Liberia: Doctors Want Lawmakers Salaries Reduced

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MONROVIA – At least 10 doctors are seeking 10,000 signatures on a petition intended to pressure lawmakers to reduce their salary and benefits.

The petition was launched September 18, 2019 by the medical doctors, who expressed regrets about how high the lawmakers’ salaries and benefits are.

The idea of the petition was started following the disclosure of Montserrado Senator Abraham Darius Dillon, who fulfilled one of his campaign promises to make public his salary and incentives.

The salary and or incentives of lawmakers have always been one of the untouchables of the Legislature. Lawmakers have kept to their chests the information about how much they earn monthly from taxpayers’ monies. 

Dillon told the media on that Tuesday, September 24, that the accumulation of his grossed benefits as a Senator is US$15,325 with a basic salary of L$29,700.

According to these 10 doctors, “It is disgusting that sick patients at facilities in Liberia buy their own medications daily while lawmakers take such amount home monthly.”

They further contended that if the lawmakers refuse to yield to the petition a mass protest will be their next alternative.

“This is not about us, but our children’s future. We are professionals; can survive any bad economy, but what about a pregnant woman who cannot afford her hospital bills? What about the children whose parents cannot afford to buy them ACT for Malaria? What about the elderly?” they questioned.

They argue that doctors on an average work more hours than lawmakers, yet they are underpaid and the lawmakers take huge salaries and benefits.

“We want all Liberians to support us. We can’t sit and see Liberia falls so fast. If we do, posterity will judge us all,” they said.

The doctors include Anderson Flomo, Augustine L. Kollie, Emmanuel Lah, Dahn H. Tyler, III, Jesse S. Colendo, Henounhe H. Hessou,

Oyekachi C. Subah, Robin Faye, Mahmoud Dukuly, James T. Helb, Matthew K. Kelley, Josiah Odoi, Wilbur Harris, Pauline Weah,Tarmay Yekeh-Saa.

Other are: J. Whyeayee Diggs, Sylvester O. Wheh, Yarvoh Moore-Wilson, Robert N. Sieh, Jr., Ludmila Sesay, Charles Quelee, Johnny Thomas, and Robin Vaye.

So far, the doctors disclosed that at least 390 people who have signed their petition.

Cammue Arkernuyei Mulbah, one of the signers of the petition, commented, “I do hereby sign this petition requesting our lawmakers to reduce their salaries to US$5K.”

Zwannah M. Siryon Jr, “Dear Lawmakers, kindly reduce your allowance for the people you claim to represent.”

Jimmy K. Dahn, “Why should few individuals take so much from the people they claim to serve?”

Last week the health workers began a strike action demanding the Government of Liberia to pay their salaries and provide equipment for them to work with.

The strike action was resolved on September 27 by health workers and the Government of Liberia.

Despite the resolution, the doctors are demanding the reduction of lawmakers’ salaries and benefits.

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