The editorial staff of the Liberian Listener is pleased to recognize: Madame Francis Johnson Morris Allison, Former Chair Liberia Anti Corruption Commission [LACC] as our person of the year! During her tenure at the LACC, she pushed the Liberian presidency and the legislature to give her commission prosecutor powers to fight corruption—REQUEST DENIED, and quite the public servant[a former Liberia Chief Justice], she did her work never minding the the high tension political environment in which she operated,bringing integrity, candor and statesmanship to the post. Specifically this year, Madame Allison engaged the almighty and powerful in the Liberian government by naming and shaming officials of government who either refused to declare their assets or were deliberately flaunting the process by not cooperating with her commission! It was a risk, and she paid the political prize in a country where FIGHTING CORRUPTION is used by both policy makers and ordinary folks alike to send the message that the scourge needs to be tamed. Liberia was also rated the most corrupt country in the world by Transparency International in 2013, and Madame Allison answered the call by being a leader on the issue! In what was one of the biggest headlines grabber in the country that made world news, she took government officials both past and present to task for un-explained amassed wealth with many threatening law suits and crying foul howbeit frivolous, so when President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf quietly replaced her after those efforts and gains, the news came as a total surprise. Congratulations Madame Allison!
We also want to congratulate Rodney Sieh, editor of FrontPageafrica and the Press Union of Liberia, for coming second!It was indeed a hard decision to make between Madame Allison and and the aforementioned. Rodney and the PUL stood up to the powers that be in a volatile political environment and an imperial presidency that shows no signs of slowing down! The international outcry which greeted EPS boss Othello Warrick threats against Liberian Journalists and the incarceration of the editor soiled the image of Liberia and especially the Unity party Led government, no matter how much the government made the argument that it was following the rule of law, it could not make the case for the wanton disregard for Liberia’s corrupt govt officials who though indicted and stained by the General Auditing Commision [GAC], LACC etc still continue to ride the corridors of power while left UN-prosecuted, not to mentioned the grossly unfair libel suits now haunting the Liberian press from public servants in high positions of government of trust! Concerns were heard across the oceans and around the globe and the far reaches of the powerful capitals of the world from Abuja to Washington about the plight of the Liberian journalist in post war Liberia and the dangerous terrain in which he operates!
Notable recognition goes to the University of Liberia! When the Nation’s highest institution of learning failed all 250, 000 students sitting its entrance examination, it was lightening bolt and an eye opener that indeed post war Liberia and its effort to transformed the nation’s education system still needs serious overhaul— ‘And you think getting into Harvard was hard…?’