In an effort to restore sanity, the international community, and other stakeholders intervened and brought all belligerent forces, political parties, and civil societies and other actors together in Accra, Ghana to carve a solution that served as a blueprint for democratic governance. The blueprint gave rise to the first contemporary multi-party elections where all hands were brought on deck to participate and determine the ultimate leader of Liberia. In the process, alliances were formed that culminated into a new political dispensation that gave birth to the Unity Party Government of which Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became the first female elected president on the continent of Africa based on the mandate of the Liberian people as expressed through their ballots in 2005.
Ten years has elapsed since the people’s mandate was bestowed upon this government. If their mandate was well served, the electorates will renew the same mandate once more in 2017. If not, then obviously another political institution will be mandated by the Liberian people to steer the affairs of state beginning January 2018.
THIS IS THE CRUX OF THIS NARRATIVE, AS MY FOCUS IS TILTED MAINLY TO PRESENT A CURSORY LOOK AT A FLIP SIDE OF ONE OF THE MANY WOULD BE ASPIRANTS OR CONTESTANTS IN THE FORTH COMING ELECTIONS IN PERSON OF MR. BENONI UREY.
BRIEF HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
Much is said and dwelled upon from several outlets both at home, and abroad on the issues concerning Urey’s wealth with conjectures pointing at how he stole the Liberian people money from Maritime, or is a custodian of former President Taylor’s wealth. Although that is a significant facet I would dare not waste my energy on, because the intent of this narrative is to present a flip side of this man to the generality of Liberians and also give additional insight to those who might not know what he embodied from his youthful days to present. My narratives and perspectives are based on first handed facts and reality as an insider, and a childhood buddy who believes ardently that Benoni’s continuous advancement for the presidency will spell doom again for Liberia in particular, and West Africa as a collective whole. A feat that I am of the conviction should be checkmated from the embryo stage through public awareness highlighting his most hidden deeds. Doing so, I believe that I have made a modest contribution to our unfolding democratic process by exposing a man whose outlook suggests poise but inwardly is the complete opposite dabbed in mischief and contamination glossed with exhibits of inordinate hatred and cruelty to the Liberian people he craves to serve.
Contrary to public relations gimmicks that Mr. Urey parents were wealthy, and based upon that he was sent to the elite American Cooperative School (ACS), where he graduated in 1976, and they bequeathed unto him acres of farmland which he utilized to engaged in agriculture exploits which germinated the source of his wealth of untold magnitude, I emphatically declare that it is diametrically and inversely untrue.
His parents were peasants who couldn’t afford tuition and other basic necessities to fend for the many Urey siblings. Breadfruits from nearby settlements were their major staple. His advent to the American Cooperative School was based on lies and deceit he fostered at an early age which culminated into sympathy by an American name Neil Roberts who was assigned with the VOA Relay Station situated in Careysburg at the time where the Urey family also resided.
Enroute to his office every morning, Roberts always spotted this ragged looking child (BENONI) about seven years of age sitting by the roadside as if he was possessed, throwing stones at birds. Curiosity took hold of him, and decided to ask the young lad for his name, and who were his parents, and why was he not in school but by the road side every morning. He lied, and instead said his name was SAMPLUS, and was an orphan. He further narrated that his guardians constantly maltreated and refused to give him food, and neither would they send him to school. His facial innocence energized Roberts who fell for his ruse. Thereafter, Roberts would always give him biscuits, candies and other eatables as the need may be whenever on his way to work.
After a week thereabout, Mr. Roberts became interested in the kid and promised to visit his parents. Sensing danger, and based upon the lies told, he would hide deep in the bushes and program his friend, nicknamed “Oldpa” to collect the goodies from Mr. Roberts under the guise that he is sick, and unable to be around. One day oldpa told him that Mr. Roberts was asking many questions concerning his family, amongst others. Thereafter, he changed venue, and didn’t venture to the same spot for awhile.
As fate would have it, the late E. Reginald Townsend, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Liberia, extended an invitation to Roberts to worship with him during the Easter Celebrations at the Presbyterian Church in Careysburg. Townsend was also the Head of the Department of Information, Culture Affairs (DICA) currently Ministry of Information. It was in that capacity, that both Roberts and Townsend professional paths crossed and they became buddies.
