Liberia: Nimba Lawmaker Calls for Dismissal of Incompetent, Unqualified Govt. Officials
MONROVIA – Nimba County Representative Prince Topka is calling on President George Manneh Weah to dismiss incompetent and unqualified officials who are presently working in his Coalition for Democratic Change led government to bring some level of relieving to the Liberian people, most of who are impoverished.
Lawmaker Tokpa is representing the people of electoral district # 2 on the ticket of the People Unification Party (PUP) in the 54th National Legislature.
Speaking in an interview with FrontPage Africa via telephone over the week end, Representative Tokpa stated that the influx of incompetent and unqualified officials in government remains one of the major contributing factors to the numerous constraints confronting citizens.
He named the decline in the country’s economy, high rate of unemployment created as a result of the lack of investments opportunities, escalation of the prices of basic commodities as some of the major constraints Liberians are encountering on a daily basis.
Representative Tokpa noted that appointments made in government are based on partisanship, instead of competency and qualifications.
He said qualified and competent Liberians, regardless of their political affiliation, should be appointed to positions of their expertise if the Weah administration is to succeed.
“I think the best thing President Weah can do now is to dismiss the unqualified people in government and he appoint qualified sons and daughters of this country to see how best they can help implement his agenda. Other than that, the citizens will continue to cry and the sufferings will continue to increase”.
“The people (being appointed in government) must not just be CDC people. There are people that are non-CDCians, but they continue to work for government to see how they can promote the image of government”.
Don’t be afraid
Representative Tokpa observed that though some Liberians from opposition political parties have the experience, competence and qualifications to work in government, they have not been accorded the opportunity to serve their nation and its people.
He blamed the situation on negative perceptions and stereotyping of members of the opposition community, by some hierarchies or officials of the ruling party.
He disclosed that a “check and balance” system within the public sector will be downplayed if competent Liberians that are part of opposition political parties are sidelined or denied from being a part of the governance process of the country.
Representative Tokpa urged the Liberian Chief Executive not to give credence or ears to those badmouthing or blocking the appointment of qualified and proficient Liberians from opposition political parties in government.
“Sometimes, people should not be afraid of opposition. Most people think that if they put opposition into power, opposition will undermine them. No, this is not necessarily so. Oppositions are there to work diligently with the government. If the government is doing something contrary, the opposition will say ‘look Mr. President, I think this is the way forward”.
“It’s necessary that they have qualified oppositions employed so that we can move this country forward because, the oppositions, ruling party, all of us belong to Liberia. I don’t care what we do; we all live here and have to contribute to move the pro-poor agenda forward. President Weah should try to work with the opposition; get competent people and those that are not qualify from the CDC should be dismissed; and mixed up some members from the ruling party, along with the opposition. Let’s forget about the usual gossips and see how best we can live as Liberians. Let competent people get on board”.
Representative Tokpa blamed the Liberian Senate for not doing enough to thoroughly scrutinize those who have been sent by the President for confirmation.
He observed that most often members of the Liberian Senate somersault over previous decisions taken to reject presidential nominees based on the lack of competence and qualifications.
He called on President Weah to desist from sending nominees that have already been rejected on the basis of competence back to the Senate for confirmation in the same or different position.
“Sometimes these unqualified and incompetent people go for confirmation and the senators will say this person is not qualified for the position. They go swing around and come back to confirm this same person. Our Senators should try to protect the image of this country. If they say that this person who has come for confirmation is not competent; they should not change decision overnight and confirm that person”.
“When people are sent to the Senate and the Senate denies them, appoint another person to see how best he/she can be confirmed. I think this will help a lot to move this country forward”
The Nimba County lawmaker further claimed that the CDC led-government is not living up to the commitment of change made to the Liberian people.
He observed that the hope and aspirations of vast majority of Liberians, most of who are less fortunate, have been dashed by the government.
He frowned at the delay in the distribution of the stimulus package to vulnerable groups and citizens in the leeward parts of the country.
The Covid-19 Household Food Support Program was initiated by the government to provide rice, beans and oil to vulnerable individuals across the country.
The amount of US$30M was budgeted towards the initiative, with the government contributing US$25M, and the remaining US$5M coming from donors.
But since the commencement of the exercise in May of this year, there have been numerous public outcries over the delay in the distribution to vulnerable households in the leeward areas.
Citizens have been venting out their anger and frustration over the ‘snail-pace’ of the distribution process, with nothing being said by the relevant authorities.
Representative Tokpa termed as frustrating the downplaying of government’s promise to provide food to its vulnerable citizens in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic and increasing economic challenges.
“The government cannot really deliver to the people when it comes to providing the necessary basic social services. Since the start, and end of the state of emergency-and even up to this time, about 90% of communities across the country have not receive stimulus package from government. This is disappointing; they just promised the people and nothing is happening”.
“The cost of living is very high; lots of people are not really working and government has redundant teachers. This is a blow to the entire educational system. The economy is bad”.
“The road conditions are bad even though they made lot of promises. I am not talking about farm to market roads; I am talking about roads leading from city to city. The agriculture sector is challenged because of bad road conditions”
Representative Tokpa observed that the growing wave of mysterious deaths has turned Liberia into a scaring nation.
It can be recalled that on Thursday, October 2, 2020, the lifeless bodies of the Assistant Commissioner for Internal Audit and acting Manager for Tax Payers of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) were found in a vehicle on Broad Street in Monrovia during the early morning hours.
Two days later, another auditor from the LRA, Mr. George Fahnboto, reportedly died in a vehicle accident around 72nd Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
On Saturday, October 10, the Director of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA), Emmanuel Barten Nyeswa was also found dead in his compound along the 72nd Boulevard, outside Monrovia at 2AM.
Mr. Tokpa claimed that citizens are presently living in fear as a result of the high level of insecurity in the country.
“The level of insecurity is high right now and so, we want our government to put more concentration on providing security for our people; and let government investigation so we can know who are those doing these things -because people are pointing fingers at government”
“They need to proof it and government has to say no we are not there one-and our securities are equipped beyond and this is the result they have brought. I think it will bring some relieve to us; but for now, everybody just living in fear”