Washington, DC – Liberia is a nation currently in recession. An estimated 66 percent of the Liberian population had no decent meal during the 2016 Christmas and New Year’s holidays season, and a reported 37 percent is said to have slept hungry.
Civil servants and several workers employed with private and related institutions did not get pay not because of the recession, but because the country does not have money.
Moreover, the country has been having repeated budget shortfalls, in large part, due to widespread corruption, cronyism, nepotism, greed, and mismanagement.
One source said, “The Liberia we have today is bad off than the El Salvador the late martyr, Archbishop Oscar Romero challenged.”
The source questioned the wisdom of the current leadership of the Catholic church in Liberia, saying: “The late Archbishop Michael Francis would not have lived quietly in the Liberia we have today.”
Per related sources, thousands of Liberians died every year from preventable illness due to the lack of access to healthcare and nutrition.
The country’s healthcare system is deplorable, poorly equipped, lacks basic material, and the support systems necessary for a mere dispensary.
After twelve years of peaceful rule, Liberia still has energy setback even though the nation was promised full electricity in 2006 by current President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Ninety percent of the country is still in darkness. The capital, Monrovia has intermittent power supply such that the entire city is noisy due to private generators in the homes of those who can afford. Many of them government officials and those with ties to them.
“Since 2006, officials of government behave like CEOs and investors. They use government funds like their personal investment accounts. In fact, Liberia seems to be the only nation on earth where being in government is better than being a CEO of a company, and where family members of elected officials make decisions on appointments and government policies,” says a former U.S. congressman.
Various opposition political leaders frowned on the greed and selfishness that have plunged the country into an abysmal while the beneficiaries of graft and public theft jolly during the holiday’s season.
A youth who declined to be identified by name, said: “This is why Hillary Clinton lost her election in the United States. We Liberians blamed Hillary for protecting our leaders from America’s criticisms and rebuke despite our president’s bad governance practices”
“Democrats,” he continued, “should leave Russia alone. Secretary Clinton’s election lost is due to her relationship with a Liberian leader who continuously subjugate her people to poverty and hardship while being shielded in the West by powerful connections,” he said.
“God is fighting for us and he will continue to fight for us.” He went further to say that, “Clinton’s election lost, despite her experience and excessive qualifications, is a sign that God did not want Liberians to be walked over by people who are protected from criticisms in the West just because of their strong ties to powerful people in the Democratic establishment.”
Several other Liberians have identified with the hardship and suffering that ordinary Liberians go through, especially during the holidays..
Although she is not a politician, Ms. Charlyne Brumskine, the daughter of opposition Liberty Party leader, Charles Walker Brumskine, outlined the root of Liberia’s problems while representing her father during a water-well dedication ceremony in the Liberian capital, Monrovia. The project is said to have been financed by her father for the community so that it could have safe drinking water.
“What I want to say to you is one thing I know about being a politician, and that is why I am not a politician,” Charlyne Brumskine said.
“Because politician can lie; they don’t tell the truth and the reason they don’t tell the truth is that because they want you to vote for them.”
Ms. Charlyne Brumskine told the gathering of people: “Don’t vote Brumskine (her dad) because he has put water-well in your community. If you decide to vote for him because he built pump in your community tomorrow someone else will build the same pump.”
“We need to change the way we think. 2017 could be our last chance – we either go in front or go behind,” she continued.
“Don’t allow the politicians to fool you because the power is in your hands and if you decide that you are voting for Brumskine or anybody else because they brought water, you will stay long inside because that is the way that they just get you today.”
Some political analysts and commentators in Liberia and the U.S. say Charlyne Brumskine, a U.S. trained lawyer, deserves widespread praise for sounding a message that Liberians desperately need to hear. She is a new breed of Liberian professionals who seem to have the country at heart.
Also, commenting on the poverty and hardship in the country, American trained corporate executive, and leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) Party, Mr. Alexander Cummings frowned on the desperation in the nation and the tune-deaf attitude in finding solutions to the problems faced by majority of the citizenry.
“Over the past years as I travelled the length and breadth of our country, I’ve been inspired by the resilience, tenacity, creativity, industriousness and hardworking nature of the Liberian People. I therefore believed even more strongly that we can create a Liberia we deserve,” said Cummings in his year-end message.
“No jewel is as priceless as leaders in all levels of society who work for the benefit of the people they lead.”
The relationship between the leaders of Liberia and those they serve should always be guided by the spirit of the Golden Rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” Cummings said.
Mr. Cummings, a 2017 presidential aspirant and former senior executive vice president of the global Coca Cola Corporation based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA termed as “regrettable and shameful Liberia’s move to its 51st electoral year with few tangible benefits to show.”
Joseph Gbartuah, a Liberian citizen resident in the slums of Monrovia frowned on what he termed as “the mean-spirited attitude of the country’s leadership and those who reap the benefits of corruption, greed, mismanagement and nepotism.”
He said, while we are hungry and looking for food in trash cans for our children, the president and a select few shamelessly waste thousands of dollars on holiday’s parties and food at luxury hotels.” That, he said, “is not leadership and love for country and fellow human beings.”
Gbartuah said, he wondered if the president was thinking like a mother with children or even a leader or even a human being or even a Christian. He said, “Liberia’s biggest error since its founding as a nation was the election of President Sirleaf.”
“To see millions of people hungry, others dying from poverty and yet government resources are wasted on parties and the happiness of a few people with fancy attires and photos, is unthinkable,” he concluded.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Annual New Year’s Eve Party, Boulevard Palace Hotel, Tubman Boulevard, Sinkor, December 31, 2016