Photo above: Benoni Urey speaking in Liberia. (Photo provided by Dennis Adonis)
Los Angeles, California; – Benoni Urey, who, as a young man, once studied at the University of Southern California, and graced the very streets of; Los Angeles, is set to compete for the Liberian Presidency come 2017.
A native of Liberia, Benoni Urey attended the University of Southern California (USC) in 1986 where he obtained a Masters Degree in Public Finance. But after working briefly here in Los Angeles, he chose to leave the bright lights of L.A. and go back to his home country, even though it was impoverished and almost shattered from a coup.
After repeated efforts to contribute to his country’s development in various entities, he was subsequently appointed as the President of his country’s agricultural bank, and later as the Maritime Commissioner under interim President John Sawyer, and then under former President Charles Taylor.
The son of an uneducated farmer and a poor mother, who were collectively referred to as the community’s poorest family, Benoni Urey struggled from being the poorest child in his native city of Careysburg, to achieving the title of being richest man in the whole of Liberia.
Today he is the largest employer in the city of Careysburg, where he himself had once served as Mayor, but later stepped down over political differences with Liberia’s current President Ellen Johnson-Serleaf.
Initially a politically-shy gentleman who stayed away from the realms of politics, Urey told the Los Angeles Post-Examiner that the continued oppression of the poor and nepotism lifestyle of the elite has forced him to consider playing a more active role in his country’s leadership.
Straddled by accusations of being associated with Taylor, Urey had always been at wits end to explain that he could not had committed any sin for working for a democratically elected Government.
“Every civil servant in Liberia that was working at the time of Taylor’s Presidency was working for Taylor, so I cannot comprehend what is the essence in saying I worked for Taylor when a multitude of citizens did the same thing”, said an infuriated Urey.
Observers are of the opinion that placing the Taylor baggage on Urey is an absurd strategy intended for political gain by his political opponents in Liberia or some sort of characterization conspiracy by external forces.
Some had even accused him of wanting to make a power grab by instigating some form of unrest. But a subsequent UN investigation had ruled that such a notion is almost an impossibility since Urey would be the biggest economic loser if Liberia is to be plunged into a state of civil disobedience.
In a 2014 interview with the Epoch Times, Urey himself had reiterated that he would not accept the Liberian Presidency unless it was done via the usual democratic process of the ballot box. Hence he was somewhat amused at any suggestions or accusations against him that falls below that democratic process.
Unlike other competing politicians, Urey already has vast wealth and investments in Liberia, which some political analysts believe may make him immune to nepotism or corruption if he should assume the Liberian Presidency.
Liberia’s next general election is schedule to be held sometime in 2017. Its current President Johnson Serleaf will be unable to run again, since she is now at the end of her constitutionally limited two terms.
Dennis Adonis is a Guyana-born International Journalist, Author, and Software Engineer. As of the May 1 2015, he has written and published more than twenty books of various genres, in at least five languages. His work in international journalism is widely known; having written for some of the most respected print and digital media outfits in North America and Europe. From the Ebola crisis in Liberia, to the war in Ukraine, he has been on the ground covering some of the most breathtaking and intriguing news events in more than thirty countries worldwide. Now an integral part of our team, he will no doubt bring a wealth of journalism experience and interesting news features to our many readers, and followers.
His literary website is at http://www.dennisadonis.com