New York, USA, November 4, 2014 – The Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Liberia, Hon. Alex Taylor, must resign, or temporarily relinquish the Office of Speaker, or be forced to do so by the Liberian National Legislature and the Liberian people with immediate effect for his alleged acts of corruption, or until such time that he is proven fully innocent by the Liberian judiciary for theft of public funds. His alleged action undermines the office he holds.
Over the past years and even now, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s administration has been accused by almost every Liberian for not doing enough to curtail corruption in Liberia. And true be told, corruption in President Sirleaf’s administration has overshadowed few of the good things she has done and continue to do. While we continuously fault President Sirleaf perhaps for being soft and indifferent in dealing with her trusted but corrupt elites, there is no justification for officials, especially elected representatives, of the Liberian government to appropriate public funds for personal use. Speaker Tyler’s alleged action as an elected official sends the wrong message to our international partners, foreign investors and more importantly to donors who are helping us curtail the deadly Ebola virus throughout our beloved country.
Corruption is a phenomenon which is difficult to tackle, and at the same time a problem we cannot afford to ignore. Common sense and academic research have shown how severely corruption can affect the economy and society at large. It erodes trust in public institutions and political processes, and undermines the healthy functioning of markets and competition. It negatively affects tight public budgets, and helps organized crime groups do their dirty work. Speaker Tyler is not an appointed official, he represents the people. The fact that the people’s chief representative is accused of dishonesty, cheating and lying suggests that the scale of the problem of corruption is serious and cannot be ignored if we as Liberians truly want a secured future. We also urge President Sirleaf to commit to protecting, defending and supporting the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission’s drive to push its anti-corruption policy forward.
Widespread, organized and systemic corruption, abuse of power and open theft of public funds remain the worse deadly disease in Liberia, and perhaps the only Ebola virus that cannot be cured by the international community’s support. The uncontrollable intensity of the Ebola health crisis exposed the underlining evil of corruption on the Liberian people in a country with abundance.