Ghanaian woman funds political party in Liberia

The “Lady from Wangara Hotel” says she is appalled by series of allegations detailed in the Chronicle Newspaper that she is a Taylor operative.

By Own Correspondent with support from – The Chronicle, in its last four publications suggests that the Ghanaian businesswoman is in Monrovia to bankroll the candidacy of Dew Mayson and Jewel Howard Taylor and that she has been meeting high-ranking NPP executives during her business trip to Monrovia.

The newspaper, in a series of reports, alleged that Nana Miezah-Hill known by many as ‘Aunty Nana’ is in constant contact with former Liberian President Charles Taylor, currently standing trial for war crimes in The Hague. The paper alleges that the Ghanaian hotel giant was instructed by the former president to come to Monrovia and ensure that President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is not re-elected.

The paper went on to also accuse the businesswoman of being on a crusade to mount subversive activities against the Government of Liberia. But in a strong no nonsense tone during her interview with FrontPageAfrica Tuesday, the businesswoman lamented the report and questioned the motives behind the newspaper’s onslaught against her reputation which she has built over the years. “If I came to bankroll Jewel Howard Taylor and Dew Mayson then why haven’t I met them?”

Continued  Miezah-Hills: “The second publication with the subtitle message and messenger is a joke.  Yes  I am using my friend’s green pick up with Theophillus Julu, an  NSA agent  as my driver and  so everywhere I went or whatever I  said is an open book so Julu  just sold lies to Philipbert Brown of The Chronicle Newspaper and he was hot to buy.  I have not had any meetings whatsoever with NPP high-ranking officials. In fact, the only NPP high-ranking official I have met, after one week stay in Monrovia, was Sando Johnson, on my way to check on my house I am currently selling on TB Annex Road.”

“I met Mr. Johnson and Feweh Sherman on the side of the road en route to my house and we chatted briefly with no mention of Mrs. Sirleaf , Benoni Urey and Lewis brown who is my friend. In fact Feweh knows  Julu as an NSA agent, and therefore it would be stupid to discuss  such thing in his presence.   So again it would have been suicidal to say the things Chronicle is purporting we discussed, My trip to this country is purely business and not political and will never be political,” Aunty Nana declared.

Continued Aunty Nana: “I have only had meetings with surveyors and real estate agents and people who are interested in leasing or buying of a property”. .

The businesswoman said she is not rebutting the story to give credence to the Chronicle but wanted the newspaper’s publisher Mr. Philibert Brown to know that he paid money to an informant for nothing. The informant is an employee of the NSA who has been my temporary driver on my current trip to Liberia and that is a fact. I am surprised that he (Mr. Brown) would not have contacted me for my side before running with the trash he has been publishing.”

Trumpeting her respect for President Sirleaf, Aunty Nana said: “It is not every day you wake up that a woman is president in Africa. And as a woman I have nothing but respect for President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and the likes of Philbert Brown and his Chronicle newspaper will never change how I feel about Mrs. Sirleaf. Plus, I do not have the mind, the motive and the capacity to even unseat a president anywhere, not even a president of a group.”

‘Will always be a businesswoman’

Aunty Nana went on to say that she has been coming to Liberia regularly for years since the Tolbert era and this is the first time that she has been drawn into Liberian politics. “I have been coming to Liberia since Tolbert time and have never been in trouble with anyone, any security whatsoever. I have always been a business person. All the times I come here those who know me, know the kind of person I am.”

Continued Aunty Nana: “I am a businesswoman and will always be one.”

Aunty Nana explained that the Wangara Hotel is owned by her brother, Ekow Sam, an architect, and the hotel which the Chronicle alleges is owned by Taylor is actually her brother’s business.  Besides the Wangara Hotel in Labone, Sam also owns Adjoa Wangara in Cantoments, Ghana and Panstiwa Wangara in Osu, all named after her mother, Wangara. “If Mr. Brown and the Chronicle had done their homework they would know that Wangara is for my brother and my husband runs the hotel.

The businesswoman also explained that she remains puzzled over why Mr. Brown would now stoop so low and try to ruin her good name.

