Liberia: Activists From EJS Era Missing In Action

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The Editor,

Where are those “activists Senators and Representatives” during the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf presidency who were beating the drums of corruption but are now conspicuously silent when their own staffers are denied their just salaries and benefits going on two years where one aggrieved staffer had to set himself on fire to draw attention to their plight? A few would be Representatives Acarous Moses Gray and this very Speaker, Mr. Chambers. I guess refusing to pay your staff is a CDC Pro-Poor economic policy. 

Now we have the struggling poor at the bottom in all three branches of government–the Executive, Judiciary and Legislative–crying for their just deserved pay and are going hungry while the fat cats have not missed their pay and a meal and this is the “Change for Hope” mantra that gives us the ruling CDC under our “Benevolent Dictator” President/Dr. George Manneh Weah, his new added title by his moneymen Samuel Tweah. 

Are the radio stations still playing the CDC 2017 presidential campaign national anthem, “Countty Giant Coming, Yor Move From the Road?? The “Country Giant” was/is George Manneh Weah, the political Messiah who had promised to take Liberians to the promised land of economic buoyancy and a utopian democratic Liberia never seen before where human rights and press freedom would flow down the streets in our cities and towns like a mighty river bringing for all citizens plenty of “milk and honey.” Exceot that the average government workers are awaiting their milk and honey.

President Weah once echoed that dream in his presidency when he compared his administration to that of his predecessor, Sirleaf and said “Liberians are living better under my presidency than in any period of our history.” I wonder does President Weah still adhere to such fantasies as the economy is crawling on its knees and financial institutions/banks are experiencing a meltdown?

To add insult to injury, some would want us to forget the promises of pies in the sky they told the Liberian people would fall. In his Senate confirmation hearings, Finance and Economic Planning Minister Samuel Tweah, like one of his predecessors (Amara Konneh), promised to create “1,000,000 (one million) new middle class high paying jobs in six years. We have now gone more than three years in this administration and Tweah has not said how many jobs have been created in three years. Blame it all on COVID-19. As for the fake Harvard University graduate, Amara Konneh, he too promised to create 20,000 new jobs his first 90 days on the job. He left office without telling us how many jobs he created.  

People will promise you Heaven and Earth when they are running for public office and the guillible Liberian people are notorious for swallowing this lie every election cycle whether it was the 27-year reign of dictator William VS Tubman or our nepotistic president William R. Tolbert or the merciless and ruthless army sergeant Samuel Doe or the bloodthirsty mass murderer Charles’s Taylor or the self-styled, fake Harvard University “economist” Ellen Johnson Sirleaf or the clueless fooballer-turned politician George Gbekugbeh Forkay Manneh Weah or the ones to follow.

This is the dilemma of Africa’s first failed experiment at democracy 174 years and counting that cannot feed its citizens let alone provide electricity or run fresh drinking water into pipes from our abundance of fresh bodies of lakes and rivers into our cities or towns. As for the failed educational system, just forget it where teachers are not paid. The national healthcare system? I won’t even take my dog there so much so that government officials seek treatment abroad with our meager tax dollars and let the poor die like flies and mosquitoes under the weight of a broken healthcare system. 

But strangely and only in Liberia and in such an economy you have the President, Vice President, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader or ProTemp earn more in salaries and benefits than their counterparts running the largest economy in the world, the United States government including all 103 Liberian elected Representatives and Senators earning more than the members of the US Congress. And you think there is nothing fundamentally wrong with such system? You wonder why the blunt talking Donald Trump called us “shithole countries,” 

And after everything I have outlined about why Liberia is a failed country, my critics will go after me only for the Trump “shithole” comment which a few African leaders agreed to. Yet those who felt it was an inappropriate diplomatic comment from the President of the United States were and are still begging for American financial, medical/COVID-19, military and economic help despite the abundance of natural resources in their respective countries worth billions$ if not trillions$ to end the suffering of their citizens. Bring your butcher knives for my neck.  

Jerry Wehtee Wion 
Washington, DC, USA

[email protected]

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