Liberia: A Small Country Eclipsed by Greed, Lawlessness, Inequality, Injustice and Impunity
The nation is beclouded and eclipsed by a small group of born-again crooks, lawless rascals and political hustlers. They are ruining our State and plunging its destiny into a ditch of entrenched paralysis. These mountebanks and micro-nationalists are on an expedition to leech onto Liberia’s wealth. Leadership for them is not about service, but self-gains. They are the real originators of the ‘Grab, Get and Go’ formula.
They make our laws and break them without remorse. They steal millions from our nation’s coffers and go with impunity. They use our Courts to witch-hunt critical voices and stifle free speech. They unleash underpaid and salary-delayed police officers on peaceful students and unarmed civilians who usually stand up to demand quality education and basic social services.
After almost 12 consecutive years in power and with less than 15 months to 2017 elections, they are set again to manufacture new lies and market empty promises. They have been very successful overtime in deceiving and abusing our poverty-stricken and illiterate population. No wonder why they have refused to invest in quality education, job creation and empowerment programs.
They are budgeting now to buy voter registration cards and truck underprivileged citizens from one location to another for as low as US$20 per person. Most of them are forming political parties not because they want to serve with passion, dignity and integrity, but because they want to enrich themselves, own mansions, seek medication abroad and live like kings and queens at the expense of the ordinary masses.
In my opinion, Liberia is a country in the middle of the Ocean that is experiencing drought. Liberia is a small-rich, but poor country – a country eclipsed by greed, lawlessness, inequality, impunity and injustice. As a result of this, corruption has won the war against the regime of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Transparency has become a taboo in Liberia as bribery remains a top priority for those in authority.
In fact, CORRUPTION is now the Commander-In-Chief (CIC) of our 168-year-old Republic. When those in authority siphon public resources, they are not held accountable or liable simply because they have big connections. Hunger and hardship are eating up our people. Hopelessness and public discontent as a result of bad governance have engulfed our sweet land of liberty. The over US$16.9 billion foreign direct investment since 2006 has made no substantive difference.
No one is yet to account for the US$60 million the European Union gave Liberia to improve its health sector. No one has been held accountable for the bankruptcy of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL). Who accounts for the US$10.5 million given by CHEVRON for social development? Nobody has ever been held liable for ratifying and approving over 66 bogus concession agreements. No one is yet to account for the US$2.6 million Ebola fund, etc.
The 65 audit reports released by former Auditor General John S. Morlu are getting dusty. The Global Witness Report is gradually dying as Liberians remain curious to know who are Big Boy 1 and Big Boy 2. The half a million United States dollar (US$500,000.00) clandestinely pocketed by Big Boy 1 and Big Boy 2 could build 5 modern primary schools or 5 public libraries. Tomorrow, I will publish an article titled “Big Boy 1 and Big Boy: The Invisible Twins”.
We encourage all Liberians to begin a process of sober reflection as our nation proceeds toward 2017. Our primary question should be “What can we do together as a people and a nation to make Liberia better beyond 2017?” We must not fail this time around to punish those who have abused us. The choice is ours to pull Liberia down or push it up. Greed and Corruption have been our greatest enemies, and we must bury them finally in 2017 by using our ballots wisely.
—-Martin K. N. Kollie, contributing writer