Gov’t Expresses Regret Over Mary Broh’s Statement; Association of Liberian Fulanis-USA Commends Fula Governor

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The government, through the Ministry of Justice, has expressed regrets over a statement made by Mary Broh about the Fula community in Monrovia.

   During a meeting with the community on Thursday, November 17, Justice Minister Frank Musah Dean Jr, who is the Acting Chair of the cabinet, assured all persons within the borders of Liberia of the government’s full protection as guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of Liberia. He said the government will scrupulously ensure that this fundamental right is upheld at all times, irrespective of ethnic background, race, sex, creed, place of origin or political opinion. The minister emphasized that all persons are equal before the law and are entitled to equal protection.

   Broh has since apologized for the utterance and the incident that occurred when she led an anti-power theft team earlier this month.

Mary T. Broh

   The Fula community also brought to the attention of the minister and his entourage instances of what they described as harassment by officers of the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS), whom they said generally consider all Fulanis as foreigners.

   The Justice Minister promised to constitute a committee comprising the Bureau of Immigration, the Passport Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Bureau of Vital Statistics at the Ministry of Health and the National Identification Registry to delve into the complaint.

   Those accompanying the Justice Minister at the meeting were the Minister of Internal Affairs, Varney Sirleaf, Monrovia City Mayor, Jefferson Koijee, the Commissioner-General of Immigration, Robert Budy, and his Deputy for Naturalization, Asatu Bah, as well  the Islamic Advisor to the President, Osman T. Jalloh.

    In a related development, the Association of Liberian Fulani in the USA say they fully associate with and appreciate the press release (and other bold steps) from the Fulani Governor of Liberia on the recent egregious attack on Liberian Fulanis by Mary T Broh. “We have judiciously followed the evolution of this unfortunate situation. We support and appreciate all who stood in solidarity with our community against Madam Broh’s divisive utterances, from human rights activists to political and religious leaders and ordinary Liberians,” an Association of Liberian Fulani-USA press release, signed by its President, Al-Hussien O. Diallo, noted.

   According to the release, “Our country Liberia does not have space for any divisive, tribal rhetoric and for unscrupulous people with the motive of dividing Liberians on the basis of religion, tribe, historical origin and/or background. Yet, while in government, and contrary to the expectations of public servants, Mary Broh has often used her proximity to the Mansion to advance a sectarian agenda on the basis of tribe and religion. She is on record frequently violating Liberian Muslims in mosques, marketplaces and in their private homes—this must stop! Our association does not take Madam Broh’s sectarian utterances lightly. As a senior government official and an opinion leader, Madam Broh’s derogatory statement endangers the security and well-being of our people and their property across the country.

   “Recent history has it that, as the head of the “Ebola Task Force” during President Sirleaf’s administration, Mary Broh publicly and directly received (on behalf of the government) over US$250,000 worth of vehicles, bags of rice and other medical support from the same Fulani community, whose unwavering contributions and loyalty to Liberia she is now questioning. Surely, this contribution, among others, renders Madam Broh’s allegations spurious. How does Madam Broh reconcile her unfounded claim that ‘Fulanis are not investing in Liberia’ with the recent and verifiable data from the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) indicating that Fulanis are the highest contributors in the small and medium tax divisions, from which her salary as a government official is paid?”

   The release added, “Finally, as a peace-loving and law-abiding community, our love, patriotism and dedication to Liberia are unquestionable. Therefore, we will not sit idly by as unscrupulous people seek to divide our country by undermining our contributions to Mama Liberia since time immemorial. In the fight for equality, our association will endeavor to support the rights of all Liberians, especially minority groups in Liberia.”

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