Tuesday September, 27, 2022
We, as the forgotten and-done-away politically including every all attended rights as bonafide citizens to maximize as segment of the of the Liberian population, must begin to think very intelligently and rise up robustly in the truest meaning of and applying every in h of democratic tenets with thorough sober and mature facility of our mental concept in overturning this debilitating scourge surprisingly, but shockingly imposed through the Ellen-transferred-to-Weah-creed wherein Liberians, over-shadowed with the vital elements of good governance propped-up by grim hatred, sheer malice, baseless segregation and fruitless discrimination are the supreme untouchable inner agents, operatives and errand stooges as partly inherited by the current political system.
A co-applied analogy wherein the internationally accepted best practices of the governance system are trustworthy and are doomed; where impunity is a dear and lovely darling, where sycophancy, blind loyalty along with aimless praise-singers including the glee club are most accommodated luxuriously with pride; as ‘uniquely Supreme Corruption’, the very heartless killer of democracy as state by U.S. Ambassador Lind Thomas-Greenfield is an inbuilt “password” which has already exhausted the content of every vein and muscle of moral on the part the governors and the privileged elites; so that the bulk of the governed must pay for the distressful missteps with the saddest grief, disappointment, frustration, dismay and total regret,
This is the broken and bleed home (Liberia), our only one Heavenly given beloved homeland; despite Alexander B. Cummings’ massive contribution by toxically charging and vastly ruining the progressive and most productive and exemplary cohesiveness of the structure profoundly appreciated and accepted by most of the people to write the wrong coupled with the high hope and aspirations of the masses was also, and indeed, thrown to the wolves; and however, in his latest “political pen-pal” jamboree with the incumbent (Pres. George M. Weah), he (Cummings) scores Him (Weah) and his governance performance as WEAK, INADQUATE AND INEFFECTIVE. Something Pres. Weah did not toy with nor embrace and cherished it like a pine cake rather vehemently charged back mercilessly when he gloated, “I assumed leadership through a peaceful, democratic, free, and fair process in which the PEOPLE OF LIBERIA gave me an overwhelming mandate- an election that you participated in and received a DISMAL SEVEN (7%) PERCENT VOTE OF REJECTION.
Frightening Rice Price-Watch Out
At the same time, before going back to the writing, it is imperative that we briefly dwell on current prevailing hiccups directly confronting the people regarding the status of their staple (Rice) which, with confused mood and a pathetic disturbance, pouring down fear, as they are not being told in clear term from an official standpoint .if indeed, there is a shortage of the described as ‘political commodity’ or some unscrupulous individuals are hoarding the commodity to amass greater profits at the expense of the already suffering people as evident by the abrupt increased in the price of a 25kg bag of rive which was sold at LD2400 to LD2500 in some places, is now being sold at LD300-LD3050 and more in some places which is creepily becoming very frightening,
Most rice dealers from some part of the leeward counties who have come to Monrovia to purchase their consignment in bulk are being confronted with only being able to reportedly buy 20 bags (25kg) and not more at the displeasure of some dealer. People care thronging the Vai Town commercial hub where most of the rice importers stores are located in dire need of rice to buy and sell, but are having a very rough an disappointing time obtaining he nation’s staple, something which is becoming troubling; and despite the hullabaloos simmering in the public, sounding on radio-phone-in-talk shows, the Commerce Ministry is still mute regarding the actual story surrounding the plight of the commodity, whether here is indeed a shortage or dissatisfaction between the importers and the government concerning increment in rice price by the latter as opposed to the government’s stipulated selling price. In the midst of the quizzical impasse, the people are now suffering and catching the hell; as they try their very best not to ever remember the chaotic nightmare of the April 14, 1979 rice riot scenario.
Also, the people are anxiously stretching their necks far beyond that they can’t see, all in search of what will the Chief Executive will bring back home that will sustain growth and widen and enhance the scope of development when he and his entourage arrive from the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) expectations is so very hard.
Anyway, back to the euphoria of the ‘political pen-pal’ gymnastics between the incumbent and one of the opposition’s gurus whose cardinal goal is to make the incumbent a one term President unfortunately, the ‘political pen-pal’ row is unfolding at a time very unfavorable to the incumbent, as his performance is under stress and very depress to deliver on the tons of election’s promises made to the people; with unemployment penetrating through the roofs; with the healthcare delivery system is too professionally pale functionally, poorly equipped and saddled in ruin with the shortage of most needed pharmaceutical drugs and advanced including (surgical) equipment also gravely saddened; with, inspite the rich and fertile soil and rightful climate, the agriculture terrain is far below standard in innovation, potential, capacity, capability to produce the most needed crops for massive consumption and market supply; security nearing free-fall posture with emphasis on the President’s utterance recently, that everyone should purchase a close-circuit-television camera to beef up his or her security, when that should be the constitutional mandate and duty for the government to provide security, safety and protection for all citizens along with those within its territorial confine; let alone the education system which is in a very bad shape and tagged with astronomical tuitions apart from the extra,including broken (even when some of the building comprised wooden doors and windows) fees and the compulsory purchased of most school’s items including uniforms, P.E. T-Shits and neck ties, while some of the schools mostly owned by elements holding top ministerial portfolios including the Minister of Education; whereas, most such schools are named and styled: international school.
