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Editorial: Time for deep reflection

Nearly six years ago in 2018 Liberians went to a runoff Presidential election and voted current President George Manneh Weah and his Coalition for Democratic Change with the campaign slogan, “Change for Hope”, relegating the former Unity Party headed by former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai. Clearly, that was the majority will of voters dominated by youth, who saw themselves in Mr. Weah.

Six years later, the youth are walloping in drug addiction and other deviant activities with ghettoes springing up in every community across the country, while Liberia goes down in history for the importation or smuggling of cocaine valued at US$100 million. Today, youth consumed by dangerous substances have been branded as “At Risk Youth”.

Even more regrettable and disappointing is that state security institutions like the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency, including immigration border guards, are directly facilitating and escorting people smuggling contraband across our borders, while the government pays lip service to the issue of drugs.

Six years ago, Liberians were promised that they would no longer be spectators in their own economy. Today, the reality is totally different. Liberians are nowhere near activities of the economy least to talk of watching its interplay. Instead, foreigners dictate what happens in the economy, and they are in full control. Not even the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has a say in what goes on in the economy with Liberin entrepreneurs at a disadvantage.

Six years after, salary of public workers has been drastically reduced, particularly within the Civil Service with civil servants, the least paid, practically left with nothing to take home to their families amid increases in prices of food and other basic commodities, including petroleum.

Six years after, many parents can hardly afford to send their children to school and maintain them there due to increases in tuition and fees. The government brags about tuition-freed public universities but standards and quality have fallen significantly with instructors and lecturers striking for pay and students protesting poor learning environments.

Lest we be misconstrued or perceived as doomsayers. The government has been endeavoring in the last six years to build some roads and housing units in several counties, including hospitals and market buildings, but the state of the economy and poor governance marred by widespread corruption in the public sector has drawn attention of bilateral partners leading the United States Government, leading it to sanction some officials, are drawbacks against whatever gains made.

It is time that Liberians take sober reflection and think whether six years under the Weah administration brought improvement in their living condition, or they find themselves retrogressing, falling behind the poverty line.

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It’s time to reflect and project what another six years under President Weah would deliver that will change the tide in a significant way in terms of better education and healthcare, a vibrant economy, and a better image for the country, as our diplomatic passports are being placed in the hands of criminals, who are now making concessions, expressing willingness to call names in government that are part of such syndicate.

Equally so, Liberians need to look attentively and evaluate those presenting themselves as alternatives for leadership in order to make a better choice in October, or else, this country may risk falling from the frying pan into the fire that could spell more hardship with unimaginable consequences. It’s time to rise and put on the thinking cap to avoid being consumed again by the political speeches and campaign promises, because after polling day on October 10, and a winner is declared by the National Elections Commission, the euphoria will evaporate and we are left to face the consequences of our decision.

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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