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Editorial

Lingering governance issues that need urgent attention

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Governance process in Liberia seems to be headed in a direction that needs serious check to avoid an eventual collapse of the state. Decisions whose outcome may negatively impact not only present generation, but future generations are being taken by national leaders without exercising caution.

The opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) alarms here that the governance process under the administration of President George Manneh Weah is rapidly deteriorating.

ANC leader Alexander B. Cummings, a former presidential candidate, warns that if nothing were done by this administration, it might lead the country to a downtrend.

We believe the warning is no crying wolf, but a serious warning that should immediately claim government’s attention. Let us remind officials of government, including leaders of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change, who are relentless in denigrating comments from the opposition community, that an opposition political party should never be viewed as an enemy of the state.

Rather, opposition political parties are governments in waiting, and their views should be accepted and critically analyzed by the government of the day in order to help keep itself in check.

Here are some of the governance issues presently plaguing our common patrimony: an ongoing campaign by two lawmakers of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change to impeach an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court amid legal questions; irresponsible verbal attacks by an emotionally erratic deputy minister against a sitting lawmaker in the public glare with no remorse for such action; the reported disappearance of a 40-foot container stacked with newly printed Liberian Banknotes, totaling about 9 billion Liberian Dollars or US$54 million from the Free Port of Monrovia, and signing of a US$2.5 billion “natural resources swap” agreement with the China Roads and Bridges Corporation, among others.

These are germane issues plaguing the governance process of our Dear Liberia that demand critical evaluation and intervention. It is our prayers that the Weah-led administration would heed concerns raised by the opposition ANC to navigate our beloved country on the right trajectory for peace and economic prosperity.

Embarrassingly, Liberia has been suspended indefinitely from the global integrity body Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives or EITI for failure to report to that institution in time. Though the current head of the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives (LEITI) Gabriel Nyenkan argues that the reported period being requested for is from the former government, we believe the abrupt change of leadership at the LEITI that saw Nyenkan forcibly taking office despite protest from the environmental watchdog Global Witness also contributed to the failure to report.

There are too many loosed ends in the governance of the country. We believe it is about time the government puts its feet down firmly and begin to tie the loose strings to demonstrate responsible leadership and control.

It is in the best interest of this administration to listen and act accordingly so as not to disappoint the popular mandate it received from the citizenry at the ballot box in 2017. Sitting in the driver’s seat and being surrounded by blind loyalists can sometimes be deceptive.

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