Posted in Uncategorized on July 31, 2009 by Nat Bayjay
By: Nat Nyuan-Bayjay,email@example.com (231-6-402737) (231-77-402737)
Technocrats Reunion '09:From left to right: Nat Nyuan-Bayjay,Cosby Pelham,Wallace Johnnylone,Aaron Weah, Henry Federicks, Vic Agordo,Sam Oye,Wennie Selegajallah and Buku Gailah as Wreh Geayon had left
he old but popular saying “School days are the best” was actualized (apparently for the first time for some) in the lives of 12 former high graduates of the Catholic-run Don Bosco Technical High School located in Sinkor, Monrovia as they held a re-union in observance of a decade celebration of The Technocrats (Class of ’98-’99). Yes, reuniting 10 years after graduating from high school is indeed a hallmark of perpetual spirit of fraternalism!!!
Despite attending colleges/universities thereafter and acquiring university degrees in different disciplines and professional careers while others are in the process of doing so, 12 committed members of the class met on Sunday, July 11, 2009 at the “ Big Treat Restaurant & Bar”, an entertainment center located in the Sinkor suburb, specifically on 9th Street between Coleman and Chessman Avenues where they did not only party all night long but they held a brief but significant discussion as they reminisced from the past glorious and enjoyable days.
During the brief ceremony, Aaron Weah
Attendees of The Event
Technocrats attending the ‘Decade Celebration’ of one of the best classes ever produced by Don Dosco were Sam Oye (President), Nat Nyuan-Bayjay (Spokesman/Secretary), Aaron Weah (Special Advisor), Jerry B. Wensae (Parliamentarian Emeritus), Buku Gailar, Cosby Pelham, Victoria Agordo, Henry Federicks, Wreh Geayon, Wennie Selegarjallah, Wallace Johnnylone.
Decade Celebrants & Their Activities
After 10 years, members of the Class have been of vital contributions in the Liberian society as most of them are professionals; earning earnest and honest livelihoods in different careers while others, though still in colleges are self-employed.
I now proudly present to you readers The Technocrats Decade Celebrants below:
Nat 'Bob Holder' Nyuan-Bayjay
Name: Nat Nyuan-Bayjay
Institution: FrontPageAfrica (www.frontpageafrica.com)
Impression About Event: “Excited to reunite after a decade”
Contact(s): (231)-6-402737/ (231)77-402737
Personal web-blogs: www.natlyn.wordpress.com,
Name: Aaron B. Weah
Career/Profession: Civil Rights Advocate
Institution: International Center for Transitional Justice
Impression About Event: “Technocrats—still a possibility after
Name: Henry A. Federicks
Institution: Philips Preparatory Jr. & Sr. High School
Impression About Event: “Technocrats at 10—a moment to be a
E. Cosby Pelham
Name: E. Cosby Pelham
Institution: Liberian Bank for Development & Investment
Impression About Event: “Technocrats still live on”
Name: Wallace Johnnylone
Career/Profession: Hardware Technician
Institution: Linda’s Internet Cafe
Impression About Event: “It’s good to be here again.”
Name: Wennie Manyango Selegajallah
Career/Profession: Social Worker
Institution: Christian Foundation for Children & Aging
Impression About Event: “Hoping to achieve my dreams after
after 10 years”
Name: Victoria Agordo
Institution: Not employed yet
Impression About Event: “Let others, especially ‘Fair Ladies’
get on board”.
Name: Gibson Buku Gailah, Jr.
Institution: Gibson & Son’s Incorporated
Impression About Event: “Overly impressed with nature of
Name: Jerry B. Wensae
Institution: University of Liberia
Impression About Event: “What’s more important than
reuniting after a decade?”
Contact(s): (231)-6-528912, (231)-77-949905
Impression About Event:
Impression About Event:
In addition to the 11 members who attend the Decade Event, a wife and two fiancées (girlfriends) as well as kids of the Technocrats graced the occasion.
Mrs. Zahn Nyuan-Bajyay who was recently married to Nat Nyuan-Bajyay and Natlyn Bayjay (daughter of Nat) consisted of Nat’s family represented at the Event while Selegarjallah’s fiancée and baby accompanied him to the Event.
