By Tewroh-Wehtoe Sungbeh
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is lucky to be in office this long.
She’s lucky, indeed.
The idea that she is completing her second six-year presidential term without encountering any serious national threat to her corrupt administration, says a lot about the political shrewdness she brings to her presidency.
Had she been president of a genuinely democratic country that is not Liberia, I believe she would have been impeached, voted out of office or overthrown violently or nonviolently (I prefer the latter) for corruption, and for the inept, and defiantly unaccountable and nonchalant way she has led the country.
Take a visit to Liberia and see the tragedy – the poverty, the human suffering, the lawlessness, the decadence, the lack of leadership, and the get rich quick and steal what you can steal from government mentality that hovers over the country.
If you haven’t traveled to Liberia lately, find the time to chat with those that just arrived from there, or call Liberia and ask people about life in the country, and how things are with ordinary Liberians.
From the mouths of the individual and others still in the country, you will hear firsthand the structural and moral decadence that encircles the nation.
“The country is bleeding,” a Liberian who returned from there recently told me.
True indeed, Liberia is bleeding profusely, and daily living is brutally unpleasant in Liberia on Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s presidential watch.
Remember the national oil company (NOCAL’s) recent bankruptcy? Liberians were hopeful when oil was discovered in their country.
However, Madame Sirleaf’s criminal gangsters and opportunistic, gravy-seeking cronies stole every penny from NOCAL until it went bankrupt.
Now there is empty talk – a public relations gimmick about ‘restructuring’ NOCAL; but not a single person has been indicted, funds confiscated, or put in jail for stealing from NOCAL and other government ministries and agencies.
Madame Sirleaf’s weak and enabling leadership style has nurtured corruption, and has given rise to naked boldness and dry-face stealing in government, which has hampered growth, development, prosperity and accountability, in today’s Liberia.
It is one scandal after another in the Sireaf administration.
Corruption, nepotism, Mary Broh’s uncultured and uncivilized behavior, and the funding of the Liberian civil war, are just few of the scandals that continues to stir at Madame Sirleaf, as she prepares to leave office after the 2017 elections.
Nearly eight years after Madame Sirleaf took office, poverty is out of control, unemployment is over 80 percent, there is no law and order, the judicial system is corrupt and non-independent, national elections commissioners are appointed by the president (even when she’s on the ballot as a candidate), and public institutions are corrupt, powerless and dysfunctional.
The nation’s education system is broken as most students are unable to read, write and do arithmetic, and the health care system is also broken and dysfunctional.
Unemployed Liberians who happens to go to any of the nation’s hospitals and clinics for care are often turned away because they lack the money to see a doctor or a health care practitioner.
And when these unemployed Liberians do not have the money to pay for their prescription medications, they live with their illnesses until they slowly perish.
Remember the Ebola virus? It is back!
One would think the lack of leadership; corruption, record unemployment, lawlessness, human suffering, sea erosion, inequality and the hordes of other issues in Liberia right now would give rise to genuine advocacy and daily nonviolent street protests.
Where are the community activists, the pro-democracy activists, the would-be presidential candidates and their political parties, anyway? Where is the Liberian press?
I guess the presidential candidates, or one of the candidates is waiting to be President of Liberia before he or she can say or do something about current events in Liberia.
Really? Unfortunate, indeed.
The would-be 2017 presidential candidates, as we know in Liberian politics, are not known to speak on any national issues until and unless one of the individuals is elected President of Liberia.
In today’s Liberia, however, some of the political activists of the late to early 1970s – the ones with the loudest mouths and platforms – the grandstanders who are always reminding us that they went to prison for their “activism” during the Tolbert and Doe’s administrations, are sadly and opportunistically in Madame Sirleaf’s pocket book seeking greener pastures.
A political activist is always a political activist, no matter what time of the year or day it is, or who is president or prime minister.
Liberia needs everybody onboard, not few opportunistic individuals.
‘The country is bleeding.’