Monrovia – Adding to a litany of presidential hopefuls, William W. Tuider, Sr. a new face in Liberian politics has vowed to give Liberia back to Liberians if elected President.
Mr. Tuider who is based in the United States of America but runs several businesses in Liberia said he is not a politician, rather a businessman that has the vision that would lift Liberia out of poverty.
He made the statement over the weekend when he spoke with thousands of Liberians who gathered at Slipway Field, downtown Monrovia where he declared his intent to contest the presidency and encouraged Liberians to register for the upcoming elections.
“I am running because I believe Liberia needs a fresh start, we need a new kind of leader that actually cares about the people of this country and can make the necessary changes to solve real problems which confront Liberians today,” he said.
According to Tuider, his overriding desire to be president is motivated by his aspiration to improve the lives of Liberians and to transform Liberia into a modern prosperous nation, “beginning with a top-notch universal free educational system, and a justice system that will tackle corruption, the root cause of our nation’s problem."
"I am a business man, but my strong Liberian roots, high level of education, my political experience in Liberia and strong partnerships across Africa, coupled with my international exposure, and strong American affiliations make me the ideal candidate for the presidency,” he added.
The new presidential hopeful bragged of always being involved in negotiating peace deals in Liberia, especially during the country’s hay days.
Tuider: “During the early days of the civil war, I was part of a group of concerned Liberian citizens who wrote a letter to President George H.W. Bush requesting United States intervention. "
"While the US did not directly intervene, they asked the Organization of African Unity (the OAU) via the United Nations to do so that brought in the Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) a multilateral armed force.
“In 2003, I supported the Liberian Peace Process that ended the country’s 14 years of civil strife. I headed a delegation of former Liberian ministers and presidential candidates to the peace process in Accra, Ghana that brought about the resignation of President Taylor and an end to the Liberian civil war. I played a pivotal role in the process.
“In early 2011, I initiated conversations between Ambassador Winston Tubman and Hon. George Weah concerning a merger that created a strong presidential ticket; ideally, uniting the oppositions to contest, strengthening our fragile democracy.”
Businessman Not A Politician
From Tuider’s perspective, politicians rather work in their own interest, rather than pushing the people’s agenda. Distancing himself from being a politician, he said he is a businessman who since his youth has dedicated himself to community service and activism.
“I have always done my work behind the scenes from educating children in the community, to helping many families."
"During the civil conflict, I returned to Liberia to establish businesses, and hire young people in hopes of bringing back dignity into the community. I created a scholarship program that enrolled many children in elementary schools. Today, many of them are now high school graduates.
“Like many of you here today, I have supported many politicians both morally and financially in hope of providing good governance for our people but instead we were all faced with disappointment and frustrations. This beautiful country has so much to offer her people, but the politicians take away everything and give the people nothing.”
The political outsider said Liberia does not need the kind of leadership that “currently exists” where, according to him, 5 per cent of the nation controls the remaining 95 per cent of the people’s wealth from offices in Monrovia.
“We need a visionary leader, one with strategic vision, integrity, sincerity and love for the country. One who is prepared to work towards building a sustainable, resilient, political institution capable of taking the nation to greatness, where everyone has the chance for decent education and jobs that will enable more decent living than the day to day survival that currently exist among our people,” he said.
Tuider noted that a government under his administration would require constitutional amendment to guarantee equal distribution of the wealth and a national government that empowers the people.
He said, “My plan calls for a blue print for reconstruction that will strengthen every fabric of our society. This will include building strong democratic institutions that will intrinsically bring about good governance and government accountability. This plan will institutionally transform our country and fundamentally changing our thought process, the way we think about government- Development.
“We will start by building a strong Justice System, transparency in government, declaration of asset before accepting government position, Rules regarding Lobbying people who are and want to do business in Liberia, Ethics Regulations for government officials, term limits for elected officials, elections for County Officials-accountability to the people, decentralization of the Political Power that has held our people hostages for the last 200 years and creation of a system that will form the fundamental block that will lead us to the 21st century- to the direction of real National success.”
“We will build a firm and unflinching justice/Political System that will transcend transparency- accountability and end the culture of impunity and eradicating corruption from every aspect of society."
"It will safeguard our citizens against the abuse of power, ensure social harmony, national reconciliation and political stability. It will also protect and preserve the rights and respect for fundamental values.”
“We will transform our educational system, creating a top-notch universal free educational system for the nation, investing heavily in our children, investing in teachers training, paying our teachers decent salaries and building high-tech school buildings for our children in every zone of this country."
"We will foster a cultural sense of sensitivity for learning beginning with Early Child Development Program. Our greatest challenge is to properly educate all our children so they will grow up and be very proud of our country.”