Whereas transportation is a battlefield as the traffic most often overwhelms the traffic police; as the courts are untrustworthy, with the traditional saying – the highest bidder wins justice and no justice for the poor person continues to resonate in every corner of the country, especially with the Legislators declared the most serious obstacle for the public who are badly weakened by the whims and caprices of the Executive; it is believed t that with the numerated menace weighing critically and piercing the dimensional performance of the incumbent an added lethal weapons to the arsenal of Cummings in the ‘political pen-pal’ fray; it is uneasy for the President to play well the game of political survivability; considering the most erratic odds almost against him, coupled with his all-out struggle for his political soul and his dire need to be re-elected and must according to him; is indeed a very tall challenge to undo with ease.
However, and be as it may, all hell broke loose and came crumbling were the exchanged of letters from Cummings to Weah and swiftly from Weah back to Cummings hustling to x-ray the incumbent’s leadership’s pitfall; the President sucked it back to Cummings with ‘flaming arrow’ posture.
Beginning with Mr. Cummings: I present my compliments and I feel compelled to draw your attention to three matters of urgent national concern. Firstly, last week, the United States Government announced sanctions on three senior officials of your administration including the Minister of State and Chief of Office Staff, the Solicitor General and the Managing Director of the National Port Authority. The designation of these close and powerful members of your inner circle for acts of stealing and abuse of their offices is of serious embarrassment to the presidency and our country.
Your response, Mr. President, is not commensurate with the magnitude and gravity of this international scandal and national shame. Mere suspension of these officials is tantamount to thumping your nose at the United States and our most important development partner. Those involved are your close confidants and partisans. Your lack of decisive action could raise suspicion of your personal involvements in these activities and receipt of benefits from the thievery and abuse. It has serious implications for yourself and smears the image of our country.
No serious investor would consider Liberia as a destination for investment to ease the hardship on Liberians through job creation and employment for our people, if your reaction continues to be weak, indecisive and not equal to the seriousness of the allegations.
Therefore, Mr. President, I again urge you to dismiss the designated individuals and request the Government of the United States to provide your administration with the information needed, if you do not possess them already, to immediately pursue their prosecution.
Mr. President, let me assure you that this is not a national concern over which the Liberian opposition intends to be divided, distracted, and therefore, dismissive.
We stand together and will not stand aside on this grave matter over which the welfare and wellbeing of Liberians hang in the balance. We will continue to demand you respond as you should on this important matter in the best interest of the Liberian people. Enough is enough – there must be consequences for dereliction of duty and commission of crimes in our country.
The second matter, Mr. President, is that at your recent campaign rally in Montserrado County, Representative Solomon George, a CDC partisan, asked you to appoint him Police Director so that he can use that office to cause the “disappearance” of Liberians known to be in opposition to your administration.
This was a dangerous, reckless, hate-filled, and incendiary statement. It should have been immediately and publicly condemned by you. That you applauded it was most disappointing and troubling.
I should remind you of your oath as President to protect lives and properties as well as preserve our hard-won democracy.
We have already seen many suspicious deaths and mysterious murders under your leadership of our country. We have heard threats of bloodletting by the head of your party’s youth league and Mayor of the City of Monrovia. We have seen the violent reactions, including by organs of your party, to peaceful protests by Liberians, and recently to students of the University of Liberia, one of whom is still struggling for his life.
Mr. President, every Liberian life is precious. Our peace and democracy were earned on the sacrifices – voluntarily and involuntarily – of Liberian and other lives. We will not compromise our peace and democracy nor accept to be silenced in the protection and exercise of that for which many paid the ultimate price so that all Liberians can have, enjoy, protect, and preserve for generations to come.
The final matter, Mr. President, is the recent decision of the Liberian Senate to remove and replace all electoral magistrates who are trained and experienced. This decision is not recommended by the National Elections Commission, and is unsupported by any reasoning that advances our nation’s need for increased fairness and improved credibility in our electoral processes.
Even worse, it positions the Senate, if not the entire Legislature, to meddle into the employment of election magistrates, which is the duty of the NEC. This therefore leaves the unfortunate impression that it is unhelpful, if not even hurtful to the conduct of free, fair and credible elections in 2023, a process that is pivotal to the consolidation of peace, security and democracy in our country.
