A secret invitation clandestinely extended by Mr. Wayne Doe, Executive Director of the Organization of Liberians in Minnesota (OLM), to Finance Minister Amara Konneh, to serve as Keynote Speaker during Liberia’s 166 Independence Day, has backfired.
An investigation by the Independent Eye News (IEN), discovered that while the Planning Committee appointed by Mr. Doe to spearhead the Independence Day program was carrying out its work, Doe secretly wrote Minister Konneh, without the Committee’s knowledge.
In the secret invitation, Mr. Doe claimed Konneh was selected “after careful consideration of more than 10 shortlisted names.” Doe also said in the secret invitation, “the over 25,000 Liberian Immigrants residing in the State of Minnesota await the opportunity to honor your presence.”
When asked by the IEN to reveal the purported over ten names he claimed among which Minister Konneh was selected, Mr. Doe said, “I do not have any name to give you.”
Asked why he allowed the July 26 Committee to continue searching for Keynote Speaker whereas he has already clandestinely selected Minister Konneh to serve in that capacity, Mr. Doe said, “It did not matter.”
On whether or not his clandestine action had any financial or political motives? Mr. Doe said, “I have to go.” He then abruptly ended the interview.
Doe’s secret invitation to Minister Konneh was sent on Thursday, May 23, while the July 26 Planning Committee was unknowingly still searching for a Keynote Speaker. The Committee only got to know about it on Tuesday, June 25, one month two days after the secret invitation was sent.
For the benefit of our readership, the Editorial Board of the Independent Eye News, has decided to publish verbatim, unedited, Mr. Wayne Douglas Doe’s secret invitation to Finance Minister, Amara Konneh. Below is the full text.
Hon. Amara Konneh
Minister of Finance
Republic of Liberia
Dear Hon. Konneh:
You have been selected by the Organization of Liberians in Minnesota (OLM) to be Honor as the Orator of Liberia’s 166 Independence Day celebration in Minnesota. This invitation comes after careful consideration of more than 10 shortlisted names.
We are pleased to inform you that the over 25,000 Liberian immigrants residing in the state of Minnesota await the opportunity to honor your presence. The activities include special meetings with other US government officials and trade partners on establishment of Liberian Consulate in Minnesota (details will follow in itinerary):
July 26 Black-Tie Dinner & Ball
July 27- Outdoors Family day- Forum with the Liberian Community
July 28—Community Thanksgiving Service Liberian County Meet Final (Soccer)
The theme of the celebration is “Rebuilding Our Community Together” to capture the essence of unity toward a common purpose. The venue for the dinner and ball is the Brooklyn Park Community Activity Center in the City of Brooklyn Park.
Other expected guests to attend the celebration include, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, US Senator Al Franken, Mayor Jeffrey Luande of the City of Brooklyn Park, Mayor Tim Wilson of the City of Brooklyn Center, State Legislators, other US government officials, and community leaders.
We look forward to your favorable response.
Wayne Douglas Doe
Cc: Zubah Kpanaku, OLM Board Chairman
Cc. Hon. James Kollie, Deputy Minister for Expenditure”
Critics are wondering why Mr. Doe decided to send a copy of Finance Minister Amara Konneh’s invitation to his Deputy Minister for Expenditure, James Kollie?
When confronted by some Committee Members, who were furious about the episode, Doe reportedly, apologized claiming it was an error, but his apology was rejected on grounds that he willfully disrespected the committee apparently for some personal financial gains.
Sensing the embarrassment it could have caused him if Minister Konneh were informed he was no longer the Keynote Speaker, Doe tried plan “B,” hopping the committee will have mercy on him and it worked.
He explained to the July 26 Planning Committee that since Minister Konneh already got his plane ticket and travel allowance, he should be allowed to have a town hall-style meeting with the Minnesota Liberian Community instead.
When quizzed by the Independent Eye News, Doe admitted apologizing to the Committee, but claimed his apology was because he failed to show the secret invitation to the committee for more than one month.
Asked about a possible conflict of interest since he was the appointing authority of the July 26 Planning Committee as such should have allowed the Committee to do its job, Mr. Doe said he was also a Member of the Committee therefore, he saw no conflict.
Quizzed about Mr. Doe’s clandestine design the Chair of the July 26 Planning Committee Mrs. Susie Keykpo confirmed Mr. Doe’s uncouth behavior, but added that the Committee compromised only because of the Minnesota Liberian Community’s interest.
Mrs. Keykpo complained that her phone has been ringing off the hook regarding the secret invitation and subsequent clandestine selection of the Minister to serve as the July 26 Keynote Speaker in Minnesota.
Doe’s invitation comes in spite of serious allegations surrounding the mysterious disappearance of thirteen thousand United States dollars (US$13M), from the EU which was reportedly diverted by Minister Konneh, to an unknown location.
There are double controversies involving the Liberian Finance Minister. The first was his secret selection which was reportedly done under dubious circumstances, without the knowledge of the July 26 Planning Committee, a situation which provoked the first controversy.
The second was Minister Konneh’s alleged diversion of some thirteen million United States dollars (US$13M) of the European Union’s donation to the Liberian health sector in the tiny West African Republic of Liberia, which is in dire need of medical assistance.
But Minister Konneh claimed he divided the money among three medical institutions including the John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) Medical Center in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, Jackson Fiah Doe Referral Hospital, in Tapata, Nimba County and the Phebe Hospital, in Bong County, among others.
However, to the apparent amazement of the Liberian people, European Union and other international partners, all the institutions Konneh claimed to have divided the money to, categorically denied ever receiving a penny from the “HONORABLE” Finance Minister.
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