-Dr. Whapoe cites ‘role reversal’ as problem
The political leader of the opposition Vision for Liberia Transformation Party (VOLT), Dr. Jeremiah Z. Whapoe says ‘role reversal’ in the Liberian society has led to homes, communities being disorganized, urging parents to take back parental roles from children because disorganized communities make a nation disorganized.
“When there’s a role reversal in every home, the home is not organized. And when the home is not organized, the community is not organized; when the community is not organized, the nation is not organized,” Dr. Whapoe said Saturday, 23 January in Paynesville.
Serving as the keynote speaker at the 8th graduation ceremony of the Morris Farm Public School in Paynesville, Dr. Whapoe indicated that today, the children are the ones doing the job that their parents should be doing, equating that to “role reversal” in the home.
“I see it on a daily basis. We need to take this country from the young people’s hand and put it into the parents’ hands. And it’s very important because when the parents are in control of the home, that home is organized,” he says.
While coming up as a child, Dr. Whapoe says he didn’t learn the language called zogoe, a Liberian way of referring to wayward folks. But today, he says because the parents are no more in charge, zogoes can be found even in remote places in Liberia.
“The parents are not more in charge, it is now time to talk and think about Liberia,” he says.
He laments that girls are knocking doors on their parents at 2am and the parents accept that condition to open the door for their daughters because it is through hanging out that they provide daily bread.
But Dr. Whapoe encourages mothers to realize that their daughters, some of whom are just 18 years old, are going through hell by having to hang out with grown up men before returning home at 2am just to get daily bread for the family.
“Can you imagine a 51 years old man like me, I have been in sexual activities for more than 30 years, suppose you see your daughter who is 18 [or] 19 years old and myself in that room, you think who’s suffering? That’s your daughter suffering,” he says.
He says because of poverty, “we encourage our children not to hang up with their peers [any] more,” adding that they hang out with grown ups just so that they can put food on the table.
The VOLT political leader continues whether he wins the presidency in Liberia or not, his dream is to make sure that the last child whose parents cannot afford will go to bed with hunger no more.
Further, he notes that as a citizen of Liberia, it is his dream to ensure that medical services are provided for women who cannot afford hospital bills, and that money is made available for fatherless kids who cannot afford school fees to be sent to school, among others.
Addressing the graduating class, Dr. Whapoe challenges them to leave a hallmark in their communities and the nation, reminding them how some of them only made it in school out of money earned by their parents from selling in the markets on a daily basis.
Dr. Whapoe notes that the parents of these graduates, their communities and the country need them for their meaningful contribution for the upliftment of the country.
He challenges the graduating class as well as every child within the community to strive to leave a hallmark so that as a citizen of Liberia, when they are dead and gone, they can be remembered by society.
Sharing with the audience his perspectives on how Liberia can take steps to feed itself, Dr. Whapoe argues that the country only needs US$24m to transform its agriculture sector and to be able to feed itself.
Dr. Whapoe says he loves the agricultural revolution, disclosing that this year, Liberians will be proud to go to the market and see bags of rice from his farm with inscription ‘produced and made in Liberia.’
“And this year, you will be proud to go on the market [and] see a bag of rice on the market [that has on it] produced and made in Liberia. It will be coming from my farm,” he says.
Following his speech, Dr. Whapoe awarded two years scholarship each to the valedictorian, student George Dolo, and student Deddeh P. Flomo who had introduced him as the guest speaker. Further, Dr. Whapoe offered to pay the activity fees of six other students at the school.
By Winston W. Parley