Presidential candidate Dr. Clarence Moniba has pledged that his administration will have every county in Liberia produce food if he wins the elections.
The youthful opposition candidate is seeking Liberia’s highest office on the Liberia National Union (LINU) ticket along with former Montserrado County Superintendent Madam Grace Kpaan as his running mate.
“In Agriculture, we can no longer continue to go looking for our staple food of rice at the Freeport of Monrovia,” Dr. Moniba said.
“Every county in this country will be responsible for food production for this country,” he continued.
Outlining his plan for food production, Moniba said citizens in Lofa, Bong, Gbarpolu, Bomi, and Cape Mount will be trained and equipped to produce all of the rice that the Liberian people will eat.
“Nimba and Grand Gedeh, for example, will produce all the cassava, yams, and eddoes for this country,” he stated.
“[Then] you go to Margibi, Sinoe, Maryland, and Grand Kru, and say you will produce all the pepper, bitter balls, and okra; Grand Bassa, River Cess, and River Gee, could produce fruits and vegetables for our people,” he suggested.
He noted that his ultimate priority will be to turn Liberia into a self-producing nation where the price of food will decrease, while good paying jobs in this country will increase.
In education, he vowed that no student will graduate from high school without earning a technical and vocational certificate in their three years of high school.
“As President, we will graduate people from high school who are also carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and caterers, among other skilled professions,” said Dr. Moniba.
In the healthcare sector, Dr. Moniba said his government will build this country district by district.
According to him, each district in Liberia will have a modern, functioning hospital that the people of that district can go to.
Further, he noted that JFK and Jackson F. Doe hospitals will be elevated to modern standards and become referral hospitals for West Africa.
“Let Ghanaians and Nigerians have to come to Liberia for treatment, instead of us always going to them.”
He also spoke against “a serious and destructive problem” threatening this country right now which he said is the issue of drugs.
Unfortunately, Moniba lamented, there continues to be no arrest made and nothing said by leadership as to how they plan to stop this.
“Our children are dying, but I refuse to accept the idea that we cannot save our Liberian children from this problem,” he said.
The LINU presidential candidate vowed a zero-tolerance policy on the issue of drug importation in this country.
“If you bring, or sell drugs in Liberia, through whatever means, you will face the full weight of the law with no exception and you will be in jail.”
Additionally, on the issue of corruption, Dr. Moniba said every single government official will have to declare their assets as required by law before ever stepping one foot in office.
“You cannot be in charge of millions of dollars of our people’s money without first letting the country know your personal and financial worth,” he said.
Also, to fight corruption, he said Liberia has to do away with the culture of impunity where nobody is held accountable.
“Under the Moniba/Kpaan administration, people who steal government money will go to jail and have their properties seized to pay back what was stolen: simple as that.”
To immediately jump-start the economy, in addition to the educational, tourism, and agricultural policies, he said he would immediately seek to employ thousands of Liberians in the maritime sector.
With over 4,400 ships currently flying the Liberian flag, he said he will have Liberians also working on these ships.
“Then, we will use our international relationships and connections to get companies to reinvest in this country again. And, you know what, they will because they know us,” he said.
Moniba said he has worked with them or their colleagues before and they know him and they can trust him.
He cautioned Liberians that they cannot afford to go back to the failed past because it is simply not a recipe to make progress in this country.
He wondered how can they continue to say they want change, yet when given the opportunity to get real, capable change, they reject it for the same two political parties that have led this country for almost 20 years.
“In 2005, it was the CDC and UP in the 2nd round; in 2011, the CDC and UP were in the 2nd round; in 2017, the CDC and UP were in the 2nd round,” Moniba explained.
“How can we say we want change, when we continue to go to the same two groups for that change? We are suffering – go back and try again – the price of food is too high – go back and try again – the young people of this country are on drugs – go back and try again – there are no roads, no good hospitals, no good schools – go back and try again.”
He argued that two things have been consistent in the last 20 years of elections: the same two parties in the 2nd round, and therefore the same result for the country today.