After the Church service, Moderator Townsend began introducing prominent members of the Church to invited guests. One of such persons was Daniel Urey an elder in the church and father of Benoni, who in turn started to introduce his children to Mr. Roberts. This is Webster…, Leroy…, and Benoni, my youngest. To the utter amazement of Mr. Roberts, standing in front of him was the orphan child (SAMPLUS), being introduced as “Benoni, my youngest” by the elder Urey. Confused, and as a means to seek clarity, Roberts asked if the elder Urey was not mistaken SAMPLUS for another kid. “Which parent would make a mistake with his child? Although we are poor people, but I will never deny or disown any of my children for whatever the reason might be” the elder Urey retorted. Sensing something amiss, especially knowing how mischievously cunning his son was, the father bravely asked the motive for such question. While the interaction was ongoing, Benoni surreptitiously absconded the scene and was nowhere in sight. Mr. Roberts’s explanation was painstaking, and astonishing to everyone around. Moderator Townsend shrugged his shoulder, and looked right in Benoni’s father eyes and made a startling remark. “As young as your son is, and judging from what I heard he did to deny you as his parent, and made himself an orphan just for greed, and petite benefits then I can imagine what he will do in the future if given the opportunity. He could sell the whole country,” Townsend concluded with prophetic acclamation.
At home Young Benoni swore that he never encountered Mr. Roberts in his life, and it could be someone else he might mistake him to be, as there are several children in Careysburg that have similar complexion as he. He started to call names of others with his complexion that accordingly could be of equal suspects. Before he could utter the last name, the correspondent lashes from his father’s cane resulted into a spontaneous confession.
A week after the encounter at the Church, through Moderator Townsend, Benoni’s father was escorted at the VOA Compound to meet with Mr. Roberts and apologized for the unfortunate situation. Seated at the back of the car was Benoni. With teary eyes, Mr. Daniel Urey, Benoni’s father recounted how he is unable to fend for his many children totaling eleven from three wives, as he is poor, and lives on subsistence farming. Having been touched by Mr. Urey’s plea for forgiveness on behalf of his son Benoni, which was also followed by Moderator Townsend’s plead for forgiveness, Mr. Roberts accepted and promised to award a full scholarship to Benoni to attend the American Cooperative School, (ACS) up to his graduation as his mode of contribution and assistance to the people of Careysburg with a caution that attending such prestigious school won’t make Benoni a good citizen if he continued to exhibit the treacherous qualities of greed and desires that bordered on trickery, deceit and fraud which he epitomized at that young age. That was how Benoni attended (ACS).
After throwing light on his childhood, and parental background the below narratives exposed several substantive issues unknowing to Liberians that are shredded in secrecy and the fallacies fed to the Liberian people that Benoni Urey is an entrepreneur par excellence, who used farming as a fulcrum to propel him to riches and wealth devoid of defrauding the Liberian People. These are all black lies. A further reading will unveil the reality.
THE AGRICULTURE COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT BANK FACTOR
The Agriculture Cooperative and Development Bank (ACDB) was one of Liberia’s most viable banks with assets and liquid cash in the tune of Fifty Million United States Dollars prior to the 1990 war. Professor Wilson Tarpeh was the most notable President who built the Bank’s portfolio and raised its profile to international standards. Most Liberian farmers and ordinary Liberians including the elders and pensioners had their life savings at the bank. Prof. Tarpeh was subsequently appointed Executive Director of Ecowas Fund at the African Development Bank, and was succeeded by Mr. Jerome Hodge prior to the 1990 NPFL onslaught.
Taylor appointed Benoni as President of the bank on the NPFL slot to oversee and resuscitate the bank after a period of inactiveness occasioned by the war. Upon his ascendency, two seasoned bankers, Minikon Weah and Bolling Dorkieh, as heads of both Marketing, and Project Departments prepared and submitted a Restructuring Plan to their new boss. The Plan called for soliciting donor assistance which would be disbursed to potential Liberians to enable them invest into poultry products, including livestock, snail raising, piggery, and other agro related commodities. They used similar case studies, and wildly acclaimed strategies employed by most countries emerging from devastating civil crisis, and hailed by the African Development Bank (ADB), through which the countries was able to develop self sustenance in a short period of time through investment in the aforementioned, and at the same time exporting same to generate foreign exchange which was utilized in other gainful sector for sustainability.
