Dear Editor,I refer to the Stabroek News article, “Cops Probing Complaint against Gov’t Cultural Advisor…” published on October 05, 2018. It was with great shock that I recently learnt that the said advisor has a personal interest in the case brought before the High Court against The Bishops’ High School teacher. Now that the Police have turned up at his place of work in response to a complaint lodged by the teacher and his fiancée for allegedly breaching a section of the new Cyber Crime Act, my initial suspicions are confirmed.It seems to me Johnson is determined to achieve his end, no matter the consequences, even if it means causing this Government great embarrassment. That he would suggest the teacher is taking advantage of the law purely because it’s new is ludicrous. It matters not whether the law is two minutes or five years old, if a breach has occurred, the wronged party has the right to legal redress, as is provided for by the law. What Johnson seems to be saying is that the law is only valid when it serves his purpose.Further, that he would contend that Jackson and his fiancée’s complaints are a reflection of the relative strength of Jackson’s High Court matter is equally puerile.Clearly, the two cases are distinct and separate, and should be judged on their own merit. If this is the kind of faulty thinking that Johnson provides to his employers in his role as advisor, then the tax-payers of this country are being taken for a ride.Following Johnson’s logic, one can take the other side and argue that the alleged public slander of the named individuals is indicative of the relative strength of the case in which Johnson has a vested interest. How else can he explain the urge to offer public pronouncements on the matter which is before the court, and in which he is a witness?Mr. Editor, because of loose cannons like Ruel Johnson, there needs to be some kind of social media policy for public officials. Can you imagine how awkward it must have been for the Permanent Secretary to attempt an explanation to the Police for Johnson’s refusal to go down to the station? This Government must do better.Yours respectfully,Kevin Samaroo
Four gunmen in the wee hours of Thursday morning stormed the Region Four Regional Democratic Office, Triumph, East Coast Demerara, and carted off an undisclosed sum of money after torching two safes.Guyana Times understands that at about 02:00h, four men armed with handguns, invaded the RDC office compound from the back where they relieved one of two security guards of his cash and other valuables.The men then tied up the guards and made their way into the building where they torched two safes and escaped with an undisclosed sum of money.From reports, the two guards managed to free themselves and contacted the Beterverwagting Police Station.Investigators have since dusted the area for fingerprints and took statements from the guards.No arrests have been made. Attempts to contact the regional executive officer proved futile.
PROCMURA-Liberia Chapter’s Anti-Ebola Taskforce Committee over the weekend reached out to vulnerable and most Ebola affected communities’ in Bomi County, with food and non-food items.The items included household disinfectants, several bags of 25kg rice, buckets with faucets, powder soaps and vegetable oil, among others. Beneficiaries included residents of Dorleyla and Dimen towns on the Bomi/Monrovia highway. Dimen Town is the home of celebrated cultural icon, the late Bai T. Moore. Though there were no reports of Ebola outbreak in Dimen, nearby Dorleyla Town was affected, killing at least 19 persons during the height of the outbreak last year.Dorleyla’s town chief, Imam Mohammed Jalieba, and Pastor David Kollie as well as the head of a women’s organization, Famatta Dorley, expressed gratitude to PROCMURA-Liberia.“Your gifts have revived our lost hopes. Therefore, we will distribute them for the benefit of all including those mostly afflicted by the EVD last year,” residents of the two towns assured the PROCMURA leadership.PROCMURA officials informed the beneficiaries that their plights have not been forgotten, and therefore urged them to make good use of the donations.Dr. Benjamin D. Lartey, who led the distribution committee, said the fight against the EVD in the sub-region would succeed only when those in the fight come together to kick the EVD out.He called on the leaders to take the lead in the fight by spreading the necessary awareness and education to complement the Liberian government’s efforts.“This is not the time to score victory against anyone, but to collaborate by forging together in our fight to score victory against the deadly Ebola by driving it from Liberia and the Mano River Basin,” Dr. Lartey asserted.He also called on the people to take ownership of their communities for the protection of the populace against Ebola.PROCMURA is an acronym for Pan-African Christian Organization and it is dedicated to Christian constructive engagement with Muslims to witness, establish mutual tolerance and collaboration towards peace and peaceful co-existence for the holistic development of the human family. It was founded in 1959.It is established in 20 African countries and is visible in an additional 10, the officials said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Ebola outbreak in Liberia no doubt brought the country to its knees, and the news of the situation at one point seemed to have near-apocalyptic implications. The last thing on the mind of anyone on the ground would have been art or creativity… or so they thought. Yet, the many priceless acts of creativity throughout this crisis have helped millions of people nationwide emerge from denial and adopt preventive postures and protocols that would keep themselves and their loved ones safe during the epidemic. Among those championing the creative cause against Ebola are artist couple Omar El-Shabu and his better half, Maisha, along with several other Liberian artists who will present their works in a major exhibition at the National Museum in Monrovia from December 1, 2014 to January 31, 2015. The other artists include Lawson Sworh, Mohammed Bah, Marcus Benn Yancy and Isaac Dubor.Named and styled “Recovery”, the exhibition aims to help eliminate the panic and fear people have of Ebola and make room for healing – “visual healing”, according to the organizers.The Shabus, better known as ‘Baba and Mama Shabu’, have had an extensive and coveted artistic career that sets them apart as nothing less than sages. Baba, a painter with experience in academia as well as the African textile industry, is regarded for his expert knowledge of