More Demons Fly from Senator Dillon’s US$15K Pandora Box -As Rep. H. Kiazolu Spares None; Descends on Cummings, Dillon
Many had thought that the controversial US$15,000 earmarked under the FY 2001/2002 Budget Cycle and disbursed recently to each member of the Liberian Legislature under the caption “Legislative Engagement” would have died to natural death when Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon disclosed to the public receipt of the money. After much hoopla, Dillon vowed to donate his share of the funds to benefit the people of Montserrado County. But as the case now stands, Senator Dillon might have swallowed a bone bigger than his stomach can digest. After his own opposition CPP leader Cummings blasted him for stealing from the Liberian people, thereby demanding that Dillon returns the money, Senator Dillon quickly requested the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) to accept the US$15K and construct a public library. LACE refused, citing governance contradictions. Senator Dillon then turned to the health sector, donating $7,500 to the Montserrado County health leadership to combat Corona. The health authorities subsequently turned down his donation. To add salt to Senator Dillon’s burning sore, a staunch member of his opposition camp, Montserrado County District 17 Representative Hanson Kiazolu has been shooting from both holsters, describing Senator Dillon as a sinner who wants to assume the posture of an angel. Rep. Kiazolu went further to openly lambast his own opposition CPP leader Alexander Cummings for calling legislators broad day thieves, The Analyst reports.
According to Rep. Hanson Kiazolu, a stalwart of the former ruling Unity Party and erstwhile Comptroller General of Liberia, everyone in the opposition camp labored from September to December 2020 to reelect Senator Dillon.
“But some diaspora Facebookers may make the same claim even though they did not set a foot on Liberian soil or cast a ballot during the December 8, 2020 election that brought Sen. Dillion. Our efforts to bring Dillion back to the Legislature were not solely based on love for Mr. Dillion but rather on the need to sustain a political fight against the CDC in what was traditionally considered its stronghold-Montserrado County. We all understood that a defeat for the CDC in Montserrado would send a strong signal of general disaffection and dampen its second term chances in 2023. Now that the job is done, it appears that Sen. Dillion only has respect for those in the diaspora and does things to satisfy their dictates and disregards other fighters on the ground,” Rep. Kiazolu lamented, noting that Liberian politics is replete with people who elevate personalities as Messiahs but would later label them as rogues when they start to discover that those they voted are brash and disrespectful toward them,” the outspoken legislator averred.
“The people may appear not to be making note of the happenings but make no mistake that they are very conscious of dishonest traits and dealings. From all indications and from my reading of global Legislative and Executive political coordination in the societies with democratic values, there are always disagreements, alignments and realignments surrounding major policy issues. Negotiating from a position of strength is not wise because it limits the space for compromise that is why both branches through an iterative process try to give and take until they can align their thoughts on issues. One such major policy issue is the budget process. The budget process is an Open Budget Initiative that all the citizens have access to and can critique. Sen. Dillion disclosed the salaries of the Legislators, he gave certain percentage of his monthly salary back to the county, and he also promised to disclose any “irregular” payments at the Legislature during his campaign, to date he has been doing just that, But what I am yet to wrap my head around is whether he said that he will disclose every budget line payment made to Legislators or every dime he receives from the Legislature to the public? Well, let the judge be you who have interest in all Legislative payments. In the current fiscal year all legislators including Sen. Dillion received other payments within the budget. As at the time of this writing, I have yet to hear Sen. Dillon in a press conference committing himself to sending all those other payments back to the government consolidated account. What can we do in the face of those payments?” Rep. Kiazolu wondered.
Disappointed in Cummings
Representative Hanson Kiazolu also descended on ANC political leader and CPP frontrunner for the 2023 presidential elections, Mr. Alexander Cummings, questioning Mr. Cummings’ characterization of the legislators’ acceptance of $15K as “broad day stealing”.
“I read with dismay an impolite press statement from the ANC political Leader and a disguised Facebook post from the SG of the Unity Party in which he insinuated that Legislators are rogues when he characterized our action as “broad day stealing”. Ah mehn! Is it because we are not your personal friends so anything that concerns us you guys treat with disdain or is your behavior due to plain immaturity and lack of governance experience?” Rep. Kiazolu wondered, adding that with great responsibility comes an even greater decision-making capacity especially concerning the handling of critical national policy issues.
The capacity to speak with wisdom on issues if they exist, Rep. Kiazolu intoned, has not been demonstrated by the ANC leader. “I am petrified by the level of inexperience in engaging in public policy discourse. It is indeed petty!” Rep/ Kiazolu stated.
Efforts to contact Sen. Dillon and the ANC political leader for their reactions to Rep. Kiazolu’s assertions did not yield fruit up to press time, as their respective contacts were said to be unavailable.