As President of the Bank, Urey utilized that Master plan and coveted it to his benefit and source financial grants from friendly donors sympathetic with the plight of the country, and generated funds in the tune of Six Million USD as seed money to jumpstart the project. Instead of utilizing the cash for its intended purpose, The Master Plan together with the cash was used for his personal gains to the detriment of the poor Liberian Farmers. THAT GAVE BIRTH TO WHAT IS NOW CALLED WULKI FARMS, and the beginning of the acquisition of his so-called wealth, and the ascription of being Liberia’s successful entrepreneur. Today, our poor Liberian depositors including farmers, pensioners, marketers, students, yana boys and our elders have lost their life savings in the Bank. Thanks to Benoni Urey for presiding over the bankruptcy of the bank.
THE CHARLES TAYLOR AND GEORGE WEAH DISCONNECT
Most Liberians today are of the conviction that President Charles Taylor hated George Weah, and even to an extent wanted him dead because of his popularity and seeming threat he posed to his presidency at the time. George Weah too was programmed to believe that subsequently. But that was far from reality, as the main culprit and squealer responsible for the disconnect and artificial friction that subsisted between both men is no other than Benoni Urey, who played them to the gallows, and succeeded big time because he wanted to accomplish an aim that he ended being the ultimate loser.
As one of Taylor’s newest kid on the block, and strategic part of his Kitchen Cabinet after winning the presidency in 1997, he fell in love with a pretty young damsel named MALO, for short. His Achilles heel was the girl’s longtime sweetheart named NYON SEOH, whose father was one time Dean of the College of Forestry at the University of Liberia. Seoh was a close buddy to George Weah, and based abroad. Whenever Weah visited Liberia, Seoh would form part of his entourage. His presence posed a serious threat to Urey’s new found love. On several occasions he wept like a kid on bended knees promising heaven on earth if only she would abandon her relationship with this “kid” and concentrate on he alone. His incessant pleas didn’t materialize despite using other influential emissaries. Convinced that all efforts employed were of no avail, he devised a plan which coincidentally delivered itself during an episode that occurred on Broad Street during the Christmas season of 1999.
President Taylor being the flamboyant leader he was, made a tour around Monrovia and its environs where he presented gift items to several residents as a means of identifying with them during the festive season. He climaxed on Broad Street with a visit to a boutique called Gentry, which was directly opposite Palm Hotel and owned by Samuel Mustafa Gibson. Mustafa was dubbed “friend of the President”. It was also alleged that they played tennis together. While President Taylor was at the boutique, thousands of citizens from all walks of life including the benefactors of his Christmas’s largesse flooded Broad Street to take a glimpse of him. Traffic jammed as ATU used whips and batons to contain the crowd. It was in that process George Weah, enroute from Mechlin Street, after a presentation of jerseys to Muslim Congress, and Wells Hairston High School, both of which he attended, branched off to Carey Street to share Christmas pleasantries with several old friends who congregated at a popular shop called KABBAH SHOP.
In a twinkling, after the crowd got wind that George Weah was on Carey Street, they avalanched in droves and headed in his direction leaving a handful on Broad Street to the consternation of the dreaded ATU, and scores of government officials including Urey who was with President Taylor at the boutique.
Back at the Mansion, the scene was a topical issue with diverse views expressed by the bigwigs. Urey did not utter a word thereat, as he already had a plan hatched which he couldn’t unveil amongst those present as he was unsure of their reaction.
The next day, Urey broke the yolk to Taylor which changed the course of history between both men, (TAYLOR and UREY). Urey told Taylor that from the look of things that day, if Weah was not contained and restrained, he would pose the greatest threat to his presidency, and would one day unseat him. Accordingly, he advised that the best way to entrap Weah was to accuse him of intent to seek the presidency while he Taylor is on throne. Once it had to do with the Presidency, (Taylor’s Pepperbush), he, without an afterthought bought the idea unsuspecting of Urey’s selfish motive. Without hesitation, the following day he accused Weah of wanting to seek the presidency through unorthodox means. Bingo! Urey quietly jubilated when the pronouncement was made. That meant Weah would not come to Liberia based on the allegations and the threat posed to his life. Correspondingly and justifiably so, especially based on collective guilt that was the hallmark of Taylor’s era, most of Weah’s trusted buddies would feel the same too, and wouldn’t dare come home as memories of Sam Dokie was fresh in their minds. That meant Urey would have his MALO all to himself. And he did, as Seoh did not visit the country during the period and time Taylor stayed in power.
