What is in it for the Liberian people if Weah or Boakia becomes president?

 

The Editor,

It is obvious the next President of Liberia will either be Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) torch-bearer George M. Weah or ruling Unity Party (UP) current Vice President Joseph N. Boakia.  Both men emerged out of 20 contestants for the presidency from the October 10, 2017 representatives and presidential elections. Weah won 11 of the 15 counties of Liberia including vote rich Monterrado, but his margin of win was not enough to seal the deal.

Fifty percent (50%) plus one is what required winning the Liberian presidency under current elections law. VP Boakia won two counties, Lofa and Gbarpolu. Both men lost in Nimba and Grand Bassa Counties. More than half of the population did not register to vote. Liberia current population is 4.4 million but a little over 2 million registered to vote.

But what is amazing in these elections is the igniting motivation and fierce engagements on the grounds among the Liberians. In almost every street corner, markets, and on the bikes, taxi, buses, kiker, this is a three tire vehicles. It has the capacity of three passengers plus the driver, there is argument among passengers. The fact is both Weah and Boakia have not spoken against the current oligarchy governance structure, beginning with the senate, which both men and their running mates are part off.

The problem of Weah and Boakia was true for the 18 other presidential candidates that dropped out for low performance in the October 10 first rounds. Our problem in Liberia is the governance structure. The Liberian governance structure works for only those in position of power and the so-called business community. There is nothing in it for the majority of the Liberian people. For these reasons, it is highly unlikely for majority of the Liberian people to experience true change no matter who is elected to the position of the presidency. For things to improve in Liberia requires changing the governance structure. That is making no one to be above the Rule of Law and compelling those in position of power to be accountable to the people who put them to power through the power of the votes.  Because compelling all those in positions of power including elected and appointed ones to serve in line with article one of the Liberian Constitution will mark the beginning of true democratic governance in Liberia.

It says all those serving in government are “public servants” and their key role is to work for the “satisfaction and security” of the people.  Neither Weah nor Boakia ever spoke about the reduction of the huge salaries, allowances, and other benefits  they make at the expense of  majority of the Liberian people in favor of any public programs, such as school fees, computerizing the entrance and placement tests of the University of Liberia. The senate and House of Representatives in Liberia make more salaries than the United States Senate and Representatives.  This unimaginable, but that is the reality. The Liberian Speaker makes more salary than the President of the United States.  Yes, it is a reality too. Will Weah and Boakia presidency fight to reduce the tenure and semi-goodly power of the presidency from six to four, tenure of senate from nine to six, tenure of representative to four, the senate from six to three? Will any of them dare fight for the reduction of huge salaries and allowances in favor of the majority?

Will Weah or Boakia presidency empower the police to arrest anyone who violate the law irrespective of his or her position of power?  This includes lawmakers, cabinets, and superintendents, mayors, directors among others. Which program Weah or Boakia will put in place for equal learning and empowerment opportunities that will allow millions of children in streets that are arguing and betting every day about European Football? They spend to bet for European football champion league winners rather than competing in schools because of bad governance.  Which program that Weah or Boakia will put in place that will guarantee the young girl who out there wants to go school from selling her body for school fees?   

Which program Weah or Boakia will put in place that will guarantee the removal of millions of young boys from the streets to school without relying at the mercy of nature for school fees?  I am talking about government funding projects or programs that will be part of the national budget. Will Weah or Boakia administration project number of jobs each annual budget passage will create? I am not talking about government jobs. I mean a budget that will attract investments in all the 73 electoral districts.  

Making these things to happen are what the Liberian people want. When these are happening then we can say there is something in it for the Liberian people. This means one knows that meeting or doing certain things will guarantee these prospects for him or her.      

—-Jarwinken Wiah

   

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