Prince Johnson Submits Bill for Islamic Holidays

first_imgSen. JohnsonSenator Prince Yormie Johnson (Nimba County) has submitted for enactment into law a bill calling for the observance of the end of Ramadan and the Feast of Abraham (Lungee) to become national holidays in Liberia. The Feast of Abraham is the day Muslims celebrate the deliverance of Abraham’s son Isaac, who was to be offered as a living sacrifice to God; while the Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim year, is a period during which Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. According to the bill read before Senate Plenary on its 55th day sitting, Senator Johnson noted that the bill is in consonance with “An Act to Amend Chapter 1 (National Holidays ) of Patriotic and Cultural Observances Law (Title 25 of the Liberian Code of Laws revised ) and provide thereto two widely celebrated Islamic days – End of Ramadan and the Feast of Abraham (Lungee) – to be observed as national holidays. ..” for plenary’s consideration and subsequent submission to the House of Representatives for concurrence. The Nimba County lawmaker recalled the existence of the long standing relationship between tribal and religious groups, including Muslims. “Of course there is not any society in the world which is void of remote accidental occurrences that spark tensions with the potential and proclivity of triggering tribal or religious skirmishes; our society has always responded positively in a mature fashion to subdue any such heightening tension; and if, inadvertently, there be any friction resultant thereof, same is swiftly quelled, before the situation is blown out of proportion,” the Senator added.Senator Johnson, an erstwhile rebel leader, and now a ‘born again’ Christian, reflected on the major roles Muslims have played in Liberia’s body politic, and their continuous and tremendous contribution to the growth of the Liberian economy through business, trade and distinguished public service. “It is but prudent and in the best interest and fulfillment of our onerous desire of achieving unity in diversity among us all and building such solid foundation of a society of peace, tranquility, stability and security for prosperity, that our Muslim compatriots be recognized for their valuable co-existence and contribution by considering the end of Ramadan and the Feast of Abraham (Lungee) as national holidays,” he stated.The bill was received and sent to the relevant committees, among them the Judiciary, and Claims and Petitions, and requested to report to plenary in three weeks. Senator Johnson’s bill comes in the wake of an unresolved constitutional issue concerning a group of Christians calling for a referendum through which votes would be cast to declare Liberia a Christian State. The call has been openly rejected by several mainline Christian churches, including the Catholic Church, which has one of the largest followings. It may also be recalled that at the beginning of Liberia’s 14 year civil war, both the Christian and Muslim religious groups came together and formed the Interfaith Mediation Council, which was active in the search for an early resolution to the conflict, and gave birth to the establishment of an interim government and the subsequent coming of an ECOWAS peace keeping force (ECOMOG).Two of the pioneers and former leaders of the Interfaith Mediation Council, Sheikh Kafumba Konneh and Catholic Archbishop Michael Kpakala Francis, lived to see the return of peace they devoted their lives to. Archbishop Francis went through years of sickness until he passed away a few years ago while Sheikh Kafumba passed away early last year. Prominent world advocates lauded the formation of the interfaith body as a landmark endeavor by Christians and Muslims uniting for the common purpose of restoring peace and unity to their country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Liberian Selfishness Spoiled Our Election

