MONROVIA – Madam Grace Kpan, the Vice Standard Bearer of the opposition Liberia National Union (LINU), has put forth compelling reasons for Liberians to consider utilizing their constitutional powers to remove President George Manneh Weah from office. She cited the uncontrolled proliferation of drugs in the country as a key justification for his ousting.
By Obediah Johnson
Lamenting the current state of Liberia under President Weah’s leadership, Madam Kpaan referred to it as resembling a “ghetto.” In Liberian context, “ghettoes” are makeshift areas notorious for the sale and consumption of illegal drugs and other harmful substances.
Madam Kpaan expressed deep concern over the consistent discovery of substantial quantities of illegal drugs in Liberia, emphasizing the grave threat this poses to the future of the country’s youth. She made these remarks during a recent appearance on a local radio talk show in Monrovia.
“Our country has descended into lawlessness, and respect for the rule of law has deteriorated significantly. Wrongdoers go unpunished, and Liberia has transformed into a veritable ghetto. Drug importation and trafficking have gone unchecked. We’ve reached a point where drugs are being disguised as everyday items. I have personally visited these ghettoes to talk to young people, and it’s disheartening,” Madam Kpaan lamented.
She further criticized presidential hopefuls for their lack of direct engagement with young people in these ghettoes to understand and address their challenges. Madam Kpaan called upon all Liberians to advocate for the prosecution and imprisonment of drug importers and traffickers in accordance with the country’s laws.
Madam Kpaan stressed the need to eliminate bail for drug traffickers, as she deplored the impunity with which they operate, leaving dangerous substances accessible to the youth. She underscored that Liberia, despite its age as a nation, is too small to endure the devastating consequences of such illicit activities.
The LINU Vice Standard Bearer also pointed out that residents of remote areas have suffered the most under the current administration, citing the deplorable state of the educational system as another compelling reason for President Weah’s removal from office. She highlighted instances where schools have been downgraded from higher educational levels to junior or elementary divisions.
Madam Kpaan recalled her experience as Superintendent during the previous Unity Party government, mentioning the demotion of a junior high public school in Cheesemanburg, Montserrado County, to an elementary school. This move denied hundreds of students the opportunity to pursue a junior high education.
She criticized the inadequate facilities at the state-owned University of Liberia (UL), where students are often forced to sit on the floor or move chairs between classes. Madam Kpaan acknowledged the government’s free tuition policy but insisted that students should not have to endure substandard learning conditions. She attributed these issues to poor management but urged students to advocate for change.
Madam Kpaan also highlighted the harsh conditions faced by workers in concession companies, describing it as a form of modern-day slavery. She pointed to instances where individuals were paid meager wages, such as $5 for cutting 150 palm heads per day. She called for a fairer treatment of workers in Liberia’s burgeoning concession sector.
Regarding civil servants, she noted that their salaries had been unjustifiably harmonized, rendering them ill-equipped to cope with economic challenges. Madam Kpaan criticized the government’s inadequate efforts to combat corruption effectively.
In closing, she emphasized that Liberia had regressed into a state of lawlessness under President Weah’s leadership. Madam Kpaan pledged that a LINU government would revisit all concessions, ensuring that they adhere to the law without favoritism or cronyism. She also committed to strengthening Liberia’s educational system by providing vocational and technical training to senior high school students. Finally, she emphasized that the LINU ticket represents the most experienced choice for the benefit of all Liberians, pledging to be a “brand new yellow machine” who will collaborate and contribute to the nation’s progress without overstepping her bounds.