VP Taylor Rubbishes Link to Passport Racketeering -Says, “I meet people all the time as a Public Figure”

MONROVOA: Amidst the insinuations and allegations from some elements in the society whom she referred to as “my usual naysayers and detractors” linking her to the trending issue of passport racketeering where some foreigners are said to be in possession of the country’s diplomatic passports, the Vice President Madam Jewel Howard Taylor has rubbished the claims of her involvement and stoutly defended her “hard earned reputation” as well as the oath of office she took during her inauguration to defend the image and integrity of the country just as she stated that as a public figure she was bound to come in connect with people from various background with respect to nationalities and persuasion.

The deconstruction of the allegations formed part of her official reaction issued by the Office of the Vice President a copy of which was obtained by The Analyst in which VP Taylor went on to set the record straight from the “unfounded narratives by the usual naysayers and detractors whose only objective is to experiment at tarnishing the good reputation of the hardworking vice President of the Republic of Liberia Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor with the view of distracting her from addressing critical national issues confronting the country”.

Addressing the specific issue where “she was falsely accused for no reason” where a photo showing her standing with a Kenyan National, Steven Ochienno Nyandiare, one of those who was said to have been issued a diplomatic Liberian passport from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Madam Taylor said just as the normal protocol of receiving people throughout the world who are in the country to conduct various kinds of business be it private or official, she played host to Mr. Nyandiare, a Kenyan national who was in the country according to him to access investment opportunities and had the thought to meet with senior government officials including the Vice President, Madam Jewel Howard Taylor.

“It is true that the photo of Vice President, Her Excellency, Chief Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor standing with Mr. Steven Ochienno Nyandiare, a Kenyan National who was in the country sometime last year is authentic. Mr. Nyandiare paid a courtesy call on the Vice President during his visit here where he met with some government officials and other private citizens we are told and as usual when people meet her they asked for photograph with her and so it was in similar vein that at the end of his visit, Nyandiare probably being overwhelmed by the Vice President’s ascendency to such an exalted position in an African country requested the photo as treasure to cherish out of his visit to Liberia.

“There was no other transaction or any formal business transaction consummated in the discussion as the whole interaction was done in the open glare of members of her staff least to talk about entertaining any discussion on procuring the Liberian diplomatic passport through the Vice President who has demonstrated over and over her zero tolerance for shady deals that will affect her name, reputation and office and the entire country.

“It is very important to state here very emphatically that the issuance of the Liberian passport or any national identity or honor does not lie within the purview of the Office of the Vice President of Liberia and there are legal processes leading to a foreign national being given the Liberian passport, especially with official designation to hold an official or diplomatic passport. If there is anyone who is not a Liberian citizen holding the diplomatic passport, then there could be every reason to believe that due process was followed and the said document may have been obtained legally.

“But these are things that the Vice President cannot speak about because they are completely outside of her official duties and function. Interested persons in knowing how some of these passports were obtained should direct their inquiry to the appropriate authorities and should leave out the Vice President from this devilish campaign of calumny against the respectable first democratically elected female Vice President of the Republic of Liberia”, the release said.

The release stated that it was not a surprise that people are unable to withstand the rising profile of Madam Taylor “who is poised to get a resounding victory along with President George Manneh Weah on October 10, 2023 will hang even on the last straw to invent evil plans against her”. The release further said it was not late for these people to retrace their steps and join her to rebuild the country.

“We wish to remind them that when Her Excellency, the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia took the oath of office on her inauguration to protect and defend the constitution and image of this country, she was deeply aware that Liberia is the only country we all have and every efforts must be made to ensure that nothing negative such as the sale of the Liberian passports be encouraged.

“It would therefore be counterproductive if she will conscientiously reduce herself to the level of violating the very oath she solemnly took in the presence of God and man. This other blackmail cannot hold water. We know she is not a saint but there are just certain things out of the picture that will ever meet the participation of the noble Vice President”, the release concluded.

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