Former Grand Bassa County’s Representative Gabriel Smith Urges President Weah to Exercise Leadership, Lead Fight against Corruption
MONROVIA – Former Grand Bassa County Representative Gabriel B. Smith says the lack of a “determine will” to combat against the embezzling or misapplication of public monies in Liberia by some officials makes corruption to appear as an irrelevant crime under the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led-government of President George Manneh Weah.
Mr. Smith is a candidate in the senatorial election in Rivercess County.
According to him, President Weah and his officials clothed with the authority to combat against corruption are not holistic in fighting the menace.
He stated that prevalent reports of corruption make Liberia to appear like there are no laws on the book to prosecute cases of corruption in the society.
Mr. Smith made these comments in an interview with FrontPage Africa via telephone recently.
He said government has not done enough to take concrete actions on investigative reports, including the ones finalized and released by international auditing firms, particularly the US$25 million mop-up exercise.
He maintained that the road fund intended to construct roads across the country have not been adequately utilized by the government to reduce economic burdens on citizens, particularly those in the leeward areas.
Mr. Smith added that government remains mostly concentrated on the construction of neighborhood roads, instead of major roads that link the counties with one another.
“As far as I am concern from my observations and from the thickness of the news, corruption does not seem to be a crime in Liberia anymore because people are reneging with the works of this country. It began from the L416 billion and the mop up exercise”.
“There were more information given to the people of this nation on the L$16 billion; and the mop-up exercise. It came again to the stimulus package and stimulus in context should address the proper issues to include businesses that were affected because of the health emergency created; these people and private schools were not aided in some ways”.
No determine will
Mr. Smith claimed that government lacks a “determine will” to steer the affairs of the country as evidenced by the flagrant disregard for the rule of law in the country.
He attributed the growing wave of mysterious killings and lawlessness in Liberia to the alleged tempering of the laws by those who are responsible to execute the laws.
He noted that corrective measures must be taken by President Weah to move the country on the right trajectory.
“There seems not to be a determine will on the part of the government to govern in accordance to the rule of law because that is very keen in the governance architecture. Very serious steps need to be taken to correct these issues because lots of people believe in the laws that we made; and this government seems to be tripping in that direction”.
“When you temper with the laws, it gives room for violations and this government has on numerous occasions disobey the laws. And I think that it is about time that the leader himself realizes that he is a leader and try to take the necessary corrective measures so that he can provide the country with a direction that his team needs. This country is now taking the wrong risk around the globe.”
Mr. Smith disclosed that the necessary corrective measures must be taken by government, through President Weah to address the growing wave of insecurity and violence in the society.
“The President as a leader must be able to provide leadership. Leadership is a functional word that is consonant in effect. Leadership is a cause and any other thing you see is an effect. So, what we are experiencing in Liberia is an effect of wrong, weak and bad leadership. The leader needs to buckle up and do what is right. They need to go back to the drawing board and find out where they have gone wrong and where the necessary corrective measures can be taken”.
At the same time, the former Grand Bassa County lawmaker has called for collective efforts to prevent the violation of the Liberian constitution during processes leading to the conduct of the senatorial election.
He observed that Article 83 of the 1986 Liberian constitution will not be adhere to if the mid-term senatorial election is not held on December 8, 2020.
According to him, the Liberian government will be improper if the mid-term senatorial election drags to January 2020 prior to the opening of the National Legislature for its next Session.
“If the Legislature does not convene on the second working Monday in January it means that we have an incomplete government. An incomplete government is a non-government. We all as a people specifically headed by the government should take the necessary steps to correct the wrongs to ensure that the election is free, fair, credible and ensuring that everyone plays in the content of the rules between now and December 8.”