Mr. President Do The Right Thing and Not Business As Usual

May 1st this year marked Liberia’s 26th President Joseph N. Boakai 100 days in office in which he rolled out an ambitious action plan aimed at uniting the country, stamping out corruption as well as creating jobs and salvaging the economy, among others.

Announcing the achievements of his 100 day deliverables, President Boakai boasted that his government made significant gains in achieving its goals particularly  in the areas of road rehabilitation to ensure that all major highways and roads are passable; initiating key legislations crucial to the governance process of the country; the signing of the War Crimes Tribunal and the Economic Crimes Court; reforms and capacity building in agriculture, as well as paying fees for Liberian students at home and abroad and investing in youth capacity development, among others.

Following this announcement, many political stakeholders, mainly from the opposition camp, criticized the much-heralded 100 day deliverables plan as a “Fiasco” and “Colossal Façade”, citing many missteps in government’s attempt to achieve its goal.

The critics pointed out the prevailing tension and division in the country and the government lackluster attempt to resolve it; missteps in the retrieval of state assets from former government officials; the removal of government officials from tenured positions which generated much tension with the opposition terming the act as witch-hunt and the failure in the implementation of the road rehabilitation scheme as more cars are getting stuck in the mud along major highways and roads, contrary to the president’s promise.

We hasten to add that this paper in its Friday, April 5th 2024 edition questioned government’s ability to implement its Action Plan within the specified period, citing the delay in the disbursement of funds from the budget and the limited time leading to the end of the 100 days.

While we do not want to get embroiled in the brouhaha between the government and the opposition over the failure and/or achievement of the former’s 100 day Action Plan, it is incumbent upon the Boakai-led government to soberly reflect on the gains and setbacks in the implementation of its plan and begin to take a definitive shape in addressing the numerous problems plaguing the country and its people following years of fratricidal war.

In this light, government must begin to put in place workable mechanisms to combat corruption which has become systemic in the country. We are of the conviction that Liberians will only reap the benefits of genuine peace, security and socio-economic prosperity when the governance of the country is characterized by transparency, accountability and probity. This can be done by strengthening anti-graft institutions including the General Auditing Commission (GAC) and the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) to carry out their respective work without fear or favor.

Mr. President, given your wealth of experience, much is expected in doing the right thing instead of business as usual. There is also an urgent need to adequately address the energy and water issues in the country, the implementation of road construction and rehabilitation throughout the country as well as the review of all concession agreements signed by immediate past governments with the view to ensuring that the country benefits and not a few people.

Lastly, we are quite aware of the enormity and multiplicity of challenges your government is faced with but with the right programs and policies, government can surmount these challenges in line with your goal to the country. Mr. President do the right thing and not business as usual.

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