On the other hand Urey would confide in Weah whenever he made trips abroad that Weah must take the threat made by Taylor very serious, and he should avoid venturing into Monrovia as long as Taylor was in power. Weah believed him! Thus began the bitterness and artificial rift between both men just because of Benoni”s selfish desire. A plot that is unveiled to Liberians today.
PLOT TO ELIMINATE MALO
In 2003, Gyude Bryant Transitional Government was ushered in and paved the way for all Liberians who left the country voluntarily or involuntarily due to the unfavorable political condition to return. Indeed George Weah returned, and equally so, were his friends and associates. That spelt doom for Urey, as Seoh’s presence in the country rekindled his relationship with Malo who was then employed by Urey at Lone Star Cell. The long of the short, Malo decided to terminate her affairs with Urey based on pieces of advice from friends and well wishers occasioned by constant threats from Urey who always told her that if he didn’t have her, nobody will ever possess her. According to him, such would only happen over her dead body. He delivered upon his threat when in the thickness of the darkness, he masterminded through some of the dreaded ATU to arm rob, rape and by extension eliminate her. Through the mercy of God, she escaped to a hideout almost naked by the skin of her teeth through a secret tunnel. Today, Malo and Seoh are happily married and reside in North Carolina where the both operate a first class boutique called NYONI COUTUREE.
ENTRENCHED DISDAIN FOR MEMBERS OF THE KRAHN TRIBE
From my interactions with diverse groups of Liberians from all shades of political persuasions, and ethnic divide, Ben Urey cuts across as someone embedded with an entrenched hatred and ingrained disdain for members of the KRAHN TRIBE. Judging from the way he talked condescendingly about this group of Liberians, if he has his way, they will be obliterated from the surface of this country reminiscent of the Rwanda Style genocide perpetuated against the Tutsi. Currently he still harbors an age old grudge against Samuel K. Doe, and his Krahn kinsmen for mainly executing his father-in law, Dr. Cyril Bright, who was Tolbert’s Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs in 1980.
On one notable occasion, in April 1989 during the Easter Season, the Mayor of Arthington, Mrs. Zuriah Wright Titus, organized a Reunion Gala Extravaganza for cities comprising the Riverbanks to include Millsburg, Brewerville, Caldwell, Louisiana, Artington, White Plains, Crozerville, Harrisburg, ect, and the settlements, to include Careysburg, Mount Barclay, Bensonville, and other surroundings. Present at the gathering were prominent sons of the settlements and the Riverbanks including the RICHARDS, HOLDERS, CLARKS, FLOWERS, THOMASES, FREEMANS, UREYS, WHITES, RICHARDSONS, KNUCKLES, etc, etc. It was the who’s who and the cream de la cream of both areas. President Doe was invited to grace the occasion.
During a general discussion that ensued, Benoni became emotionally vehement that the presence of Doe would dilute the essence of the occasion, as it was meant for only citizens of both locals, and if the organizers intended for someone prominent to grace the occasion, Doe was not the option as he represented an outlook far from the decency of the both localities, especially someone who killed prominent sons and relatives of these areas especially in the same month of April. He opined that doing so was a form of glorifying Doe. General Albert T. White one of the elders present overheard his rants against the President, and rebuked him for his unguided and unfortunate expressions which he said could put everyone of them at risk as there were diverse people around. General White further implored him to always guide his utterances to reflect reconciliation and forgiveness as there are good and bad in everyone, as he was a living witness of the hospitality of the Krahns based on the many years he served as Superintendent of the county despite being a non Krahn. He further told Ben that to insult the Krahns and harbor grudge against them is also likened to harboring grudge against he and his children who have Krahn blood running in their veins. While General White was in speech, Ben got in his vehicle and left the scene with his wife by his side expressing support for his action.
Behind the NPFL lines, he tasked himself of ensuring that Krahns were either killed secretly, setup or made to flee into exile. The late Nelson Gaye scenario was the most pathetic. Gaye was the only Krahn fighter in the NPFL that was so endeared to Taylor, and served as Deputy Commander of his Executive Grounds Battalion. The sight of Gaye on the “EXECUTIVE GROUNDS” in Gbarnga crept Ben’s skin. He couldn’t fathom why would Taylor encourage Gaye around him, and that became his biggest headache.
