Liberia: ‘2021 Was Marred By Extreme Poverty’ – Says People Liberation Party Standard Bearer Dr. Daniel E. Cassell
MONROVIA — The Standard Bearer of the People’s Liberation Party (PLP). Dr. Daniel E. Cassell says the year 2021 in Liberia was marred by extreme poverty, hardship and the flaunting of ill-gotten wealth by public officials under the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led-government of President George Manneh Weah.
Dr. Cassell is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President of the Dr. Cassell humanitarian foundation and the Kwenyan Security Firm in Liberia.
He observed that Liberia’s wealth and resources were depleted to benefit the elites and those at the helm of power, while vast majority of the Liberian people went to bed on empty stomachs in the midst of the flaunting of alleged ill-gotten wealth by President Weah and his confidantes.
His assertions were contained in a statement released in Monrovia on New Year Day.
Dr. Cassell maintained that the year under review in the post conflict nation was also occasioned with economic constraints, lack of respect for the rule of law, barrage of injustices, ritualistic killings and unexplained deaths, attacks on critical voices and perceived enemies of the state, and the clamping down on opposition politicians.
He added that “crumbs” were provided to already struggling Liberian civil servants who continue to feel the worst of the shattered economy as salaries, while the President and those closer to power walked away with fabulous salaries and benefits.
He said the spectatorship role being played by Liberians towards their own economy was elevated during 2021 as evidenced by the awarding of lucrative contracts to foreigners or foreign companies which have link to higher-ups in government.
“My fellow compatriots, the year 2021 was marred with extreme poverty, economic backwardness, flaunting of ill-gotten wealth by the President and his confidantes, the elevation of the spectators’ role being played by Liberians in their own economy despite the professed and deceitful promise made by the President when he was inaugurated in January 2018, cronyism, partisanship, among others”.
Dr. Cassell furthered that Liberia’s economy continues to be in the hands of foreigners.
He added that the relevant government actors, including Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah are doing nothing to resuscitate the country’s economy.
He maintained that Mr. Tweah is only sitting supinely “drawing a hard to understand graph on a piece of paper depicting the growth and development of the Liberian economy”.
“Since the inception of the Weah led-government, our country Liberia-once considered as the sweet land of liberty-continues to linger behind other nations across the African continent in terms of economic growth and development due to the failure of the regime to recruit some of the best brains to advance our country’s economy instead of one Mr. Talking Tom and those who wine and dine with the President, and serve as conduits in looting Liberia’s resources to do so”.
Dr. Cassell pointed out that foreign companies are being considered by the government to undertake lucrative contracts or projects, leaving owners of struggling Liberian businesses to go for years without acquiring a single contract from government, even though they have the capacity to compete with their foreign counterparts.
No loan opportunities
He indicated that less fortunate Liberian sellers of bitter balls, pepper, dried goods and other commodities lack access to loan opportunities to improve their various businesses.
He noted that though these people only depend on selling their goods or produce to put food on the tables of them and their respective family members, government has failed to create avenues for them to be made a priority for obtaining loans from various commercial banks operating in the country.
Dr. Cassell claimed that only public officials, especially those in higher positions and are the ones having the biggest share of the pie, are having access to loan opportunities, depriving these poor Liberians from acquiring.
He further observed that vast majority of Liberians remain unemployed, while few others have mustered the courage to be vulnerably employed by selling cold water, shining shoes on the sidewalks and salvaging dumpsites for fairly used electronics or materials to sell and put food on the tables for their respective families.
He blamed the high rate of unemployment in the country to the failure of the CDC led-government to put in place the necessary mechanisms to attract foreign-direct investments.
Providing jobs to bootlickers
Dr. Cassell pointed out that the Weah led-administration is only concerned about providing selective jobs to “those chanting CDC battle cries, bootlicking or heaping deceptive praises on the President and his confidantes, while competent, qualified and experienced citizens are denied job opportunities”.
Corruption preventing investors
Speaking further, Dr. Cassell observed that the CDC led-government continues to witness the scarcity of foreign investors in the nation to provide job opportunities for its citizens due to the high rate of corruption and dishonesty.
According to him, some public officials closer to the presidency (who he did not name) are in the constant habit of requesting “kickbacks” from foreign investors as means of allowing them to establish their businesses or companies in Liberia.
He also attributed the situation to the growing wave of insecurity and the disrespect for the rule of law in the post-conflict nation.
He, however, frowned as “heartless” Representatives and Senators for allocating to themselves the amount of US$30,000 each during the year under review for legislative engagements.
Dr. Cassell noted that it was shameless and frustrating to note that while Liberians were dying from the Coronavirus pandemic, heartless lawmakers stood ground to allocate huge sum of money to themselves, least thinking about the wellbeing of their respective constituents.
Hope is not lost
Dr. Cassell emphasized that despite the ills and numerous constraints which characterized the year 2021, Liberia and its citizens should continue to keep the faith and hope alive.
“Fellow Liberians, hope is not yet lost. Let’s hold together and muster the courage to take our country from these recycled, wicked and evil minded blood thirsty politicians who continue to suck our blood and the country’s resources, preserving nothing for the unborn generation. I call on you all to come on board and join the Liberation train. Just as God sent Moses to deliver the Children of Israel after spending 400 years in captivity, I am here and ready- to liberate and transform this country under my leadership of the PLP”.
“I have come not to take away your resources because God has blessed my family and I already. I have come because God has heard your cries and he has sent your Moses to deliver and take you to the Promised Land-a new Liberia”.
He maintained that despite the harsh reality of the economic and living conditions citizens are faced with, it is about time that all Liberians collectively work together with concerted and spirited efforts to ensure that the nation regain its pre-war status among the comity of nations.