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Snowe’s dilemma and an incredibly gullible Liberian people

By Tewroh-Wehtoe Sungbeh       


Edwin Melvin Snowe reminds me of the drunk, grumpy and discredited uncle whom you love dearly but also wants to avoid because of the shame and embarrassment he constantly brings on you and the family.

Like any person who wants to have peace in his or her family, embracing that family member is an acceptable route. The other route is to have nothing to do with the individual until the person genuinely change their behavior to be an acceptable member of the family.

Edwin Melvin Snowe hasn’t changed. Year after year, however, he continues to bring shame on us and has betrayed our Liberian family – the Liberian nation and people to satisfy his selfish financial objectives. Because of that he just cannot be an acceptable and respected member of our Liberian family.

Most Liberians see Snowe as a con artist-turned-politician and former Speaker of the Liberian House of Representatives, who made name for himself as an unapologetic hustler, and a manipulative deal-making operative who came from nowhere to be somewhere through his association with both savory and unsavory characters.

Since he was introduced to the political landscape in the 1990s by his then-father-in-law, Charles Taylor, Snowe, who was quickly elevated from a chauffer to head the money-making and mismanaged Liberian Petroleum Refinery Corporation (LPRC), (a job he was unqualified to hold), has been an embarrassment to the Liberian nation and people.

From his embezzlement of more than a million dollars from LPRC when he was Managing Director, his unilateral decision to establish diplomatic relationship with Taiwan, his offering of $1,000 to have women stripped naked during a poolside party at his house in 2011, the travel ban imposed on him by the UN, and many more infractions disqualifies him to be a serious national leader.

Snowe’s credibility has always been his Achilles’ heel. Because no matter how much we want to stay away from him, embrace him or defend him for bringing to our collective attention the criminal act that transpired behind closed doors between him and the Sirleafs, (at least when they were still friends), made him the object of our curiosity and anger.

Anyway, even if you believe him for a moment, you are left to wonder whether he should be taken seriously. Then again, you’re left wondering whether he will ever change or will continue to return to his old ways of scheming to secure those unilateral and questionable deals that made him rich and famous.

I certainly am not saying that Snowe is not telling the truth in this slimy matter between him, the Sirleafs and the Russians. Because as an insider to the alleged corrupt activities, he and those that attempted to cross it or have already crossed it are the ones who knows what really happened behind those closed doors.

However, like Jucontee Thomas Woewiyu, who also threw a bombshell in 2005 when he and Sirleaf fell out only to later reveal the insidious role she played in the Liberian civil war that killed hundreds of thousands of Liberians, and rendered many, many more homeless and exiled, proved Woewiyu and Snowe’s revelations to be motivated not by patriotism, but by greed and a criminal mindset.

What is also deceitful about the biblical Saul-like conversion of Snowe and Woewiju is that both men were at one time loyal friends of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who conveniently shut their mouths, play blind and play along to the illegal activities that swirled around them once things were o.k., and those promised funds were transferred into their personal bank accounts.

And when things didn’t go their way, both men however, came out with vengeance and a willingness to expose Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for the ‘crimes’ she supposedly committed against them.

Snowe’s recent revelation that he was approached secretly in May 2011 by the Russian Oil Company, Gazprom, as a middle man to convince the Sirleaf’s (Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Robert Sirleaf) to secure the exploration rights to invest in the oil sector, which brought in an offer of $100 million as his fee to secure a block, $27 million for the Liberian government, and $15 million for the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), proves what Edwin Melvin Snowe can do when he’s unleashed to roam Liberia unguarded.

As former Speaker of the House of Representatives, and now member of the House of Representatives, a credible and patriotic Snowe would have reported this matter immediately to the appropriate law enforcement authorities and his legislative colleagues who are constitutionally mandated to summon the President, her son, Robert Sirleaf, and others for a series of hearings before the national legislature, to get to the bottom of this matter. But it did not happen.

The Liberian people once traveled this sleazy route before; first with Jucontee T. Woewiyu, and now it’s Snowe’s turn, after Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Robert Sirleaf apparently disrespected him and left him out of the deal.

Often times I wonder what’s wrong with the Liberian people when they pretend to sleep through a national crisis or are silent as if it is o.k. for their elected officials to shortchanged them or undermine their aspirations?

Why are the Liberian people so gullible, and where are the opposition leaders and other political activists when we need them? Why are the Liberian people not in the streets demanding answers from President Sirleaf, and why are the streets not flooded right now with people demanding answers from their elected officials?



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