Enroute from Bassa on a reconnaissance mission during the battle for Gbarnga between NPFL and the Allied Forces, Gaye’s convoy full with fighters sped past Urey and accidentally splashed mud on his vehicle. Urey became infuriated, and termed the act disrespectful. Back in Gbarnga, he wasted no time in the midst of Taylor and others, yelled at Gaye and called him a damn monkey who would be well suited in the high forest of Grand Gedeh as his habitat. Peter Fineboy, who was present, didn’t take kindly to such a harsh statement made against Gaye, a fellow kinsman, which he said had the potency of brewing dispute, and laying credence to widely held notion that the NPFL was against the Krahn ethnicity. Bitter exchanges ensued with the accompanying threats spewing from Urey to Fineboy. It took Taylor to quell both men who were almost at each other’s throat.
It was no surprise when GBARNGA fell to the allied forces, Gaye was accused of being bribed based on his closeness to Tom Woweiyu, the Defence Minister of Taylor’s NPRAG Government who defected and was a high ranking member of the “Allied Forces” formed to dethrone Taylor. Gaye, alone with others were tried and executed allegedly upon orders of Taylor who sought refuge in the Ivory Coast where he absconded in the heat of the battle. After NPFL recaptured Gbarnga, Taylor expressed disbelief concerning Gaye’s complicity of bribery based on his unflinching loyalty to him. Few months thereafter, Urey boasted to Peter Fineboy of his ardent vow to get even with elements of Krahns within the NPFL as was done to Gaye, and warned him that his days of reckoning was near.
UREY, MARSHALL DENNIS AND THE GEORGE SOLO FACTOR IN THE CDC
The countdown to the 2011 Presidential and Legislative Elections witnessed several crossovers, wheeling dealings, and alignments amongst the major political parties and its actors. Urey who had earlier left the NPP and joined ranks with the CDC during the 2005 Elections, subsequently became its biggest financier, and bankrolled several of its activities. Considered as the Party’s Financial Godfather, he was the source of almost everything financial, and a major stakeholder. He wielded a strategic influence as most of the vocal and combative partisans were on his payroll. It was in the midst of his consolidated power base that George Solo, a Krahn became Chairman based on the caprices and whims of Weah, as opposed to Horatio Gould who contested against Solo, but withdrew in protest based on what he term “fraudulent conduct associated with the process”.
During the 2011 Presidential Elections, Marshall Dennis approached Chairman Solo in his bid to solicit his support to contest on the CDC’s ticket as its Senatorial Candidate, with the hope that as a fellow Krahn, mainly from the same quarter Solo would have given him his unflinching support and blessings. Although promises were made in that direction, with some financial perks as inducements, to Marshall’s consternation, he became the sacrificial lamb, and another candidate was selected on the Party’s ticket that lost to Alphonso Gaye of the Unity Party.
Dissatisfied with the double-cross meted against him and especially with no sustainable income, Marshall took his plight to Urey with venomous disposition and a laundry explanation of Solo’s family pedigree to seek favor. A marriage of convenience was thereafter established between both men. In one of such litany self-serving gossips he revealed to Urey shockingly how it was George Solo’s father General Peter Solo, then a sergeant in the AFL, who shot Dr. Cyril Bright during the infamous April 22, 1980 execution.
After exhausting the full details from Marshall including other sensitive information relative to the Solo family, and several other Krahn kinsmen, Urey saw it as a golden opportunity to avenge, and extract a pound of blood from the direct scion of the Krahn soldier that executed his father-in-law, through his financial might. He tele guided and instigated a whirlwind of negative media propaganda in and out of CDC that led to a disrespectful and belligerent posture against George Solo’s reign as Chairman of the CDC, a sequel which later became turbulent to an extent where almost all his co workers, auxiliaries and even Weah got him out, and by extension wanted him dead, a plot he mysteriously escaped.
With Solo dethroned as Chairman, (thanks to Urey), and as a recompense for the vital revelations made by Mr. Dennis, Urey lobbied and ensured that Marshall became the party’s only nominee and contestant for the Senate in the 2014 Senatorial Elections. In addition, he fully sponsored his campaign which he won against several big wigs including William Glay, Dr. George Boley, Samuel K. Doe, Jr. and Zoe Pennoh all of whom are blood relatives and hailed from the main stream Gbor tribe of Tuzon District of Grand Gedeh. The Gbors are the most influential and wield enormous power amongst the generality of the Krahns, and mostly are from one family. During Doe’s reign, members of the Gbors were the elites and were given lucrative positions in government. On the contrary, Marshall Dennis hailed from Gbarzon District way off tangent from Zwedru and Tuzon, and is closer to the Nimba side of Grand Gedeh. Based on the inherent split amongst one family in the race, Marshall capitalized especially with the massive financial support received; he became overwhelmingly the winner to the detriment of the Solos family.