first_imgWho remembers our Staff Writer, Lindiwe Khumalo, who few years ago wrote the article, “Liberians Are Stupid Because They Are Selfish, and Selfish Because They Are Stupid?Tuesday’s Liberian election, one robbed of seriousness and excitement, was a typical manifestation of the truism of that article.Here is a tiny African country of barely 4,000,000 in which almost everyone wants to be president.  Accordingly, we had 20 presidential candidates, most of whose names nobody heard in the vote counting!Take Simeon Freeman, a fairly  successful businessman, who for many years has sought the presidency in vain.  Why?  Because each time he has gained absolutely no traction.  Did anyone hear his name in Tuesday night’s vote counting?  So what was the point in running?When we, out of love for Simeon and respect and appreciation for his television business, DSTV, advised him to quit politics and concentrate on improving and expanding his business, he took serious exception and threatened to take his former employers, the Daily Observer,  to court!He forgot that we are a media institution that has since our establishment in February 1981, championed Liberian businesses and bitterly complained about the foreign dominance of our economy.Let us now take a look at the pathetic litany of presidential candidates that participated in the elections—all 20 of them:UREY, BENONI WILFRED – ALL LIBERIAN PARTY (ALP)CUMMINGS, ALEXANDER B. – ALTENATIVE  NATIONAL CONGRESS (ANC)MCINTOSH, WENDELL J.E. – CHANGE DEMOCRATIC ACTIONS (CDA)WEAH, GEORGE MANNEH – COALITION FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (CDC)WILES, ISAAC GBOMBADEE – DEMOCRATIC JUSTICE PARTY (DJP)COOPER, OSCAR – INDEPENDENT CANDIDATEKPADEH, ALOYSIUS WILLIAM – INDEPENDENT CANDIDATEMATOR, YARKPA JUWUR N. – INDEPENDENT CANDIDATECOOPER, MACDELLA B. – LIBERIA RESTORATION PARTY (LRP)SANDY, KENNEDY GBLEYAH – LIBERIA TRANSFORMATION PARTY (LTP)FAHNBULLEH, JR. HENRY BOIMA – LIBERIAN’S PEOPLE’S PARTY (LPP)BRUMSKINE, CHARLES WALKER – LIBERTY PARTY (LP)JOHNSON, PRINCE Y. – MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRACY AND RECONSTRUCTION (MDR)JONES, JOSEPH MILLS – MOVEMENT FOR ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT (MOVEE)FREEMAN, SIMEON C.M – MOVEMENT FOR PROGRESSIVE CHANGE (MPC)TUIDER, WILLIAM WIAH – NEW LIBERIA PARTY (NLP)DWEH, SR., GEORGE SLUWEH – REDEMPTION DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS (RDC)WENTO, MACDONALD A. – UNITED PEOPLE’S PARTY (UPP)BOAKAI, JOSEPH NYUMA – UNITY PARTY (UP)WEAPOE, JEREMIAH Z. – VISION FOR LIBERIA TRANSFORMATION (VOLT)Among these, there were not more than seven whose names were heard in the counting by the National Elections Commission Tuesday night.  They were UP’s Boakai, CDC’s Weah, LP’s Brumskine, ANC’s Cummings, MDR’s Johnson, MOVEE’s Jones and ALP’s Urey.  The other 14 were lost in oblivion.The question that immediately arises is why did not most of these parties form coalitions and reduce themselves to two or at most three parties, and run credible campaigns?  The simple answer: each wanted to be president of Liberia—why?  To eat, or at least to smell the ever drying grease left in Mama Liberia’s breast.  Is that not what, with very few exceptions, most Liberian  Presidents since the 1920s have done?  It was Charles Taylor who said that the quickest way to become rich is to become president of Liberia.Most of the 20 candidates have told the Liberian people nothing about why they want to be president.   And how many platforms have we seen? Very few.  Why? Despite our repeated calls for platforms, most of these candidates have provided none.  Why?  We figure it was because they did not want to commit themselves to any promises that they had no intention of keeping.Now with their dismal performance at the polls, it remains to be seen how many of these candidates will attempt to join with one credible party in order to form a winnable coalition.At this point, we pray for three things: first, that one formidable coalition will be formed to create a credible and electable winner of the presidency.Second, that those parties which become part of this coalition will work tirelessly until victory is achieved.Third, we pray that this 2017 election will FINALLY teach us  Liberians three lessons: that everyone CANNOT be president; that one does not have to become president to serve or help his or her country; and that we should stop making ourselves the laughing stock of the world by foolishly pretending that all of us can become president.Let this be the very last time that we canvass more than two or, at most, three candidates running for president.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Family Planning: $120M Rev.; $46M Exp.; $23M To Africa; $398K To Liberia

