By Mohammed M. Bamba, Jr
Cllr. Verdier, Fmr. Chair, TRC
I have read Mr. Jerome Verdier so-called complaint against Mayor Koijee and all I see is a copy and paste of the Mayor’s brief profile that we have done and published on the MCC website and other outlets, which have got nothing in it that resembles the Mayor participation in the war or any form of human rights abuse, and the blatant disregard for the truth.
Below is the brief Biography Mr. Verdier is using as his reliance;
“Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee is a current Mayor of the Capital City of Liberia, Monrovia. Jefferson Koijee is the first Mayor to be confirmed by the Liberian Senate since the end of the civil war, being confirmed unanimously by the Senate Committee on Internal Affairs and Good Governance.
Prior to this, he was the National Youth Chairman for the Revolutionary National Youth League of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change, where he worked as the leader of the young people of over One million around the country. Mr. Koijee worked between 2008 and 2010 as County Coordinator, Montserrado for the Federation of Liberian Youth, the umbrella organization for all youth groupings in Liberia. He is a candidate of Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Management of the Stella Maris Polytechnic and also a candidate of Bachelor of Science (BSC) in Political Science of the University of Liberia respectively”
From the aforementioned short Bio, you can be the judge and point out where it is indicated that he (Mayor Koijee) participated or was associated with any crime as asserted by Mr. Verdier.
I read further Mr. Verdier’s concocted lies, he asserted the followings; “Mayor Koijee is the former bodyguard of Chukie Taylor, who was the Commander of the former notorious ATU from 1997-2003.
There are people who know and worked with Chukie Taylor. They are around and some even appeared before Mr. Verdier and his commission at the TRC for hearing, but not one person even made a mistake or ‘slipped off the tongue ‘ to mention the name Jefferson Koijee lest to talk about him being the former bodyguard to Chukie Taylor.
How is it possible to be a bodyguard to Chukie Taylor and no one knows you? Was Jeff a secret bodyguard that no one knew, but only Verdier?
The Jeff I know he is not a shadow person, wherever he is; he makes his presence felt but Mr. Verdier wants us to believe that a 12-year old Jeff in 1997 was a bodyguard to a man who has never seen or known anyone name Jefferson T. Koijee. Verdier wants us to also believe 17 years old Jeff in 2002 was a bodyguard to a notorious person and a U.S citizen that the United States government has all documented records on.
Mr. Verdier went further to highlight a site as his reliance, but unfortunately when you browse on it only the Mayor short bio you will see as I indicated in my premise.
Click https://www. weforum.org/people/jefferson-Koijee
If you log in this site, you will realize that it’s the World Economic Forum profiling Mayor Koijee with the same short bio I mentioned in my premise.
Mr. Verdier went further again to mentioned ” Global Magnitsky Act” citing the history of the organization and falling short of showing where the organization has listed Mayor Koijee as a Human Rights Abuser, but shamelessly said, ” There will be clear and convincing evidence that the current government of Liberia, in particular, Mayor of Monrovia is involved in human rights violations and corruption”
If you comprehend what Mr. Verdier is trying to say is that ” There will be”, I am not an English professor but that phrase is not definite, but futuristic which means in the future there will be evidence but for now, there is no evidence as surmised.
He went further to call on the U.S government to impose a sanction and block Mayor Koijee for what he believes “will send a targeted message to the Liberian Government that any acts of human rights abuses and corruption, will isolate individual spoiler and place him on OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals list”
Mr. Verdier suppose to be a renowned and respectable lawyer who knows very well that the U.S government doesn’t block or sanction people based on someone’s opinion without facts or evidence.
Is Verdier a blind lawyer? So he wants us to believe that he is blinding his eyes to reality? No, I can’t believe he is not a lawyer; yes, he is a lawyer but has blind his eyes to reality. That’s why Dr. King said, “There is nothing more dangerous than an educated man with sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity” (Paraphrase)
Now, this brings me to Mayor Koijee’s statement below.
“I worked with Jerome Verdier during my days in advocacy when he served as chairperson of the TRC. He knows me very well. He knows my history. He knows that I was one of those young persons who went to jail because of our advocacy for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We worked with the Commission which Jerome Verdier chaired to protect the TRC report despite many attempts by perpetrators of the war to undermine this national instrument. It’s sad that I have now become a major target for Cllr. Verdier to the extent he will accuse me of being a participant of the civil war which I know nothing about”
It’s glaring that Verdier knows Mayor Koijee very well and even worked with him during the TRC hearing as an advocate for the Establishment of War and Economic crime court.
Few questions we need to ponder over from a very holistic point.
When Verdier knew Mayor Koijee participated in the war or was associated with Chukie Taylor why he didn’t say it then?