Based on the enormous influence Urey currently wields on Senator Marshall Dennis, during the election for the Senate Pro Temp, he was instructed by Urey to vote for Senator Oscar Cooper which he did against the advice of CDC. He has since solidified his relationship with the Urey clan and he sees himself as an integral part because Urey’s only son Henry Costa who he earlier disowned is married to Marshal Dennis’ sister daughter she fathered by a Caucasian of MEXICAN and ITALIAN breed. He is currently in the process of resigning from the CDC to join the ALP of Urey.
BONJAL AND VAMOMA HOUSE
As a further manifestation of his hatred against prominent Krahns, Urey underwrote on behalf of former Finance Minister Alvin Jones the legal expenses against Former First Lady Nancy Doe in the battle for the VAMOMA HOUSE with the understanding that if Jones won the case, he (Urey) would purchase the property. It was another means of seeking revenge and disfranchising the DOE family. Unfortunately for him, Mrs. Doe emerged the winner. He lost tens of thousands of dollars in that revengeful gamble.
He frantically and unsuccessfully tried by using Lebanese surrogates, and other emissaries in disguise to purchase the BONJAL property on the Robertsfield Highway which belongs to another Doe family of the Krahn extracts, but to no useful avail. After several turnarounds, the Lebanese resulted to lease a portion of land adjacent Bonjal as an outlet to sell crush rocks.
DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL OF LEC
In one of his public relations gimmicks, Urey’s hired guns propelled him as “Deputy Director General” responsible for planning at the LEC. That is pathologically untrue and intended to self glorify him, as no such position ever existed at the LEC prior to, and after the war. At the LEC that time, there were two Deputy Director General’s positions. One was responsible for administration and the other was for technical services. Harry Nuahn, Sam Burnnette, and later Chris Neyor were the three gentlemen that served as Managing Director. John Vuwar, and Fredrick Gobowole were the two that served as Deputy Managing Director for Administration before the war. Christopher Neyor served as Deputy for Technical Services during the same time before been elevated. In subsequent time, the position of Deputy for Rural Electrification was introduced. In all fairness, yes, Urey he did worked at the LEC prior to the 1990 war, but as an Assistant Supervisor in the Planning Department with a net salary of (USD 649.00). Chris Neyor is around, and can attest to that.
CONSULTANT AT AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK SCAM
The assertions that he worked with the African Development Bank as a “Consultant” is a scam to project himself as a professional who has had an outside-of-Liberia experience within a renowned and reputable origination to reflect an international outlook . My question is what was the consultancy all about? With the poll of professionals of impeccable credentials available in the employ of the bank, what did they need him for, and what extra experience did he have for which he would be hired as “Consultant”?
This is what transpired: During the war, several Liberians were displaced in Ivory Coast, and had no major means of sustenance for livelihood. There were very few Liberians in the employ of the bank that utilized their influence to assist some of their kinsman with readily available contractual jobs for Crash Projects based on the availability of funding. The late G. Henry Andrews, Dr. Eugene Shannon, and Prof. Wilson Tarpeh were the most notable in the high echelons of the bank, amongst others. It was based upon Mr. Andrews, and Dr. Shannon’s instrumentality that he together with others was offered a three-month contractual job to conduct a baseline study. The team was headed by a gentleman from Gabon named Dr. Mbiya Kumbo. Henry Andrews is dead, but Dr. Shannon is around and could likely verify this information.
“I NEVER CARRIED A GUN BEFORE” ANOTHER BIG BLACK LIE
In a recent interview conducted by Rodney Sieh, Urey lied that he has never carried a gun before. This is why it is a good thing to talk less especially when you know you have a colorful past, and there are footprints left behind that can be traced and disprove you as a big liar. In an article written by Lindsay Barret in the New Democrat in December 1993 titled: TWENTY TWO GATES TO REALITY- A JOURNEY TO GBARNGA, Lindsey wrote amongst others that ‘heavily armed high powered NPFL officials included Mr. John T. Richardson, MR. BENONI UREY (A Chemist who threatened to unleashed chemical warfare on citizens of Monrovia during Operation Octopus and poison the water), and Yondueh Monokormana, NPFL nominee as Chairman of the National Elections Commission, accompanied the group of local and foreign journalist led by Ecomog Field Commander, General John Inienger, and the Tanzanian Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General T. Kiwelu on a courtesy call to the leader of the NPFL Charles Taylor, in Gbarnga”. This article disproved two fallacies and has exposed Urey’s constant lies that he was never a part of NPFL when Octopus was launched, and that he never held gun before.
