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“President Under Attack” – New Democrat: A Response

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The New Democrat reports (New Democrat, December 5, 2013) that “A group of Liberians living out of the country has launched a scathing attack on the government for its (government’s) failure to fight corruption. The group members, former Auditor-General (of Liberia) John S. Morlu, former TRC Chairman Jerome Verdier and former human rights advocate Aloysius Toe of the Liberia Institute of Public Integrity (LIPI)”; they “asked the (Liberian) House of Representatives to establish the office of an Independent Prosecutor to handle all reports of Presidential Commissions and Special Investigations carried out by the presidency”. These are highly trained and experienced professionals, prominent and patriotic Liberians, deeply concerned about the prevailing socio-cultural, economic and political realities in our country.

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However, like the proponents of the on-going dual citizenship in Liberia, these prominent Liberians live comfortably in the United States. Moreover, like the “Philadelphia Boys” who stormed Liberia for rebel faction, “spoils-of-war” apportionment of jobs/positions with the Transitional Government, but returned to Philadelphia and elsewhere upon termination of employment or fired for various reasons, former Auditor-General Morlu is now settled back happily in the good, old USA.

Simple, verbal/written criticisms, attacks and/or pontifications of public policy solutions, no matter how relevant, knowledgeable and passionately articulated from the comfort of distant, foreign countries, will have no impact on the lives of the people by remote application or control. Rather, trained/experienced, dedicated and concerned Liberians, needed here, will have and must be on the ground, in Liberia, to be involved in and experience the dynamics of “who says and does what to whom, why, where and when” – and social, economic and political impact of these dynamics.

Corruption, to which they refer, and which has become what I define as Corruption, Inc. because it has been developed into a big, thriving, successful business by a corps of highly-placed MBAs, LLMs, PhDs, etc. and which may be, reasonably, likened to the famous Mafia. Though endemic and a serious, national problem, corruption is certainly an effect; therefore, we will do well to define and attack the cause.

Now, given the deep-seated, unattended, multi-faceted problems and critical challenges facing our country for more than a century and half, it will require united approach – researched, planned, organized and on-ground, hands-on approach to redeem our nation.  For, the overwhelming majority of the people – the body politic, our mothers, fathers and extended families – voters or voting population of our country is poor, sick, uninformed on the issues and hungry; therefore, they sell their votes to the highest bidder for economic survival. Ruling groups, with the keys to the vault of nation’s treasury, the people’s resource know, exploit and benefit from this sordid condition. Is it not time to organize, invest time and resources dedicated and ordained to a peaceful, reasonable alternative?

In Liberia, power – administrative, economic and political is, has been deeply centralized in, controlled by and dispensed from the Republic of Monrovia and, from this prescribed and ordained by and enshrined power in our Constitution, everything else follows: the three branches of government – Legislative, Executive and Judiciary – state enterprises, the “independent” commissions, committees, etc., you name it., must play to the “will and pleasure of that power”. Moreover, the problem posed by this scheme of things is not, any longer, concerned with Country-, Congo- or Americo-Liberianism; rather, it is a socio-cultural, economic, principles and values problem, a mind-set and a culture in flux with impunity, obsessed with a distorted notion of “freedom”, “democracy”.

This is shown by many of us who fled from the villages in search of education and personal development and “made it”, now forget the people and villages left behind. We fly to New York, Paris, London or Amsterdam faster and more often but do not visit Saniquellie, Voinjama, Harper, or Barclayville and Zwedru.

Elsewhere (What is Wrong with Liberians, The Analyst Liberia, June 12, 2013) we held that Prioritization of the policy of the “Multiplier Effect” in national, economic development by  construction of all-whether highways and roads throughout the length and breadth of the nation will achieve “multiple” results.  For examples, the following, prevailing rapid population growth with rural-to-urban migration; the unprecedented exodus of refugees from the atrocities of the civil war into the city of Monrovia, then the only safe haven; the rise of the “consumption generation” without production, a fact which gave rise to the prevailing socio-economic and political constipation of the nation’s capital city, rendering it over-populated, congested and uncontrolled street selling; the 24-hour, bumper-to-bumper, uncontrolled traffic jams in Monrovia, arising from the phenomenal increase in the volume of vehicular/pedestrian traffic with no safe and efficient roads/streets to ply; the apparent concentration of all vehicles imported to Liberia in the Monrovia area because of the critical absence of roads/highways in rural Liberia, can be resolved, diligently and rationally, by this priority, public policy approach/application.

Moreover, the application of the priority policy, efficiently/effectively managed, will release the pressure on the capital city by the socio-economic and political incentives not only to attract Monrovia street-sellers, but also, all other rural migrants, including nurses, doctors, engineers, lawyers, educators/academicians, business managers, economists, investment promoters, information technologists, etc., here, in Monrovia, back to their home counties, and entrepreneurs wishing to migrate.

Indeed, we believe that it is time that dedicated, committed and concerned Liberians unite with a common purpose, organize and invest in a peaceful alternative to save our only country.

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