Friday, January 28, 2011


My Fellow Compatriots

Liberians around the world and our development partners on 24th January 2011 tuned in to listen to the State of the Nation Address. Unfortunately, for the second time in a row, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf chose to use the occasion to advance her reelection campaign. It was wrong!

The same was done in 2010 when she declared her candidacy while delivering the State of the Nation Address. Claiming to be a formidable candidate, Madame Johnson Sirleaf ignored the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) recommendation that she not hold public office for 30 years. This, again, was wrong!

This behavior does not only violate the spirit and intent of the State of the Nation Address, it also diminishes the Presidency. As the nation’s leading role model, the President must always take the high road.

The extra long speech delivered by Madam Johnson Sirleaf this time was nothing more than a desperate attempt to convince the electorate that all is well, when the facts indicate otherwise.

The statistics might appear impressive; but in reality, Liberians in general are worse off today than we were six years ago. So no hyped-up, fantasy speech prepared by individuals whose sole purpose is holding on to their jobs after woefully failing the President and the Liberian people, can change this reality.

Madam Johnson Sirleaf has failed to deliver on almost all her previous campaign pledges; from “promising not to seek a second term” to the “Papa na come” gimmick…from saying “Monrovia would be electrified within six months” to “making corruption enemy number-one”. Now Ellen must defend her record and not resort to long meaningless lectures, because the evidence is clear for all to see.

As a member of the opposition and a Presidential candidate who has a plan to unite Liberians and transform the nation into a vibrant 21st century republic, I would like to sum up for the record THE CURRENT STATE OF OUR NATION:

• Since 2003 Liberia’s security has been in the hands of the United Nations, and at the moment there is no definite date set or plan in place for UNMIL departure. Furthermore, the U.N. Secretary General has said repeatedly that Liberia is susceptible to renewed violence.

• Corruption is at an all-time high and Madam Johnson Sirleaf’s solution is to openly discuss it - as though we haven’t done so in the past - rather than aggressively attack this national cancer.

• The vast majority of Liberians live on less than 60 cents (US$0.60) a day.

• More Liberians now beg out of desperation than ever before.

• Parents cannot afford school fees for their children or provide food to eat.

• Liberians unable to pay for medical treatment are turned away from clinics and hospitals regularly.

• There are limited opportunities for the Youth that make up two-thirds of the population.

• Women are no further ahead today than they were prior to Ellen’s election.

• The educational standards are exceptionally low.

• Public transportation is nonexistent.

• The Liberian economy is controlled completely by foreigners. And, with the greatest of ease, large sums of money are being removed from the country daily.

• Current economic data in large part reflect the large infusion of money into the country by the United Nations Mission (UNMIL), rather than improvements in living conditions of ordinary Liberians.

• Liberia is not electrified and does not have pipe borne water or functional sewer systems. Businesses and individuals have to rely on well water. Those who can afford it use personal generator for electrical power. The nation’s Capital at night is extremely dark.

• Land disputes pose a real threat to the country’s stability.

• The nation is morally bankrupt.

• Legislators import voters from other Districts temporarily in order to win reelection, rendering official demographics and planning data useless.

• Currently there are individuals in the House of Representatives enjoying all the privileges who do not represent a constituency; and their numbers will increase after the 2011 election because of the Threshold Bill signed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

• From all indications the current Government is unable to effectively manage a transparent national election.

• Due to weak leadership, Liberians have been unable to confront our past and put our house in order. The latest setback has come from President Johnson Sirleaf’s rejection of the TRC report. However, she has yet to offer a better alternative that will heal this nation in the aftermath of the brutal 14-year war that impacted the lives of every Liberian.

• Many of the Concession Agreements entered into by the Johnson Sirleaf government are questionable and may prove harmful to the Liberian people.

My Friends, this summarizes the current State of our Nation and shows clearly why Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the Unity Party must be replaced. As a transitional government they have done well, but now it’s time to begin meaningful reconstruction under new leadership.

However, a splintered opposition that does not have respectable leaders is not a viable alternative. It is high time the Loyal Opposition emerges and provide the type of leadership Liberians are demanding…leadership capable of ending lawlessness, impunity and contentious politicking…leadership that will reconcile the nation and prepare the youth to become productive citizens.

This election will no doubt set the pace for the next hundred years. Therefore, we must elect visionary leaders who were not connected with the 14-year carnage and have not in any way been involved in past corrupt governments…individuals who will deal objectively with war-related issues such as assets freeze, travel ban, reconciliation and the TRC report.

It’s time we leave the past behind and step into destiny. No Liberian can afford to take the 2011 elections lightly! Our future depends on it!

Thank You

God Bless Liberia.

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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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