Shameless White-washing Glaring Failures -Pro-Poor’s Political Waterloo

Complete fallacy shouted many Liberians upon hearing from President George M. Weah that the government has made tremendous progress in its attraction of foreign investment for the last three years.

Perhaps, little that President Weah did not know is that he alone does not live in Liberia, and before he became the Chief Executive of the country, leaders and people were already here; and years after he quits the highest public office, people and leaders will still remain here so he should be mindful of what he says, and how he says to whom and from where he says such things to.

Currently, the leadership’s extended failure is its inability to engage and resolve the present controversial and escalating social debacle under the rubrics of illicit drug proliferation in the country which is not only generating serious mental shock, but to a larger extent, a national security scourge with attraction of unscrupulous elements and gangsteristic vested interests to entrench their tentacles in the socio-politico and economic settings.

Moreover, the uncountable and unamicable resolutions of several mysterious deaths of citizens including high profile professionals wherein the President declared that people most of whom unable to fence for themselves, let alone to purchase a close circuit television camera for their home as mockingly recommended by the President, is still painful for the very people the government was elected to protect is now telling them to buy the security garget which caused several United States dollars; when in fact they cannot afford LD100 to buy a cup of rice, is outrageous to say the least especially coming from the President and a soccer legend. Security is a rough, tough and disturbing menace tormenting the in secured population.

At the same time, and in the same vein, President George M. Weah, cabinet Ministers and partners of the Liberian government were lacked up in the first Pro Poor Agenda for Development and Prosperity (PAPD) meeting at the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Ministerial Complex in Congo Town.

Monday’s PAPD meeting was the first of its kind since the Weah led government crafted the agenda three years ago [27th of October2018] as a working tool for his administration that covers the period of 2018-2023.

The CDC led government has since been working with the instrument from the day it came to force without any revision.

It was last Monday, April 11, 2022 that the Government of Liberia invited partners at the EJS Ministerial Complex to review progress made, challenges and prospects of the three years old national development agenda of the Liberian Republic.

President Weah chairing the first meeting said was important that they went together to take stock of what they have achieved collectively over the last three to four years of the PAPD and face the challenges of the future together.

    “I am glad that we have all gathered here today at the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Ministerial Complex to hold this important Steering Committee Meeting on the gains, challenges and future of the PAPD” the Liberian leader said at the meeting. But he intentionally left out the massive failures of the very administration of which the suffering people and debased people are faced with under his leadership which has made it hell at home for them (people).

He told partners and members of his cabinet that the aim of the PAPD is to place Liberia on a higher trajectory of inclusive economic growth, secure peace and democracy, reduce poverty, solve infrastructure constraints in roads, electricity, port and telecommunications; improve agriculture, transform governance, improve the business climate and provide the means for private sector led growth.

However, from the strike of any imagination, everything that was mentioned with a very good positive spin is far from the reality in bed with truism in keeping with practical reality on the grounds rather it is a heartless ploy embedded in the most disgraceful act of “shameless white-wash” of glaring administrative failures now hitched in the regime’s throat as its political Waterloo. 

Pointing at some of the achievement of the PAPD, President Weah said over the last three years, tremendous efforts have been made to meet the expectations of the Liberian people through massive investment in road infrastructure, the expansion of the electricity network in both rural and urban areas, investment in health and education.

“In health we have moved to provide new health facilities and to address challenges to the quality of care” he said.

He added, “In education, we are building nearly 100 new schools and have taken steps to bring more Liberians into higher education by abolishing payment of tuition fees at public colleges and universities and have reduced the burden on parents by having Government pay the West African examination fees for 12th graders.”

According to him, the PAPD remains the best expression of their collective ambition to achieve peace, prosperity, and national development and address the critical constraints to growth, such as   regional disparity, low human capacity, and the poor distribution of our national wealth.

What is very factual here is the truth that instead, what has been exemplified is the collective ambition od he leadership and its henchmen to perpetually incarcerate the disgraced people agony, abject poverty, absolute denial of inclusive social benefits required o the government to provide for its people as its (government’s) constitutional obligation predicated upon the mandate entrusted in its care by the people for voting this current  batch to acquire state power and preside over the nation’s multiple mineral and natural resources for the betterment of the governed’s improved livelihoods  which has turned out to be a total national regret and sad disappointment.

