THE MANAGEMENT OF this informative platform (www.gnnliberia.com) is pleased to focus its editorial on the statement released by the United States Ambassador to Liberia, H.E, Michael A. McCarthy on the observing of Liberia’s founding President, Joseph Jenkins Roberts 213th birth anniversary where he eloquently and clearly outlined some of the ‘Missteps’ in the governance system coupled with rampant corruption in Liberia since demise of its founding president.
AMBASSADOR MCCARTHY’S STATEMENT which was widely circulated in the local dailies and on social media platforms reawakened the frustration of some Liberians who took the airwaves of local radio stations applauding US Ambassador on the ‘Missteps’ of the Liberian government over the years.
IN HIS STATEMENT he noted that sixty years after the arrival of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Liberia, 19 years after the end of the civil war crisis, and seven years after the eradication of Ebola, the taxpayers of the United States contribute to this country over $110 million per year of foreign assistance.
THIS INCLUDES OVER $79 million per year donated to the health sector. Approximately $9 million is specifically for purchasing medications and commodities for the Liberian people and improving the Ministry of Health’s effective distribution and warehousing of pharmaceuticals.
DESPITE THIS EXTRA support, we learn regularly about places like Kolahun in Lofa County and Sanniquellie in Nimba County, where clinics and hospitals must make do without even the most basic drugs.
TROUBLINGLY, EMBASSY INVESTIGATIONS indicate that not only are some citizens diverting public medical resources and low-cost drugs for personal gain, but that babies, young children, and birthing mothers are dying needlessly as a result.
IN HIS MEMOIR, the US envoy asked ‘ What would J.J. Roberts have to say about this?’ and said, As a Peace Corps volunteer, I was blessed to live for two years in villages (without electricity or running water) in West Africa. First thing every morning, each household would take advantage of the cool, early morning daylight to sweep inside and outside and dispose of debris. Villagers then coordinated with the local government to deliver waste daily to a designated landfill.
THE STATE OF cleanliness in the city of Monrovia, which is more developed and a far wealthier community, sadly does not compare. Last month, I was surprised at the words of city leadership on Monrovia Day. A senior official lamented that unlike his previous three years in office, “no donor or external partner is funding the recurrent cost of solid waste collection and disposal,” implying that he was abandoned by the international community. Is there a more basic local government responsibility than the collection and proper disposal of garbage?
WOULD LIBERIA’S FIRST president have imagined that, 175 years after independence, foreigners should be held responsible for the removal of garbage in his capital city? On February 25, we learned that a Rhode Island State Representative, Nathan W. Biah, Sr., is donating electronic voting equipment to the Liberian House. This is not the first of such equipment donated to help make Liberia’s top legislative body more transparent to its citizens.
WITH THESE ASSERTIONS, the Liberian government under the leadership of the CDC must indeed see reasons to state clearly its position about all of these assertions made by Ambassador McCarthy, in order for its citizens to confident in its administration ahead of the 2023 general and presidential elections where President George Manneh Weah is seeking for a second term.
WE APPLAUD THE Ambassador McCarthy for this strongly worded statement, which has publicly informed the Liberian people for the level of support being provided by the United States government, and further lecturing the world the role Joseph Jenkins Roberts played prior to his demise.