By: Kirkpatrick Weah
Source: The Liberian Journal
Special Report by River Gee County Diaspora Political Committee-USA (RG PolCom)
With its natural wealth and contribution in taxes, which help to fuel the Liberian economy, the citizens of River Gee County are crying out loud for equity.
“We are taxpayers without representation in President Sirleaf’s cabinet, despite our contribution to the development of the country and her promise to treat each county on a level playing field", Pres. Sirleaf's frustrated supporters tell RG PolCom.
Citizens of the county are warning that their votes should not be ignored. Just like Nimba, Bong, Lofa and other counties being treated to ministerial positions and attention, they too can vote a candidate to power. The cry continues. The voice in the wilderness of political exclusion on President Sirleaf’s cabinet is a conversation under every palm wine tree in the politically sensitive county in Southeast Liberia. The Unity Party is on the verge of loosing the county again, if attention is not given to its outcry by Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf's government.
Why the Exclusions?
Many political pundits are wondering if such exclusion is due to the fact that the president eyes are only tilted towards counties with huge votes or because she did not win the county during the 2005 election. The arrival at such conclusion may be a weak argument. But the facts underscored that five years of President Sirleaf’s leadership left River Gee with no representation in her cabinet.
Citizens of River Gee County, also called Geepos, have a parade of PhDs, Masters, etc. Yet they have benefited from no cabinet position in the Johnson-Sirleaf Administration. “Our votes can make anyone wins the Liberian presidency. We, too, need representation on President Sirleaf’s cabinet”, said a River Gee paramount chief, who spoke on conditions of anonymity.
Commany Wesseh Issue
Despite his own struggles, anger is raining on Ambassador Commany B. Wesseh, a confidante of the president. His undoubted proximity to the president gives him the opportunity to influence her actions, especially regarding development in the county and jobs for our children, like she does for other counties, noted Chief Sinyeneltue, campaigner for Amb. Wesseh, during the senatorial election involving both Wesseh and Williams.
Sen. Williams used as a weapon, Wesseh's proximity to the President and the lack of benefit that came with it. Wesseh's trajectory of over 30 years of advocacy for his people is now overshadowed by his failure to help produce top government jobs for his own people.
Why this may be true, Ambassador Wesseh cannot force the President to give cabinet position to anyone. However, the question remains whether Amb. Wesseh is informing the President that he is being made a sacrificial lamb for the exclusion of well-learned River Gee County from her cabinet?
RG Polcom-USA Vows
The River Gee County Political Committee (RG Polcom-USA) vows to bring pressure on the county legislative caucus to seek equity from the President for ministerial and other positions. We know that power concedes nothing without a demand. We shall demand for our part of the national cake, jobs. Five years of President Sirleaf's leadership created no meaningful development projects to create jobs in the county. The Poverty Reduction Strategy in the county is only on paper. It has had no impact in reality.
Too much attention is being given to counties with vote rich populations. Was this the destiny of our people that we fought for in the past? River Gee demands the place in private sectors, ministries, etc. We are left out of President Sirleaf’s government. Are our votes not as good as big, big jobs being given to other counties?
Least our view is misconstrued, the president is trying her best for a country that is coming out of 14 years of civil war. We congratulate the President for her tuition free program for students wishing to enter teacher’s college. Our county needs more teachers and attention, too.
Editor’s Note: Kirkpatrick Weah is the Chair of the River Gee County Political Committee (RG Polcom-USA).