Reports gathered in Monrovia suggest that former or demobilized officers of the Liberia’s security sector are complaining of what they refer to as "Waa-way" they say is being given to them by the Unity Party-led Government.
Several ex-servicemen told the In Profile Daily in Monrovia that Government’s reported pronouncement that former security officers were being recommended to work at various concession companies in Liberia is far from reality as there is no plan by the companies to carry out such recruitment. They say, they had been informed by the Bureau of Veteran Affairs to proceed to some concession companies for immediate employment, only to go and walk here-and-there without seeing any sign of recruitment.
According to them, they had credited money for transportation to those far-distance company areas including the Liberia Agriculture Company (LAC) in Grand Bassa County, with the high hope of gaining employment upon their arrival, but were disappointed having spent three weeks to one month in those areas, while some spent two months roaming those areas to no avail. The situation, they said has added frustration to their hardship, thus leading some of them to become contractors while others returned to Monrovia by ways of appealing for lift and walking by foot, among others.
Against this backdrop, the former security officers observed that the pronouncement was intended to create publicity for Government to gain votes. They said authorities of the Bureau of Veteran Affairs cannot address the disappointing situation they have been facing, "only telling us to wait."
"We see this as another waa-way because Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf promised during the 2005 elections campaign that she was going to pay our balance demobilization money if she won but that promise has not been fulfilled," the former security officers lamented. The former service officers pointed out that "such con act, just intended to gain votes, is very bad and we will not be fooled this time round."
When our reporter visited the offices of the Bureau of Veteran Affairs in Sinkor Old Road Monday to ascertain the reports, the Bureau’s Assistant Director for Operations, Retired Colonel Cliff Martell, said he was not clothed with the authority to speak on the matter, even though he was said to have been the one who told the ex-servicemen to proceed to those companies. He referred our reporter to the Director of the Bureau, who was said to be out of office Monday and would not have returned to the office until today. This brings to mind more questions than answers as to how the Bureau is being run.
Pundits spoken to on the matter said the reported pronouncement is a complete campaign tactic-whether real or not. They said if Government means business, she would have started the program from the beginning of her administration.
"We are of the strongest conviction that the Government’s pronouncement is intended to create publicity to people that she is employing as means of gaining more votes come 2011 elections," they maintained.
On the other hand, one UP official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, differed with the pundits, arguing that "everything is done by plan and time."
However, the aggrieved former security officers are calling on relevant Government’s institutions to quickly intervene if indeed the program is real, to avoid what they term as hooks and crooks.