Saturday, June 26, 2010

Progress but Unacceptable Levels of Insecurity

Progress but Unacceptable Levels of Insecurity

New Democrat (Monrovia)

Tom Kamara

25 June 2010

At the emerging and modern University of Liberia Fendell campus, Chinese workers and contractors have reportedly thrown their hands in despair. The level of theft of materials is just too high by any standard. There is absolutely nothing they can do to curtail the spiralling theft with impunity at the campus. That is the responsibility of the government, and with so many security institutions on which taxpayers money along with public resources are dumped, there are opportunities to make a difference where there is the will.

Law books meant for students and research at the University, according to reports, have mostly disappeared in private homes. It is not certain if questions have been asked with the need for action. Accepting crime in any form is a dangerous option.

Current figures of armed robberies are not available, but if they are down, then the downward spiral is just a drop in the bucket. Insecurity is still a way of life, a phenomenon that the war ensured as an acceptable factor.

The attack on the Monrovia home of Nimba County Superintendent last week is another indicator of the pervasive levels of insecurity. More ominous is that this attack carries all the imprints of politically motivated crime with the use of ex-fighters, now readily available to anyone with the means of rewarding them financially. Political crimes that rocked this country as a bastion of evil are again propping up their ugly heads. If a high-ranking member of the government can be a target with impunity, then there should be no questions about the helplessness of many ordinary living with insecurity in their communities. No one is safe.

The argument is that there can be no appreciable levels in investment without improved security. The cost of hiring private security firms, some of them with key government security officials as owners, is becoming a prohibitive with a rising tax regime, particularly for small and medium-scale businesses. Earnings that could go into investment are passed on as protection fees, not security. This is not sustainable and it is certainly a far cry from ensuring a vibrant private sector proclaimed to be the engine of the economy.

Along with rising power costs resulting from expensive generator reliance, the signals of insecurity are not encouraging. There is a need for action, assertive action that gives hope.

That action has to be based on firmness not tears, within the confines of the law. Whatever the pitfalls within the judicial system, and there are certainly several, governments have at their disposal several avenues through which arresting insecurity is possible. But if political interest and consideration outweigh the need for tougher action in dealing with pervasive crime, the long-term dangers should be considered.

We believe that policymakers have the responsibility to use public resources for public safety, since one of the fundamental responsibilities of governments is protect all under their rule. Taxes are paid to ensure this.

But the levels of insecurity prevailing, and the accompanying impunity, should lead to creativity and imagination for improving public safety.

Both the UN and other international organizations have called for a security blueprint for post-UNMIL life. Such a blueprint, we believe, should go beyond flowery pronouncements to deal with the realities of a wounded society in which crime has been so handsomely rewarded, with pronounced criminals as political leaders and role models. This should be done before it is too late for all.

News Headline

Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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