MONROVIA – The Standard Bearer of the People’s Liberation Party (PLP) Dr. Daniel E. Cassell, says post-conflict Liberia continues to get old in age, but backward in terms of economic and infrastructural growth and development due to the failure of national government to find lasting solutions to the barrage of ills and vices that are strangulating the betterment of the nation and vast majority of the citizens.
Dr. Cassell observed that bad governance and economic backwardness remain the order of the day, while extreme poverty and hardship are seen on the faces of most of our citizens.
He emphasized that the post-conflict nation is engulfed with widespread stealing, looting and the depleting of the country’s coffers by a selective few in the public sector remain on the increase, leaving citizens destitute, and to survive at the mercy of God.
His assertions where contained in an Independence Day message delivered to Liberians from the United States of America.
Liberians in and around the world observed the country 175th Independence Day on July 26.
“Our country Liberia, which was once considered the “Beacon of Hope and a Sweet Land of Liberty” for many across the African continent turns 175 years old amid mountainous challenges which continues to strangulate the growth and development of our post-conflict nation and its citizenry. We as a nation and people are experiencing turbulent times since the inception of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led government of President George Manneh Weah.
“What do we have to be happy about or celebrate when the prices of basic commodities are astronomically increasing to the detriment of the ordinary citizens, most of whom cannot afford five United States dollars a day ($5.00 USD)?”
Going to bed hungry
Dr. Cassell observed that many parents cannot afford to send their children to school and a significant number of citizens continue to go to bed on empty stomach due to the harsh economic constraints and a record historically high rate of unemployment, because of the poor manner and form in which the country is being governed by the current CDC-administration.
He added that children are being forced into child labor as the only alternative, as they serve as breadwinners for their families, by selling between moving vehicles in the streets and other places and being deprived of the opportunity to acquire basic education as compared to the children of government officials who are learning in private schools locally and abroad.
“Should we celebrate and be happy during this year’s July 26th Independence Day when public officials, especially the President and his closed associates are accumulating ill-gotten, unexplained, and questionable wealth, while mysterious deaths and killings are on the increase?”
Dr. Cassell maintained that access to cheap and stable electricity is very rare, prompting the increase in acts of lawlessness and insecurity in present day Liberia.
He claimed that the gap between the rich and poor, particularly those who are given authority to steer the affairs of the country and manage the natural resources, continue to widen daily due to the lack of job opportunities, mostly for young people.
He stated that foreign-direct investment opportunities have not come to realization under the current CDC-government due to the lack of trust and confidence from the international communities, and the consistent requests for “kickbacks” as a conduit for investment in the nation’s economy.
“Most of our citizens lack access and cannot afford the cost of basic healthcare services, as a result record number of children and adults are dying from medical problems that are preventable”.
“Public health centers across our country lack medicines, medical supplies and other essential medical equipment that are needed to save lives and guarantee quality healthcare delivery in an effective and efficient manner. While these public health centers are being robbed off those medical necessities, the private hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies of those in charge of our country’s health sector continues to flourish due to the diversion of medicines, medical supplies, and others essential medical equipment that are intended to benefit the less fortunate of our society, who cannot afford access to medical care at those private facilities”.
Giving bootlickers jobs
Dr. Cassell observed that the “chanting of the ruling party’s battle cries, bootlicking and heaping undeserved praises are the only guarantors for jobs or handing of crumbs to our people by those political actors/actresses in authorities”.
“During the immediate past administration, “papa used to come home with plastic bag full with gifts for everyone at home”. But now, papa cannot even come home for fear of being bashed at by his wife or children for not even leaving food money home to feed his family. The pots of citizens are no longer boiling and no foods are being kept for strangers anymore”.
“Should we still celebrate when government officials, including the President, are dancing to “Buga music” and love and cherish the manner and form in which our less fortunate brothers and sisters line up at their compounds from the morning to evening hours just to beg for alms from them?”
“It is a known fact that Liberia is only getting old in age but backward in terms of infrastructural development, economic growth and building of our institutions as evidenced by the growing wave of societal ills, deprivation, marginalization, desperation, and poor national leadership”.
Dr. Cassell emphasized: “My fellow citizens, what do we have to celebrate as an aged-old country when these vices are visible and nothing is being done to curtail or eradicate them from our society?”
He said citizens only need to celebrate and be thankful for the gift of life that has been given them by the Almighty God and take a sober reflection on combating against these vices.
Commit to a change
He added that Liberians should reflect and make a critical decision on the needs of the country and how they can collectively tackle these challenges by committing ourselves to a change in national leadership for the betterment of their lives and the transformation of our country.
“Ahead of the 2023 elections, let’s commit ourselves to the liberation and emancipation of our people from bad governance to guarantee the equitable distribution of the country’s resources”.
He stressed that citizens should standup and combat against circumstances that are threatening the wellbeing of their people and ensure that Liberia regains its pre-war status.
Dr. Cassell said it is incumbent upon all Liberians to place the country on the right path by firstly maintaining the peace and tranquility and making a decisive decision towards a change.
Though times are tough, he added, that citizens should brave the storm and remain patriotic to ensure that our country moves from backwardness to prosperity.
“Let’s hold hands with our religious leaders to continue to pray for our nation and remain resilient and committed towards a cause that will bring about sustainable development and opportunities to our country and citizens”.
“As our national anthem states: “This glorious land of liberty will long be ours”, we must stand up against vices which have the proclivity to keep us backward and deprived our unborn generations their fair share of the national resources and democratically take back our country from the gang of thieves and looters”.
“Let’s do nothing to derail the peace and stability of our nation during these troubling times but remain steadfast and hopeful that the dawning of a new day is fast approaching in Liberia”.
Dr. Cassell, however, called on Liberians to see the PLP as the best alternative to make these dreams a reality.