By Jackson T.S. Seton in the United States
The former Commissioner of the Bureau of Maritime Affairs, Benoni W. Urey, says he owes no apology for working for the defunct government of President Charles G. Taylor.
Speaking recently to a cross section of the United States based Friends of Benoni Urey (FOBU), during a teleconference, Mr. Urey noted that he did not work for Mr. Taylor, as is being widely perceived, but rather, worked for the Liberian Government of which Mr. Taylor was President.
Mr. Taylor, a convicted war criminal, is serving a 50 year sentence in England for war crimes and crime against humanity for his role in the Sierra Leonean civil conflict.
Mr. Urey, who has declared his intention to contest the Liberian Presidency come 2017, further noted that Liberians should stop judging people because of their association, adding “we should stop the guilt by association” and judge people baseon the content of their character.
He pointed out that since he left office he has been investigated by several governments and international organizations, including the United States State Department, the United Nations and the European Union and has not been found guilty of any crime.
Mr. Urey also indicated that besides he has been audited several times and has not been charged for stealing any money from the Liberian people. He pointed out that he invested whatever money he earned as Commissioner of Maritime Affairs and has worked very hard for what he has today.
Commenting on the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) report, Mr. Urey said he honestly believe that anyone who commits crime against humanity during the Liberian civil war should be persecuted. He added that Liberians should be very careful not to indict people without evidence. “Indicting people without evidence is tantamount to witch hunt,” Mr. Urey maintained.
Speaking further, Mr. Urey recommended for the Justice Ministry to thoroughly investigate the TRC report and that anybody found guilty of crimes against the Liberian people should be persecuted to the fullest extent of the laws.
Giving reasons why he wants to be President, Mr. Urey said a vast majority of Liberia’s population is living in abject poverty, and that they lack basic health care, quality education and economic opportunity. He said he wants to wants to change that.
Mr. Urey added that he want to create a society where every Liberian will be given the opportunity to improve the quality oftheir life regardless of ethnic background, religious affiliation and social status.
He further added that he wants to create a society where there is an efficient health care delivery system, quality education, economic empowerment through private enterprise, improve local housing by eradicating the slums in Monrovia and other major cities, adherence to the rule of law, and a robust national security apparatus that is responsive to the needs and protective of every Liberian. NOTE: Jackson T.S. Seton can be reached at 302-299-6996, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.