ministry itself, because there will be no essence of this kind of investigation.
This is not any investigation at all. If that what the President desires, then let’s lay the issue to rest and let the people continue to rob our coffers from all sectors,” stated Robert Sambolah, a student at the faith-based African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU) in Monrovia.
Sambolah and other academicians as well as marketers, especially those involved with outside trading, want to the Liberian leader to listen to this call and if possible, send the Minister himself on a temporary rest while the investigation goes on in a bid to avoid interference.
“I think the Minister should be suspended by now instead being ordered to lead an investigation that squarely has to do with the Ministry that he heads. Who know? It’s possible that he has a hand this. It’s possible that other bigger hands in society, especially at the Ministry are involved with.
o for the benefit of the doubt, there is a need to exclude him and all of his top officials, and if possible, the directors from this. This is a complete embarrassment to some of us that go across different continents for business,” indicated one Geturde Thompson, a businesswoman in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
With the country’s passport, especially the diplomatic passports becoming a sin to the nation, some Liberians have also taken to different social media platforms to vent their anger against the government, stressing that investigation into different passport scams under the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led government has been a mere fiasco.
“The GbehzohngarGate is still fresh on our minds. No one was handcuffed and jailed. So, the ‘passport banjo’ continues. Our passport has lost value because it has been used to facilitate money laundering and terrorist financing. There are limits on our travel freedom because of such scam. SAD times indeed.
Fellow Liberians, if we don’t vote those criminals out in 2023, we will be asleep one day and they will sell our country,” wrote a Liberian to student activist and politician, Martin K.N. Kollie.