The Oppressed Must Rise Up Against State Mafias and Renowned Economic Vultures

Vanguard Student Unification Party (SUP)

University Of Liberia, Capitol Hill –Monrovia

Cell #s: 0880759340/0775744184/0886134918/077578207

Press Release

–        SUP Supports Liberian Entrepreneurs And Calls For A Nationwide Strike Against GoL And Its Functionaries…

Whenever a group of oppressed people are viciously mugged and ensnared in a scheme of conspiracy by a well-organized hegemony of state mafias, imported bureaucrats, economic scavengers and micro-nationalists, they must immediately rise up and march into history with vehemence and endurance. They must unite with oneness of resilience to oust career-pillagers and pseudo-patriots who have since designed a national ploy to plunge the nation’s economy into debauchery and stagnation. They must advance a common agenda through collectivism and consistency, knowing that economic freedom is not free until they demand it from their oppressors.

Members of the Student Unification Party at the University of Liberia

The struggle for socio-economic emancipation and egalitarianism across Liberia has never been an easy journey and it will never be, in as much kleptocrats and autocrats remain overambitious in pursuing their parochial interest. There will always be forces of evil against our collective agenda, mutual interest and willpower to succeed, but our ability to triumph above our foes and demand decisive CHANGE is unavoidably crucial.

When the survival of our people is endangered as a result of ‘economic meltdown’ due to fiscal indiscipline, greed, patronage and rampant corruption in government, it is the historical obligation of the Student Unification Party (SUP) to reawaken the consciousness of the masses and lead them into action. The protection of public interest has always been a fundamental epitome of our long years of genuine advocacy. With this sense of dogmatic ideology and forward-thinking, SUP will never abandon its campaign against sheer thievery and the massive abuse of state resources by a handful of self-seeking bandits.

We must act now to rescue our dying economy and reclaim our country from state mafias and renowned economic vultures. We must render them powerless and extinct. They must bear the consequences for plummeting our economy into tatters and mortgaging our interest. Our cup is filled and we can no longer afford to be economically debased by ordained rascals masquerading as leaders. Today, we want to reaffirm our unhindered commitment to the people’s struggle. SUP will never remain silent in the midst of widespread poverty and human indignity. The artificial hardship that has been created and distributed on our people by this regime must be confronted with popular resistance through mass civil action. Our oppressors and foes will never listen until we fearlessly confront them.

It is on this basis that SUP is publicly declaring its unflinching support to Liberian entrepreneurs and merchants. During this time of extreme difficulties and economic decline due to mismanagement and financial impropriety in public service, SUP stands side by side with Liberian businesses and will do everything possible to protect those businesses from exploitation and dissolution. We stand with yearner-boys, petite traders and street vendors during this inflating period. We are fully aware that the sole and primary intention of this government is to prioritize foreign businesses and undermine local enterprises for self-gain. The government has no concrete plan to localize and diversify our economy in ways that empower ordinary citizens. This is what happens when a country like Liberia is led by a group of trained hustlers and unpatriotic bedfellows.

The deliberate refusal of this government to even enforce the Liberianization Law, which provides exclusive protection for Liberian businesses and dealers, is a glaring testimony of its unflinching commitment to maintain the status quo and render Liberian entrepreneurs helpless. SUP stands against this chicanery and demands immediate reform. A self-reliant nation depends on a localized economy. It is time to limit foreign dominance and increase domestic investment and control!!

The granting of tax holidays or tax abatement to multimillion foreign companies by this government since 2005 is shrinking the revenue portfolio of the country. As a result of this ill-advised decision coupled with other factors, the government is unremorsefully transferring its liability to the POOR. Today, our government has imposed a whopping tax of US$0.01 per minute on all local calls which led to the cancellation of 3-days free call bonanza.

What really do citizens stand to benefit from all these impositions? The increment of ‘goods and services’ tax from 7% to 10% is severely impacting purchasing power of vast majority of our people. The refusal of this government to allow Liberian businesses to pay taxes in Liberian dollars coupled with high interest rate (13.7%) and inflation rate (8.50%) is a serious burden on our economy as well. These are harsh economic realities confronting our people nationwide that SUP stands against.

The excessive imposition of taxes by this government is putting Liberian businesses at severe risk and creating serious constraint for local consumers. This action by those in authority to overburden small & medium-term enterprises (SMEs) and local businesses across Liberia remains a declining factor to national output and economic viability. The devaluation of our local currency as a result of inflation is creating shock in the economy. The recent supply of new banknotes by the Central Bank of Liberia is adversely impact the stability of the economy. The government is yet to institute suitable short and medium-term austerity measures to mitigate the ongoing catastrophe.

Any regime that publicly professes that it has no control over prices, even though it has regulatory power, cannot be trusted to manage a nation’s economy. As a result of failed economic policies for almost 12 years under President Sirleaf, our nation and its people remain vulnerable and susceptible to economic peril. The burden to pay the astronomical salaries of government officials and meet the high demand of other recurrent expenditures must never be transferred to Liberian entrepreneurs and petite traders through unreasonable tax imposition. We know that corruption has won the war and visibly undress this government, but our people must not take responsibility for its adversarial consequences. SUP rebuffs this disingenuous and unscrupulous gimmick!!

No, no, we (local sellers and buyers) cannot pay for the deficit that has been created as a result of wasteful spending and misappropriation. This is absolutely wicked and devilish in nature. It is lamentably sickening that our government cannot address the issue of inflation when most of our local dealers and consumers transact in Liberian dollars. For the first time since 1847, the exchange rate has skyrocketed to L$110.00 – US$1.00. The poor, low income earners and struggling entrepreneurs remain predominantly victimized by this shockwave.

The only reason why our economy is in crisis is because public officials care more about themselves and careless about the people they claim to be serving. Self-enrichment and corruption have been essential pillars of this government’s overall developmental agenda. This government has no plan to reduce poverty. The master-plan of this government is not to reduce poverty, but to amass illicit wealth at the detriment of the underprivileged majority and the poverty-stricken masses. Why unreasonably increase taxes on imports when Lawmakers, Ministers and Directors have the leverage of duty-free?  This is a clever attempt to suffocate Liberian businesses and increase poverty nationwide.

This is why we must soldier on and fight together to defeat them. This is why SUP has joined the protest of aggrieved Liberian entrepreneurs and traders to demand immediate intervention and reform. We commend all of you who have made the ultimate sacrifice to instigate change and expose public arch-nemeses. The exchange rate must fall – Inflation rate must fall – Interest rate must fall – Taxes on imports must fall – Taxes must be collected in Liberian dollars and Liberian businesses must be protected!!

As a means of sending a clear message to the Government of the Republic of Liberia, SUP is calling on all Liberians, especially entrepreneurs, petite traders, marketers, teachers, taxi/bus drivers, students, motorcyclists, owners of gas stations and the marginalized peasants of our nation to rise up and strike against GoL and its functionaries. We have been oppressed for too long by state mafias and profiteering economic vultures. We must never stop protesting until our demands are unconditionally met….

Done and issued on this 2nd Day of February 2017 by the mandate of the central committee and politburo concomitantly.

Signed: __________________________________

Butu Levi, SG – SUP

Approved: _______________________________

Cde. Jerome D. Dangbuah

Chairman – SUP

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Martin Kollie

Martin K. N. Kollie is a youth and student activist who hails from Bong County. He currently studies Economics at the University of Liberia. He is the President of the Economics Student Association and a stalwart of the Student Unification Party (SUP). He can be reached via:
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