AS FAR AS PERCEPTION goes, two things happened this week that may mean little to some but more to others.
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON Clinched the number of delegates needed to claim the Democratic Party Presidential nomination but discussions about her designer wardrobe was a chatter in some quarters concerned about the cost of her clothes. During her New York primary victory speech in April, the former Secretary of State reportedly wore a US$12,495 Giorgio Armani Coat during which she addressed the topic of income inequality, drawing ire from many about the double standard of the democratic hopeful.
IN NEXT-DOOR NIGERIA, President Muhammadu Buhari broke his promise to end medical tourism by seeking treatment for an ear infection in the U.K.
DR OSAHON ENABULELE, a former President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), said in an open letter to the President that about $US1billion was spent funding foreign medical trips in 2013, mostly for Nigerian public officials.
BUHARI TRAVELED to London on Monday for a 10-day holiday, during which he will see an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist for treatment of a persistent ear infection. The 73-year-old leader, who was elected in March 2015 on an anti-corruption ticket, said in a speech to the NMA in April that the government would cut back spending on sending public officials abroad for treatment when there was evidence of expertize in Nigeria. …
LIBERIA HAS BEEN incensed with the rapidly growing rate of government officials including the President traveling overseas for checkup, a practice that has been ongoing for quite some time.
ON NOVEMBER 23, 1971, President William Vacanarat Shadrach Tubman who led Liberia from 1944 had traveled to London, England in July 1971 when he died in a London clinic, ending his 27- year-rule, longer than any other President before him – and after him.
TODAY, IT IS A NORM for officials in government to get on a plane and travel to a foreign country for medical checkup and treatment because there aren’t just enough adequate medical facilities in the country to care for the ailing.
IT IS ALSO A NORM for citizens to voice out their frustrations when their elected or appointed officials go back on promises or use their positions of power to their own advantage but to the detriment of those who simply cannot afford.
LEADERS WHO have the luxury of traveling abroad for treatment while their citizens who cannot afford it are left to the mercies of poorly-managed and ill-equipped medical facilities are making life difficult for those languishing at the bottom of the economic ladder.
IN THE SAME VEIN, leaders who practice one thing by preaching and advocating for the poor just to get a vote while living a life of wealth and empowerment are making it difficult for those under their wings to believe.
TOO MANY LIVES are being lost over simple ailments. But leaders, the powers that be and their supporters often tend to clamp down hard on the messenger when these issues are raised.
WHAT THIS tells us is that Liberians are far too engaged in the world but far too removed when the odds are stacked against them, when someone they know or care about is involved, then things are okay but when it is the other way around or doesn’t suit them, they want to look the other way.
LEADERS ARE human. This is why they must be mindful of those they lead or aspire to lead; they must ensure that in times of the most pressing difficulties that we must stand and deliver and stand and be counted.
WE MUST BUILD OUR MEDICAL institutions to a level that it will be affordable and usable by all including those in authorities; we must build our institutions of learning so that everyone regardless of status can be able to send their children to schools without worrying about the poor quality of education being offered.
THOSE APPOINTED OR ELECTED to leadership positions must not allow themselves to forget those who got them to where they are.
THESE ARE the simple things in life that constituents yearn for and hope that those they elected or who were appointed to lead would take into consideration once they decide to shed the private life for the glare of the public terrain.