I therefore urge you to veto this decision of the Liberian Senate should such unhelpful decision reach your desk. This will be the right thing to do for Liberia, for the Liberian people, and for our cherished peace, democracy and security.
And now President Weah: let me begin by stressing that, as President of the Republic of Liberia, I have a constitutional responsibility to all citizens, regardless of their political, ethnic, or social persuasions.
I have therefore endeavored throughout my tenure in office, to ensure that stakeholders such as yourself have the requisite access that will afford the opportunity to raise views, positions, and concerns that you may have on various issues of national interest with me and officials of my administration.
So when a communication supposedly meant for my attention appears first on the front pages of newspapers and on social media, it is obvious that the intent is to achieve a political objective; an objective that has eluded you at the ballot box. But I am glad that you have finally found your voice.
There is no doubt that the expressed action by the Government of the United States to impose sanctions on three officials of the government is a matter of grave concern that carries a lot of weight; not just because of the strong historical bonds that subsist between the two countries and the fact that they are our traditional ally and foremost international partner, but because the fight against corruption is a key priority of my administration, for which we have taken manifold steps to eradicate.
The bilateral relationship that Liberia and the United States share continues to grow from strength to strength. As a leader, I took immediate action when the United States recently accused officials of the Liberian Government of impropriety and graft, and I informed the Nation of further pending actions.
I am glad that the United States and other international partners also recognize the strides that Liberia is making toward consolidating democracy and good governance. In recent years, for instance, we have instituted more measures to fight corruption than was ever done when you served in government.
Two years ago, we convened local and international stakeholders to discuss ways in which the historical menace of corruption can be tackled. We also sponsored a major gathering of Liberia’s Judiciary to ponder over statutes that have tended to inhibit the fight against corruption.
Suggestions from these gatherings were included in the new LACC Act recently passed by the Liberian Legislature. This has given us much international acclaim, including from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which positively appraised my administration’s efforts at fiscal prudence, macroeconomic stability, projected growth in spite of global inflation, and other good governance measures in its recent statement on Liberia.
It is therefore the height of hypocrisy, when a person such as yourself, who dined and wined in the very system I am working so hard to fix – and never mustered the courage to speak – now wants us to believe that you have morphed into an advocate of the people – the same ones you neglected during the years of civil upheaval.
Where was your voice Mister Cummings, when sixty-plus concessions awarded by the government in which you served were found to be bogus, illegal, and inimical to the interest of the Liberian people?
Where was your voice Mr. Cummings, when the National Oil Company of Liberia was rendered bankrupt?
Where was your voice when cries for the pavement of a short stretch of road from Ganta to Yekepa could not be carried out because your administration – for pecuniary gains – then asked the concessionaire to default on their commitment enshrined in their agreement?
Where was your voice, when the Central Bank was crippling under staggering, unfettered borrowing by the government in which you served, undermining the nation’s strategic reserves and leading to a weakened monetary environment?
This is but the tip of the iceberg of a humongous cocktail of mismanagement, graft, ill-governance, and inefficiency that happened right under your nose, while you maintained a loud and conspicuous silence.
A few months ago, you were accused of forgery by some leaders of your CPP group and was afforded the opportunity to go to court and be heard. Now, you are saying that others should be deprived of that same opportunity to due process.
Let me remind you that the very U.S. Government that you referenced called for due process and the application of Liberian law as was stated by Ambassador McCarthy when he unveiled the designations “we stand ready to support the Government of Liberia in pursuit of its own investigation of corruption in its jurisdiction, understanding that you will apply Liberian law in an appropriate, transparent and timely manner”.
You cannot resort to selective amnesia in these grave matters Mr. Cummings.
It is also disappointing to note your reference to a vote by the Liberian Senate to change elections magistrates, and your call on me to “veto this decision by the Liberian Senate”. As a former Senator, let me take this opportunity to school you in the workings of the Senate, the Legislature in general, and its relationship with the Executive in the passage of laws.
A vote by the Senate on any bill does not come to the desk of the President. A vote by the Senate requires concurrence by the House of Representatives before it is submitted to the Office of the President for his signature or veto.
In this instant case, this bill did not emanate from the Executive Branch, nor does it have its support. The continuous fear-mongering by you and others in the opposition, seeking to prematurely cast aspersions on the sanctity of our electoral process, in the face of the excellent track record of the number of free, transparent and fair elections which have been held since my incumbency; many won by candidates of the very opposition, is duplicitous and dishonest.
Let me remind you and other members of Liberia’s traditional elitist political class that, in spite of the political, economic, and humanitarian carnage you have caused for over a century and still feel an uncanny entitlement to the Office I now occupy:
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