MONROVIA – Amid the allegations being levied against the management of the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services(LISGIS), the Civil Society Network of Liberia (CSNL) has said it is gravely expressing disdain and discontent over series of fake information and negative propaganda emanating from few individuals and institutions against the ongoing census preparatory exercise being undertaken by LISGIS), specifically those that came from Mr. Ibrahim Sesay, a Sierra Leonean national whom the civil society group termed a “criminal” when he appeared on the Spoon Talk show recently.
In a press release issued over the weekend , signed and approved by Francis Collins and Sensee Kiadii, Secretary General and Executive Director, respective, CSNL said while appearing on the popular Spoon Talk, Mr. Sesay accused the Management of LISGIS of mismanaging funds intended for the procurement of Census tools and said it was also concerned about widely held propagandas that there was no list of recruited persons at LISGIS identified enumerators’ training centers in few counties, and that the local county officials are not involved with the census process.
“Having conducted an independent investigation on the veracity of the corruption allegation made by Mr. Ibrahim Sesay against LISGIS Management, the Civil Society Network of Liberia uncovers that he is a criminal in disguise who sought to falsely besmear the character and laudable works of the Management Team of the Liberia Institute of Statistics & Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) in ensuring that the October 2022 Census is held. Mr. Ibrahim Sesay, who was hired by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in 2019 to primarily recruit a Census Technical Advisor (CTA) , ignored all of the applicants for the post and began to function as the CTA. During this period, he unilaterally opened the Census Basket Fund Account in New York instead of EcoBank Liberia. The Director General of LISGIS, who should have been a co-founder to the account, was denied participation. Mr. Sesay then covertly abandoned his role as Census Technical Advisor and became Procurement Director by procuring all LISGIS materials without the involvement or input of LISGIS Management Team”.
CSNL said it has gathered that Mr. Sesay is responsible for the underrated grading of the mapping exercise that led to the Government of Liberia losing little over half a million United States Dollars, a situation for which LISGIS is currently in court for the settlement of field staff. “He used US$1.4million to pay himself and the team recruited for the mapping exercise. It is interesting to note that during the launch of the Census in 2020, Mr. Saysay who spoke so loudly on the Spoon Talk about corruption shamelessly introduced himself to President Weah as Technical Census Advisor when he was just a data specialist. We afe not surprised of Mr. Saysay’s corrupt actions, as our research reveals that he was part of the criminal scam that broke down the Sierra Leone Census Recruitment Program”, the press said.
“Additionally, the Civil Society Network of Liberia unequivocally describes as false and misleading allegations that there were no listing of recruited enumerators at few LISGIS training centers in Montserrado, Lofa and Nimba counties, and that LISGIS Management has not involved local county officials into the census process. These are mere propagandas and manufactured stories originating from unpatriotic individuals who are solely bent on demeaning the character of members of LISGIS Management Team. These are political gambit by those who wish to make political gains at the expense of LISGIS Management Team. Investigation conducted by regional officers of the Civil Society Network of Liberia informs us that the lists of shortlisted enumerators for training were seen posted at every LISGIS earmarked training centers. It is also established that LISGIS Management is working with local county officials for the successful conduct of the census. We have followed several meetings held by LISGIS Management with county superintendents regarding the census process. This was even confirmed on OK FM by the Chairman of the Superintendent Council, Hon. Janjay Baikpah that LISGIS has been in contact with local Officials on the census process.
“In conclusion, the Civil Society Network of Liberia cautions all Liberians, including political stakeholders to stop politicizing the census process. The population census process is a civil process that must be detached from politics. It would be unpatriotic and chaos inviting if Senator Darius Dillon, Representative Yekeh Kolubah and controversial blackmailer in chief Henry Costa continue to spew out negative information about the census process. Hence, we call on all Liberians not to give credence to false information and makeup stories against the Management of LISGIS, and peacefully allow the Management of LISGIS to lead the conduct of the census”, the release concluded.
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