But notably and admirably too among those who graced the Event was a member but yet another fiancée of another member whose relationship has been going since school days. Victoria Agordo has been the fiancée of Sam Oye since 11th Grade (1998) and they are on the verge of getting married. As a matter of fact, their decade long relationship has been blessed with a charming little girl.
The rejuvenation of the spirit of The Technocratic Class clearly demonstrates the continuity of the Class’ unity that was begun as far back as its 10th Grade year during the ’96-’97 Academic Year.
Posted in Uncategorized on July 11, 2009 by Nat Bayjay
By: Nat Nyuan-Bayjay,firstname.lastname@example.org (231-6-402737/231-77-402737)
Sen. Banney: Remove my name from the TRC list or else I'll take them to court
The release of Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Final Report to the National Legislature has been met with several challenges of the report emulating from some of the alleged perpetrators who are being recommended by the Commission to be prosecuted with the latest coming from the Senior Senator of Rivercess County Jonathan Banney who is demanding that the Commission removes his name from the list of alleged perpetrators recommended for prosecution.
Senator Banney’s name is enlisted among several alleged perpetrators the TRC has categorized as “notorious perpetrators” for gross human rights violations including violations of international humanitarian law, international human rights law, and war crimes and therefore recommends for his prosecution.
‘I Challenge The TRC’
The lawmaker told me that he is challenging the TRC to come with up any evidence against him that he did commit torture against any Liberian. He further explained that he was never given a day in court or asked to appear before the TRC to answer to whatever allegation anyone might have had levied against him during the Commission’s public hearings.
“I challenge the TRC to give me a day in court!!” he exclaimed as he displayed a copy of a letter addressed to the Commission which he said had already delivered to the Commission and awaiting a prompt response.
Senator Banney said the report has no iota of truth in it and therefore asked the Commission to have his name removed from the list.
“I also demand an unconditional expunging or obliteration of my name from the said published final statement of the TRC and an open apology for the wrong committed against me by the Commission in this regard. Otherwise, I would be left with no other alternatives but to seek legal remedy under the circumstances”, Senator Banney said in his letter dated July 6, 2009 to the TRC.
Senator Banney also requested from the Commission the identities of any alleged victims and the opportunity for him to confront them in an open forum in order to “perfect the TRC process” in his particular case.
Senator Banney’s above request of being afforded the opportunity to meet and confront whoever his alleged victims are stems from the provision of an article in the Act of The TRC which calls for a perpetrator-victim interaction in an open forum according to Part II, Section 6.8 which states: “Every person artificial or natural, who is named of wrongdoing, at a public hearing, shall be afforded adequate opportunity to respond in a comprehensible and respectable manner within a reasonable time to be fixed by the Commission”.
Further, Section 6.9 states: “Where an accused person responds to allegations, sufficient opportunity shall be afforded him or her to be present in person and to ask questions of the accuser or witness where and when the Commission deems appropriate”.
He further told me: “I’m politely asking the TRC to provide evidence that I tortured anyone within the Republic of Liberia and not just in Rivercess alone”.
The Rivercess County Senator’s name on the Final Report states that he carried out the alleged torture while he was then superintendent of Rivercess County, a position he was appointed to in December of 2005 during the Transitional Government of the Six-Man Council.
“Let Sen. Banney Resign”
At the same time, a pressure group named Rivercess Amunwulun Development Association, through its chairman has asked Senator Banney to resign as senator of Rivercess.
Hilary Mento said the pressure group’s request for Senator Banney’s resignation is based on his (the senator’s) denial of his involvement in committing torture as contained in the Final Report of the TRC. He said the group was taken aback to have heard Senator Banney describing the TRC’s report as untrue.
Mento alleged that the then superintendent led a group of gangs that tortured a group of company workers from a company he only named as PRC in the county who had demanded for their just benefits.
“The surprising thing is that the Superintendent led a gang in 1996 against these people and they were tortured. One Michael Blah who is right now in Tonpoe’s Town in Rivercess County can testify to this. Even Victor Wilson who served as a representative for Rivercess under the Taylor government and travelled to the United States but back in Liberia now can also attest to this”, Mento alleged.
“John Gbeato who was then the council of chief in Rivercess and still in Rivercess is also a victim of Senator Banny under whose mandate people pissed in his mouth”, he continued.
