Liberia: Flaunting amid Poverty

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THE LAST WEEK found a number of high-profile Liberian officials facing controversies regarding allegations that they have been flaunting the good life in the midst of some hard times in Liberia.

SENATOR ABRAHAM DARIUS Dillon, of the opposition Liberty Party, one of four parties making up the Collaborating Political Parties(CPP) was caught in a lie regarding his recent trip to the United States of America. 

THE SENATOR DREW attention to himself when he posted a photograph of himself having discussions in the Business Class section of a New York-Bound Delta Airlines flight.

AMID THE CONTROVERSY, the Senator took to Facebook to explain that he actually flew Economy Class but only walked over to the Business Class section to chat with some friends. A FrontPageAfricainvestigation later uncover that the Senator had actually purchased an Economy Class Ticket but upgrade to a Class Z Business Class ticket out of Accra, Ghana. 

WHILE SOME HAVE said they see nothing wrong with the Senator, who has been critical of President George Weah and his officials flying private jet and First Class on trips, the have taken issue with the Senator’s poor decision to lie about  the scandal which has rocked his credibility as the lone and shining light in the upper house of the national legislature.

ALSO LAST WEEK, Mr. J. Emmanuel Potter, Deputy Minister of State at the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs came under fire over a Facebook post in which he showcased the purchase of an Audi SUV for his wife, sprayed with expensive bottles of Champagne.

MR. LENN EUGENE NAGBE ALSO CAME under fire over a Facebook post captioned: Food vs. Man Semi Finals ….Attieke and fish vs. Vegetables, showcasing a spending meal at a local restaurant.

BOTH NAGBE AND POTTER HAVE come under fire from the national youth league of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change, who accused the pair of flaunting wealth at the expense of a struggling masses.

THE YOUTH LEAGUE  condemned in not small manner, what it described as the temptation, provocation  and naked display of wealth  by the two public officials  at a news conference last Friday. 

THE THREE CONTROVERSIES have reignited a familiar theme which has troubled the foundations of Africa’s oldest republic for quite some time. 

FORMER UNITED STATES PRESIDENT BARACK Obama once remarked in July 2018, at a forum in Johannesburg, South Africa, that ballooning wealth inequality is a threat to society, and that those who have the means should help those who are less fortunate. “There’s only so much you can eat. There’s only so big a house you can have. There’sonly so many nice trips you can take. I mean, it’s enough.”

THE FLAUNTING of wealth particularly at a time Liberia and the rest of the world is dealing with the deadly Coronavirus pandemic speaks volumes in a nation where many are still languishing at the bottom of the economic ladder.

IN THE CASE of Senator Dillon, it is not so much about him upgrading to a low-grade business class but the issue of credibility. 

THE SELF-PROCLAIMED “light” of the Senate let a lot of his supporters down. The pattern of ill-advised actions over the past year has dampened the Senator’s ability to take on the powers that be.

THIS IS WHY IT IS IMPORTANT for public officials to avoid flaunting their unexplained wealth in public. 

LIBERIA, a country of more than 4.61 million inhabitants remains one of the least developed countries in the world. More than half of the population lives in poverty. The Ebola epidemic precipitated a prolonged economic crisis, which in turn created serious political and social tensions in 2019. 

THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC is also poised to deal similar headache for Africa’s oldest republic. For those flaunting wealth and showing off, their actions only anger a nation that time after time, has failed to gravitate away from the vices that led it war, but instead continues to endure headaches, pain and suffering because it has failed to learn from the mistakes that had led it to its current predicament. 

THERE IS SIMPLY no excuse for those flaunting wealth. It only shows that they are inconsiderate to the suffering of the masses, to the detriment of those at the helm of power.

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