A Reflection On The First Anniversary Of The Pro-Poor Government Of The Republic of Liberia
By Bartum Kulah
“Goat law is different from sheep law.”
That was a prominent CDC partisan’s response to Rep Yekeh Kolubah’s complaint that “only his security guard was arrested in the riot which occurred in District 10.” In essence, this individual was being honest in saying to all Liberians that “CDC partisans operate under a separate law from that of all other Liberians.” In reality, this individual is right because up till now we have heard nothing come of the injuries that occurred in District 13, during campaigns for Representative By-elections.
Therefore, as we reflect on the first anniversary of the Pro-Poor Government let us be honest about the good, the bad and the ugly. As those who once sat on the sidelines agitating to change the Sirleaf Government enumerate all of the positives, let us as a nation and its leadership be willing to listen to those who enumerate the negatives that have continued to creep up in our society.
In a positive reflection of the President’s first 100 days, I pointed out the positive visions of the President and stated that “if he keeps going at that rate, he would be one of the best President’s Liberia has ever had.”’Well, it’s a year later and a time to take stock of what has become of those pronouncements.
Thus far the Government was able to add 2000 health workers to the payroll, houses in Gibraltar received new roofing and zinc, medical practitioners were sent for training, LBDI and Government set up a program to make $3 million available to small businesses, WASSCE exam fees were paid for poor students, a Directive was issued to make Undergraduate education free, $6 million was paid to LEC as Government’s debt to that SOE, and Doe community road was paved.
What is left undone is the Military hospital which is still under construction, the Bali Island project is yet to take off and we are yet to see any streetlights from ELWA to the RIA. In addition, Liberian market women and business people are still spectators in their own economy.
I would be remiss if I were not to point out some of the negatives such as the LU students being banned from political activities, Monrovia is overwhelmed with garbage, Government officials are singing praises to the President to cover up for their ineptitude and as a means of protecting their jobs, PPCC laws and the constitution have been flaunted, $16 billion LRD is still unaccounted for with the US investigative report yet to be released by the Government, $25 million USD supposedly infused into New Kru Town and Soniwein has still not been accounted for by Finance Minister Samuel Tweah. Moreover, the EBOMAF and ETON Loan were a flop, and corruption cannot be fought because “we all are related.”
As Mr. Alexander Cummings tried to point out “leaders should eat last”; not “steal last” as is being twisted by Government spin doctors and propagandist, but to serve their people first, and take care of their own needs last. However, it seems our President made his needs paramount over that of the poor and marginalized in society, as evident by building and dedicating his family’s Forky Klon church, and competing for his villas on a 10-acre plot. Furthermore, he broke down his house on 9th Street and rebuilt a mansion in its place.
It is my hope that in the next year the President will ensure that the NHA replaces the shacks in the slums of Gibraltar, Soniwein, New Kru Town with apartment complexes similar to his villas. It is my hope that JFK Hospital will be brought to international standards so that our people no longer have to be flown out of the country for basic Acute and chronic care. It is also my hope that our Primary and Secondary Education will be strengthened to the point that every Liberian student will be competitive regardless of their socioeconomic background. Yet it is my hope that Agriculture will be a priority of this Government and that the Green revolution will be revived so that we can feed ourselves.
Finally, it is my hope that the President will make the rule of law a priority, and that he will call out “right as right, wrong as wrong, his yea is his yea and his nay, his nay.” And ensure that “his word is his bond.” In essence, if the President wants to silence his critics, he Just Needs To Do The Right Things!!!!
God bless Liberia!