first_imgPRO. EXP. TO REV. RATIO  50%    56%    78% 68% TOTAL EXPENSES:  94M PERSONNEL & TRAVEL COSTS 13M CONSULTING COSTS    1M PERSONNEL & TRAVEL  13M REGIONAL NON-PRO. EXP..  20M GOV. GRANT TO REV. RATIO   82%    38%   0% TOTAL REVENUE$102M$1,459M  $63M$19M By J. Yanqui ZazaFamily Planning or Planned Parenthood means different things to different people living within certain communities. For instance, some United States citizens, opposing abortion, consider Family Planning as an organization that kills unborn children. Other U.S. citizens who believe that abortion is a constitutional right for a woman to choose whether to born or to abort a child, praise family Planning as an institution that saves lives. Or, in poor communities such as Liberia, many patients praise Family Planning because it conducts pregnancy tests, cancer tests; administers vaccinations; distributes contraceptive pills, etc., for a minimal fee or no free.Additionally, many Liberians would praise the Planned Parenthood Association of Liberia (PPAL) if it appropriated grants in accordance to the intent of the donors, government, etc. For example, how did PPAL spend its share, if any, of the $279M that Liberia’s international partners appropriated within the 2016/2017 Budget as per page # 31 of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare? How much, if any, did it receive from the Liberian government as reimbursement for its personnel that performed services on behalf of the Liberia government? Did it expense personnel costs in the same way International Planned Parenthood Federation-IPPF (i.e., its foreign partner) allocated grants between programs and administrative costs?Liberians will not know PPAL’s expensing method without a report. Its Website does not provide financial report, but does link a reader to IPPF’s, which appropriated $398K for Liberia in 2016. I have emailed PPAL and asked for PPAL’s financial records. Without PPAL’s records, let us review the industry by looking at the 2017 annual reports of IPPF, U.S. Planned Parenthood, Finland Planned Parenthood, and Australia Planned Parenthood. CENTRAL NON-P/EXPENSES 15M    256M      3M   5M  GRANT (RELATED PARTY)    $398K TOTAL NON-PROGRAM EXP.   46M CONSULTING EXPENSE    2M ITEMLIB.  P/HOODINTER. P/HOODU.S.A. P/HOODAUS. P/HOODFIN. P/HOOD PROGRAM EXPENSES  51M   822M    49M 13M CASH TO GOV. GRANT RATIO    70%    57%     0%     0%  17M NON-PRO EXP. TO REV RATIO   45%      17%     4% 26% TOTAL ASSETS    92M  1,413M   16M  13M GOV. GRANT    84M   543M CASH & INVESTMENT    72M    844M     8M     1M CASH TO ASSETS RATIO    78%    60%     50%    7% (GOV. is Government; REV. is Revenue; PRO. is Program; EXP. is Expense)It would have been a good idea to review how much of the revenue PPAL allocated for programs and administrative expenses. However, should one assume, without PPAL’s records, that it adopted the appropriation method of IPPF and, or the method of the U.S. Planned Parenthood?  Or, did it imitate the method of the Parenthood-Australia’s or the Parenthood-Finland? IPPF, located at 4 Newhams Row, London, SE1, United Kingdom, reported that it allocated 51% of its revenue on programs and 45% on administrative costs. The program appropriation included $23M allocated for Africa, and $398K for Liberia. Similarly, the U.S. Planned Parenthood spent 55% on programs.On the other hand, the Finland Planned Parenthood and Australia Planned Parenthood received zero grant from their respective governments; and appropriated more than 68% and 78% for  programs respectively. Again, IPPF (i.e., PPAL’s foreign partner) did not only spend 45% of its revenue on non-program activities, but kept $72M cash in its bank accounts, which was 78% ($72/$92) of its total assets. Similarly, the US Parenthood kept $844M cash in its bank accounts, which was 57% of money (grants) received from its government. This financial arrangement is troubling since, for example, 57% of the U.S. Parenthood’s revenue (i.e., the sources of its cash) came from U.S. taxpayers.Keeping 78% CASH of IPPF’s total REVENUE or keeping 56% CASH of U.S. Parenthood’s total ASSETS was not prudent. Why do I say so? This is because an increase in IPPF’s allocation based on government revenue might compel the GOVERNMNET to cut program funding. On the other hand, an increase in cash in bank accounts will compel the NGO to reduce funding for PROGRAMS.  More so, keeping a significant amount of cash idle might discourage some donors from funding needed programs. Similarly, within the bank industry, loan officers do not approve loan applications made by managers who keep huge cash idle.Besides the inefficiency of these two institutions, NGOs owned by the World Bank have and continue to underperform. In 1999, the Operations Evaluating Department of the World Bank reported that World Bank-owned NGOs’ unsatisfactory performance rate was 33%. The author of the report determined the 33% rate by reviewing governments’ projects financed by borrowed money from the Bank. (Inweb90.worldbank.org).  The report advised Bank-owned NGOs to improve performance if it wanted governments to continue to borrow money from the Bank.Without a report from PPAL, some readers might think its shortcomings, if any, are not different from the poor performance of World Bank-owned NGOs, IPPF or what anti-NGOs advocates have alleged against the American Planned Parenthood. The anti-NGOs activist stated that women’s health services to be provided by the Planned Parenthood are dropping:“Breast Exams” – 11.6% drop in services; “Cryotherapy [Cancer Screening/Prevention;Procedures” – 17.9% drop in services; “Colposcopy [Cancer Screening/Prevention]Procedures” – 12.8% drop in services; Overall “Cancer Screening & Prevention” – 2.5% drop in services; “Genital Warts (HPV) Treatments” – 15% drop in services“HPV Vaccinations” – 6.7% drop in services; “Pregnancy Tests” – 7.9% drop in services“Birth control information and services provided” – 4.6% drop in services; “Reversible Contraception Clients, Women” – 3.6% drop in services; “Emergency Contraception Kits” – 17.6% drop in services; “Female Sterilization Procedures” – 18.5% drop in services.In closing, the Liberian government should share with the public whatever report PPAL might have submitted to authorities, if PPAL fails to provide reports of its activities.SOURCES:https://www.poverty-action.org/organization/planned-parenthood-association-liberia-ppalhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/planned-parenthood-association-of-liberia-181089137https://www.ippf.org/about-us/member-associations/liberiahttps://www.ippf.org/about-us/contactshttp://www.familyplanning2020.org/entities/123https://www.ippf.org/sites/default/files/2017-06/FinancialReport_2016.pdfhttp://moh.gov.lr/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Operational-Plan_2016.pdfhttps://www.plannedparenthood.org/uploads/filer_public/74/0c/740cbaa6-0d5a-42be-a5e3-3fd852cdddf4/ar17_final_lowres.pdfShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

