The Red Rooster From Ducor – Focus on Fundamental Issues
In this first edition of our series “The Red Rooster from Ducor”, we are focusing on two fundamental issues:
- The need for President George Manneh Weah to develop and release his 90-day, 100-day or 150-day Action Plan
- The Declaration of Assets by all presidential appointees including lawmakers as well as President Weah.
The Rooster’s Crow:
- 150-Day Action Plan
It has been almost 1 month now, specifically 29 days, since soccer legend George Manneh Weah assumed the highest seat of Africa’s first independent nation and the world’s second black republic by overwhelmingly winning with 61.5 percent of the total vote.
In line with global custom, good governance and contemporary politics which are hinged to public accountability, transparency and openness, whenever a new government takes over, it is under obligation to develop and share a realistic short-term vision and/or immediate plan with its citizens, development partners and donors.
This plan which is usually condensed with a number of genuine priorities can often or either be referred to as 90-day, 100-day or 150-day Action Plan.
This Action Plan serves as a national roadmap or compass that scrupulously directs the agenda of the government in terms of key priorities and achievable targets with a specified timeline.
Even though this government has been promulgating a pro-poor gospel, but we are yet to see any strategic plan or genuine roadmap that it has developed to achieve its pro-poor agenda.
The need for this government to engender a systematic, structural, efficient, doable and pro-people plan cannot be overly echoed.
Therefore, I recommend that President George Manneh Weah commissions a 15-man Technical Committee to develop a 150-day Action Plan.
This 150-day Action Plan could culminate into a medium-term or long-term vision which would reflect the popular interest of the people preferably through a nationwide survey or mass public engagement.
Anything less than this, the government will be operating on a scattered agenda.
I know there is a huge scramble for socio-economic stratification (jobs), but if CDCians could focus more on helping President Weah to achieve key priorities in a relatively short period through a genuine Action Plan, it would be a plus for CDC and our nation. It is time to BRAINSTORM with a sense of undiluted loyalty to nationhood.
Furthermore, I encourage all CDCians to consider critics of this regime as partners in progress and patriots in arms.
The time, energy, and resources CDCians spend responding/reacting to everything on radio, television and social media; they could be assisting our President to push his pro-poor agenda forward.
The maximization of public resources through an aggressive pro-poor agenda compels this government to develop a short-term, medium-term and long-term strategic plan.
The government cannot be running offhand or by means of conjecture or guess. No, not now, and not even tomorrow.
President Weah, I wish to patriotically admonish your administration to produce its PLAN for our nation.
Where do we go in the coming days, months and years, Mr President?
What hope do we have for a new Liberia under your hegemony? Can we know the direction of our future and children’s future?
Only a clear-cut roadmap can direct our collective path and destiny.
Therefore, I earnestly plead with you as a youth activist to develop and release an action plan in at least 2 weeks. Remember, we have already gone 29 days of your administration and time is man’s greatest enemy.
- Declaration of Assets
In a widely-publicized article I wrote more than 3 weeks ago titled “The Integrity Team President George Manneh Weah Needs To Defeat Corruption”, I cautioned our new President to begin the fight against corruption by transparently declaring his assets and ensuring all presidential appointees as well as lawmakers declare their assets. Follow this link to read my article on The African Exponent:
The declaration of assets is in accordance with Part X Section 10:1 of the 2014 Code of Conduct Law. It is a violation of our law if an official of government refuses to declare his/her assets. In all of these, President Weah must lead by example. The declaration of his assets would compel others to declare their assets.
According to the 2014 Code of Conduct:
Part X: Declaration and Registration Of Personal Interests, Assets and Performance/Financial Bonds
Section 10.1 Declaration of Assets and Performance Bonds:
Every Public Official and Employee of Government involved in making decisions affecting contracting, tendering or procurement, and issuance of licenses of various types shall sign performance or financial bonds and shall in addition declare his or her income, assets and liabilities prior to taking office and thereafter:
- At the end of every three years;
- On promotion or progression from one level to another;
- Upon transfer to another public office; and
- Upon retirement or resignation
A pro-poor government has its root and success in accountability, integrity, transparency and openness.
Without the declaration of assets by public stewards, it would be difficult to combat corruption. We deserve to know the assets of our new government officials. It is our right to know in acquiescence with the law.
Anything less than this, we are not too far from seeing another Robert Sirleaf or Aunty Jennies emerging. Some officials could just become millionaires overnight while vast majority of our people decay in extreme poverty.
President Weah must lead like Magufuli, Kagame, Da Silva, Sankara, Lee Kuan Yew, etc. Therefore, I call on him and all public officials once more to declare their assets without any further delay.
The Rooster’s Recommendations:
- Set-up a 15-man Technical Committee to conduct a nationwide public tour and intensive community engagement in order to sample the views of the people and assess their condition. A concrete short, medium and long-term plan reflecting all sectors and priority areas would be developed as a result of this pro-people process. Knowing what our PEOPLE want is very essential to which developmental paradigm our nation pursues.
- Commission a robust and an uncompromising anti-corruption team. Appointing the right anti-corruption mechanics/campaigners in order to unknot or unscrew corruption in public service is an imperative.
- Henceforth, ensure all appointees of government declare their assets before they can even be confirmed by the Liberian Senate. This is in accordance with Part X Section 10:1 of the 2014 Code of Conduct Law
- Establish a fast-track Court to only hear cases of corruption and endeavor to prosecute/pursue all corruption cases under President Sirleaf
- Organize a nationwide conference on corruption and economic sabotage. This conference would develop a tangible roadmap for fighting corruption at every level and promoting public transparency through openness and community participation.
Our ultimate interest is to ensure that our government does what is right and righteous in the best interest of our people.
We have a national duty never to economize with the facts but demonstrate a sense of patriotism. We have made a solemn pledge to remain loyal to Liberia, and no one else.
From the largest slum of West Point and the top of Ducor, I see a new Liberia rising above the African Continent. HOPE is blooming – Change is in sight – Liberia will rise. The Red Rooster – The only Rooster that crows the truth.
Martin K. N. Kollie, Student, University of Liberia, Email- [email protected]