Liberia: Ruling Party’s Strongman Recommends Booting Out Unproductive Officers, Underminers
MONROVIA – The Vice Chairman for Political Affairs of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Representative Acarous Moses Gray, has called on the ruling party to do away with poorly performing government officials whether they are members of the party or not.
Representative Gray is representing the people of electoral district # 8 in the 54th National Legislature on the ticket of the CDC.
Representative Gray said it is now time the governing party call ‘spade a spade’ and disentangle itself from officials serving in the public sector who continue to undermine government’s efforts in finding solutions to numerous economic constraints affecting Liberians.
He made these comments on Tuesday when he appeared as guest on OK FM 99.5 in Monrovia.
According to him, the CDC should not continue to ‘shield’ under-performers and under-achievers that are dismally serving in its government.
“The moment is now that the CDC must begin to disassociate itself from actions of people who are underperforming in government. It’s very significant. It’s about time now that the institution must rise up and call a spade a spade in government. Whether you are from the ruling party, opposition or you have been incorporated into the governance process, the time has come that the CDC must rise up and act,” Representative Gray added.
“We must under no condition shield any underperformer, under-achiever, or those who will undermine the government,” he noted.
For sometimes now, echoes of reshuffle to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in the governance process of the country have intensified among executives and officials of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
The Montserrado County lawmaker believes that reshuffle should be carried out by President George Weah to weed out those undermining and poorly performing in his government.
“If I were the President of the Republic of Liberia, I will tell you that every month we will look at your scorecard. Not only that, but if there is the need to reshuffle, the President must reshuffle. The moment is now and I believe so. The honeymoon is over,” he maintained.
Gray added: “There are people inherited and there are some people appointed. Whether you were inherited, or appointed, you should be removed if you underperform. I don’t want him (President) to appear like he is witch-hunting other people. I am saying that whether inherited or not, underperformers in government must go now. I can’t say whether the President will buy my idea or not, but the time is ripe,” the CDC lawmaker noted.
“The moment is now that the CDC must begin to disassociate itself from actions of people who are underperforming in government. It’s very significant. It’s about time now that the institution must rise up and call a spade a spade in government. Whether you are from the ruling party, opposition or you have been incorporated into the governance process, the time has come that the CDC must rise up and act.”– Moses Acarous Gray, strong member CDC
At the same time, Representative Gray has predicted more resignations from the CDC-government in the coming days.
According to him, more people will resign from the government because, they are not living an extravagant lifestyle as a result of the harmonization exercise initiated by government.
“More people will resign. You know what, because they were doing luxurious living in the past-where people were making US$20,000 and now make US$5000,” he added.
The Montserrado County lawmaker claimed that most of those outside of government were retired ‘prematurely,’ and are no longer accruing benefits as compare to their days in public service.
“Some people outside of government now feel that they cannot live without being in government. The gas they use to get or coupon; the money they use to get, they are not getting that money. They retired so prematurely because they did not prepare. They just thought for themselves. They were not saving,” he stated.
The latest assertions made by the CDC Executive comes in the wake of mass exodus from the government in less than a week.
The Deputy Managing Director for Technical Services at the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC), Dan Saryee resigned from government following a peaceful protest staged by aggrieved workers of the corporation before its premises.
The workers were protesting the delay in the payment of their five (5) months each salary arrears, and seven (7) months transportation allowance owed them by government.
In split hours, the Director General of the National Bureau of Concession (NBC), Gregory O. W. Coleman, also resigned citing: “my time as head of the NBC was filled with challenges and rewards. It is time that I become a private citizen.”
On Monday, the Comptroller at the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), J. Bernard Nagbe, also tendered in his resignation in a harsh-worded communication addressed to the corporation’s board, terming his days in government as “nonsense sacrifice” without salaries and benefits for a prolong period of time.
But Representative Gray encouraged those who cannot withstand the cut in their salaries and benefits to resign to create room for ‘professionals’ that are on the standby in the ruling party.
Representative Gray continued: “I believed Gregory Coleman and Dan Saryee resigned on some disagreements. People in government that who do not want the harmonization, the best thing you can do is to resign. There are other people who are professionals. I think the CDC has reserves like the Brazilian national team.”
Same old story
For sometimes now, President Weah, executives and members of his party have blamed the current downward trend of the country’s economy to the past regime of Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
Though the CDC-led government inherited the country in 2018 with gains made in all sectors, the party continues to cast a dark cloud over the 12-year rule of Madam Sirleaf.
According to Representative Gray, some of the reasons being provided by others for resigning from the CDC government were also visible during the Unity Party led-government.
“We inherited three (3) months salaries owed lawmakers and five (5) months gasoline. Not only that, US$500 for domestic was owed by the past administration for one year. This government cleared that,” he indicated.
The CDC Executive maintained: “You know, the guys making the loudest noise today, were people in the past administration who knew exactly what happened. The thing here is, you must have the moral standing to speak the way you speak. The past administration set the basis for the growth of the economy. Did we inherit the economy and damage it? That’s the question we should ask ourselves”.
The assertions made by the CDC lawmaker runs contrary to a scorecard given by his political leader, President Weah during the campaign period of the 2017 general and presidential elections.
The Liberian Chief Executive graded the 12-year rule of Madam Johnson-Sirleaf at 80%.
“Maybe the President graded 80% in the context of maintaining the international dignity of Liberia and in restoring Liberia in the comity of nations,” Representative Gray noted.
Commenting on why an audit cannot be conducted on the past regime by the CDC led government, Representative Gray said the conduct of an audit is cost intensive.
“One of the reasons why you couldn’t just rush to audit-maybe some of those audits would cause millions of dollars and you have a challenged economic situation. If we taking US$5m to audit just one ministry or agency, what are you prioritizing at that point in time,” he added.
“Whether you like it or not, we inherited an economy that is devastating, distracted, but at the end of the day, we will not run away and we must not shy away,” he furthered.
Call for confession
Meanwhile, Representative Gray has called on President George Manneh Weah to make a ‘passionate’ statement to Liberians ahead of the festive season celebration.
According to him, the Liberian Chief Executive should voice out constraints and challenges confronting his government.
“One of the things I believe that we should do as a government; the time is now that his Excellency will have to make a passionate statement to the people of Liberia. This December, we have to do that. As a government, we have to tell the Liberian people not only what we inherited, but what we are going through,” he among other things stated.