16 days of activism campaign against domestic violence planned

first_imgThe Social Protection Ministry will be collaborating with Voices Against Violence to raise awareness on gender-based violence and the elimination of violence against women.The awareness session will kick off on November 25 and conclude on December 10. The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanise action to end violence against women and girls around the world. The international campaign originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.In recent years, the voices of survivors and activists, through campaigns such as #MeToo, #TimesUp, #Niunamenos, #NotOneMore, #BalanceTonPorc and others, have reached a crescendo that cannot be silenced any more. Advocates understand that while the names and contexts may differ across geographic locations, women and girls everywhere are experiencing extensive abuse and their stories need to be brought to light. This is why the UNiTE Campaign’s global advocacy theme this year is: Orange the World: #HearMeToo.Currently, more than 3700 organisations from approximately 164 countries participate in the campaign annually. Joining these organisations this year is Voices Against Violence, an umbrella entity comprising NGOs, FBOs, CBOs and other entities and activists, that is organising speak outs across Guyana. This effort has been endorsed by the Ministry, which is partnering with Voices Against Violence; the Women and Gender Equality Commission and Help and Shelter.Organisations, groups and communities are urged to bring people together and have them share experiences, personal or otherwise, on gender based, child and sexual abuse as well as brainstorm on ideas to address these scourges. The idea is to create scope for victims to speak out since doing so is a form of catharsis that can also motivate and inspire other victims. Speak outs sessions do not need large attendance; 10 persons would be enough. And since this is about the attendees themselves, guest speakers are not necessary. Anyone can moderate a session. Organisers are urged to video the sessions so they can be used for sensitisation, advocacy and activism, while ideas can be gathered together and share with relevant Government Ministries and agencies as well as the media.last_img read more

Rooney named new Manchester United captain

first_img Manchester United’s new captain Wayne Rooney 1 Louis van Gaal has announced that Wayne Rooney will captain Manchester United this season, with Darren Fletcher as vice-captain.The Red Devils striker, 28, succeeds Nemanja Vidic in the role, who left Old Trafford at the end of the season to join Inter Milan on a free transfer.Rooney skippered the side in their final pre-season match – a 2-1 win over Valencia on Tuesday night – and will now take on the role permanently.Van Gaal told the club’s official website: “For me it’s always very important the choice of captain. Wayne has shown a great attitude towards everything he does.“I have been very impressed by his professionalism and his attitude to training and to my philosophy. He is a great inspiration to the younger members of the team and I believe he will put his heart and soul into his captaincy role.“Darren Fletcher will become the vice-captain. Darren is a natural leader and will captain the team when Wayne isn’t playing. Darren is a very experienced player and a very popular member of the dressing room, I know he will work well alongside Wayne.”The England forward, who is hotly tipped to take over from the retired Steven Gerrard as captain of the national side, added: “It is a huge honour for me – and for my family – to be named captain of this great club. It is a role I will perform with great pride.“Team spirit has always been very high in our dressing room and I am very grateful to the manager for the faith he has shown in me. I look forward to leading the team out on Saturday at our first match of the new season.”Fletcher added: “I am delighted to have been named as vice-captain. It’s a very proud moment for me and my family. Wayne and I have always worked well together and we will continue to work closely together in our new roles.“I would like to thank the manager for putting his trust in me.”last_img read more

Inter Milan legend unsure over Balotelli return

first_imgInter Milan legend Javier Zanetti has admitted it would be tough for the club to re-sign Liverpool’s Mario Balotelli in the January transfer window.The Italian outfit, where the striker played for three season earlier in his career, are currently 11th in Serie A and in desperate need of some more firepower.But Zanetti, now Inter’s vice-president told Sky Italia a move for the player would be tricky: “A Balotelli return? We all know Mario is a great player but I think it’s difficult because he only just arrived at Liverpool.“In any case, after our game against Lazio [on December 21] we will hold meetings to see what we can do and what is needed in terms of the [transfer] market.” 1 Javier Zanetti and Mario Balotelli celebrate winning the Champions League with Inter Milan last_img read more