Mento said the association is therefore calling for Senator Banney’s immediate resignation for what he (Mento) described as having a tainted character who cannot lead the people of the county.
But Senator Banney, when contacted said he was only concerned about the TRC’s Final Report and not any other individual. He however denied ever knowing any pressure group called ‘Amunwulun’; neither can he address himself to anyone called Hilary Mentoe.
He further asserted that he has not even received any formal letter from any pressure group requesting for his resignation.
“If anyone has undermined me, I don’t know them. I don’t know any legal organization or pressure group in Rivercess named and styled Amunwulun”.
He suspects that there may be a political intention from whoever that might want to use the issue at stake for his or her personal political gain.
Posted in Uncategorized on July 10, 2009 by Nat Bayjay
Liberian Legislative members in session
Following consultations among the lawmakers of the lower house of the National Legislature and heads of the various governmental institutions, members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, July 7, 2009 passed the Fiscal Budget of 2009/2010 in the tone of US$371,908,797 or the equivalent of L$24,545,980,602 at the given Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) rate of L$66 to US$1, an additional US$24 million to the drafted figure of US$347 million.
According to a copy of the Act to approve the Budget for the Fiscal Year 2009/2010, it states: “It is now, therefore, enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Republic of Liberia in Legislature assembled that the budget of the Republic of Liberia for the fiscal period beginning July 1, 2009 and ending June 30, 2010 in the amount of L$24,545,980,602 (twenty four billion, five hundred forty five million, nine hundred eighty thousand, six hundred two Liberian dollars); same being US$371,908,797 (three-hundred seventy one million, nine hundred eight thousand, seven hundred ninety-seven United States dollars) is hereby approved”.
The passage of the budget means that Fiscal Year 2009/2010 National Budget has an additional US$24,873,111 to the proposed Draft National Budget for Fiscal Year 2009/2010 initially put at US$347,035,686.
Can the US$24 million increment in the budget help the average Liberians like these residents Queued For Water That Is Located In A Nasty Drainage
The additional US424 million , according to revenue configuration, has US$2,815,000 unspent revenue from Fiscal Year 2008.2009, a total of US$3,000,000 from Mittal Steel past due for social development funds for the Fiscal Year of 2008/2009, the Bureau of Maritime Affairs outstanding revenue of US$3,244,949, among others.
This year’s budget is the highest in the history of the country and surpasses that that of last year which was US$298,087,792 by a little over US$71 million.
Tuesday’s passage of the Budget by the House of Representatives followed Monday’s closed door meeting that lasted for nearly seven hours in which the Draft National Budget for Fiscal Year 2009/2010 was discussed and it was thereafter promised by Speaker Alex Tyler of Bomi County that an opened regular session of the House of Representatives would be held today Tuesday July 7, 2009 with the likely passage of the Budget.
Characterized by errors dubbed as “human” or “Information Technology” (IT) error by Finance Minister Augustine Ngafuan and unexplained error under the code “Correctional palace staff’ by outgoing Justice Minister Philip Banks among others, the passage of the Budget by the Lower House of the National Legislature follows intensive budget hearings which witnessed repeated appeals from virtually every ministry and agency for increments in their respective proposed budgets during their appearances before the Joint Committee in which they put up strong defenses for their appeals for their budgetary allotment that will smooth them through for the next 12 months.
Civil Servants’ Increased Salary
The representative passed the US$371 million budget with a mandate to the Ministry of Finance to begin the payment of civil servants the minimum salary of UD$80, an addition of US$10 to the previous fiscal year.
Others believe that the increment in the salary of the civil servants will at least make their July 26 Celebration (Liberia’s Independence Day) an adjustable one for the ever increasing economic situation in the country.
