By Mark N. Mengonfia- firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, June 29, 2021 was another scene of action at the Liberian Legislature when some citizens gathered to ask their lawmakers to restitute the sum US$15,000 each they received recently.
The citizens went at the Capitol Building under a banner, “Return the 15k.”
The group of Liberians carried placards with the names and numbers of Sen. Saah Joseph, Sen. Darius Dillon, Rep. Thomas Fallah, Rep. Dixson Sebo, Rep. Edward Flomo and all other lawmakers who have a share of the “controversial amount” calling on them to have the money returned.
Defected Mont. County District #9 Representative Candidate Fubbi Henries said, “We will give their numbers and emails addresses to the public. They will receive calls and emails from the public.”
According to him, they will consistently embarrass their lawmakers to ensure that the issue of the money does not die like other issues in Liberia.
He said, “We will not rest until every lawmaker returns the US$15K to the Liberian people.”
Reasons for which the group of Liberians are demanding for the money in question according to them currently is that Liberia is undergoing serious economic and health threats. At such, they said, it is unfair for lawmakers to reward themselves with this huge amount.
While gathering at the grounds of the Capitol, they were heard saying, “Legislators must return the Liberian peoples’ money.”
They went on chanting, “The Lawmakers must return the Liberian peoples’ US$15,000”.
According to the protesters, the amount each collected in the name of Legislative Engagements could be directed to improving the health sector of the country.”
Liberian lawmakers each received the sum of US$15,000 as part payment of a total of US$30,000 to each lawmaker under a line they themselves placed in the National Budget titled,” Legislative Engagement.”
But since the lawmakers started receiving the money early June, there has been public outcry that the people they elected as their direct representatives, do not have feelings for the ordinary Liberians.
Many Liberian see their lawmakers’ action “broad day witch” being performed by the lawmakers.
Some who called on radio, expressed regrets for voting for some of those lawmakers who they felt would have liberated them of what has been happening at the Liberian Legislature.
When the money was received, few lawmakers including Bong County Senators Prince K Moye, Henrique Togbah and Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon took to their facebook pages informing Liberians that they received said amount for Legislative Engagement/ Project.
He wrote, “FULL DISCLOSURE IN THE SPIRIT OF TRANSPARENCY & ACCOUNTABILITY!!
Our office has received $15,000.00USD from the Senate via the Ministry of Finance for “Legislative Engagements/Projects.” We will ensure the amount is utilized for the intended purposes.”
This information from the lawmakers went wide thus causing senator Dillon to pronounce that he was turning his share of the money over to Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) to construct a public library for the people of Montserrado County. But his request to LACE was turned down. He later presented some of the money to the Ministry of Health to get anti-covid -19 materials . That was also rejected by the Health authorities.