traditional African symbols, those native to Liberia being no exception. His use of traditional African symbols in his paintings encodes an awareness that viewers must learn to discover or rediscover, toward a stronger sense of cultural identity. Such passion for traditional symbols has given birth to a series of projects including the up-coming one, Recovery. “My art is symbolic,” says Baba. “There are a lot of symbols inside of my work. Now is the time for us to use art symbols. These symbols represent courage as a way of moving forward from this Ebola outbreak.”The cultural symbols Baba employs come from across the spectrum of Liberian traditions, including Kpelle, Vai, Lorma and Mandingo, to name a few.Mama and Baba have for over a year published a monthly series of articles on Liberian traditional symbols in the Daily Observer’s LIB Life section. She pens, he paints. Lately, during the heat of the Ebola outbreak they shifted gears to produce the articles every week, highlighting the role of art and symbols in the fight against Ebola. “We need to do something that’s going to relate to recovery, especially as we get closer to recovering from this Ebola outbreak,” says Mama, speaking of the up-coming exhibition. “A lot of artists are going to be a part of it, including Baba himself. After the initial shock from Ebola, the deaths, and how people are starting to say let’s move on. We shouldn’t remain down, we need to keep going forward.”The pair expressed their initial wish, which almost came true until the Ebola outbreak.“We planned this exhibition in March 2014 and started to share ideas with others,” Mama explains, “and then Ebola. We started thinking; artists have an important role during periods like this when everyone is down. We could actually spark a recovery, and that’s how Baba said, let’s have a recovery exhibition.”The Recovery exhibition will be their second in post-war Liberia. In 2012, Baba held a major exhibition titled, “New Water from the Ancient Well”, at the Liberian National Museum.According to the couple, the idea for that exhibition came about while visiting the museum one day and seeing it’s old artifacts.“Baba was looking at the old artifacts and decided that we needed to have an exhibition. The exhibition featured pieces [already in] the museum as well as his contemporary interpretation of those pieces. We had paintings and textile tapestries – large wall tapestries. It was beautifuland such a success,” Mama recalls.The New Water from an Ancient Well exhibition sparked a renaissance in many different circles about heritage. Since that exhibition, Baba has been working with a many artists who were inspired by his works.“A lot of artists have been coming up since the exhibition, giving time and doing different things with Baba,” Mama explains. “Because of the exhibition, a lot of new art schools have opened and positive things have blossomed. When we produced the exhibition in 2012, we wanted to inspire the Liberian art renaissance. We wanted to be a part of the renaissance taking place. And we feel that we’re a part of that.“We look forward to doing it again with the Recovery exhibition,” she continues, “and bring on board some of these artists that Baba has been working with,” she disclosed.According to Mama, fear and discipline has been the overall effect of the Ebola crisis.”If you follow the guidelines in staying safe and have instituted some discipline on yourself, you’ll see yourself moving above. And that is the antidote for fear. We have to admit, Ebola did that,” she says.The Recovery exhibition, Baba says, will highlight symbols of recovery and moving forward from the past.”We need all of these symbols because they’re symbols of strength and courage, to move us out of the Ebola era. In my work, I project that image of courage, getting away from fear. We need to move forward as people. This Ebola, like so many other elements that are in life, will come and go. We can’t stop because they exist, we have been here in Africa for more than 10,000 years, and all of these things did not just happen. There were many disasters, so we must move forward.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
A group of Liberians hailing from Lofa County residing in Grand Gedeh on New Year’s Day inaugurated the Lofa Association of Grand Gedeh.The group, headed by Mrs. Musu Tamba, said the Association was organized in July 2013 with the aim of building a community of united Lofa natives in Grand Gedeh.Mrs. Tamba said the group comprises more than two hundred members who are engaged in businesses across Grand Gedeh County.Members of the association include dealers in building materials, used clothing and household utensils among other commodities and those engaged in gold mining, according to Mrs. Tamba.She added that the Association seeks to empower its members by providing loans and other assistance to their fellow compatriots.She disclosed that the group also aims to impact the county’s economy by what she described as “the opening of fabulous businesses.”Mrs. Tamba, who is one of the leading building materials dealers in Zwedru, said members also rally to provide support to those who get married, graduate, celebrate birthdays and other achievements in their lives. The Lofa association also provides help to the sick and impoverished members, she added.She disclosed plans to engage in large scale farming in Grand Gedeh in the coming years.“Prior to the civil war, Lofa County was referred to as the breadbasket of Liberia. Now we have over two hundred of us living in Grand Gedeh and I know we can put Grand Gedeh on the map as the leading producer of bitter balls and pepper in the near future,” Mrs. Tamba said.She said they have a very cordial relationship with the people of Grand Gedeh and the county’s authorities. The launch of the Lofa Association of Grand Gedeh was attended by people from all walks of life, including Grand Gedeh Acting County Inspector Josephus Garley, a representative from the Zwedru City Mayor’s office, the Grebo, Nimba and business communities.Some of the members of the association have been working and doing business in Grand Gedeh for over 25 years.The Lofa association is an addition to a network of other tribal groups residing in the county. There are the Fulani communities, Nimba citizens, Grebo community and Kru associations in Grand Gedeh.The festivity, which included a parade through the principal streets of Zwedru and an indoor program, was graced by musician Patrick Tamba Kailando, a Lofa native who also performs his music in Guinea and Sierra Leone. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)