Secretary of State for Presidential Affairs Nathaniel McGill describes comments made against him by presidential candidate Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongole is a complete hypocrite, and threatens to publish several financial transactions between him and the presidential candidate.
McGill claims Cllr. Jonglei advocates that the US government punish him as it has done with other corrupt officials here, including Senator Prince Yormi Johnson.
According to the Minister, Cllr. Gongloe begged him for money to support his Liberia African Bar Association program and other activities he (Gongloe) did not include in his call for sanctions against him.
Secretary McGill says the reason he made that statement is due to Cllr. Gongol’s recent call or plea to the international community in particular, the US government to impose sanction on him on the grounds that he (McGill) has been involved in a “pay-to-play policy” due to a private scholarship fund campaign launched in Nimba, Bong, Margibi and Basa Counties.
Recently, Cllr. Gongloe, the immediate former president of the Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA), has called on the US government to sanction Secretary of State for Presidential Affairs Nathaniel McGill, for allegedly spending millions of Liberian dollars to buy voters, ahead of the 2023 general and presidential elections.
Minister McGill was recently seen visiting several counties and spending huge sums on scholarships in the name of President George Manh Weah while promising more money to citizens across the country ahead of the 2023 elections.
Huge amounts of Liberian dollars on scholarships targeted vote-rich counties namely; Pong, Grand Bassa, Nimba, and Margibi, which Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe is considered as a vote buying, prior to the country’s elections.
“Secretary McGill’s action shows a reckless disregard for the feelings of the suffering Liberian people,” Jonglow regrets.
However, he notes that it takes two to initiate a transaction. Thus, vote-buyers must also be punished.
“I say this in particular at a time, in the span of one month, that the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs has spent about 170 million Lebanese pounds in political gifts to four provinces.”
clr. Gongloe, a well-known human rights activist, detailed that Secretary McGill gave 50 million Lebanese pounds to Nimba, $50 million to Grand Bassa, another $50 million to Margibe, and $20 million to Bong counties, respectively.
He added, “We call on the US government to go beyond that. This was stated in the sanctions statement.” [against Senator Prince Y. Johnson] One reason for the punishment against the respected senator is that he was selling votes, but for the market to succeed, there has to be a demand side,” Cllr. Gongloe notes.
The chancellor says that although he cannot say how much Secretary McGill earns per month, he (Gonglow) feels the scholarship shows a reckless disregard for the feelings of the Liberian people, who are suffering amid the great hardships of Liberia.
The money, he said, was obtained in a corrupt manner, so it is necessary to punish McGill and others for distributing money to voters, as a way to curb “such a habit that undermines the democracy of the country.”
“McGill is obligated as a government employee to show the sources of his funds. Therefore, we call on the US government to go on the demand side to apprehend these people. [seeking] Pay for votes that will also be punished.”
He notes that vote buying and selling is a new aspect of corruption in Liberia; The other is legislative bribery, adding, “Moreover, we now have vote buying and vote buying, which is something the US government and other governments have noticed.
But speaking on Tuesday, December 28, 2021, on Spoon Talk, Minister McGill called Gongole’s comments “complete hypocrisy for the tormented student community and the Liberian people at large.”
“When did Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongole know that helping people is a conflict of interest and vote buying when you helped him so many times? Is that because he is now looking forward to the presidency? Let Cllr. Gongole be serious and honest with his pursuit and the Liberian people,” he answers.
According to the minister, he has raised 50 thousand US dollars for Cllr. Gongloe when the lawyer wrote his office through the government of Liberia to help him host the African Bar Association program in Liberia.
“If Gongloe criticizes me for raising money for students in Liberia, he should be criticized because he begged me for money too. If he says this is not true or is lying that he did not beg me for money for the Liberia African Bar Association program I will publish all his letters and dealings to the public until the time of his receipt of 50 thousand US dollars because I have all the documents,” confirms Minister McGill.
Indicates that Cllr. The Gongole Foundation is a private entity but he (McGill) raised money because it’s a national cause, which is something, says Cllr. Gongloe wasn’t fair about it.
McGill explains that the scholarships being launched across the country are not intended to buy votes, Cllr supposes. It’s promises kept based on calls from parents and students that they need a scholarship fund for their children, says Gongloe.
“During the county chief’s tour, we sat down with parents, students, and women’s groups and asked for loans and scholarships. We agreed to launch a scholarship through private means by me to help raise funds to help students and that’s what we’re doing,” he explains.
McGill further explains that he did not launch the scholarships in the name of the government of Liberia, but privately because they are supported by other well-meaning local and Liberian donors.
Notes that Cllr. Gongloe does all this because he is afraid and has no attraction as a presidential candidate but believes that making false allegations will help him get a connection.
McGill, also a former chair of the ruling Congress for Democratic Change, reveals that Cllr. Gongloe wants to walk the path of progressives who have done nothing good for Liberia, claiming Cllr. Gongloe fails to get 50 people together during his Nimba program.
“I have more things to highlight now that since helping Liberian students they are paid to play. The government has organized his dinner as president of the Liberian Bar Association. I think the Nimba people should now ask him what he wants from them. He wants to prevent good things from coming,” Secretary McGill concluded in his response to vote buying by paying for play politics. https://thenewdawnliberia.com/mcgill-launches-govt-scholarship-in-basa/edited by Jonathan Brown