Siakon Nagbe (January 12th 2006)
"...This level of deceit by Liberians towards other Liberians is reminiscence of the fabric or corruption, deceit and personal greed which has engulfed the nation as a whole. And once again, the end will be impunity as it exists in Liberia. I, like many other Liberians, was bombarded with solicitation emails from Adeliade Gardner, Rufus Berry and Alex St. James Cisco, over the last weeks, with information on the flight that failed to materialize. ...."
A funeral that was not- with family members and a casket stranded! Liberians with and without tickets to the invitation-only inauguration, all wandering and frustrated! That was the scene at the BWI International Airport when a charter flight to Liberia failed to materialized. I could not have been caught among such group of Liberians for two reasons. One purely personal and the other is why I write this article.
My personal reason is that some Liberians are show-offs, loud and rowdy and project themselves as being irresponsible. Places across the U.S., city parks, halls etc have banned Liberians or will refuse to rent to a Liberian function because of these few who continue to exhibit such behavior. In an airplane, 35,000 feet over the Atlantic with a plane full of Liberians is not the place I want to be. Certainly in this gathering there will be some of these show-offs. There will be no peace and quiet on the flight. I would rather be on a flight – sitting next to an unknown stranger and quietly watching a
movie on my portable dvd player. But that is just me….
The second reason I could not have been caught in such a gathering is that this is not the first occurrence of failed charter flights to Liberia. Liberians buying tickets on these individually arranged charter flights have been stranded in New York, New Jersey and yes Maryland before. Liberians who know nothing about the airline industry, wanting to make a quick buck promise to get a charter flight to Liberia and begin to sell tickets. Many of such ads have appeared on the Liberian Connection over the years. (Fool me once – shame on you, fool me twice shame on ME).
This level of deceit by Liberians towards other Liberians is reminiscence of the fabric or corruption, deceit and personal greed which has engulfed the nation as a whole. And once again, the end will be impunity as it exists in Liberia.
I, like many other Liberians, was bombarded with solicitation emails from Adeliade Gardner, Rufus Berry and Alex St. James Cisco, over the last weeks, with information on the flight that failed to materialize. Some unfortunately got caught in the net. I read the FrontPage article: Inaugural Hitch: U.S. Charter Flight for Ellen’s Inauguration Fails to Take Off - which broke the story and was not surprised to see finger pointing already beginning among the organizers. What I found surprisingly appalling is
that FrontPage would carry an article: as a NEWS RELEASE: Rufus Berry Speaks Out About Cancelled BWI Flight to Liberia written more like a defense of Rufus Berry and an indictment of Alex Cisco.
I don’t think the Liberians who have been taken advantage of care much about the finger pointing by Adeliade Gardner and Rufus Berry at this point but rather must be compensated for their losses and inconvenience. But what I found interesting was an attempt by the FrontPage article to exonerate Rufus Berry. It would have made more sense if this was a publication of a personal statement by Mr. Berry’s rather than a FrontPage written news story. Does Mr. Berry have some interest or relationship to the FrontPage website that has not been disclosed?
If one were to examine the attempt at exonerating Mr. Berry, one would quickly see that if the story was infact true it would be very silly and irresponsible of Mr. Berry to ‘commit personal time and resources’ as the article claims to solicit funds and commitment from Liberians to travel on a flight which he did not know actually existed. Here FrontPage and Mr. Berry expect us to believe that he is selling a pig in a bag without any knowledge or confirmation that there is one in it indeed.
FrontPage continuously emphasized that Mr. Berry invested resources in the venture – what resources were not indicated. While, I neither know Mr. Cisco nor Mr. Berry or Ms. Gardner for that matter, the FrontPage article seems to be a desperate and deliberate attempt to favor one of the key organizers over another.
If infact Mr. Berry is all that FrontPage tries to project, then it is time that he uses some of those resources to compensate the Liberians he and his colleagues have exploited.
About the Author:
The author is a Liberian Sr. Computer Programmer with Intellicon and lives with his family in Newport News, Virginia, U.S.A.