One of Liberia’s presidential hopefuls and former president of the National Bar of Liberia (LNBA), Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe said he differed on the official pronouncement by the CDC-led government under President George Manneh Weah that, Liberia is commemorating its bicentennial.
According to the astute legal luminary, what is being celebrated by the government of President Weah is not a bicentennial for the people of Liberia, instead it is a bicentennial of the return of the former free slaves from the United States of America since the independence of Liberia in 1847. He noted that the government which was established by these free slaves otherwise known as “Americo-Liberians” have developed the legacy of theft from the people especially during the regime of the late President E.J Roye in 1870 which was accentuated by president William V.S. Tubman’s 27 years rule or power as can be seen by the high level of properties Tubman had accumulated.
Cllr. Gongloe made specific reference to the Totota Estate in Bong County and the Pleebo Rubber plantation in Maryland County, as well as the gigantic buildings he had erected in Harper, Maryland County. This alleged legacy of theft, Cllr. Gongloe continued, from the people was copied by the people’s Redemption Council (PRC) government of the late president Samuel K. Doe who proclaimed to the world that he killed William R. Tolbert together with the 13 high profile Cabinet ministers because of rampant corruption and abuse of public offices. But as Cllr. Gongloe put it the Doe regime did the worst.
The learned counsellor averred that this legacy of theft and abuse of public offices was perpetuated by the interim and transitional governments of Liberia including that of former presidents Charles Taylor and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and it continues up to president George Weah’s government. The former LNBA prexy asserted further that, this legacy of theft is being supported by the lack of respect for the rule of law and human rights by the government and its functionaries.
This legacy of theft, he added had succeeded up to date due to what he called the deliberate lack of law respect for the rule of law and human rights by past and present government (s) of Liberia. “This is the very foundation of Liberia’s backwardness and continuous under-development,” Cllr. Gongloe intimated. He cautioned all patriotic Liberians not to allow such ugly situation to continue. Instead, the presidential aspirant in the pending 2023 presidential and legislative elections to vote for a leader who according to him will make Liberia to develop like Botswana whose president since its independence in 1966 is being considered as the Africa’s least corrupt country and one of the world’s highly and fast growing countries in terms of development which include but not limited to provision of basic social services such as electricity, roads infrastructure, water, health, education, amongst others.
Cllr. Gongloe having researched, revealed that Botswana’s budget was at US$3millions in 1966 by 2006, the budget went up to US4billions just relying on diamonds and cattle alone because according to him, Botswana president and Cabinet do not steal. Therefore, Cllr. Gongloe has advised that the government and its functionaries should put their priorities in proper context and prioritize basic social services, while at the same time respect the rules of law and human rights.