Saturday, August 7, 2010

An Open Letter To The Liberia House of Representatives



Written by Abraham Hoff
Chief Community Organizer of LEAD Liberia

DEAR Representatives

LEAD Liberia applauds Honorable Evans Koah and his colleagues’ efforts to prevent waste in post—conflict government of Liberia thereby launching an investigation into the purchase of luxurious cars by some members of the Executive Branch. Liberia will be a great nation and a better place to live not because of its perfection, but the belief that loyalty to the country is paramount to loyalty to government persons, party and/or any ministers. The belief that working in the interest of the masses and investing in our children and the youth; the belief that Liberians who love Liberia can change it. People who had the audacity to believe that Liberia could be a better place and the courage to work to make it so. Today in Liberia, government officials are riding US$100K CARS, while leaving ordinary Liberians with the residual side effects of poverty, underdevelopment, unemployment, illiteracy, challenges of health, crime and corruption that often define the lives of many of our people especially, disadvantaged families, our seniors, underprivileged youth and young women.

Today in Liberia, our government officials don’t put the people and the country above personal agenda when making critical decisions that could affect the masses and the national interest of the country like purchasing a CUSTOM—MADE US$100K Lincoln Navigator. We the people have been promised change, but we are yet to see the change. And we have been disappointed. Our government officials usually put individual greed above the people and the national interest of the country. If Liberia is to flourish with development, peace, unity, security and prosperity; we must learn to put the people and the national interest of the country above partisan’s ideology and above individual greed, just like Honorable Evans Koah. The challenges ahead are great; however the benefits are even greater.

The LEAD Organizing For Liberia believes we must change not just our policies, but our politics and the corrupt system that often runs our government. These are not just broken politics. These are policy failures that reward their interests over the common interest and the short-term over the long-term. These are broken politics that often puts government at the service of the powerful and more corrupt individuals while leaving the people to fend for themselves and their children. These are policy failures and broken politics that often create a corrupt system for rewarding those individuals who are caught up in corruption scandals and shuts out the voice of the Liberian People. The Liberian’s State is at risk. Poverty is on the rise, and millions of our fellow citizens have no access to healthcare and good education, while families struggling to care for their children and aging parents but our government officials are riding US$100K CARS. The cost of gaining higher education is unbearable for parents, students, university and graduate students. Our Teachers and professors do not receive good pay for good work. This is not the Liberia we dream off. The fail transportation system, underemployed and unemployment are hitting poor families and working families alike.

Today, we are calling upon the Liberian government to implement fiscal policy that will require government ministries, agencies, commissions; bureaus, etc. to keep administrative costs to a minimum while maximizing their ability to provide support and assistance to the suffering people of Liberia. LEAD Liberia is calling upon the Liberian government to launch Liberia Employees Charitable Campaign thereby asking all government employees, especially those in high places of government to donate to the charitable campaign, which will fund projects such as education, seniors programs, food banks, clean water, sustainable community development, etc. since our government officials have enough money to buy CUSTOM—MADE US$100K cars—they should be giving back some of that money to the community and to the suffering people of Liberia.

The theme for this Charitable Campaign shall be REACHING OUT FOR A BETTER TOMORROW. The National Legislation of Liberia shall ensure the limits of fundraising expenses to no more than 10 cents on a dollar. The government of Liberia shall make sure that all government employees giving and participation in this charitable campaign is volunteered through payroll deduction. The Minister of Health & Social Welfare and the Minister of Youth & Sport shall serve as co-chairs for the “Liberia Employees Charitable Campaign” along with a citizen oversight committee. The choice is clear and the time is now, so help us God.

Thank you and May God bless the Republic of Liberia.

LEAD Organizing For Liberia

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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