Posted in Uncategorized on July 10, 2009 by Nat Bayjay
Flood in New Kru Town, Bushrod Island, Monrovia By: Nat Nyuan-Bayjay, email@example.com (231-6-402737/231-77-402737)Heavy floods have overtaken hundreds (if not thousands) of houses in various communities in and around the Capital Monrovia following three days of successive rainfall that fell successively from early Sunday morning, the 28th of June, 2009 up to early Tuesday morning, 30th of June, 2009 thereby while environmentalists predict more rainfall.Several communities ranging from those on the outskirts of the City in Paynesville to various slum communities in and around the City to communities on the Bushrod Island experienced flood that saw water entered into thousands of houses which left hundreds of residents sleeping out of their homes while hundred more virtually slept with water in all homes.Among the hardest hit of the communities were the Samuel Kanyon Doe Community simply referred to as Doe Community, parts of Logan Town, the Bong Mines Bridge Community, and the Borough of New Kru Town in which lots of residents informed FrontPageAfrica that they had a sleepless Monday night due to the flood which led to the rain water reaching almost window level.Upon arrival in the Colonel West area of the Borough of New Kru Town where I ended my early morning tour of various affected communities of the Bushrod Island, hundreds of residents were seen walking through flooded paths as they attempted to go about their daily routines having experienced a precious night of what some of them termed as nightmare.Environmentalists predict Liberians still have few months to endure this
Madame Floku Weah of the community told of her story as follows: “When I came home last night, I was surprised to see all my house mates with loads on their heads. As I asked what was happening, nobody could tell me anything but they were all busy taking their loads from their rooms and carrying it other places. That’s when I knew that the water was the problem. When I entered my room, I was very much frustrated because the water in my room passed by my knee. The only thing that blessed me was it didn’t reach my bed. But I had to sleep at a neighbor’s house”.
Madame Weah who is a student nurse at the Tubman National Institute of Medical
Arts (TNIMA) was not the only one who was displayed by the flood. A lot of other residents told FPA that they either slept out of their houses or kept what they called “tarry” or night vigil.
Monday’s rainfall which began by 6 pm continued up to the next morning which by 10 pm saw almost every house in the community receiving its share of the water.
What’s Responsible For The Flood?
While in the populated Colonel West community of New Kru Town, some residents pointed accusing fingers at their Representative Edwin Forh for the flood they are currently experiencing.
According to some of them, the Representative’s action of building a school in what they called the swampy area that once contained the rain is contributing to the flood.
According to Tommy Batu, previous years had not seen such flood being experienced by their community. “But the school the Representative built here in one of the causes. He built the school right in the drainage and the water can’t pass easily. Also, Pa Seaton is one of the causes. He can just dump dirt in the way of the drainage”, he said.
Ebenezer Nyenfueh, another resident of the community thinks that Representative Forh, to a greater extend is held responsible for their misfortune.
“He’s our representative. He should have at least mobilized some funds to prevent this kind of things up to now, especially where he built the school in an area that the water used to pass through”, Ebenezer told me.
But Representative’s refusal to comment on anything pertaining to the flood as he complained of hunger and fatigue caused by the flood couldn’t allow me to get his reaction to the apparent reason of the flood as being seriously thought by a large number of his citizens.
Unfortunately, environmentalists on climate change have predicted heavy downpour of rain that will be concentrated between July and September of this year in which they have said will see more of such disaster.
According to Yurfee Shaikalee, Executive Director of the Action Against Climate Change, there is a terrible wind called Elnino Wind that comes from the Atlantic Ocean that causes such heavy rainfalls which result into the type of floods being experienced now.
“Liberia is expected to experience from 50 millimeters upward of rainfall this year. This is not only going to be Liberia alone. But we expect more of this from July to September”, Yurfee told me.
“The kind of structures that are around now can’t withstand the storm that I’m talking about. I see some people in my community right now off-roofing their houses to build it up. This won’t help them. We need stronger structures that will be able to withstand this storm”, he noted.
The rains continual fall may lead to more of such scenes
If Yurfee’s prediction is anything to follow, then Liberians should expect to see of such flooding. But what many Liberians are concerned about is the result of the just ended Inter-Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Change that begun on June 24, 2009 and ended on June 26, 2009 which was expected to discuss climate change impacts and climate talks that would better prepare Liberians for the inevitable natural occurrence.
Posted in Uncategorized on July 5, 2009 by Nat Bayjay
By: Nat Nyuan-Bayjay,firstname.lastname@example.org (231-6-402737/231-77-402737)
Comm. Bull Was The First To Say She Didn't Sign Report
Barely 24 hours had elapsed from the time the Final Report of Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was released than some of its commissioners have begun to send their dissents on the report.
