By: James J. Jackson- (June 15th 2005)
"...Who was MODEL’s Sponsor? From where did MODEL get its finances to sustain a formidable front? Unlike LURD that was allegedly sponsored by Guinea, there was never a mention of any governmental or foreign support for MODEL. So from where did MODEL get its money?
One of the world’s best subjects is History. For all its intended purposes, History serves to remind people of what happened in the past so as to reflect and act soberly in the present and then to prepare wisely for the future. People delve into History for different reasons: some do so mainly for remembrance of pleasurable things while for others it is to remember the saddest things that befell them in the past. In this article, I will attempt to combine the both reasons for the purpose of throwing light on our present events and to possibly make us wiser as we approach our immediate future in Liberia.
Let me however, hasten to make it unequivocally clear that I am neither an expert in Liberian History nor am I professing to be a judge of present events. I am only a curious Liberian citizen who has chosen to take on a task that many others would not dare to undertake: to investigate the “Secret hand” that sponsored one of Liberia’s recent warring factions, Movement for Democracy in Liberia, MODEL.
For the purpose of maintaining a clear and logical path of understanding of my task, I have decided to hypothesize that MR . GEORGE OPPONG WEAH WAS INDEED, THE “SECRET SPONSOR” OF MODEL.
In almost every part of Africa , literally every warring faction that has become eminent has always put forth its leader or financial sponsor as its standard-bearer whenever such faction enters the political phase. One needs not to go very far in History in other to substantiate my assertion. For the benefit of non-historians, I herein advance the following few classic Historical examples so as to illustrate my point: The Revolutionary Force (RUF) of Sierra Leone – Copra Foday Sankor; the National Resistance Army (NRA) of Uganda – Yoweri Museveni; the Eritrea Popular Liberation Front (EPLF) – Eseworki Isias; the Rwanda Patriotic Front – Paul Kangame; the National patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) – Charles Taylor; the United Liberation Movement For Democracy in Liberia (ULIMO – K) – Alhaji G.V. Kromah; and (ULIMO – J)--- Roosevelt D. Johnson, just to name a few.
With the above unquestionable facts about rebel groups and their political metamorphoses vis-à-vis their subsequent projection of their master financiers as Standard bearers in Africa in general and Liberia in particular, what can we now say about MODEL and WEAH? This faction, MODEL, became the second most powerful rebel front against the Charles Taylor elected government which subsequently led to the forceful expulsion of President Taylor from Liberia. The Guinean government was allegedly the clandestine sponsor of the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy, LURD, the forever remembered force in Taylor’s life. Here comes my question: Who was MODEL’s Sponsor? From where did MODEL get its finances to sustain a formidable front? Unlike LURD that was allegedly sponsored by Guinea, there was never a mention of any governmental or foreign support for MODEL. So from where did MODEL get its money? This is exactly question that my above hypothesis answers.
In an attempt to escape from answering the above questions, many Liberian people are often tempted to dang into an obvious myth: - that all of MODEL “bosses” lived in America and so they were rich enough to sponsor MODEL. Some also believe that these known MODEL guys sold their houses and used the money to sponsor the fighters. When asked as to who are those MODEL “bosses,” these non-issue oriented people hastily tend to jump on names such as Eugene D. Wilson, Thomas Yaya Nemly, Lafyett Gould, Sam Wulu ect. This s a superficial conclusion that has always blinded many people from finding the real “SECRET HANDS” that actually sponsored MODEL. Not these poor men!
As a curious person, I am constrained to disprove this popular myth; and I say with conviction that the above named persons, most of whom lived in Pennsylvania in our Liberian Communities, were as “broke” as any of us are here in America. They had absolutely no money to even buy bullets, much more to talk about buying machine guns to sponsor an extravagant rebel group such as MODEL. Let me state unequivocally that prior to their participation in the present government in Liberia, I had very high regards for the men named in this article who always lectured in almost every Liberian gathering, preaching good governance and sound leadership in Liberia.
Though I know the types of jobs each of these men did here in America, for fear of personalizing this article I have chosen not to mention their respective jobs and salaries. But if there is any body who still thinks that these guys were “Rich” in America so they could sponsor a rebel war such as Model’s, then such person must tell the world why has this rebel-dominated National Transitional Government of Liberia set such an unprecedented record for stealing public funds. Why were the “Rich” men very quick to resign their jobs to join the stealing spree in Liberia? Indeed, there was a secret sponsor for the MODEL faction, not these men! Was it Mr. George Oppong Weah? Let’s put the pieces together.
Now that Liberia has again, after another serious war, entered another crucial political season where every group is projecting its strongest person for the Presidency, who can we say MODEL has put forth? None but Mr. George Oppong Weah! Isn’t it? Look at the rank and file of MODEL and state which political camp does any of MODEL “bosses” belong to other than Oppong’s. Look at their influences in the Oppong camp and tell me if these guys did not have any prior relationship with Mr. Weah. Please see paragraph 3 above for refresher on rebel groups and their entry into political phases (elections).
Additionally, if any of these men, other than Weah, was the actual sponsor of MODEL then why have they not put forth such person as their Standard bearer for the elections? Are we trying to believe that none of them wants to be president? From where cometh their relationship with Oppong Weah (if he, Weah, was not their secret sponsor) for which all of these “bosses” of MODEL have, out of a sudden become bag totters for Weah? Isn’t that strange in our History? Why will all of the known MODEL figures just jump on Oppong’s bandwagon without a single descend? Doesn’t this ring a bell to us? Indeed, my hypothesis remains that MR. GEORGE OPPONG WEAH WAS THE “SECRET SPONSOR” OF MODEL.
Another observation that gives credence to my hypothesis is the fact that Mr. Charles Taylor once openly accused George Weah of attempting to unseat his government. No one, including myself, believed Mr. Taylor then. But here it is today, Oppong Weah is now being proven to be the actual sponsor of MODEL. In fact, it was mainly due to that rivalry between Oppong and Taylor, that Oppong banned himself from stepping foot on the Liberian soil as long as Tayor was President because he Weah knew very well that Mr. Taylor had gotten enough details of his clandestine sponsorship of MODEL. Isn’t it therefore, logical to deduce that a “rich man” like Weah would spend his money in anyway possible to remove the perceived obstacle, Mr. Taylor, from his way? Why not? Yes! That is exactly what Mr. Weah did; he sponsored MODEL to kill many Liberians, destroy many properties, and helped remove Charles Taylor so that he “King” Weah could return to Liberia to seek the Presidency. By the way, why were Mr. Weah’s visits to Philadelphia always secret? Didn’t Weah secretly visit Philadelphia prior to the MODEL delegation departure for the Ghana conference? Did he go to Philadelphia to consult on the composition of the MODEL delegation to the peace talks? You be the judge; I just thought to share my observations with you, my fellow Liberians and friends of Liberia, who thought that Mr. Weah’s hands were bloodless.
To conclude, I wish to restate that with my little knowledge of the history of rebel groups in Africa, especially in Liberia, (as indicated above) and how they have always approached the political phase (elections); coupled with the marriage we now see between Mr. George Weah and the known figures of MODEL, it is very convincing that George Oppong Weah was the SECRET SPONSOR of that rebel group, MODEL. As a rebel sponsor, Weah’s hands are equally soaked with human blood, I must add.
About the Author
James J. Jackson, is a resident of Pennsylvania. He personally knows every one of the MODEL “bosses.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org