Former Chelsea star and Manchester City target awaits big-money move

first_imgManchester City target Kevin De Bruyne has said he will stay at Wolfsburg next season – unless a big-money move materialises.The Belgian, who made just two league appearances in two seasons at Chelsea, has scored 13 goals in 47 starts from midfield for Wolfsburg since joining for £18m in January 2014.The 23-year-old, who scored in Belgium’s 2-1 extra-time win against USA at the 2014 World Cup, is also attracting interest from Paris Saint-Germain.The midfielder told German magazine Kicker that he couldn’t make any promises to his current club.“You never know what will happen in football,” De Bruyne told Kicker.“A club might step in and make an offer that pleases Wolfsburg and also makes me happy.“I don’t like it when players say they’ll stay no matter what and are gone after the first offer. Right now, I say that I will stay in Wolfsburg.” Kevin De Bruyne in action for Wolfsburg 1last_img read more

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger blames lack of defensive cover for Liverpool defeat

first_imgArsene Wenger admitted Arsenal paid for their lack of defensive cover after they were booed off by their own supporters following a 4-3 Premier League defeat to Liverpool.A brace from Philippe Coutinho and goals from Adam Lallana and debutant Sadio Mane put the visitors in complete control at the Emirates after Gunners forward Theo Walcott had missed a penalty and then put the home side ahead.Sloppy defending from the Reds allowed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Calum Chambers to bring the hosts back in to contention but Liverpool held on in the final 15 minutes. Wenger was without experienced defensive trio Per Mertesacker, Gabriel and Laurent Koscielny due to injury and fitness problems, leaving him to pick young English pair Chambers and Rob Holding in central defence.He told Sky Sports: “We played a very good first half and I think we were unlucky just before half-time to concede the goal because the free-kick (scored by Coutinho) looked very, very harsh. We didn’t recover really from that and after that we paid for our lack of experience at the back and the fact that some players are not ready physically to last 90 minutes at that level.“Overall, it’s disappointing because in the first half you think you should come out with at least a one goal (lead) for us and 10 minutes later you are 3-1 down and it was difficult to recover. We did try until the end but we lacked a bit of stability.“When you’re 4-1 down at home it is always very difficult when you have so many young players. At the back you feel that we lack a little bit of maturity but you know that before you go into the game.“It’s not pleasant but we have shown in the past that we have the mental strength to deal with that and bounce back.”last_img read more

TESCO WORKER TOLD TO STAY AWAY FROM EX-GIRLFRIEND

first_imgA Letterkenny man has been told to stay away from his former partner as part of his bail conditions.Letterkenny court.Shane Cullen, of 17 Glendale Manor, was arrested yesterday and appeared at Letterkenny District Court. Solicitor Kieran Dillon said there was an issue with his ex-partner Ashling Kirwin of 14 Glendale Manor, with whom he had a child.Gardai said they had no objection to bail as long as certain conditions were put in place.Mr Dillon said Cullen worked in Tesco supermarket and worked various shifts which made observing a curfew difficult.After working out his hours, Jude Paul Kelly imposed a curfew of between 12.30am and 6.30am.He also ordered Cullen to stay away from Ms Kirwin and to sign on daily at Letterkenny Garda station.Judge Kelly said he will dispose of the matter on the next occasion.TESCO WORKER TOLD TO STAY AWAY FROM EX-GIRLFRIEND was last modified: October 2nd, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Letterkenny District CourtShane Cullentescolast_img read more

Pochettino on Inter Milan’s radar as Italian giants ‘target big-name boss’

first_img1 Mauricio Pochettino, the Tottenham manager Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has emerged as a shock target for Inter Milan, although Chelsea manager Antonio Conte remains their top choice.The San Siro club are looking for a new manager after parting company with Stefano Pioli and they want a big name to come in this summer.It has been widely reported that Conte is their No.1 choice although the Italian insists he has no desire to leave Chelsea after just one season in charge.Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone, who spent time at Inter during his playing days, has also been suggested should he decide to leave Spain this summer.But now, according to Sky Sport Italia, Pochettino is also on the Italian club’s hitlist.The Argentinean has revolutionised Tottenham since arriving from Southampton in 2014 and inspired the club to a sustained title charge this season.And the job he has done at Spurs has reportedly piqued the interest of the decision makers at Inter as they attempt to bring in a new manager.last_img read more