Commissioner Pearl Brown-Bull who from the onset of the Commission’s establishment has been at the core of TRC’s vivid internal wrangling and continual conflict was the first to have registered her complete dissent on the Final Report which she said she is not a signatory to because according to her, “I cannot concur with my fellow Commissioners that prosecution in a court of competent jurisdiction and other forms of public sanction will foster genuine reconciliation, combat impunity to promote justice, peace and security”.
In a 35-page document of dissent, Commissioner Sheikh Konneh, among other vital issues outlined what may be termed as the Commission’s refusal to provide the actual outcome of the County Consultative Meeting in which over 50 per cent of the statements preferred reconciliation and forgiveness as opposed to prosecution, the Commission’s deliberate ignoring of the articles of the its own Act that got blessings from of the 1986 revised Liberian Constitution, granting of amnesty by the Commission to alleged perpetrators he termed as notorious as well as exposure of other internal happenings within the Commission such as Commissioner Gerard Coleman’s ignored letter of request for additional 90 days for the better preparation of a comprehensive report.
Sheikh Kafumba Konneh:These percentages, if gained in a presidential election, can automatically usher in such person as president of our Nation
Commissioner Konneh said: “The purported report audaciously imposes blanket charges in order to plant a seed of witch hunting for collective guilt. For example, it surreptitiously determines that ‘All warring factions are responsible for the commission of gross human rights violations in Liberia, including war crimes, crimes against humanity, IHRL, IHL, ICL, domestic criminal laws’. It goes further to state that ‘All factions to the conflict systematically targeted women, mainly as a result of their gender, and committed sexual and gender based violations against them, including rape of all forms, sexual slavery, forced marriage, forced recruitment, etc”.
Sheikh Konneh placed in his dissent as major reason why the TRC’s Final Report is purported the recommendations from Liberians spread across the nation which sees a complete dominance of an overwhelming call for reconciliation as recommended by over 50 per cent of their recommendations, as listed below:
“Table 13: Percentage of Statement-Givers’ Recommendation about Reconciliation in Liberia, by County, out-lines as indicated below:
COUNTY FORGIVE AND FORGET: RETRIBUTIVE JUSTICE
Bomi 58.5% 1.8%
Bong 53.8“ 2.1“
Gbarpolu 58.5“ 1.0“
Grand Bassa 62.0“ 2.0“
Grand Cape Mount 36.0“ 3.8“
Grand Gedeh 44.6“ 3.0“
Grand Kru 55.2“ 2.9“
Lofa 53.2 “ 3.2“
Margibi 52.0“ 1.8“
Maryland 59.6“ 2.0“
Montserrado 60.5 “ 2.7“
Nimba 47.4 “ 3.4“
River Gee 46.2 “ 5.6“
Rivercess 39.9 “ 1.3“
Sinoe 61.1 “ 2.0“ etc. etc.
The Call For Prosecution: Whose Recommendation-Liberians or TRC?
Based on the above, Commissioner Konneh said: “These percentages, if gained in a presidential election, can automatically usher in such person as president of our Nation. Interestingly, these statistics come from an institution that got no fish to fry in Liberia’s mosaic that is saturated with mutual prejudice, hatred and recrimination. It is also worth stating that about ninety five or more percent of the statement givers constitute the main and actual victims of our civil conflict. They have every right to share their views, concerns and aspirations in determining the process befitting the way forward”.
It is also reported in Commissioner Konneh’s dissent that Commissioner Gerard Coleman, one of the nine commissioners who was always in the ‘Verdier Camp’ as the TRC persistently experienced continual division among its commissioners, appealed to his colleagues in a June 17th letter in which he suggested that the TRC request for an application of additional ninety days extension from the Legislature and the President to enable them come out with a full report.
According to Commissioner Konneh’s dissent, Commissioner Coleman threatened to not affix his signature to the Final Report.
“Personally, I prefer not being part of such a haphazard report writing process and thus will submit a draft document of core FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATIONS to the report writing committee as my professional responsibility but will refrain from signing the Final Report. I leave the decision of the Commission to the majority of my fellow Commissioners”, Commissioner Coleman is quoted as saying in Commissioner Konneh’s dissent.
Now, given that there is an authenticity of the Coleman’s June 17th letter then there are three dissents or better still, three none-signatories of the TRC’s Final Report which leaves observers to wonder if the Report will ever be given such credence or treated with some level of respectability in addition to Commissioners Pearl Brown-Bull and Sheikh Kafumba Konneh’s refusal to sign as commissioners of the TRC.
