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Editorial: Serious Attention Needed At Planning Ministry or else

Since our appearance on the news stand more than eight months now, our coverage continues to go beyond boundaries.Our interest continues to be the Republic of Liberia, in terms of recovery, growth and development and not our personal political and economic aggrandizements or those who claim to have left their “lucrative jobs” in the United States to render sacrificial services to a country that has undergone destruction as a result of years of civil conflicts.

Equally so, we do not intend to report issues and activities at  various government and other institutions just  to  negatively portray  some of our brothers and sisters from “Up Town” ( the United States), but to stabilize the system in the wake of the professed fight against vices which undermined national reconciliation, recovery, growth and development.

In recent times, our concentration has been the on-going administrative mal-practices at the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs.The most troubling about such bad governance is the fact that it involves an institution that should be at the core of government’s development programs—no wonder why the Poverty Reduction Strategy or PRS may not really achieve its desired results at the end of its three-year duration.

The ministry’s activities continue to be characterized by usurpation of responsibilities, suppression, threats and fears of dismissal, only because of someone’s personal contacts with the power that be.

The actions of a very few group of officials at that ministry led by Minister Amara Konneh and his Deputy for Economic Affairs, Sebastain Muah amount to a virus whose treatment requires the attention of the President.

With the report of nepotism (sacking/down-sizing committed employees for relatives and friends) practiced by Amara Konneh at the ministry still fresh, it’s no doubt that the authorities there have now reduced the institution to “Animal Farm.”

We believe that for Minister Konneh to connive with Deputy Minister Muah only on the basis of relationship/friendship to undermine the spirit of national reconciliation and development is a complete disservice to the spirit of national unity and growth.

For Minister Konneh to place explicit confidence in Deputy Minister Muah in handling allowances, apportionments, distribution of gas coupons as well as vehicle assignments among others, to officials and other senior staff of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs, instead of the Deputy Minister for Administer, is the highest degree of bad governance.

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We are even wondering as to why would a Deputy Minister at a government institution leading the country’s development program deliberately choose to be so inhumane to an academically ambitious young Liberian, Foday C. Bayoh by denying him from pursing post graduate studies in China, when the President of Liberia continues to emphasize the urgent need for Liberia’s human resource development?

The irony about this is that Foday had actually “hustled” for this scholarship on his own, working through the University of Liberia, and only needed a confirmation letter of employment with the government from the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs, through Minister Muah, but was subjected to frustrations by young men of his caliber.

Sometimes the negative behaviors of most of our Liberian brothers and sisters brought by President Sirleaf from the United States and placed in high positions in her administration toward their compatriots back home remind us of the slave mentality practiced by the settlers against the aborigines after the “love of liberty” brought them back in the 1800s.

History tells us that the settlers considered themselves “superior Liberians” to those that the “love of liberty met here,” and in our minds, that’s just how Ministers Amara Konneh, Sebastain Muah and their likes in the present Liberian Government think and behave, thus putting the rest of the people against the administration of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

Whether or not these are attempts to undermine and paint “Ellen black” in the eyes of the rest of the people of Liberia, it is all up to her.

What we believe the President must do at the moment, is an independent monitoring of activities at the various government institutions by individuals or a group of individuals not known by Ministers and their deputies as a way of promoting good governance, including the relationship between the authorities and employees.

While we do agree that President Ellen Johnson-Sirlea’s plan/intention for post-conflict Liberia is good, those she claims to have brought to help in the process are equally doing her and the nation no good, but to “collect the cash” for safety back in the United States.

In the wake of the foregoing,  there’s an urgent need for a serious attention on the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs, and such attention must be immediate or else……….

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