When President George M. Weah declared that he will beat his opponents like baby in the 2023 presidential election at celebration of his 55th birthday on October 1, 2021, little did he know that the very election will be heavily weaponized from the arsenals of governance, transparency, accountability, competence and respecters of the constitution along with the due process of the law; are gallantly, without compromise, heading the substance of the frontline reflective as cardinal political spectrum where the current leadership has performed very gloomily for almost four years running.
With the long chain of unaccountable funds recklessly spent from the coffers of the taxpayers wherein the government serves as the custodian beginning with the US$25 million mop up exercise which today remains chaotically troubling as the government cannot give a comprehensive report coupled with legitimate result, is unacceptable and full accountability is demanded; the over US$30 million sustainable lockdown Coronavirus for the citizens which sadly short landed thereby denying vast segment of the population of such benefit from the resources of the state without proper transparency and accountability, is mind-wrecking; the printing of LD4 billion all in 500 banknotes which became eclipsed and did not resolve some of the most sticky and painful economic crunch, is also disturbing ; the scar engraved on the image of the government and country regarding the absolute disappearance of the LD16 billion today still serves as a mystical devastation and leadership style of ground swell cronies sycophantic praise-singers;, the breaching of the law by meting out selective justice and showered impunity on presidential henchmen including other vicious odds against the people, have transformed them into total over looked casualty of their own achievements; all these have built the political death bed of this leadership at the ballot box in 2023 if the electorates wholeheartedly with a set mind, surely want to see the back of this problems-saddled leadership.
Additionally,, the massive and uncontrolled wave mysterious deaths of citizens throughout the country with government appears to be caught on the back foot with nothing substantively being demonstrated to calm the storm and curtail the troubling amazing human tragedy that has overwhelmed the country and the citizens’ security. Now, everyone is living in perpetual fear with no one to trust or depend on for safety in the state, as the government spearheaded by its team of leadership seems to be caught in a tight corner and cannot vividly and clearly account for the unwholesome happenings involving people losing their lives pathetically instituted by some unscrupulous individuals operating a cartel to recklessly kill people and sell their human parts as being reported in the media which is barbaric in nature and s cope that cannot, and must not be tolerated any longer.
Meanwhile. from the strike of any imagination, no nation, has ever obtained fruitful glory and praiseworthiness for its growth and envious development, when it proudly accommodates impunity to all who engaged in criminality, wanton killing of professionals as well as innocent and defenseless citizens; insecurity, whose leaders from top to bottom are accused openly, of allegedly being major shareholders of stealing from state coffers, gross violations of human rights including unseriousness in the art of leadership and craft of good governance.
Moreover, in a nation where the citizens take great pride in building a country based on the respect for the rule of law, wherein no one is absolutely in the truest sense and meaning of the word, is above the law; where the leadership is not entrenched in cronyism, sycophantic belly-driven glee club and the perpetual blind loyalists who see nothing wrong with the rapid nose-dive sinking posture the country and people are pathetically strapped into, due to the bad leadership being imposed on them in any form, manner and style, the entire environment becomes very worrisome and bleak.
Despite the crunch, the nation still has fearless people fully prepared at all times to checkmate the government in its worthless and restless pleasure in negatively reversing the country to the altar of business as usual, and at this juncture, the Alternative National Congress (ANC) political leader, Mr. Alexander B. Cummings has applied the brakes on the dangerous woes that are negatively piercing the image of the state with its people in the lenses of the global community as he declares that enough is enough as expressed in his message.
According to the message, giving people justice and ending impunity are not issues over which any responsible government ought to wait to be publicly chastised by its international partners. These are things responsible governments do to cleanse the soul of a nation, and to keep countries secure, stable and peaceful.
Additionally, Cummings noted that, the careless and irresponsible attitude of the Liberian Government is being exposed under this George Weah-led Government, Liberia continues to be internationally disgraced, shamed and laughed at.
Giving people justice, Cummings indicated, and ending impunity are not issues over which any responsible government ought to wait to be publicly chastised by its international partners. These are things responsible governments do to cleanse the soul of a nation, and to keep countries secure, stable and peaceful.
