The former President of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), Mr. Christopher Neyor has made startling revelation against President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf concerning the oil industry and other national issues.
In an open letter to the President, Mr. Neyor who is contesting the senatorial seat for Montserrado County alleged that President Sirleaf ‘s administration is to empower only family members and not for the protection and empowerment of citizens.
Meanwhile, efforts to get comments or reactions from Press Secretary Jerolinmick Piah and Information Minister Lewis Brown proved futile yesterday.
In his letter, Mr. Neyor earlier alleged that the President has made venomous statements on more than one occasion that she will destroy him so that her son Robert A. Sirleaf can have an easy path to the Senate seat for Montserrado County and eventually to the Presidency of Liberia in the 2017 election to succeed her.
“Your threat to destroy me comes at a time when there are media reports of your son, Robert frantically trying to buy off all the Montserrado County’s senatorial candidates and promising cash for others to abandon their political parties to support his candidacy for Montserrado,” Mr. Neyor wrote.
Mr. Neyor further wrote, “Your threats to destroy me emanates from the fact that I have grass-root support and I cannot be purchased even with Robert’s millions. Despite these threats, I will remain a formidable candidate for the senate race.”
“The primary purpose of a government is to protect and empower its citizens but as President of our country, all I have experienced at close range with you is a selfish desire to protect and empower only your family where your son, Robert Sirleaf and your sister Jan Barnard are given power our constitution does not assign to instigate appointments, dismissals and amass ill-begotten wealth,” Mr. Neyor alleged in the letter to the President.
The former Energy Adviser to the President also said, “You are good at showing two faces, one to the international community where you have been awarded medals and accolades and degrees and the other to your people at home where you have shown disdain and manipulation and deception and malice.”
Mr. Neyor in his letter said as President Sirleaf’s Energy Advisor, with her approval, he started quiet diplomacy with the Nigerian Government including then President YarAdua’s office and the Petroleum Resource Minister to resume crude oil allocation to Liberia.
“The diplomacy continued when President Goodluck Jonathan took office. The convincing reason we gave to the Nigerians and later to the Kuwaiti was to use the proceeds from the allocation transaction to reduce the high cost of electricity in Liberia until we have in place more affordable power generation sources,” Mr. Neyor said in his letter.
“Both for Nigeria and later Kuwait, when those sensitive negotiations I initiated and spearheaded were about to close, you put your son, Robert in charge of the closing as the Special Envoy, the Nigerian oil allocation intended to support lower electricity bill has been flowing now for years, yet electricity cost in our country is the highest in the world. Not a penny from the allocation has gone to LEC Fuel expenses and cost of power continues to be unaffordable to most of your citizens in areas where electricity is provided,” Mr. Neyor wrote to the President.
He further alleged that every time he met with President Sirleaf as head of NOCAL, she constantly remarked that he was sitting on tons of money in NOCAL bank account. “I responded every time that these monies were earmarked for capacity building and social interventions like the projects we were doing around the country impacting the lives of our people,” Mr. Neyor claimed.
According to Mr. Neyor’s letter, President Sirleaf has been unable to reconcile the country because of her history of vindictiveness and putting Liberians against each other.
Mr. Neyor alleged that one of Robert’s closest confidants tried to convince him to take – $4- 5 million out of NOCAL’s account to give same to the President as campaign contribution.
“He intimated to me that all my colleagues were doing that but I told him they would have to account someday but I cannot even give it a thought to do such. Interestingly, I was the only head of a major state enterprise that was removed after your second term inauguration though by all accounts you knew of my stance against corruption and my insistence on productive performance at NOCAL,” Neyor’s letter said.
He said it was not surprising when that same confidante of Mr. Robert Sirleaf came to him (Neyor) after his removal and said “You see why I was telling you to give the old lady some money during the campaign.” Mr. Neyor who did not name the confidant said that confidant is still alive and around.
Mr. Neyor wrote “Madame President, you know the value of a logistics base and the opportunities it provides to local citizens for business. I got at NOCAL three months before exploration drilling commenced and there was no preparation for a logistics base.”
“I took you on one of the oil rigs where you noticed Ghanaians were providing catering and other services and I warned you that we had to do something about a logistics base. The highlight of your state visit to Angola in 2011 was a tour we made of the Luanda oil and gas logistics base. Since I left NOCAL, the initiative for a logistics base was stalled until I mobilized seven other Liberian investors and international expertise to construct the base upon lease of appropriate land at the Port of Buchanan from the NPA,” Mr. Neyor noted.
Mr. Neyor said two years and counting, the land has not been granted though President Sirleaf told him of her support to the project but then she told her NPA head not to do it.
“Yet millions of dollars are pumped into the Ghanaian economy from each oil well drilled in Liberia while our young people go unemployed; the educational system is a “mess” according to you and people continue to live in unbelievable slums, most of them around Monrovia. This is just fundamentally wrong, ”Mr. Neyor stressed.
“You have confided to some that I think you are a fool to grant approval for this vital national project when I had badmouthed your son, referring to the time in a NOCAL Board meeting when he was insulting and I told him the truth that he knew nothing about the working of the oil business and he would be the cause for you not having a good legacy. You rather let Ghanaians and Ghanaian companies benefit from jobs and contracts on oil rigs operating in Liberia using the Port of Takoradi as logistics base than having a Liberian spearhead the building of one here in Buchanan for the benefit of our economy because of your vindictiveness,” Mr. Neyor said.
Mr. Neyor alleged that President Sirleaf and her son Robert Sirleaf have a complete strangled-hold on the economy, depriving and punishing any Liberian who dares or desires to have an independent mind and who refuses to participate in looting the country of its resources.
He stressed that closing the economy to perceived enemies is preventing job creation in Liberia and had the House of Representatives not imposed a freeze on oilblocks, Mr. Robert Sirleaf would have sold all of remaining oil blocks by now.
“I know as a fact that he has lined up companies most of which have contributed heavily to the Robert Sirleaf Foundation for award of oil blocks. In your interview with FrontPageAfrica, you even confirmed contributions made by companies to the RobertA. Sirleaf Foundation, while Robert was serving as ExecutiveChairman of NOCAL” Mr. Neyor said.
Mr. Neyor said, “I have prayed about this Open Letter to you and I have a sense of relief in my spirit that this is the right thing to do for the good of our country. You and I are members of the First United Methodist Church and serve on the Annual Conference Advance committee. In keeping with Scripture, I brought your deceptive behavior to the attention of our pastor and the bishop. The bishop spoke to you about my concerns but you downplayed it as usual, saying you had nothing against me.”
Mr. Neyor said he brought to the President’s attention that $2 million had been offered to me in bribe with a request that I do not take certain executive action against an oil company.
He quoted to the President portion of his remarks when he took over NOCAL few months earlier that no amount of money would be big enough to make him betray the President and the Liberian people.
Mr. Neyor said what he got out of that was the President’s ridicule of him before the Petroleum Technical Committee in the Cabinet Room at her office that he (Neyor) parading himself as the most perfect man in the government boasting that he could not take bribe.
Mr. Neyor named some government officials who were among those at that meeting, saying, “They can bear witness. Most of those at that meeting told me later how shocked they were with your characterization of me.” Reports Timothy T. Seaklon