“My husband and I have always opened our doors to Liberians passing through Accra, Ghana.  Besides, my husband, a full-blooded Liberian, is the General Manager of the hotel. I have always considered Mr. Brown as a brother because his wife, Agnes, is a Ghanaian just as I am. This is really mind-boggling to me and a real sad and tragic misuse of the pen from an unqualified journalist who should have stopped in his bodyguard business and not to meddle in the noble career called journalism.”

“Wangara has been in operations for almost twenty years and started long before Mr. Taylor had even become President. I do not know what I did to Mr. Brown and the Chronicle to deserve such negative and ridiculous attacks on my character.

Continued Aunty Nana: “With the new screaming headline: “Ghanaian National on Crusade to Subvert the State”, I should not be the only person to take him on. Bu the state should call him in for questioning to inquire from where he got such preposterous information.”

‘Not an ingrate’: Trip to White Flower

Regarding the Chronicle’s claim that she entered the White Flower, Aunty Nana said: “I can never pass by such a place after hearing that lightning struck Victoria Taylor’s bedroom and burnt it so I had to go and sympathized with her and that was it. There was not even a mention of President Sirleaf or elections and there was not one single male or any NPP high-ranking executives in the house when I went there to visit with same driver. . I am not ungrateful like Philbert Brown, who made more money than he dreams that I made during the Taylor era. This, I can prove it when we meet in court.”

Dismissing the Chronicle’s claims that she has been making daily phone calls to Mr. Taylor, Aunty Nana said the newspaper’s claims were way off the mark. “No one can make a call to Charles Taylor. Only Mr. Taylor can call and calls many people right here in Monrovia regularly and cannot make any of them messengers? Why would he choose ,me  all the way from Accra, Ghana to come and deliver message?

Aunty Nana took the Chronicle to task for misinforming its readers about the purpose of her visit to Monrovia when she is a hard-working businesswoman with assets in Liberia. Said Aunty Nana: “I own properties in Liberia along with my husband, Trokon and I come here always. Besides Mr. Taylor speaks to Jewel Howard-Taylor and many others who are already in Monrovia. He can give them messages direct so why would he send me to deliver a message on his behalf to NPP to plot subversive activities against Madam Sirleaf. These are baseless and senseless allegations.”

The businesswoman stressed that all of her meetings in Monrovia have been with real estate agents and surveyors because she is in Monrovia trying to sell a property and not to cause any subversive activities, adding that she has never been a fugitive from Rawlings and never fled her homeland, Ghana. “I have never been exile in London. My London days was just a young girl driving Rolls Royce in the streets of London with no care in the world and everyone knows it.”

No regrets for Taylor acquaintance

Regarding the Chronicles claims that she was a propagandist against Jerry Rawlings in Ghana and on Taylor’s behalf in Liberia even when her late husband, Blay was a presidential aspirant in Ghana, one time and she was still a wife. Aunty Nana said has never held any political position in Ghana or in Liberia.

Aunty Nana went on to say that she has no regrets about her acquaintance with former President Taylor, who she became acquainted with as way back in the Samuel Doe’s era. “I used to come to Liberia to do charity work for the International Women’s Club and even did a fashion show for UNICEF to promote children at that time,” Aunty Nana explained.

The businesswoman lamented the plight of Taylor since his arrest and questioned whether his children would be in such a condition if he really owned Wangara Hotel.  “If Taylor owned Wangara Hotel his children would not be out of school for not paying their school fees.”

The businesswoman clarified that her second acquaintance with Mr. Taylor was in Ghana in the 1980s when Taylor was in jail at the Bureau of National Investigation.  “My late husband Blay was in the same bureau under investigation. Without knowing that Taylor would even remember me from the Doe era, I took it upon myself to help his then wife, Agnes until Mr. Taylor was released from jail. This is where the friendship started.”

The businesswoman said after her late husband’s death, she came to Monrovia, in 1995 to sell designer clothes and shirts because she says her Rolls Royce and Caviar days were over.   “After my second or third trip, when President Taylor was a member of the council of state, I met him again and he was very kind to me.”