? An Opportunity To Know The Truth
By: Martin K. N. Kollie
George Orwell was right when he said ?In time of deceit telling, the truth is a revolutionary act.? Whenever ham-fisted decisions and clumsy deeds are put under the spotlight for public scrutiny and objective evaluation, there are always bungling predispositions and vilifying reactions from professional slanderous and certified surrogates who have always sought undue relevance from higher-ups by embarking on a dodgy and devious journey to denigrate illuminating characters whose legacy remains impervious in society today.
They are on an unrelenting mission to tear apart and gun-down critical and moral voices through a voguish scheme of conspiracy and deception. I am talking to manufacturers of hypocrisy, wholesalers of lies, retailers of pretense, and vendors of dishonesty. They misuse public airwaves and shoot redundant bullets almost every morning at people who have refused to remain silent about issues of national concern. Against their own consciences, they usually launch personal attacks and amplify invectives against patriotic citizens who are more concern about lifting Liberia to an unimaginable height.
They walk in a shadow of fantasy, applying every effort to satisfy their super heroes and heroines. Even though they are paid with taxpayers? dollars and cents, but they consistently defend corrupt State actors who continue to rape public coffers without any semblance of remorse and patriotism. This self-seeking ambition of chasing short-term greed is dishonorably shameful and those who call themselves national ?duty-bearers? must refrain from all acts of ethical transgression. The roadmap towards genuine socio-economic recovery does not begin with falsehood and mendacity, but it starts with integrity and fact-dissemination!
It is not unlawful to defend counterfeit policies, but it is unlawful to libel and rebel against steadfast nationalists who dare to challenge those copy and paste theories. Whenever such illicit pattern or inept method is utilized as an ultimate option to disagree with those who have made it their dutiful obligation to raise red-flag, it stirs my audacity and reawakens my courage to react in this swift manner in order to redesign a new calculus of civility and respect for view tolerance.
It is abysmal and unconstitutional for anyone to abuse public organs to channel vindictiveness and cheap gossips about citizens who are striving to promote a new Liberia of socio-economic equality and justice.
Whenever such shady intention is detected through an independent investigation and verification process, I am under moral responsibility to unearth the truth that has been impolitely crushed by unholy believers of foreign bureaucrats and economic vampires. I thought to respond in such a manner in order to caution those who think they can malign and blackmail citizens who have won for themselves public honor and admiration yesteryear. I am not going to mince my words, neither am I going to beat my tongue in revealing my fact-findings about what is transpiring between the government of Liberia and Rev. Joseph Johnson of the Restoration Baptist Ministries, Inc.
Join me now as we travel together to an unquestionable destination of truth where fallacy has no foothold to survive. Let it be known that I will always come in defense of sturdy voices who this regime intends to silent through unorthodox means. I did it when Rodney Sieh and Henry Costa were imprisoned for crimes yet to be justified and I am doing it now because one of Liberia?s fearless Prelates in person of Rev. Joseph Johnson is under attack by messengers of falsehood. My voice shall forever remain loud whenever baseless accusations are made against any clergyman or citizen simply because he/she is exposing government?s sinister agenda by highlighting genuine issues.
My attention has been drawn particularly to groundless comments made by Min. Isaac W. Jackson indicting the exemplary character of the General Overseer of the Restoration Baptist Ministries, Inc. During a regular press briefing at the Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism on February 27, 2015, Acting Minister of Information Isaac W. Jackson accidentally informed journalists and Liberians in radio land that Rev. Johnson was the Spiritual Father to former President Charles Taylor who was expelled from the Congo Baptist Church for financial misconduct. His artificial assertion and hate spree viciously sprung out when Rev. Joseph Johnson and Rev. Joemah Wowoier sat on the Truth Breakfast Show as invited guests to speak about ?The Role of the Church in the fight against Corruption.?
