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Charles Taylor of Liberia Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Jide Keye, Nigeria Aug 19, 2003
Human Rights   Opinions


Today, Charles Taylor is at the mercy of Nigeria government, living on charity provided by the same Nigerian tax-payers when he used to deride. There are moral lessons to be extracted from his downfall and humiliation, not just for all men in power, including Taylor's host but for every man. Invariably, power is transient. This is a lesson that has proven true for all times but tragically, men of power hardly remember this, be they presidents, or chief executives of companies.

The story of Africa is one long cycle of bad leadership at all levels. Hopes and aspirations shattered potentials have been defeated in this troubled continent where power for its sake has driven Ideology service to background. Charles Taylor is facing his own moment of reckoning.

Taylor made a statement during his hand-over ceremony in Monrovia: "God willing, I will be back". He must be dreaming because the reality is that his status has changed – he is now a refugee and fugitive from the Law, which will eliminate in due course. I could remember vividly, upon his arrival to Abuja, Nigeria, he was not asked to inspect any guard of honor or royalty meant for Presidents. Pres. Obasanjo (Nigeria) presence at the Airport and the follow-up of President Thambo Mbeki ( South Africa ) and Pres. Kuffor (Ghana) with others obviously was an act of generosity. The scene was pathetic, Taylor was disgraced.

The man is a villain. This is a man who bears the widespread hatred being an international criminal, running from the Law. He cannot move freely around the world, otherwise, he may be arrested and forced to answer questions before the international criminal court sitting in Sierra Leone.

Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo said he is going to be a "good host," meaning that Taylor may not be released to the international court for the charges leveled against him but the shame of the indictment remains on his head.

The United States must be active in all this process. The situation in Liberia cannot be worse than it is now. Justice delayed is Justice denied.

History will absolve him. His adventures in Liberia as Charles Taylor and others like him belong to the past and not the future.



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Jide Keye

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