The action by members of the Liberian Senate to abandon a very important public hearing Tuesday, 5 December that borders on the state of the economy for an honoring program of Senate President Pro-Tempore Armah Jallah is not only disappointing, but the highest degree of disrespect and disregard for the masses shown by our elected officials.
The Plenary of the Liberian Senate had invited heads of four revenue generating agencies, including the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia Milton Weeks, Commerce and Industry Minister Axel Addy, Finance and Development Planning Minister Boima Kamara and Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority Madam Elfrieda Steward Tamba for a public hearing on the economy.
The hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, 5 December with all of the officials in attendance except for Governor Weeks, who had sought an excuse. But at the eleventh hour, the procedure could not take off because Presiding Officer and Pro-Tempore Armah Jallah was instead busied attending his honoring program in the conference room of his office at the senate.
A local group, Media Center for Policy Evaluation and Research or MECEPER honored Pro Tempore Jallah for his progressive leadership style demonstrated in the Liberian Senate over the past years.
MECEPER National Coordinator T. Michael Jonny says the prestigious award given Sen. Jallah is the first since the establishment of the organization in 2016 by a group of professional journalists in Liberia, the United States of America and the United Kingdom.
We are seriously taken aback that the Senate, dubbed here as the “House of Wisdom” would prefer to suspend an important public hearing about the economic health of our country just to serve the personal interest of its head, in this case, Pro-Tempore Jallah.
What was even further belittling, is that heads of the institutions concerned, in due respect to the invitation, had turned out at the Capitol as scheduled, left all else they had to do on that date, and waited so long only to be informed that the hearing could not be held because the Presiding had prioritized his honoring ceremony over the process, rescheduling the exercise for next Tuesday, 11 December.
The decision coming from such high office like that of the Senate Pro-Tempore simply signals to the public that our elected officials, who should jealously guide the matters of state, are relegating them for personal interest. It is so sad for Liberia.
The impression coming from such scenario is that our national leaders are playing lip-service. They are not concern at all what happen to this country as long as their individual or collective interests are assured. God help Liberia!
We wonder what would happen next Tuesday if another so-called group showed up at the Capitol to shower praises on Pro-Tempore Jallah. Would he reason responsibly by deferring his personal glorification to prioritize the issue of the economy that affects the well being of all citizens or go to collect more accolades at the expense of the general good? It is about time that those, who find themselves occupying high offices today, look down where they came from because one day, they will have to step down.
We challenge the senators to hold the public hearing next week as pronounced to enable our people have clear understanding or appreciation of problems confronting the economy and what probable remedies are our disposal to offset these challenges instead of playing with our own destiny.