The recent outburst by Representative Edwin Snowe of Montserrado County on a number of issues, particularly the evolving oil sector, calls for some serious national reflection on the caliber of individuals Liberia has elected to represent our interest.
Addressing a press conference, last week in Monrovia Representative Snowe, among other issues, questioned what he views as a disturbing trend in Liberia's evolving oil sector, which if not addressed could have a crippling effect on the oil sector of the country.
The Honorable man, for all intent and purposes, raised a number of salient issues, which should not outrightly be dismissed. But for the purpose of this article, we intend to deal for now, with one aspect of Mr. Snowe's assertions.
During his press conference, the Montserrado County District Representative revealed that he was one of the principle conduits through which the Russian company – Gazprom was negotiating a deal in the Liberian oil sector. “Iimmediately proceeded to President Sirleaf and informed her about the request made to me by Gazprom,” Snowe told members of the Press and the Liberian people.”
More baffling is the revelation during his Press conference, when he referred to Gazprom as “my investor.”
So, perhaps, I am getting it wrong. But when did a lawmaker, who is elected to represent his people and the interest of the country, become the Chief Representative of an oil company.
Should a member of the legislative Branch of Government, House member Snowe participate in discussions or negotiations with a private investment company and the Executive Branch of Government?
Isn't that a breach of the doctrine of separation of powers governing the three branches of government?
Should a representative be pushing the agenda of a business entity, even when it is clear that such is against the interest of the people he/she represents.
By Representative Snowe's own account and taking into consideration the actions of certain House Members for months, GAZPROM is a company affiliated with Honorable Snowe. He met them, he introduced them to the President, and he is on record (print & radio) of pushing the GAZPROM agenda and most recently during the question and answer segment of his press conference, questioned why he shouldn't have a block.
Snowe needs to tell the Liberian people what would be his position if as a lawmaker, he had to preside of matters involving the interest of Gazprom at the House of Representatives. Can he truly represent the interest of the Liberian people.
Let's call spade a spade. Representative Snowe's actions are a sad reminder of the problems that continue to retard the progress of this country. Look how he attempts fruitlessly to insult the intelligence of the Liberian people by attempting to present himself as a patriot who represents their interests. Snowe attempts to clothe his statement in the ideal that he's speaking to expose the “ills in our society,” and in the best interest of Liberia – a truly selfless, noble, and self-sacrificing type of attitude. Yet, under the same breathe he maintains that he has no problem with the president's other sons, Charles, Adama, Fumbah or JES –being appointed in government as long as they are qualified- he only has a problem with the “Pro-bono one”.
Isn't it also true about Rob, Mr. Snowe that he is also equally qualified? Or, perhaps, the yardstick for qualification for Rob and his brothers is set from different lenses.
No doubt, had Mr. Robert Sirleaf accepted Snowe's “investor,” the Honorable Representative would have also had no problems with him.
This is not fair, Mr. Snowe, Liberia and its people deserve better.