According to Min. Jackson incorrect reference, he said Prelate Johnson claimed that the Liberian government established the LACC, GAC and others anti-corruption institutions to merely placate the Liberian people. His uncorroborated comments were placed on TBS facebook page by one of his loyal emissaries in person of Jamuel Kullie who most often publishes gibberishes and claptrap analysis. Sometimes, it is better to spend more time listening keenly than to allow sentiments overshadow reasoning. I hope TBS could replay this tape for Liberians to know whether it was Rev. Johnson who made this statement or Rev. Joemah Wowoier of the Kingdom Harvest Ministry. The truth is that this comment was averred by Rev. Wowoier and not Rev. Johnson as erroneously said by a Minister who is an expert of fabrication, misinformation, misrepresentation, and misinterpretation. It is better to engage those who disagree with you from an objective perspective, than to create unjust space for sentimentality and abhorrence.
Was it wrong even for a prominent citizen like Rev. Wowoier to have spoken about public corruption and inefficient anti-graft entities? The stance of this Prelate was religiously appropriate and his analysis was in direct concurrence with President Sirleaf?s State of the Nation Address when she said CORRUPTION has become a VAMPIRE. Is this regime not corrupt? It pricks my emotion and pains my heart whenever someone like Min. Jackson dignifies fictions and dampens reality just to protect his job and ravenous interest. This premature nature and haphazard strategy usually exhibited by Min. Jackson to address critical national issues contravenes his mandate as a public communicator. The inane arrogance of this Acting Minister is gaining grip to an extent that his only objective right now is to commercialize falsehood about individuals he knows nothing about.
The presentation of Rev. Joseph Johnson on the Truth Breakfast Show was focusing mainly on corruption within the religious community and the inability of some clergymen to stand up against societal ills. The inaccurate perception imbued within Min. Jackson about Prelate Johnson has brought MICAT?s credibility to public disrepute. Isaac Jackson and others must understand that not everybody will keep quiet about this government?s ambitious plan to loot public resources and subject our people to self-pity and acute poverty. No one should brand Rev. Johnson as an enemy to this regime. Of course, he is not! Therefore, stop fussing with him because he has done nothing wrong. I know truth hurts, but what good it is to remain mute about issues that matter.
The pointless allegation about Rev. Joseph Johnson expulsion from his former Church as a result of his involvement into financial misconduct is a complete parody and misapplication of the fact. In a fruitless attempt to defame Prelate Johnson hard-earned legacy, Min. Jackson could not even call the correct name of Rev. Johnson?s previous Church. In his usual showoff conference with Newsmen, he ignorantly claimed that Rev. Johnson was expelled from the Congo Baptist Church. The actual description of the Church is First Baptist Church, Oldest Congo Town and not Congo Baptist Church. How could our Acting Minister stoop so low to mislead the general public simply because his boss and other high-ranking officials of this government have fundamental differences with this vocal and bold Prelate. As I said, I will always support anyone whose vision for Liberia is beyond greed and self-enrichment. Leave Rev. Johnson alone and focus more on improving the living condition of the people. Our people are dying every day as a result of poverty, ignorance, and disease while you are busy witch-hunting patriotic citizens who are making frantic efforts to make Liberia better.
It was sad and very unethical for Min. Jackson to have taken much of his working time to propel invalid accusations against someone whose moral impeccability is beyond his. It is unfortunate that the Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism has now become a Ministry in defense of wrong doings and doers. I hope Min. Jackson and others will revisit the act that created MICAT in order to avert potential embarrassment. The Cultural Affairs and Tourism section of the Ministry is completely dead while Minister Jackson continues to conduct Press Conferences each day to misinform Liberians and insult prominent citizens. I am one of those who do not just defend anything or anybody without making sufficient inquiries to ascertain preponderance of facts. When Min. Jackson made these starling and null assertions about Prelate Johnson, I made it my personal duty to exhibit due diligence by investigating beyond the surface.
About a day ago, I was able to meet with the Assistant Pastor, few leaders, and members of the First Baptist Church to inquire about the departure of Rev. Joseph Johnson as Senior Pastor. The testimonies from these church leaders and members about Rev. Johnson were in direct contrast to Minister Jackson?s allegations. All of them hailed Rev. Joseph Johnson for his innovation and good legacy he left behind during his tenure as Presiding Prelate. These were the exact words of Rev. Edwin G. Sherman who is the current Assistant Pastor of the First Baptist Church ?Rev. Johnson left because he felt it was time to leave and expand God?s word beyond our Church. He was elected for four terms (12 years) as Senior Pastor of our Church. This means that we had explicit confidence in his leadership. Through his farsightedness, we can boast of our own property and our compound is fenced.?
