By Naneka A. Hoffman
Defeated Margibi County senatorial candidate from the October 10, 2023 elections, Vandalark R. Patricks notes here that during elections, politicians appeared like political angles, distributing cash, rice and initiating quick impact projects to impress voters, other candidates or competitors with less finance in a disadvantageous position.
According to Mr. Patricks, politics in Liberia right now is different, disclosing he has embarked on a revolution to educate both citizens, particularly those desirous of public service that you don’t have to be rich or poverty shouldn’t unqualified anyone for leadership.
“Physically, I might not have the resources but mentally, I am a million, I told people don’t judge me on the size of my pocket; judge me on the size of my vision because it is the internet that draws people that brings money”, he argued.
Speaking Tuesday on “OK Morning Rush”, he also observed that issue of candidates trucking people from one constituency to another to vote for them is a fundamental problem that Liberia is dealing with and will continue to triple, disadvantaging a lot of people in a political process.
“If you look at the statistics of people who voted in Margibi in the first round of the election, it was not the same group of people [that] voted in the second round of the election”, he points out, adding that during election we saw people bringing people from different county coming into Margibi County to vote and they admitted it on radio.
“I was the only senatorial candidate; I made it very clear to my team that I will not involve in trucking, if I will lose, I will lose on principal and if I will win, I will win on principal. People are poor, imagine people are trucking from Margibi to different county.”
Mr. Patricks says in the context of Margibi, the people are poor and there is something he describes as stomach infrastructural, adding that there is a tenancy of political elusion; it keeps the people very poor.
He explains that after an election, successful leaders go for competent people, rather than uneducated people to run the government because they prefer theocrats to place them in strategy positions because education is power and knowledge is power.
He notes that Margibi is one of the industrial counties in Liberia with investments such as Firestone, China Union, Salala Rubber Company (SCR), and Jetty Plantation that just entered the county.
But the rights activist continues that despite the presence of about seven companies in the county, the main public hospital there C.H. Rennie Hospital that was gutted by fire still lies in ruins, while the local administration and the citizenry look up to government. Editing by Jonathan Browne