The TRC, in fulfillment of its mandate submitted to the National Legislature on June 30, 2009 its final report in which it recommended prosecution for eight alleged perpetrators for gross human rights violations and war crimes, labeled 98 alleged perpetrators as most notorious, 21 alleged perpetrators and 19 other corporations, institutions and state actors are said to be responsible for committing economic crimes, and 54 alleged perpetrators recommended for further investigation while at the same time recommending that 36 alleged perpetrators should not be prosecuted for what the Commission termed as cooperating with the process and admitting to the crimes by speaking “truthfully” before the Commission.
Cross section of Liberia's TRC Divided Commissioners
TRC Defends Recommendation
But the Truth Commission has defended its recommendations, especially on the 36 persons granted amnesty. It said they deserved the amnesty. As for the 98 other individuals and 19 institutions placed under economic crimes and sabotage, the Commission said they took the process for granted in which they did not make any full disclosure of the truth during their appearances before the Truth Commission.
James Kpargoi, the media officer of the TRC earlier told FPA: “It became a prevalent pattern during the TRC’s truth telling process that major actors and players in the Liberian civil conflict decided not to make any full disclosure before the TRC.”
In further support of his statement, Kpargoi had said: “The issue of reconciliation is a victim-perpetrator driven exercise in which alleged perpetrators should make full disclosure before a victim which can easily lead to reconciliation. But in our own case, most of these perpetrators did nothing of such in which they reframed from saying the fact to the Commission. And so the Commissioners had to recommend for their prosecution. Moreover, this was in accordance with the Commission’s own enquiry processes because an act of the legislation grants the Commission the power to recommend prosecutions for them”, argued Kpargoi.
Posted in Uncategorized on June 12, 2009 by Nat Bayjay
One of the dead discovred so far
Residents of Monrovia mainly the coastal settlement of Mamba Point woke up early Thursday morning to the tragic news of a canoe capsizing that hit the coast of the Atlantic Ocean near Monrovia leaving two persons dead and 10 missing so far. The canoe with 22 persons onboard majority of them children and women was hardly hit by the rising Atlantic tide after pickup from West Point headed for Grand Kru in the South eastern region of Liberia.
With occupants dominantly members of the Kru community, the canoe could not survive the growing tide along the Atlantic Coast which is normal during the rainy season in Liberia when the Atlantic prevents waters from smaller creeks, streams and rivers around Monrovia from entering.
A grieving lady, head of the team onboard the canoe who could not clearly express her words told FrontPageAfrica in a hasty interview as she was prevented from speaking by bystanders that the incident occurred at 10 PM local time Wednesday night.
Grand Kru bound
“We were going to Grand Kru, but when we reached here, the canoe turned over, we were 22 people”, the lady who preferred to only be identified as Haja told FPA.
Haja says the route from West Point to Grand Kru is a usual ride for the canoe and explained that even business people traveling to that part of Liberia use the canoe due to the road condition.
“The load was not much but just like last night when the rain came down, the heavy storm came, swell started going in the canoe. Two persons died, one little girl and that oldma that laying down there. There is the body and the police people say the owner must not take it. We not find the little girl yet because it was last night. The canoe left in the water”, Madam Haja narrated the incident.
Items onboard the canoe
Haja explains, the load taken from the canoe will be taken to her place for the owners to claim them later and has already informed the owner of the canoe about the incident.
Bad roads force many to ride canoe
“That people load, they will collect it, I already inform the canoe owner”, Haja who was ripped off the interview by the crowd stated.
Canoe ride is a normal occurrence as people use the medium to get to coastal counties mostly in the Southern part of Liberia.
The deplorable road condition in the south eastern counties is one major reason for the risky journey by sea.
Grand Kru, Maryland, Sinoe and River Gee are nearly inaccessible by road due to the long bad road leading to that region.
Rising Tides of the Atlantic Ocean
In April this year, a mini-fishing ship in the port city of Buchanan accidently appeared on-shore that left one person dead and other feared dead.
The fishing boat was headed for the same south eastern part of Liberia.
