Wednesday, August 31, 2011

V.P. Boakai Outlines Reasons For Poor Turnout At Referendum

Source: Heritage (Liberia)

Liberia’s Vice President Joseph N. Boakai Sr
Liberia’s Vice President Joseph N. Boakai Sr. has been outlining reasons for the poor turnout and huge number of invalid votes at the just ended referendum. He observed that for many Liberians the referendum is a completely new phenomenon, noting that it was further complicated by the fact voters had to grapple with several issues, and not just one issue.
The Liberian Vice President further observed that the fact that there were no symbols or photos to help the illiterate population understand the issues made things worse. “It was in writing and with the illiteracy rate put at between 70 and 80 percent; it is understandable that many voters could not read between the lines to decipher what to do. Besides, the referendum was not the kind of thing that could be taught on radio. ”

Speaking on Monday evening, when a two-man delegation from the African Union Civil Society Movement, accompanied by Mr. Rameses A. Porte Jr. and Madam Elizabeth Sele Mulbah of the Governance Commission paid a courtesy call on him at his Capitol Building office, Vice President Boakai said another challenge was that several aspirants transported voters outside of Monrovia to register, but that because most of them were no longer in the race, many voters could not go to areas they registered to vote.

Another difficulty, the Vice President observed, was moving from one part of the country to another due to bad roads in a country devastated by a protracted civil conflict.

“The huge number of invalid votes also indicates that people did not understand the issues they were to vote for or against,” the Vice President noted, but added that “the referendum itself was an eye opener for many… The satisfaction we get is that efforts are being made to let people know that decisions that affect their lives are in
their own hands.”

Briefing the Vice President earlier, the Team Leader of the African Union Civil Society Movement, Dr. Mathias Adossi said the AU Civil Society observer mission documented several dysfunctions in the just ended referendum, including lack of adequate sensitization about use of the ballot paper.

Dr. Adossi observed that Liberia has made great strides in democracy, and commended President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for the good work she is doing.

Dr. Adossi then presented a copy of the AU Civil Society Observer Mission report to Vice President Boakai for onward transmission to President Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf. In another development, Vice President Boakai has turned over seven BNWand five police escort motor bikes to the Liberia National (LNP).

The Liberia’s Vice President turned over the motor bikes to the LNP through its Inspector General, Mark Amblard on Saturday, August 27, 2011 at his (VP Boakai) residence.

The motorbikes, which are 28 in total, were donated to the Liberian Government through the instrumentality of an Italian humanitarian, Varo Macchi.

Macchi has been Liberia’s Ambassador-At-Large to Italy, and current serves as the country (Liberia) Maritime representative in Italy.

Speaking at the turning over ceremony, Vice President Boakai challenged the LNP to use the bikes for the intended purpose, noting, they must be used in enhancing security and traffic control.

He pointed out that Liberia as a country coming from war has lot of needs, but noted that the security of the state takes key priority.

He said government cannot afford to buy all of these motorbikes now because there are other competing priorities, and so giving the motorbikes to be used by government was an important venture.

For his part, Inspector General Amblard lauded Vice President Boakai for seeking the interest of the LNP.

He assured that the donated

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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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