Why Now? Is it now that he is a Mayor? Or because he is been seen as the leader of his generation? Or because Verdier is no more in the employ of government?
All those years, Verdier has been in Liberia and chaired the TRC why didn’t he invite Mayor Koijee at that time? Which one of the witnesses mentioned the name Jefferson T. Koijee during any of the hearings? Can Verdier point out in the TRC report where Jefferson T. Koijee name is mentioned?
Trust me, when Verdier is given his lawyer and independent glasses on to even start researching or commission a new hearing, I challenge Verdier that 100 years from now and 50 years yesterday, the name Koijee will not be associated or found in any acts of human rights abuses. This smear campaign on the part of Verdier must be aborted before it spills over.
Mr. Verdier Wants To Destroy The TRC Report:
We are sensing and from all indications Verdier is on a smear campaign to undermine the TRC report. He is been used by those War and economic criminals to dilute the essence of the report by targeting the wrong people.
The plan is let Verdier accuse innocent people and those people will come out to defend themselves and the Liberians people will say “If Verdier can accused innocent man like Jefferson Koijee who knows nothing about the war then Verdier wrongly accused others who their people or followers believe they are innocent as well, but in the actual sense they actually committed those crimes.” Verdier is now using innocent Koijee as bait to create doubt in the minds of the citizenry and render the entire TRC report useless. The chicanery Verdier must be beaten at by the people of Liberia. This is the moment to stand against such devilish machination in order to save the integrity of the TRC report. The report we invested a lot in as a people and country, a report the international community invested a lot in as well can’t be rendered useless because Mr. Verdier is satisfying those same individuals his commission indicted.
This is a call to action by all well-meaning Liberians with a total disregard for Mayor Koijee whether you love him or not, because this is not about Mayor Koijee, but a document we invested our all into as a people and the country.
Mrverdier Attacks On The Young Generation.
It’s a rumor that Mr. Verdier has asserted in many corners that he wants to be president and unfortunately, he sees potential young people as a threat to his bid. Though Mayor Koijee has no intention or has made no public statement of becoming president, Verdier sees him as a rising and unarguably the most popular Youngman in the country with huge following in and out of Liberia that could serve as a setback to his veil ambition.
On another hand; the tendency of the old folks still seeing themselves as the only leaders and young people are just good as followers still exist. The old class are angry and feeling threatened with the emergence of young potential people who are providing a leadership role in the building of the motherland.
Since the ascendancy of President Weah, we have witnessed the break from the past where the majority of the Ministerial and governmental positions were given to the old folks. Today, President Weah has changed the dynamic by entrusting young people with key positions and leadership roles.
With no doubt, Mr. Verdier is a part of the past that believed governmental positions are not good for young people and it’s an entitlement of the old folks. This brings us to the point where young people are now been hunted, lie on and undermined by those folks just to prove their unfounded claims that young people are not yet ready for leadership role which calls for the collective defense of all young people.
This is not about Koijee anymore, it’s about a young generation of leaders who have graduated from universities too soon, who have acquired advanced education too soon as in the eyes of Verdier and his likes ; and are coming to take over the a government that Verdier and his likes believe is their entitlement.
As young people, we must stand up to save our generation. I am not saying we are in a war with the old folks which someone will want to believe that I am been divisive, but it’s a national call for young people to prepare themselves and be ready to perform whatsoever positions they find themselves.
The TRC’s report is all over and Mr. Verdier has fallen below the belt of reasoning to inform us with clear evidence that Mayor Koijee ever associated or participated in any forms of human rights abuses.
I will also want to use this medium to call out Mr. Verdier’s colleagues that serve on the same commission to save the TRC report by disassociating themselves with Verdier’s statement and wrongful accusation of innocent people who had nothing to do with the War. Peace to the ashes of Sheik Kafumba Konneh, a statesman with a great sense of integrity won’t have sit idly at this moment to see Verdier wanting to escort his effort to the dust bin. I am aware that reputable people like Commissioner Massa Washington, John Steward and Cllr. Pearl Brown Bull will remain tightlipped; while their integrity is been dragged by Mr. Verdier. I refused to believe that those people will allow their hard earned effort to see those that committed heinous crimes and were indicted in the TRC report to go sky free or the report is trashed.
This is the time to stand up in defense of their time, sweat and all they invested to make people be held accountable for what they did not go down the dream by Verdier.
About the author:
Mohammed M. Bamba, Jr is a graduate of the United Methodist University with a BPA, Public Administration and can be reach at firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook Mohammed M. Bamba, Jr/ Instagram @imbambajr / twitter @MohammedMBamba1
Editor’s Note: Views expressed in this article are exclusively views of the writer and doesn’t come from the management of this online service.