Liberian rights campaigner Cllr. Taiwan Gongloe is cautioning electorates her to watch out for those he described as political investors – young politicians, who he says during electoral season do not present their platforms to the people on what they intend to do for the state, but instead offer cash, food and T-shirts in exchange for votes.
He said failure to explain their platform, they use bags of rice, monies and other material things as means to win votes, noting that after taking public position, they also use the position to accumulate wealth for themselves without thinking about the people who voted them into office.
Speaking recently on a local radio station in Monrovia, Cllr. Gongloe also noted that corruption is a threat to national peace and is seriously eating out the country’s wealth, something he described as worrisome. He said when politicians invest in an electoral process and eventually become victorious, they use their governmental power to deny majority of the people of their basic needs as their primary focus now shifts to recovering whatever was spent in campaigns and making profit.
He said some of the politicians absolutely have no good plan for Liberia, but they have come to try luck, and are the ones that will be distributing bags of rice, T-shirts and monies to show to voters that they love them, and upon ascending to power will be able to transform living condition of the citizenry.
Cllr. Gongloe, a former Solicitor General added those very same politicians will then use their political will to offer contracts to construction companies and demand percentages on those contracts. He noted that as a result of rampant corruption in the former Tolbert regime, hindered development, a coup took place led Master Stg. Samuel K. Doe along with his trusted men in 1980, leading to the execution of 13 government officials for corruption.
He added that subsequently as a result of bad governance, citizens revolted against the Doe regime with the launch of civil war in December 1989 spearheaded by the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) that destroyed lives and properties, leaving others hopeless.
The human rights lawyer narrated that then came Charles Taylor as President, but there were no difference in terms of bad governance and corruption. He said when President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf won the elections and took office in 2006 as President of Liberia, many people, including himself were very sure she would have made a difference, for she also spoke against ills that were helping in society, but to his utmost surprise, the same trend continues to repeat in her administration despite the fact that Madam Sirleaf once served as Chairperson on Governance.
“We need to be wise who to vote for in the 2017 Presidential and Representatives Elections, vote for someone whose integrity is excellent,” Cllr. Gongloe advised Liberians.
By Zee Roberts-Editing by Jonathan Browne