Monrovia, Liberia – March 25, 2019: An Ivorian national in the orbit of Liberian President George M. Weah is threatening a talk show host and Liberian opposition member and good governance advocate on social media.
Ousman Bamba’s Facebook Posts
In a Facebook post seen by West African Journal Magazine over the weekend, Ivorian businessman, politician and Liberian Presidential advisor Ousmane Bamba wrote the following in French under a video presentation of Darius a Dillon: “Henry Costa et touts des petit garçons. Cos n’etespas use menace pour le President du Liberia.”
Radio Talkshow Host Henry Costa
English Translation: “Henry Costa and all the little boys. Your days are numbered. You are not a threat to the a President of Liberia.”
In a second post under the same name of the poster which was automatically translated into English, Ousmane Bamba writes, “You should be grateful to have King George Weah at the position of a President, instead of being hateful. as Ivorian, I wish a George to be president of cite d’Ivoire.”
Second Facebook Post of Ousmane Bamba
Mr. Bamba’s threatening posts have drawn wide condemnation among some Liberians across social media platforms.
Who Is Ousmane Bamba?
Facebook Profile of Ousmane Bamba
In his social media profile, Bamba says he works for the Government of Liberia, lives in Monrovia and is from Abidjan,Cote d’Ivoire He does not indicate what portfolio he occupies as an employee of the Liberian Government but has photos of himself: in a suit and the national colors Côte d’Ivoire and one dressed in white traditional outfit and cap and seated on the left next to President George M. Weah.
West African Journal Magazine has been looking into the Ivorian businessman’s past in his native Côte d’Ivoire.
In 2016, Ousmane Bamba, a member of the ruling Rally of the Republicans (RDR) political party of President Alassane Dramane Ouattara, tried to challenge the establishment when he contested a legislative seat as an independent to represent Lomokankro, Molonou, Tiébissou and Yakpabo-Sakasou political districts.
He is a former Mayor of Tiebissou and a party Secretary of that area but was suspended after he made his independent bid for the Ivorian Legislature in a December, 2016.
His known desire to settle some past political and economic scores against “perceived enemies” in the ruling establishment sank his chances to become a legislator.
Ivorian President Alassane Ouattarra
It is a known fact that President Ouattara is a “close friend” of former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who had been indicted in the Final Report of Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and was at risk of potential prosecution if Weah came to power.
Former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
So any known associates of Weah, including Bamba, were not not seen in a favorable light by Ouattara who did not want anyone to “trouble” his friend Ellen.
In January, 2017, Bamba was jailed at the Abidjan House of Arrest and Correction (MACA) and faced prosecution on charges of the misuse of social goods, forgery and use of false in private writing of trade and banking. The case related to $9 billion French Francs, an equivalent of about $17.2 million USD in a company known as I-Com Technology that Bamba and his business partner René Yédiéti were involved with. The company provided computer accessories services to the Ivorian Legislature.
Ousmane Bamba Seated Next To President George M. Weah – File Photo
But he was released from incarceration in March, 2017- just in time for him to transition to Liberia to play a critical role in the Weah Presidential Campaign for the elections which swept the President a Weah to power.
The prominent businessman from the town of Tiebissou in central Côte d’Ivoire, handled the finances (bagman) of the Weah campaign.
Ousmane Bamba And President George M. Weah – File Photo
Bamba, as Weah’s campaign Treasurer, was instrumental in making connections with his French business partners and important “friends” in the sub-region to attract much needed campaign funding and face-time with Weah.
Candidate Weah Visiting President Faure Gnassingbe in Togo – File Photo
During the campaign, the connections paid off and Weah visited the Presidents of Togo, Ghana, Niger, Mali and Gabon to be seen as burnishing his international credentials.
He was reluctantly received by Ouattara in Abidjan and although their meeting was cordial and diplomatic, it was was mechanical and not substantive. Ouattara was keen on extracting commitments from Weah that he protect former President Johnson Sirleaf.
The fraud case involving Bamba and his business partner was resolved two years later in January, 2019 when a magistrate ruled that he was not culpable in the matter.
Pres. Weah And Ousmane Bemba File Photo
Sources in Weah’s orbit say he is very loyal to those who helped propel him to power including Bamba. At the inauguration of the new Mosque in Tiebissou sponsored y President Weah in the hometown of Bamba, on a July 6, 2018, Bamba accompanied him.
Pres Weah And Adviser Bamba – File Photo
Bamba always features prominently in photo ops with President Weah at various occasions locally and internationally including his visits to France, Senegal and Israel and is seen as firmly entrenched as an influential member of President Weah’s inner circle.
Ousmane Bamba In File Photos With President Weah
French President Emmanuel Macron And Ousmane Bamba – File Photo
Dillon and Costa have not officially responded to Bamba’s threat against them.
By Emmanuel Abalo
West African Journal Magazine