Monday, January 17, 2011

Liberia: Nimbians Take Issue with NEC


Citizens of Zoe-Geh Statutory District, Nimba County, have taken the National Elections commission (NEC) to task over the manner in which the body is handling the ongoing voters’ registration exercise in their district.

The citizens of the District through their Representative Worlea Saywah Dunah, have written the chairman of NEC James Fromoyan informing the NEC boss that the people of his district, including himself , were unhappy and expressed concern on the very serious impediment to the exercise of what they termed as their democratic and constitutional rights allegedly violated by NEC. The Nimba also accused the commission of taking into account the allocation of voting centers which supposed to be done in line with the population of their constituency.

In the communication, the Nimba County Lawmaker said, on the issue of allocation of Voters Registration Centers, he claimed, NEC also used Nimba county as the basis for allocation of centers and not population, a policy, he alleged, will substantively undercut the total participation of the people of Zoe-Geh District and other parts of Nimba in the national decision making process in the 2011 elections. As a consequence of NEC’s action, he said, there are many towns in Nimba with over 2000 population, each lacking sufficient voters’ registration center, thus compelling citizens to walk for hours.

The 2008 Census, according to Rep. Dunah, NEC recorded a total population of 80,000

In Zoe-Geh Statutory District, a figure which compresses three administrative districts. He said Zoe-Geh District is in the population bracket, naming other counties such as Bomi- 84,119, Gbarpolu-83,388, Rivercess-71,509 and Grand Kru-57,913.

Also, the Nimba lawmaker, these figures show that for a mere difference of 4,000 people of Bomi to receive double the number of voters registration as Zoe-Geh and for Gbarpolu 21 additional centers as well; whist Grand Kru and Rivercess with lesser population have more voters registration centers than Zoe-Geh.

“As you are aware, the NEC is the substantive agency crafted and granted in our constitution to ensure the equal, free and fair exercise of citizens’ inalienable rights, the exercise of power to elect” he stressed.

Additionally, the Secretary General of the Nimba Legislative Caucus averred that NEC is under constitutional obligation to ensure that all parts of Liberia and Liberian regardless of ethnicity and geography have equal access to the process.

Such hindrance, he said, is not shared in areas of approximate population as reflected above and therefore constitutes a real constrain to the exercise of the citizens’ constitutional rights and as such, he continued, the citizens of the Zoe Geh District are interested in understanding the theoretical framework, the policy pillars and the operational imperatives underpinning the NEC’s allocation.

In order to solve the problems identified, the Representative proposed that NEC should open additional voter registration centers in Zoe-Geh District to bring it up to 72, in order to allow all parts of Nimba have equal and easy access to registration. He further recommended that NEC sets up mobile teams to register people in those towns; that the NEC requests additional funding for such new centers; and that the Commission extends the registration period for another month; and most importantly, he concluded, the Elections Commission should ensure the full participation of the people, particularly under equal access and opportunity which are cardinal benchmarks of a free, fair and transparent democratic process.

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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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