Additionally, in another interview conducted by the current Minister of Information, Eugene Nagbe, which was carried in the Patriot Newspaper, in 1996 after the April 6 madness, he Urey defended his action to carry arms in self defense as his life and that of his family was in danger and at risk. These are crystal facts that are documented, available in black and white with personalities involved still around to attest to the veracity of this revelation.
LIBERIA’S RICHEST MAN, A COMPLETE FALLACY
Today Urey is regarded as Liberia’s richest man who his supporters claim and want the generality of Liberians to believe that he accumulated his wealth though investments ranging from farming, telecommunications real estate and agro products. A fairer justification indeed, but one that raises more questions than answers. All the lofty businesses enumerated entail enormous sums of capital. The last time I checked, prior to the war, Urey’s salary was under (USD 700.00 Dollars) which was very inadequate and palsy to support he and his family.
To make ends meet and prop him, his brother-in law, the late Alfred W. Coleman, as Chairman of the Liberia Basketball Federation employed him as cashier there. Moreover, as a member of Crowd Fifty, a social fraternity that incorporates professionals born in the fifties, Edwin Zeelee, who served as Materials Control Manager of LPRC, and other financial potent members also assisted him several times with financial perks as a means to rescue him from the incessant disgrace meted against him at home based on his glaring financial inability to fend for his family, a situation which constantly brought disrepute to his manliness and eroded his domestic authority because at that time he never had a dwelling place for himself, but rather lived with his wife in their family’s house.
WHY? WHY? WHY?
With all the entrepreneur exploits Urey’s many supporters are boasting of, whereat they want Liberians to believe and reward him with the presidency, why didn’t he put an iota of it in motion prior to the war to at least start a mini venture to convince most of the people that think otherwise and unlikely about him? Entrepreneur characteristics don’t hide whenever they are embedded in you. The symptoms will always be reflective in the early formative stages like pregnancy.
Other friends within his cycle with similar entrepreneurial skills as he include Nathaniel Richardson (GEOSERVICES), John T. Richardson (ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES), Jim Holder(STEEL PRODUCTS), Robert Q. Kennedy (STATIONERY AND OFFICE SUPPLIES), Yao Kadoyah (ACCOUNTING FIRM) Mike Nuah (INSURANCE), Momolu Sirleaf (MEDIA SERVICES), Rossetus Weeks (COMMUNICATIONS), Wendell Addy (CARPET HOUSE), who invested in diverse businesses at the early stages of their lives with the meager resources at their disposal, and employed several individuals. They were considered the emerging embodiment of the Liberian middle class. One of their major achievements was the formation of the Liberian Business Caucus which championed the cause of Liberians to take control of their economy, and served as a lobbyist for Liberian businesses to be given contracts. The Caucus was also vocal on socio- economic issues affecting the society.
QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS
The Million Dollar questions are: At what point in time did he start his “investment”? Was it after he served as PRESIDENT OF ADB which he bankrupted? Or was it during the time he subsequently became Maritime Commissioner where he presided over an annual income of Twenty Million USD before his entrepreneur spirit awakened? Should it take him to negotiate the contract against ITC to manage the Maritime Funds in favor of LISCR before he saw it wise to invest? Should he serve as a major arms negotiator with some of the most notorious criminals the world has known, before his investment appetite for Liberia became wetted? Why from the inception of the incorporation and formation of Lone Star Cell, he had never made it public that he was a major shareholder? Should it entail that Charles Taylor be arrested and detained before the news of that “investment” became public? TO BE CONTINUED…
This author of this article, Grant Solomon, is an ardent follower of contemporary political developments especially bordering on security, injustice, rule of law, and corruption. He lives on Duport Road, and formerly worked with as a Research Analyst at the Ministry of Justice in 1988. He currently runs a private Security Research Consultancy located in Fiamah, Sinkor.