Posted in Uncategorized on June 4, 2009 by Nat Bayjay
By: Nat Nyuan-Bayjay, email@example.com (231-6-402737)
Sackie’s eyes, nose, neck and face are the most critical parts that need to be reconstructed BEFORE AND AFTER - AN ARMED ROBBERY: One year after armed robbers attacked him at his home, Sackie Nyanquoi, 18, has been hospitalized since April 17, 2008 where he has undergone over six different surgical procedures. According to medical reports, he now needs to undergo multiple plastic surgeries which can only be performed abroad.
Sackie Nyanquoi, aged 18, is still at the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Medical Center after one year and two months following an armed robbery attack in which raw acid liquid was poured on him, leaving him completely deformed, and having to deal with the agony of living in constant pain.
The victimized Sackie has been hospitalized since April 17, 2008 where he has undergone over six different surgical procedures. According to medical report, he now needs to undergo multiple plastic surgeries which can only be performed abroad.
It is in this vain, however, that the humanitarian effort of a Liberian based in the United States of America has resulted in arrangements which have been finalized with another doctor— Dr. Frederick T. Work, a plastic surgeon. According to report, the only hold up is securing the required funds to have Sackie sent to the United States for the surgery.
Dr. Bartum Kulah, who has been so compassionate about Sackie’s desperate situation, said the plastic surgeon has agreed to perform Sackie’s plastic surgery at an estimated cost of between US$25,000.00 to $75,000.00. The final cost, according to Dr. Work, will be the result of an actual physical exam to determine the number and the extent of procedures to be performed. However, he stressed that the least amount would be US$25,000.00 and the maximum would be US$75,000.00.
Dr. Work who has greater than 20 years experience in both General Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, is said to be one of the best plastic surgeons in the State of Georgia. He is the Medical Director and Senior Surgeon at Atlanta Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He has agreed to repair the deformities of Sackie’s eyes, nose, neck and face, which are the most critical parts.
According to Sackie, six surgeries have been performed on him, with Dr. Robert Dennis performing four of them, while Dr. Peter Coleman performed the other two surgeries,
“But after each of these operations, the pain can be too much for me. The neck is pulling the mouth down, making it difficult for me to even stretch my neck a little or to look right or left”, lamented Sackie who was an eighth grade student, prior to the occurrence of the deadly armed robbery. He said, he is unable to turn right or left due to a contracture/scar which has formed between his neck and mouth as a result of the wound caused by the large amount of acid that was poured on that part of his body.
“Every time they tried to release the contraction, it can be worse. So they can be forced to put it back. And this is how I have been in this terrible pain for the past one year and two months”, he continued.
During my visit to Sackie at the JFK Hospital recently, it was obvious that his stay at the hospital for over 14 months without any further improvement is no longer necessary. He is currently not on any meditation, or any pre-medical care leading to the needed plastic surgery. He disclosed he has been advised by the Hospital Administrator to remain there, as they hope that one of these days a plastic surgeon might come to Liberia.
Frantic efforts to get in touch with the JFK administrator or the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) continue to drag on due to what their respective assistants allude to as busy schedules.
Dr. Kulah told me: “It will require a good amount of money to get him to the States, and to cover medical costs. Please, let all Liberians chip in to defray the costs. Let us all rally around this young man to get him healthy and back in school.”
No Concern Shown
Sackie said that for the past one year and two months, no one has shown any real concern, except for one or two instances in which Information Minister Dr. Laurence Bropleh promised to intervene following after he shall have returned from the United States. Also a local talk-show host named JKB of Truth FM sent out an SOS call on a programmed called ‘Solution Night’ sometimes last year.
Despite all of the appeals, Sackie said: “When I called on JKB show, only one fellow named Michael came and promised to put my information on the internet since which he did, anyway. But since then, no one has come here, not even the police or the Government”.
“It Was Like Real Fire When The Acid Wasted On Me”
Narrating the entire incidence, Sackie said about seven armed robbers, excluding some that were positioned outside, entered his family’s residence on Perry Street during the early morning hours of April 17, 2008. He explained that while they were asleep, the robbers made their way into the house, but his father challenged them and struck one of them with a cutlass, but the cutlass dropped on the floor.
