‘Mediocrity Has Taken Over Liberia’ -Gbowee Perturbs about ‘Incompetent Liberia’
Monrovia – Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Roberta Gbowee is perturbed that “mediocrity” has overtaken “excellence” in Liberia and wants Liberians, especially women to stand up against such menace.
At the presentation of the United Nations Population Awards by the National Peace Hub Women (NaPHWoL) to the Government of Liberia, Madam Gbowee said instead of seeking people with competence, people now are seeking “hooks and crooks.”
“The key word that has taken over our country is mediocrity. There is no longer excellence in this country; no one is looking for anyone who can do things right, it’s either by hook or crook,” she stated.
As a result, Gbowee said things are taking the downward trend in the country, as she emphasized the need for a transformation.
Her statement comes few days after President George Weah condemned her Independence Day oration, terming most of its contents ‘fallacies.’
Initially, the Liberian leader praised Gbowee’s speech, terming it as good and has touched all sectors of Liberia.
But Weah took a U-turned on Friday, August 12, at the Press Union of Liberia’s awards night in Paynesville. Weeks after its delivery, President Weah ceased holding his tolerance for Gbowee’s utterances – he said her speech was full of fallacies.
Speaking further at the NGO’s awards presentation Thursday, Gbowee said the transformation she’s asking for must begin with citizens themselves by getting involved with positive ventures.
“Women of Liberia, we fought for peace; women of Liberia, we fought for sensibility and it’s time for us to fight for a productive nation. It is time for us as Liberians to take our country, our communities in our hand,” Madam Gbowee emphasized.
“At the grass-root level, there is something for us to do, at the middle level, there is something for us to do and at the national level, the government will do its part.”
Expressing her disenchantment over the ‘poor state’ of Liberia, the Nobel Peace Laureate stressed the importance for Women in Peace Building (WIPNET) to rise up through prayers, with the aim of praying to put Liberia back on the rightful path.
“We are a nation that is in strive and it’s time for the women of this country to rise up again, not to protest, not to be in the streets with placards but to go into their prayers closets and ask God to set this country straight,” she stated.
“The second thing we need to do as women in this country is to start transforming our communities, because Liberia belongs to them.
According to her, these struggles must firstly begin with regulating rules and orders within various communities and fighting against unwholesome acts.
“Women in the community need to come together and go the video club owners and say, you will not show here from morning until 6:0-clock. You need to go to the drug [dens] and put them out of the community; when you hold together, you can do it,” Gbowee added.
“One person with huge quantity of drug can destabilize an entire community but 100 armless women can stand up and kick that person out of the community.”
The United Nations Population Awards was given to the president of the National Peace Hub Women Annie Nushann in Washington D. C. in 2017, but the group said it was necessary to turn this prize to government.
The presentation ceremony was held Thursday, August 15, at the Millennium Guest House in Congo Town.
While she sees it important to turn such prestigious honor to government, Madam Nushann expressed frustration over the difficulties women of the peace hub currently face in Liberia.
According to her, the peace hub is important to Liberia, therefore the women there, should not continue to advocate for support at this stage.
“We are now advocating for support for the Peace Hub Women, because we cannot do it when there is no support,” Madam Nushann stated.
“The peace hub is so important in Liberia, but this country is getting so hard for us the grassroots women, traditional women and wants President Weah to hear this.”
“This country is getting so hard for us and we cannot enjoy the peace that we suffered for. Women in Peace building suffered in this place for peace, today you have not recognized it.”
Further placing emphasis on protecting Liberia’s peace, the NaPHWoL president wants President Weah take steps in ending violence against women.
In the same way, she pointed to the rapid increase in hardship currently being experienced by Liberians.
“People are not able to buy half bag of rice. Now schools are about to open and we are unable to pay the fees of our children. Where are we going?”
She lauded the UN Women for building peace hubs in the country and also commended UNFPA and civil society organizations for their support.
However, Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister Williametta Saydee Tarr told a FrontPageAfrica interview that the Weah Administration has always been in the interest of women.
Minister Tarr named the honoring of Women in Peace Building during 2018 Independence celebration and the passage of the Domestic Violence Bill as evidence of the Weah’s Administration support to women of Liberia.
“This particular government honored the women of WAPNET last year on July 26, so we, as government, have already honored them. We respect their work and will continue to honor them,” Minister Tarr disclosed.
“Even before we were in government, we have always respected the women of WIPNET.
The Domestic Violence Bill has been passed into law, signed on by the President of Liberia and we are waiting to print it into handbill.” Meanwhile, Minister Tarr added that strategies are being worked out on carrying out community’s awareness on the bill rather than “keeping it on the table.”