Press Releases

Draft Constitution Was Tempered With In Gbarnga...Dr. Sawyer...Dr. Fahnbulleh Wants Decentralization of Governance

Montserrado County, Liberia
25 March, 2009
Categorized as pertaining to: Hearings

The Government of President Samuel Kanyon Doe ordered the arrest of members of the Constitution Drafting Commission seen around Kakata, Dr. Amos Sawyer, Chairman of the Drafting Committee has said.

Dr. Sawyer said the arrest order was given with the perception to prevent members of the Drafting Committee from interfering with members of the Constitution Advisory Committee.
He said members of the Drafting Committee were banned from traveling to and beyond Kakata with orders for security forces to arrest any of them seen in the area.

He said there were strenuous efforts by the government to separate the activities of the drafting commission from the advisory committee.
Sawyer, now chair of the Governance Commission was amongst several prominent Liberian professionals who Thursday made presentation at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia (TRC) Institutional Hearing on Governance. He was speaking on the theme: "Governance and Security: What Prospects for National Peace and National Reconciliation."

He said members of the Advisory Committee sitting in the provincial city of Gbarnga, Bong County made significant modification to the original draft of the constitution by altering most of its original provisions.
"Some of the things that we are struggling for today would have been behind us if there was no significant modification of the original draft," he said.
He named some of the altered sections as provisions on the declaration of assets, the creation of an ombudsman commission and the appointment of county superintendents by the president based on a list of short listed individuals submitted from their local constituencies.
National Security Advisor, Dr. H. Boimah Fahnbulleh called for the building of a political culture where the local people will form a part of governance. He attributed the country's governance problem to the centralization of power in the presidency.

Dr. Fahnbulleh proposed the decentralization of power in a way that Monrovia will not be different from the other counties. He said when this is done the local people will feel a part of governance.
He also proposed the establishment of regional and county security committees, which he said would ensure better national security. Dr. Fahnbulleh said such committees would allow checks and balances whereby the security forces will be loyal to the state and not a leader.
Also addressing the hearing were Dr. Thomas Jaye, research fellow of the Kofi Annan International Institute in Accra, Ghana; former deputy Internal Affairs Minister Alfred Kulah; a proxy of former Internal Affairs Minister Oscar Jayee Quiah; and Traditional Chief Ansumana Kasuwah.
The Institutional Hearing on Governance in Liberia under the theme: "Examining the Processes, Administration and Policies of Governance from 1979-2003 was meant to provide a critical review and expert perspectives into the dynamics and processes of governance and their impact on the Liberian conflict.
As part of its mandate to promote national peace, security, unity and reconciliation following Liberia's long running conflict, the TRC is required to adopt appropriate mechanisms and procedures to document the experiences of Liberians and address varying issues that impacted the conflict.

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