“When I awoke from sleep, my father cut one of them in his hand and the cutlass dropped from him on the floor. When I bent down to pick up the cutlass, one of them wasted the raw acid water on me. It was like real fire when the acid wasted on me; I had no shirt on me because I was sleeping without a shirt due to the heat in the house. My eyes all came out. I couldn’t see anything at all. The acid almost ate the eyes. Thank God I am seeing with them. I began to roll all on the floor because of the pain just like real fire. They brought me here to JFK and started to waste water on me. Some of the acid got into my mouth, but thank God it did not go deep inside”, Sackie said.
He explained that some of the acid water wasted on his father but since his (Sackie’s) situation was worse he was hurriedly taken to the JFK Hospital—thanks to a neighbor whose car was used to transport him during such ungodly hours. He explained that the neighbor, owner of a local motel in the community, had been attacked too but the sake of humanity still gave him the urge to take he, Sackie, to the hospital since there was not a single moving vehicle on the street during that night.
He narrated that due to the brave fight put forth by his father and the serious injury he inflicted on one of them with the cutlass, they did not enter the house but rather extended their terror to other houses in the community.
“My father spent about three weeks here at the hospital and was later discharged since his situation was not too bad like mine”, he continued. He stated that his father is an employee of the National Port Authority (NPA) but did not specify which department or division he works in at the port. “My mother is not working at all. My father’s income is not enough to carry us (a family of five—including three children) through a whole month”, Sackie explained.
Plead For Help
“I really want to go back to school. I’m asking the government, NGO’s and all citizens of this country including Liberians all over the world to help me. I’m really suffering and I need to go back to school. This is not how I was looking (as seen in the two different photos) and I can feel very bad whenever I see myself in the mirror. Please, I need the help of everybody, anybody”, pleaded Sackie Nyanquoi as he struggled to hold back his tears.
The Sackie Nyanquoi Surgical Fund—An Initial Step
In order to restore Sackie Nyanquoi to normalcy, Dr. Bartum Kulah who has taken so much interest in the story of humanity disclosed to FPA via an email exchange that he met with Senator Clarice Jah, the Head of the Senate Health Committee on Thursday, May 22, 2009. Describing the meeting as a very productive one, he said that the Senator has pledged US$500.00 as her contribution towards Sackie’s plastic surgery project.
“Therefore it sends a very positive sign. I think that all other Liberians, the legislators, senators, cabinet members, bishops, pastors, civil servants, businessmen/women, as well as ordinary Liberians work with her in the fund raising effort. I’ve asked that she works with Dr. Tomarken (who released the medical report at JFK) and open a deposit- only account at Ecobank to be called The Sackie Nyanquoi Surgical Fund. She could go on radio and T.V and call on her colleagues and the general public to follow her lead”, he said.
He suggested that such fund would be a continual process which could be used in the future to aid the next victim, as is done in the advanced world.
“After Sackie this fund could be renamed to help the next victim of acid attack. This is how it’s done in the real world. I believe that it is about time that we join the rest of humanity in looking out for our fellow citizens”, Dr. Kulah concluded.
The wave of increasing armed robbery in the country has taken its toll indiscriminately on all sectors of the entire Liberian citizenry with teenager Sackie Nyanquoi being just one of many victims falling prey to it. In recent months, especially for the past few weeks incidences of armed robbery have engulfed the Capital and its environs with the latest victims being Montserrado County Representative Richard Holder and Bentol City Mayor Henrietta Nyea’s son in Bensonville on Wednesday morning in which the latter was killed. Throughout last night the capital was again terrorized by this ugly act.
In response to Sackie’s plight, those that want to make a contribution in the US can do so by sending an email with amount and date to Dr. Work whose email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. FPA will keep a tally of all contributors as we keep an update on the story from time to time when the targeted goal is reached.
Meanwhile, those wanting to make contributions in Liberia can use this medium for now until the ECOBank account can be established in Monrovia later while those in Europe and other parts of the world can use the same medium.
Thanks for your contribution and remember that “Blessed is the hand that giveth”.
Dr. Work’s Address is as follows:
One Baltimore, Place Suite 400
Atlanta, Georgia 30308
Telephone Number 1-404- 885-9675
Those in USA can send check or money order directly to the office address or via western union while those wishing to acquire more information can contact Dr. Bartum Kullah on his telephone number which is 001- 770-979-8788 or email him at: email@example.com.
When I bent down to pick up the cutlass, one of them wasted the raw acid water on me. It was like real fire when the acid wasted on me;