“We have all seen what it means for our country to breakdown and become lawless. And so, Liberia does not need to wait and be reminded to do the things we need to do to build a more just society that will punish crimes. This is the only way to make our society truly law-abiding”, Cummings observes.
However, it is hard to stop stealing in government when the people who should be stopping the stealing, and setting the good examples by not stealing, are actually the rogues. It is also hard to punish anyone for crimes, however bad, when the leaders are looking for special favors from the criminals, or are themselves, benefiting from the crimes, Cummings maintains..
Whether it is done by Presidents or Ministers – whether it is done by a friend, opposition, or relative – stealing from the people is wrong. We cannot continue to pretend that one day, stealing in government will stop by itself. We have to stop it ourselves, because as we continue to see, it is keeping too many of our people poor, the ANC Standard Bearer pointed out.
He intoned that whether it is done by warlords or presidents, killing involved. Innocent people, mysteriously or in the name of war, is also wrong. To stop it, we must investigate seriously and punish anyone
“We must stop the stealing in government. We must stop the looting of our country. We must stop the killing of innocent people. We must end impunity for crimes. We must become a more just and safer society. I feel very strongly about this, and I know that we can do it”, he said.
According to him, placing individuals above the law, and not holding each other fully accountable for crimes, are practices that have kept us backward for far too long. This is why I support the establishment of a war crimes court, and a court on economic crimes.
Cummings further explains that the courts will also help us find justice for victims. Hopefully, they will lay painful memories of loved ones, and innocent souls to their deserved eternal rests.
“I believe they will also lift the weight off the shoulders of accused persons who believe themselves to be innocent or wrongly accused. A court is not just a place to seek punishment. It is a place to find truth, to award justice, and to set the innocent or wrongly accused, free”, he said.
He made it clear that importantly, these courts will help us heal, be reconciled, and not continue to live in fear of each other. And especially for a court on economic crimes, I believe it ought to not be limited to only the commission of economic crimes during the war but that it must have jurisdictions to deal with past, current and future economic crimes such as stealing from the people, and passing deals that cheat Liberia and Liberians.
It can be recalled that President George M. Weah’s unholy marriage to the flaw-infested Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s administration is now being chronically suffocated for failing to institute measures from the onset due to his upright refusal to listen to the people’s appeal to audit the entire regime, and critically review all concession agreements, if his government envisages sure footing
Unfortunately, with a mouthful of mounting tension currently stirring the ability to governor authoritatively, upon being heavily fed with the devil’s expensive meal and maximum support thereby using his authority as an elected President to institute total delay to conduct a vigorous, robust and uncompromising audits of Ellen’s government; knowing that delays are dangerous, indeed, Ellen chickens are coming back to Weah’s roost.
First in the long chain of obstacles to belch out the dangerous precedent whose origin is rooted in the more than 60 bogus concession agreements signed by Ellen- the darling of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC); is the APM Terminals fiasco that in complete violations of most cardinal labor laws and practices has inflamed the compound of the National Port Authority (NPA) and upset the interests of Port users, and while the fate of 20 APM terminals’ suspended workers hangs in limbo, despite the Labor Court’s intervention for the management to reinstate the suspended workers of which the APM has ignored, the compound (Port) has been the stage of brewing rift and tension in motion in the embodiment of a strike action involving dock workers, port truckers and brokers .
This is the reward that a limping government accumulates after selling its soul to an administration totally unconcerned about honor and disgrace; as the Terminals remains so defiant that the so-called Pro-Poor headship has developed serious political and leadership megrim headache overnight; it is becoming glaring that APM Terminals is commanding more power than the very government, and people are now wondering where is the Terminals getting all its power from and what is it depending on to grab the regime so tightly by the throat?
Who is APM Terminals and how did it begin operation in Liberia? APM Terminals Liberia is a subsidiary of Danish Shipping giant Maersk A/S and tasked according to its concession agreement, with the responsibility of managing cargo or container handling for NPA, is the company that signed a concession agreement with the Liberian Government under Ellen’s leadership and not subjected to review until after 25 years.
