A group of former Youth Leaders from different Youth organization under the banner, “Childhood Friends of Mr. Jefferson T. Koijee” including the Federation of Liberian Youth, the Mano River Union Youth Parliament, the National High School Students Union of Liberia and others have issued taken the head of estwhile Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), Cllr. Jerome Verdier and others to task for falsely accusing Jefferson Tamba Koijee of playing a role in the Liberian Civil war that took the lives of many innocent people.
According to the former Youth Leaders joint statement, the allegations that Mr. Koijee participated in the Liberian civil war as a combatant is farfetched and unfounded especially coming from the former head of the TRC and his likes who also benefited from Mr. Koijee’s contribution to nonviolent civil Causes over the years in Liberia.
“We, the friends of Mr. Jefferson T. Koijee, are deeply concerned about the recent string of allegations
by groups, including the International Justice Group (IJG), against him in relation to his participation
in the Liberian civil war. We take note of the fact that warlords led campaigns to recruit different categories of people including children who were used and abused. However, during our interactions with Mr. Koijee at different times of our upbringing in the youth and student communities, we have
not known him or received any information/evidence linking him to any warring faction or violent activity during the Liberian civil war,” the Youth Leaders stressed in their statement.
They indicated, henceforth, “we believe that the allegations of war crimes against
him are diabolical and unfounded.”
The Childhood Friends of Mr. Jefferson Tamba Koijee said their statement became necessary given the gravity of the allegations against his person, we are constrained to collectively clarify
that, “to the best of our recollections, Mr. Koijee was not a participant in the Liberian civil war.”
“We have known him to be an active citizen dedicated to civic causes. He was at the forefront of numerous campaigns that mobilized students across Monrovia in the early 2000s to demand quality
education, affordable tuition fees, an end to violence and conscription of children into fighting forces,” they emphasized.
The Youth Leaders, most of whom are professionals including PhD researcher across the world pointed out that they stand in defence of Koijee’s record as a youth and student activist during the war years and denounce the
false campaign linking him to war crimes.
“We call on those spreading war crime allegations against Mr. Koijee to refrain from doing so as it only serves to tarnish his reputation,” the group mentioned.
“We, the undersigned, therefore confirm and attest to the fact that Mr. Koijee was never a combatant during the Liberian civil war.
The statement was issued under the signatures of Joseph Sankaituah, Former President of the Federation of Liberian Youth; Sheikh K. Dukuly, II (Ph.D), Researcher; Nafesa Kanneh (MPH), Public Health Practitioner / Chief Executive Officer, Nasofehtravels; Ibrahim Al-bakri Nyei (PhD), Former Chief Clerk and Sergeant-at-arms of the Mano River Union Youth Parliament;
Jerry Tarbolo, Former Secretary General of the Federation of Liberian Youth;
Urias S. Goll (Attorney-at-law), Former Parliamentarian at the Mano River Union Youth Parliament; Kula B.N. Fofana, Assistant Dean, David Straz College, University of Liberia / Former Co-Chair, Vision 2030 Steering Committee Augustine S. M. Tamba, Former President of the Federation of Liberian Youth; Cianna Precious Smith, Former Member of the National High School Student Union of Liberia; Brezhnev David Paasewe, Former First Vice President of the Federation of Liberian Youth; Alfred P. K. Cassell, Former Member, Board of Advisors, Federation of Liberian Youth; and Pindarous W.T. Allison, Former Secretary General of the Federation of Liberian Youth.
Mr. Jefferson Koijee is yet to comment on the statement on his behalf by his childhood friends.