Liberia: MacDella Cooper Hints Instability If Weah-led Government Continues Appointments Based on Partisanship and Cronyism
MONROVIA – The Political leader of the Movement for One Liberia (MOL), Madam Macdella Cooper, has underscored the need for the involvement of qualified, competent and experienced Liberians in the governance process of the country to guarantee the delivery of basic social services and the improvement of the country’s declining economy for the benefit of the citizenry.
Madam Cooper is one of the key proponents of the “Lappa Revolution” which seeks to among other things empower and ensure the involvement of more women in the political and decision-making process of Liberia.
According to her, the influx of incompetent and unqualified officials in the public sector is “hurting our country”.
She observed that most unqualified and incompetent people in the public sector are getting jobs based on friendship and their connections with higher-ups.
Madam Cooper made these assertions in a telephone interview with FrontPage Africa on Monday, May 10.
She stressed that it is now time for citizens who have the requisite qualification and experience to be accorded the opportunity to serve their country and help improve the shattered Liberian economy.
Madam Cooper stated that though there are some Liberians who are not formally educated, they have the connection as well as wisdom and expertise in certain areas and as such, they must be given the opportunity to serve.
“With regards to incompetence of any higher official, I think it is hurting our country. I think it is now time we start getting people who are experienced and have the right contacts to assist our country. There may be folks who are not highly educated; but they still have the wisdom in certain areas”.
“Not because the person does not have a resume means he/she cannot bring something to the table. But when it comes to those who have no knowledge, they have zero experience and they only get government job because of friendship and their level of connections with the top dogs. It’s not working. Some incompetent individuals in higher positions-is hurting our country”.
Madam Cooper maintained that Liberia is for all its citizens, and as such, qualified citizens residing in foreign lands and in the country should be extended an opportunity to serve their country in various capacities of expertise.
She added that the governance system of the nation must be inclusive if Liberia is to be on par with other countries across the region.
“Liberia should be for all Liberians; whether they are opposition or they are in the diaspora. We have to have a governance system that is inclusive and brings everyone to the table. Without doing that, we are limiting ourselves. This is why we are fighting for inclusion. We do not want a government of exclusivity; we want everyone that has something to bring to the table whether it’s investing dollars or expertise”.
She emphasized that government now needs to look for the “best and brightest” of its citizens to come on board to form a part of the nation rebuilding process and “move the country in the right direction”.
Madam Cooper observed that Liberia is currently going in the wrong direction as a result of the sidelining of competent and qualified citizens over those who acquired appointed government jobs based upon their level of friendship with higher-ups and connections.
“So far as a country, we are going in the wrong direction. And if we do not broad the spectrum of trying to identify those who can bring something to the table and just doing things based on friendship-we are hurting this country and this government is hurting itself”.
She indicated that the 2023 general and presidential elections are around the corner and Liberians, bulk of who are economically struggling, are watching the manner and form in which their country is being governed.
She said government now needs to “broaden the spectrum” if it must benefit in the future by ensuring that not only committed unqualified partisans and supporters of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) are given jobs, over qualified and competent Liberians.
Not know what they are doing
Madam Cooper further observed that the CDC led-government continues to struggle in resuscitating the country’s economy because, there are “bunch of people who do not know what they are doing” in charge of the economic management team of the country.
“People are not doing well in this country right now. Everyone is hurt economically. You have bunch of people who don’t know what they are doing trying to move our economy forward; if you have one person who has extensive knowledge and he/she does not have enough people to help. Yes, the incompetency of these people who have been brought to positions is hurting this country economically”.
She emphasized that a clear economy plan intended to move Liberia forward and ensure an open market and showcase the country’s commodities remains lacking.
Put monies in citizens’ pockets
Madam Cooper stressed that it is now time that government provides the necessary opportunities to put monies in the pockets of its citizens.
She pointed out that this can be done if government provides opportunities by creating job opportunities for citizens in the midst of the lack of foreign-direct investment in the country.
She maintained that the peace and stability of the country will be threatened if the requisite opportunities are not provided citizens to guarantee their survivability.
“We have to find opportunities for Liberians; that is the ultimate thing we need to do right now. We need to find and create jobs. That is, opening up the market to bring in partners and investors to create opportunities. If Liberians don’t have money, they cannot take care of themselves and their families. And when they cannot do that, we put this country at risk. No one is going to sit here and watch their children starve to death”.
Madam Cooper added that Liberians cannot leave their own country to go and look for jobs in other countries, and as such, government must be cognizant of the fact that it remains obligated to provide jobs for the citizens.
Open up the market
Speaking further, Madam Cooper stressed the need for the opening up of the Liberian market in a bid to attract investments that would in turn provide job opportunities for citizens.
She noted that when Liberians are gainfully employed, they will be able to take care of themselves and their respective family members.
She added that a partnership must be formed between local and foreign entrepreneurs to boost trade and economic activities in Liberia for the benefit of both the government and the citizenry.
Madam Cooper maintained that government has a responsibility of ensuring that the business climate in Liberia is more “investment friendly”.
She indicated that Liberia and its citizens will not go anywhere if the market is not open to attract partnership between local and foreign entrepreneurs on a small, medium or large scale.
“We need to open up this country for investors to come and partner with us in every area including the private, public sectors and even in the macro enterprise, we need partnership because, we do not have enough resources internally. Without money, we can’t do anything; we can’t take care of our families and ourselves. We need to open up our market”.
Madam Cooper claimed that too many “red tapes” are being created in the country, to prevent foreign investors from doing businesses in Liberia.
According to her, the situation has compelled most foreign investors to neglect Liberia and go to neighboring countries, including Guinea, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Ghana to do their businesses.
She attributed the situation to corruption and the lack of trust in vast majority of public officials of the Weah led-administration.
“There are so many red tapes in doing business in Liberia. These investors cannot go beyond these red tapes and so, they turned around to go to neighboring countries to do business there. It’s too complicated to do business here and the market is small. But yet still there are investors who will come to this small market, and so, they have to remove these red tapes”.
“Corruption is too much; the lack of trust in a lot of people that are currently holding positions-a lot of them cannot be trusted; they don’t understand how to deal with foreign investors and so, foreign investors just do not want to deal with them. They (foreign investors) go to other countries across the region. We have to focus on moving the red tapes and taking care of these investors to make things more accommodating for them “
Madam Cooper stated that these foreign investors will serve as testimonials or be the “mouth piece” for Liberia if they are treated fairly by public officials and allow establishing their businesses or companies in the country void of bottlenecks and hindrances.
“When people stand by the rule of law, the rule of law must stand by the people. But investors are not thinking about coming here right now because, there are so many people who are not trustworthy that are holding high positions pushing investors to the corner”.