When people cried bitterly on air about the lawmakers being the worst enemies of Liberia and the cradle of bad governance for some years; they could be very right. However, the same people are to be blamed the most for successfully fertilizing the continued political existence of people with no impeachable character, based on the manner and reasons they keep lavishing their precious votes for empty promises, handouts, the chanting and solidarity of credo out of blind loyalty, and not put a premium on their votes- be it for an extremely workable economy, reliable and dependable healthcare system, refined, qualitatively diversified education, job creation, decentralized infrastructural development. Just to hint a few, must preoccupied your scope of demands from those you may cast your votes for. And not just be driven by the wind.
So you can see why some companies act as though they are bigger, stronger and much more powerful than the country they operate in, all because of the bogus agreements signed by Ellen (with full note on reserved shares or well-parceled and secured kickbacks) and ratified by the National Legislature without conducting a rigid and robust due diligent with an independent mindset in the first place.
Imagine the Labor Court of the land requests the Management of APM Terminals to restate the 20 dismissed employees or risk arrest, and yet this did not even move them rather it’s like wasting water on duck’s back, and with the government specifically began engaging the Terminals to respect the laws and desist from alleged arbitrary activities, the company still stood its grounds of defiance.
Then out of shame and scorn, voices of total regret and frustration are now lashing out about APM Terminals undermining the authority of the Weah’s government which is uncalled for and must be contained sooner than later.
As Ellen sits proudly in her comfort zone while the Pro-Poor administration catches real rough and tough time coupled with absolute hell from the spoils of his processor, who’s also a partner in unrevealed vow; a longtime friend of Weah and now Senator of Bomi County, Mr. Edwin Melvin Snowe sounded that if the Liberian Government did not take full control of the unfavorable and unfolding development obtaining at the APM Terminals, it could agitate the public‘s stir against the current administration and bring down the Weah’s government.
Sen. Snowe speaking in Plenary on Thursday, May 6, 2021 about APM Terminals’ disturbing conduct in its operation, registered his regret for voting for the passage of the APM Terminals Agreement while was a Representative; injecting that the upheaval that could bring down the government will could come from the business community that is taking the unbearable heat from Terminals.
Now, Weah knows, sees and feels that evil begot evil, and what the unholy matrimony with Ellen is causing his most criticized and limping government, and for reneging to conduct a comprehensive audits of the previous government, is now so strong a bedfellow, he (Weah) is left in the cold to bite the bullet as Ellen, a considered ‘micro-super power’ in the Liberian political community is reiterating through quiet activities that superpower does not have permanent friends rather permanent interests, and dangerously for an unpopular, less respected. no longer in full control and charge of delivering the long awaited great change for hope or hope for change or whatsoever the political philosophy may be coupled with the most needed political goods and services to the wailing, yearning and badly starving people in their own land of so many mineral and natural resources including fertile soil enough rainfall and sunshine; to protect her and vested interests which include her family members and all the unaccountable camouflaged investments.
Does Weah know Ellen’s new political game plan? Will the present loud scream of foul play and a demand to the Legislature for an audit of Norway’s money (grant of US$6m as part of US$42m) to the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) provided in Ellen’s administration could be a tip of the iceberg of greater things to come? Is the repentance belated or motive-driven?
Those who failed to prepare, surely prepared to fail and with Ellen’s new found political sensation, Weah is being left in the deep frozen cold in which he does not have, the bold face, to take complete ownership of the long chain of disaffections reflected in the APM Terminals as the 2023 elections is fast approaching, and inspite the questionable supersonic speed accorded the pre-campaign-charged nationwide tour, already, time is enemy, and while desperately struggling financially to offset previous unfulfilled campaign promises, as new ones are being added in disguise; it might just be too late when Weah wakes up politically to settle the internal heavy hearts of so many disappointed people and mend the ruin and broken fences.
Similarly, the president of the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA), Cllr. Tiawon S. Gongloe did not miss his words in his address to members of the legal profession recently while celebrating Liberia Law Day in Liberia, that Liberia is a paradise for thieves in public sector, and blamed Ellen and Weah for no action against corrupt government officials in Liberia due to according to them (Ellen and Weah), the closeness of Liberians as an excuse for their very little or no action against government officials and employees, as well as management executives and employees of public corporations.
At the same time, Cllr. Gongloe, also noted that Liberia has become a paradise for thieves in the public sector to the extent that those thieves openly enjoy and exercise freedom of theft.
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