?The foundation of our school and multipurpose buildings was laid during Rev. Johnson?s administration, Rev. Sherman further stated.? ?We respect Rev. Johnson very well because he left our Church in May 2009 with a cleaned record. A grand Farewell program was held to send him off. The last sermon he preached was ?Don?t kill the Roster? from Matthew 26:33-34, some prominent leaders of the Church averred.? For any additional information, you can contact Rev. Edwin G. Sherman on 0886512720 or 0770414837. This is the extent at which I have gone to dig out the truth and it is now left with you to either stand on the side of fiction or non-fiction. Furthermore, Rev. Johnson has served as Executive Member of the Liberia Council of Church, Vice President and Acting President respectively of the Baptist Convention.
In addendum to these hard truths, Prelate Joseph Johnson was never a SPIRITUAL GODFATHER to former President Charles Taylor. How is it possible for him to be a Spiritual Godfather when his wife was manhandled by some of Taylor?s men? Joshua Wamah who is still alive is a living testimony to this unfortunate incident. Acting Minister Isaac Jackson was too fast to mislead Liberians about the real identity of this Man of God. Rev Johnson is not and has never been a member of the NPP or any political institution in Liberia for that matter. The choice is yours to verify!
Because of Rev. Johnson?s critical stance on national issues during President Taylor?s regime, Mrs. Jennie Bernard (President Sirleaf?s Sister) was a regular visitor of his Church. When President Sirleaf was inaugurated in 2006, the first Church she ever worshipped with was the First Baptist Church where Rev. Johnson was shepherding as Senior Pastor. Rev. Johnson has always stood tall against wrong doings in Liberia even during the administration of the late Interim Head of State Charles Gyude Bryant. I am sure if this regime does the right thing, Rev. Johnson and all of us who have been speaking against public wrong doings will immediately quit. But how can our mouths cease to speak when unpatriotic trustees are looting our resources on a routine basis?
What is even more hilarious is that a character like Min. Isaac Jackson is questioning someone?s credibility. What moral rectitude does he have to point accusing fingers at an eminent clergyman like Rev. Joseph Johnson? I encourage Min. Jackson to find out more about Rev. Johnson from Hon. Jewel Howard Taylor and Hon. Lewis Brown who were both confidants of ex-President Taylor. I think this Minister has crossed his boundary by openly exposing his limitations. It was the same Isaac Jackson who deliberately insulted President Sirleaf without any fear. It was just yesterday when he said Madam Sirleaf was evil and undemocratic, but today he is telling us that President Sirleaf is the best Leader Liberia has ever had with a strong democratic credential. Minister Jackson needs to reread his mandate and act in accordance with statutory values.
I thought Minister Jackson is a graduate of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, but almost all his comments are not fact-based, research-driven, and ingenuous. Hon. Jackson needs to focus more on discussing issues and not personalities. He needs to redefine his role as Deputy Minister; otherwise his lifetime existence will be characterized by historical coincidence and contradictions. Sometimes, I try my best to avoid some of these harangues from Hon. Jackson, but I think enough is enough. I hope Minister Jackson and others will begin to emulate the good examples of Robert Gibbs, Jay Carney, and Josh Earnest who have and continue to exhibit professional communication standards. As of now, I will promptly react if Hon. Jackson and other handbag boys and/or regime trumpeters dare to blackmail any citizen who has made it his/her business to question the power that be. Truth crushed to the ground will rise again! A hint to a wise is quite sufficient.
Above all interests, Liberia is Supreme.
About The Author: Martin K. N. Kollie is a Liberian youth activist, student leader, an emerging economist, and a young writer. He is currently a student at the University of Liberia reading Economics and a member of the Student Unification Party (SUP). His passion is to ensure a new Liberia of socio-economic equality and justice for ALL. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org