Despite the lens used by the government to see and derive at in achieving peace, prosperity, and national development and address the critical constraints to growth, such as   regional disparity, low human capacity, and the poor distribution of our national wealth.; contrary to the promotional self-glorification, one goes not have to look any farther to see the acute contradiction and falsehood printed in black and white. The simple existing reality is the people are catching real hell in their own country so blessed with rich and most attractive resources, including rain forests, fertile soil, great, large and productive body of waters that contain many useful marine services, benefits and facilities. To say he least, insecurity is very scaring, while the healthcare system is gravely appalling beyond imagination; with the massive foreign investment is yet to be seen under the key word: MASSIVE; electricity and  jobs creation as stated by the government earlier remain a fairytale. Again one does not have to look too far to be confronted with the hard facts of truism as opposed to the administration’s presentation.

He said in 2019, while on the path of development, macroeconomic shocks that began in 2018 gravely affected the PAPD.

“This shock was followed by the COVID pandemic, which the world is now living with. Considering these challenges, the Government had to revise and recalibrate the ambitions of the PAPD” President Weah added.

According to him, despite these revisions, the PAPD remains on course and has been able to achieve a lot, while still dealing with numerous challenges adding, “In the course of these recent difficulties, we moved swiftly as a Government to prioritize public expenditure and aggressively grow domestic revenue.”

The meeting was attended by representations from the financial institutors that have been there for Liberia over the years, those from the diplomatic missions.

 Inspite  the government’s anxious quest to show progress and be praised by the people for being up to the task; the nefarious  and debilitating crunch that has rapidly eroded its political and administrative image and kudos is the fine leadership art of transparency and accountability-ta doctrine committedly disregarded by this regime, while being totally unconcerned about honor and disgrace. This is the political cancer tinting the image of the current government

Meanwhile, two international reports have been issued on Liberia. One involves continuing human rights abuses against Liberians by the Weah government, and the other, again, points to the shameless stealing by government officials. This time, Ministry of Health authorities are stealing from poor and sick Liberians including pregnant mothers and babies.

‘I know Liberians do not need reports of the US State Department or the Global Fund’s Office of the Inspector General to tell us what we already know and are living through under President George Weah. Our streets, beaches, and communities are unsafe and insecure, and many of our citizens and residents are living under daily fears of rising crimes” lamented Alexander B. Cummings.

Also, every day is another story of government officials stealing – stealing money that could help develop the country, stealing food meant for poor Liberians, and now they are stealing medicines meant to treat sick people, especially women and children, Cummings continues.

According to him, while Liberians are living in fear and all this stealing is going on, President Weah is saying nothing, and doing nothing to stop it. It is as if the President has told his officials to use their public offices to steal everything they can. No President should be quiet and do nothing when the people they swore to lead and protect are scared to walk the streets.

A popular Liberian parable is that a fish rots from its head. It is therefore difficult for a leader to stop bad things from happening when the people who work for that leader believes that the leader is actually involved in doing the same bad things, if not worse, he indicated.

“We must end the stealing, violations of the rights of Liberians by their own government, and make our country safer and secure because it is the only way we will grow the economy, create jobs for our people, reduce the high costs of living, and develop our country. No serious investor will put their money in a lawless place where the leaders are carelessly stealing from their own people”, Cummings pointed out.

God has blessed us with most of what we need to develop our country, make Liberians live under better conditions, and build a brighter future for our children. But the leaderships of our country, especially the leaders in this government, have failed the people. They have continued to only look after themselves, their friends and their families while too many have suffered in poverty. This is troubling and unacceptable. It will end with a Cummings Administration.

He noted that in a Cummings’ Administration, if you steal from the Liberian people, you will be investigated, indicted, tried, and imprisoned, and you will pay back. As the head of the Administration, I will set the right examples and high standards for public accountability and transparency in government.

In a Cummings’ Administration, the security agencies, including the Liberia National Police (LNP), will work to protect all persons and properties, especially in the exercise of their rights to peaceful assembly. No grieving mother will therefore need to protest only to be arrested by the Police which should be protecting her because she is protesting the unexplained death of her daughter.

A Cummings’ Administration will swiftly, respectfully and professionally investigate all crimes especially those involving the murder of Liberians. Whosoever is found to be responsible will be severely punished to the fullest extent of the law. This will ensure crimes do not go unpunished in our country as is the standard in this Weah government. Liberians deserve better. Real Change is coming!

Writes GDJ

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