‘Liberia Already Has Professional Thieves’ – Says Prelate; Admonishes Graduates to Serve with Integrity

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Fendall, Lower Montserrado – Renowned Liberian Prelate Gamene G. Getteh is troubled over the wave of corruption in Liberia and has warned graduates of the state-run University of Liberia against following the path of some corrupt officials.

Report by Willie N. Tokpah, [email protected]

Serving as 99th Commencement Speaker of the Alexander Romeo Horton College of Business and Public Administration Friday in Fendall, Lower Montserrado, Pastor Getteh said the corrupt nature of some public officials has placed Liberia on the limelight globally, which speaks negatively for the country.

According to him, Liberia is placed at 90th position on the global corruption index published by anti-graft institutions around the world, on a roster of 192 corrupt countries.

“Liberia already has sufficient professional thieves, we don’t need more. Liberia already has skilled thieves, we don’t need more, Liberia already has celebrated thieves, and we don’t need more. Liberia ranks 90th on a roster of 192 corrupt countries in the world,” Getteh charged the graduates. 

He expressed regrets that some of those wrongly leading Liberia passed through the walls of the University of Liberia which does not speak positively of the morals taught them by the institution. 

Pastor Getteh said it was frustrating for alumni of the state-run University to lead strategic sectors of government, while Liberia continued to lie in ‘doldrum of corruption and bad governance’ under Weah’s administration.

He admonished the 1,094 graduates of the UL Business College not to emulate the example of those involved with vices that continue to undermine Liberia’s progress.

The Liberian prelate who comes from the Seventh Day Adventist Church cautioned the graduates of the Business College not to be complacent and settling for little in their professional fields. 

“Do not be complacent by the motto of this year’s graduating class, Quakai which is a Mano word that means, we have made it, or we’ve done it. But what have we achieved?” 

“Don’t settle for a bachelor’s degree, don’t settle for a master’s degree, and don’t even settle for a PhD. You can do a post graduate study and you can be the finest sons and daughters of our country.  

Considering your level, undergraduate means you are still down there, you will be underrated and underpaid, so go higher. Why settle for good when better is possible?”

He called on graduates to see themselves as people who are trained to find solutions to national problems and not to create problems for Liberia.

Getteh, however, emphasized the need for Liberians to rethink for the prosperity and development of their country. 

According to him, it was time for sober reflection on the governance of Liberia. He inspired the graduates to step up their thoughts above country and get involved with ventures that would move Liberia ahead. 

He mentioned that it was not too late for the University, which is the second oldest in Africa, to start more degree programs as done in other African countries.  

“University of Liberia, what have you done that you are so complacent, is this all that can be done? 

How can you be satisfied with seven colleges, that you are offering very few degree programs when the University of Ghana offers as many as 90 undergraduate courses and 150 graduate programs in various fields? ‘Menn Quakai’ What have we done,” Getteh intoned.

At the same time, he impelled the University of Liberia to instill the best training in its products, “create thinkers that will solve national problems and not those he considered ‘mere reflectors of other men’s thoughts.”

Making remarks during the convocation, University of Liberia President Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks announced that the institution has a renewed partnership with the Clarke University, stating that this will keep the university on its upward trajectory.

“In February we are planning to host officers and members of an MBA Association from the United States, they will be guest lecturers in many of our classes in the Business College. We are also working towards developing a business and entrepreneurship fellowship program and a delegation will be with us in a few days to work this out,” Dr. Weeks said.

Dr. Weeks further advised the graduate to use their training well in making the University of Liberia and the Liberia proud.

Meanwhile, the valedictorian of the college, Patrick T. Tengbeh implored his colleagues to positively play their roles in the nation building process.

Tengbeh who now becomes an immediate past president of the Lux-In-Tenebris Scholars Program, said he and his peers must fail not to forget their skills and should see themselves as people empowered with tools to change the world.

The Alexander Romeo Horton College of Business and Public Administration graduated 614 men and 479 women with degrees in Accounting, Public Administration, Management and Economics.

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