Liberia: How Did We Get Here?


In Liberia,  our  prevailing paradigm for the past two generations or more has fixated  our minds on governments, policies, and corruption. Since our power lies in how effective we ponder our conviction through the deliberation of our manuscript, I will blueprint some deep reflections. I might be sardonic enough that you will squander your shrewdness. Now, this runup is not critical to my views so let us go deeper.

Report by Wantoe Teah Wantoe, Contributor

To juxtapose a proportional analysis in my premise, permit me to share an excerpt from a distinct World Bank study titled “Voices Of The Poor  Can Anyone Hear Us”   The excerpt asks some basic queries about the supposition between poor people and their craving for accountability and inclusivity. It declares,  “What is it that the poor reply when asked what might make the greatest difference in their lives? They say, organizations of their own so that they may negotiate with the government, with traders, and with nongovernmental organizations. Direct assistance through community-driven programs so that they may shape their own destinies. Local ownership of funds, so that they may put a stop to corruption. They want nongovernmental organizations and governments to be accountable to them. These are our  robust voices, voices of dignity. “ This reply is the basic state of every Liberian acting as watchdogs outside of the apparent power structures of hierarchical order. They are without doubt the authority that is unremarked when their plead is to see the legitimate  things being done.

Prevalent in our society is a President that responds to the plight of these voices with such  profound ignorance that he sees their request as an affront to his elitism. An elitism that would pride in bootlickers whistle stomping their unfair defense for crumbs. They sadly lack the audacity to fairly tell President Weah his failure. President Weah fanaticism is drawn to see fair-minded criticism as extremist propaganda and absolutely no one is questioning his impudence that are absent from the deep-rooted crisis we are encroaching into. Sometimes,  the argument is not about profound speeches or eloquence, but we are stuck with an aristocratic cabinet whose corruption and lack of regard for  the rule of law have maximally shown the political blindness in our President. For instance, We are still hoping to see the Billions that Independent Review Report by Kroll Associates Inc. indicted most of our cabinet members into.

Primarily, we cannot retract  when we last saw  a President that stood as a pivotal voice against  the consistent sexual and domestic molestation  of babies, teenagers, and  women  in Liberia. Every day, the vulnerability of women and girls are competing with the deep shape of hunger, poverty and unemployment, but  we pride ourselves over a sector of partisanship over competency that would easily defend the ineptitude of a President than projecting innovation and policies that would resonate the responses we want. Consistently, women and children voices are unheard of. Sometimes, it is beyond just the regular issues of rape and domestic violence but censorship from sharing their stories to patriarchal depression from accelerating their potential.  As we all strive  to make progressive advances towards the elimination  of the current Coronavirus pandemic, sexual and gender-based violence against women and children remains a central reality of life. In hidden and open closets, women and children are consistently victimized and vulnerable to the adverse impact of neglect, domestic violence, rape, systematic exclusion, and intentional homicide. However, our President is silent. Of a case by case report totaling 1,508 gender-based violence cases, rape accounted for almost 70 percent of the cases reported. Girls accounts for less than one-half of all students and graduates in primary and secondary schools. according to the 2019 US State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Liberia

In a 2018 Investigation of the More Than Me Foundation,  an employee is alleged to have sexually assaulted or raped up to 30 students. These children were exposed to STDs, HIV and AIDS and lasting discrimination. This Government is yet to release its report on the situation. I could name the raping and murdering 15-year-old Vivian Wright, Also,  the 13 year visually impaired girl that was  Raped and Impregnated. A 13-year-old teenager was rape while selling, a transnational rapist from  Guinea  exploited our 17 year old girl, a 15-Year-Old was  Raped and impregnated by her Stepfather. Justice is denied easily as suspects are consistently released without trial . We still feel the fresh wounds of  the 3 year old child in West Point killed by alleged Police Brutality . They  are all  still yearning for Justice. We could also not flout the reality that UNICEF reports that  9 percent of our girls were married before age 15 and 36 percent before age 18 breaching the principles of UNCRC. Is our president  concerned about these issues? We will vote on  citing the  neglect of these issues.

Consider the benchmark of governance we are accepting when you consider the 2019 Human Development Report  highlighting “Inequalities in Human Development in the 21st Century”. Our performance in the Gender Inequality Index (GII) is the worst we can imagine. With a  value of 0.651, ranking  155 out of 162 countries in the 2018 index, we can significantly see a reflection of a failed sector that are unconscious to the everyday challenges of women and children in Liberia,  The index estimates that of  100,000 live births, 725.0 women die from pregnancy related causes; and the adolescent birth rate is 136.0 births per 1,000 women of ages 15-19. Female participation in the labor market is highlighted to be 54.7 percent compared to 57.5 for men. Sadly, 18.5 percent of adult women have reached at least a secondary level of education compared to 39.6 percent of their male counterparts.  The overall statistics shows that in a case scenario of reproductive health, empowerment, and economic activity we are valued at a growth of a gender-based inequalities value of 0.651. Notwithstanding, our narcissist in chief  pledged to establish a sustainable adult literacy program, to empower rural farmers and market women with basic reading and writing skills. Gender development, child rights and equality were keen on his campaign promises without honoring a debate to clarify his policies. When we vote, these are issues we are voting for.

When we voted President Weah, we knew there were gains but our  anger was the progress was stunted by massive corruption, nepotism, and serval negative vices. I am in no way justifying or validating the failures of the past government. However,  we have  seen an inherited Gross National Income (GNI) per capita that rocketed by 8.4 percent from 1990 to 2015 complimenting a Human Development Index (HDI) increased by 10.6 percent between 2000 and 2015. These progresses were made within the context of war, instability, lack of independent culpability institutions and completely fragile sector. In contrast to these challenges, this government has  the environment, to thrive but Liberia’s HDI value for 2018 is 0.435.  We are within the context of low human development category positioning at 176 out of 189 countries and territories.  Check the full report  Here. 2020 is estimated to be 0.435  you can check the findings  Here. The economic challenge in Liberia is overly critical that there is a  death every 14 minutes and with a population of 5,057,681 we experience 101 deaths per day due to hunger, rape, suicide, and treatable illnesses.  Check the report   Here

We clearly cannot pinpoint significant gain that justifies  progress. Everything is wrong about this government and we are cognizant. When we finally saw progress in the fight for accountability in the 16 billion saga, we were reminded it was a Shakespearean play through their unjustifiable total Exoneration of the alleged culprits as the  acquittal of the Indicters of Sable Mining case. The pomposity of President Weah egotistical personalities makes everyone conceal his failure thereby feeding the delicacy of his egos with unscrupulous narratives.

The deep-rooted question is how much lack of acknowledgment for people driven power can you take? If President Weah partiality is gratifying his  bunch of incompetent Aristocrat as  the new order, we should be conscious that his egotism dampens any hope he would care for us. We should show how skeptical we are through our Vote. The leader of our country  is a failure as of now until he steps up. I am in full cognizance that there will be a ballistic response to fulfill the President narcissism for petite crumbs. After all, life must go on. I am in full readiness to defend my opinions and this thread continue.