“Bad Governance Causes Conflict In Liberia” – Says Gongloe

Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe

Counselor Tiawan Saye Gongloe says bad governance had cause conflict in Liberia including the Saturday, April 14, 1979 rice riot; Saturday, April 12, 1980 military takeover; Tuesday, 15 October, 1985 elections results and the December 24, 1989 rebellion.

He said bad governance led to the first coup d’état in 1871; it also led to the second coup d’état in 1980; and 109 years later the 14 years of fratricidal civil conflict 9 years later in Liberia.

Gongloe, 65, made these comments on Sunday, 13 February, in Marshall, Margibi County during an acquaintance and awareness ceremony for his presidential desire next year with residents there.

He stated that bad governance cause state to descend into chaos or conflict for which Liberia suffer from destruction of lives and properties.

Gongloe told the gathering that Liberia 14 years conflict was not based on religion, tribal or social but because of bad governance which has to do with the mismanagement of state resources for personal gained.

He stated among things government should not be the place where one should go and steal but to serve for the betterment of the people, and not for oneself.

The former President of the Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA) noted stealing the country’s natural resources have become some of the major causes of bad governance in Liberia for which it is not going forward but retrogressing daily.

“Weah regime was elected to bring change to the people or us but regrettably, it brought suffering to the people to extent we are unable to buy cold-bowl to eat,” Gongloe reflected.

He went further that National Elections Commission (NEC) chairman, Davidetta Brown-Lansanah, who is been accused to have awarded her a contract, should by now be sacked instead of been on the job.

“The same with the Jeanie Cooper at the Agriculture Ministry who did similar things by awarding contract to her brothers and closed relatives working in her offices,” Gongloe said.

He said both officials of government should by now be sacked and made to reversed those contracts and bring back the money.

He said bad governance has paralyzed Liberia and made it difficult for Liberians to realize their dream of being susceptible of equal refinement and capable of equal advancement.

Therefore, Gongloe continued that Liberia is now far behind a lot of countries in Africa when it comes to sustained economic growth and development saying bad governance has paralyzed Liberia’s development.

“The people of Liberia need a cure for this paralysis of development and it is against this background that I will speak to you, this afternoon, briefly on the topic a better Liberia is possible,”  he lamented.

The LPP man indicated that Liberia can be a better country only if people who are serious about fighting corruption take power in this country.

“I have a friend in the legislature from the ruling party who often tells me that the only way to bring positive change in Liberia is to elect a president who is not corrupt and has a record of speaking against corruption,” he recalled.

Gongloe went further that this is the only way to move Liberia from paralysis to progress. Yes a better Liberia is possible only without corruption.

“We need to move from paralysis to progress as a nation. In order to do so, we have to follow the examples of other countries like us that were poor at independence and are now enjoying prosperity. Let us take the example of Botswana,” he suggested.

Gongloe reflected on the progress made by Botswana since independence in 1966, its annual budget was at the time just US$ 3,000,000 but today, as a result of good governance, based on the anti-corruption record of its past and current presidents, it has made tremendous progress in its development.

Former President Festus Mogae of Botswana who spoke once at Peter G. Peterson Conference Center Institute for International Economics in Washington DC, United States in 2006, summarized the progress made by Botswana.

Between independence in 1966 and 2005, real gross domestic product or GDP grew at an average of more than 7 percent per annum. GDP per capita by 2005 was over $4,000.00 U.S. dollars. The national budget has grown from under $3 million in 1966 to $4 billion in 2006.

Exports have also grown from around $2 million to over $2.5 billion by 2005. Formal sector employment has risen from around 13,800 to close to 300,000 last year. Life expectancy at birth rose from 48 years in 1966 to 65.3 years in 1991 before declining to 55.6 years in 2001 partly as a result of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Primary school enrollment rose from 66,100 in 1966 to 327,600 last year. Access to health, education, transport, telecommunications and other services have improved dramatically.

Back to Liberia, it became an independent country 119 years before Botswana. More than that, Botswana is a landlocked country and more than half of its land area is covered by the Kalahari Desert.

Given all those natural challenges, with good governance, Botswana has overcome these natural difficulties of being a desert and landlocked country and has become a very secured, peaceful and prosperous county.

Liberia has the capacity to do better than Botswana in growing its economy but its progress has been and continues to be paralyzed by uncontrolled stealing by those who work in the government of the country, especially those who serve at the top as corruption is the only enemy of progress in Liberia.

Corruption has paralyzed Liberia therefore, in order for Liberia to make progress, a more serious effort has to be made to get rid of corruption.

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