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Open Letter To the Minister of Information

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…. There is a need, an urgent need, Mr. Minister, for rational action!!

Bai M. Gbala, Sr.
P. O. Box 1460
Paynesville, Monrovia
Tel. (+231-088) 954-428

February 10, 2014

Honorable Lewis G. Browne
Minister of Information, Culture & Tourism
Capitol Hill, Monrovia

Dear Mr. Minister:

It is my honor to present sincere greetings and compliments, with wishes of good health, success and prosperity, as you and staff perform the exciting, rewarding, however awesome, responsibilities of reporting, interpreting and explaining the work of our government “in meeting the social contract between it and the people . . .”, ourselves.

In the light of these responsibilities, we write to invite your (the Ministry’s) attention to the critical issues raised by individuals, organizations and the Press, with request for reasonable, timely action. Some of the issues are:

1. “In Her own Words”, reported by the newspaper (FPA, February 7, 2014), the statement, reportedly made by the Honorable, Senator Clarice Jah, a member of the National Legislature. That statement tends to lend support and credibility and, therefore, validity to the widely-published recordings by Ms. Ellen Corkrum and Mr. Melvin Johnson of alleged corruption not only in high places of our government, including alleged questionable acts by the highest, national security officials, but also raise painful questions allegedly implicating our President.

Now in the USA, the pair – Ms. Corkrum and Mr. Johnson – has become instant celebrities to and by the Liberian Community USA, with numerous, Liberian invitations/requests for press interviews, radio talk shows and online press conferences.

Ms. Corkrum, however, has expressed willingness to return to Liberian (The New Dawn, January 31, 2014) on the condition that her personal safety and security are guaranteed while in the country. We believe that this decision presents an excellent opportunity to clear up this tirade with profound, negative impact on the image of our nation, government and people. Therefore, we ask that this guarantee be granted to both, Ms. Corkrum and Mr. Johnson.

2. “Selective Justice”, a poignant narrative (FPA, February 6, 2014) on fair, equal treatment presented in contrasts, starring the Weeks and the Broplehs. The accompanying photograph, in color, provides reality – Mr. Albert Bropleh, in detention, handcuffed, slippers, rumpled shorts/T-shirt, unshaved and bearded; while Madam Angelique Weeks, clean, fashionably-tailored and attired, radiates confidence, success and power. However, these two Liberian professionals are or have been charged, allegedly, with similar illegal acts but one (Mr. Bropleh) is or was placed in the clutches of the law, while only the other’s (Madam Weeks’) bank account is frozen, but continues to enjoy her liberty and freedom of movement with socio-political pomp and pageantry.

This is a sad commentary. It is a serious indictment of our professed commitment to fairplay, equal treatment, the absence of discrimination and prejudice, ethnic/tribal or socioeconomic; and it is an indictment, also, of our reputation, both national and international, as a nation, government and people.

There is a need, an urgent need, Mr. Minister, for rational action!!

3. “Liberia’s Staggering Macroeconomic Woes – tackle Supply-Side Constraints”. This is a commentary on the state of the Liberian economy with policy suggestions for corrective planning by a Liberian economist, based on classic, macroeconomic theory on planning/policy analysis.

Although we are not persuaded by the conservative theory of Supply-Side economics as championed by the late Ronald Reagan Presidency (of the US), but we are convinced that the application of this economic policy approach is inevitable, particularly, in the planning dedicated to the production and supply of Liberian goods and services. Supply-side, planning approach will, hopefully, reduce and, eventually, eradicate our excessive demand for and dependence on imported goods and services, with profound, negative impact on our economy – terms of trade and declining value of our national currency, the Liberian dollar.

Accordingly, we ask, as we have suggested, consistently, in newspaper articles, that the national planners of our economy – the Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning and the Central Bank of Liberia – take note for corrective action, in unity. This is important for the survival of the nation’s economy, the nation, government and people.

Bai M. Gbala, Sr.

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