Reuters|In Liberia, health care workers are on strike for low pay and lack of pay.
In Liberia, school teachers have not been paid their meager salaries for months, while referral hospitals lacked supplies and are struggling to stay afloat.
In Liberia, the monthly salaries and benefits for Senators and Representatives are $15,325.000, and L$29,700 respectively.In Liberia, coastal erosion is a huge problem as coastal communities such as New Kru Town, (Monrovia), Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, Harper, Maryland County, Greenville, Sinoe County, and other communities are vanishing quietly.
In Liberia, also, government buildings such as Hotel Africa, J. F. Kennedy Hospital, D-Twe High School, the Executive Mansion, and other buildings that were built near the Atlantic Ocean, are being invaded by the rage of the creeping ocean.
Some of these buildings are seriously falling apart, courtesy of sea erosion.
Also in Liberia, a fire at an Islamic school killed 27 innocent children in September.
So far, there are no investigations to know what happened, how it happened, and what needs to be done to fix the problem so that authorities will do the right thing when there are future fires.
The only thing Liberians got out of President Weah is a photo op and this:
“My prayers go out to the familes of the children that died last night in Paynesville City. This is a tough time for the families of the victims and all of Liberia.”
However, the Weah administration that claimed to not have the money to carry out its domestic policy agenda, is constantly traveling overseas with a huge delegation.
As usual, the Liberian people are always in the fog about these presidential travels, and Mr. Weah seems to care less in these hard economic times to tell the public about anything.
Making matter even worse is the raw fact that in Liberia, a very poor country, Senators and Representatives are paid a monthly gross benefit of $15,325.000, and a monthly salary of L$29,700, as noted by the newly-elected Senator Abraham Darius Dillon.
Senator Dillon, the gadfly and maverick made the public disclosure as part of a campaign promise to be transparent in a country where transparency and accountability are not taken seriously, and government officials can flaunt their excesses as they see fit.
As Senator Dillion bravely made his public revelation about these extremely high legislative salaries and benefits that needed swift presidential comments and actions, President Weah, as reticent, insensitive and tone-deaf as he has always been on these important matters, was in New York at the United Nations with his usual over the top delegation, swimming in the pomp and pageantry of the presidency.
News about these exorbitant legislative salaries have been rumored and whispered in all quarters and left to speculations and anger, as ordinary Liberians – the poor and unemployed can barely put food on the table, send their kids to school and see a doctor because of the high cost of living in Liberia.
Had Liberia been a genuine democracy with a sophisticated and (politically) educated electorate that holds government officials accountable, President George Manneh Weah and his corrupt and misguided CDC-led administration would have some explaining to do to avoid being recalled and or voted out of office.
But Liberia is what it is, an extremely dubious democracy whose citizens, unfortunately, holds the distinction of putting their unwavering trust and loyalty in their President and other elected officials even as they suffer the consequences of their actions.
Can you imagine a person, a Liberian who lives in a depressed neighborhood or lives in a depressed house with no electricity, no running water/toilet, no job and no money to buy food to feed his/her family, but wakes up the next day singing praises to their God-sent leader, “Dr” George Manneh Weah?
That’s how gullible and silly (some) Liberians can be in their politics in these times of economic hardship – to know that something is wrong but you support it anyway because the government official including the President of Liberia is your friend and family member.
We’ve had politics of feckless opportunism and presidential worship in the history of Liberia.
However, the politics of friendship and sycophancy, which are as old as both the politics of opportunism and presidential worship, are also damaging to effective governance and upholding the rule of law, and fosters laziness, dependence, and parasitic behavior as we have seen in some Liberians today.
Instead of these Liberians calling on President Weah and the Liberian Legislature to revisit the huge legislative salary arrangements and do the right thing by overhauling and reducing those salaries, and reducing term limits, these Liberians are blaming the Sirleaf administration for turning a blind eye to the problem.
Well, Madame Sirleaf is not President of Liberia anymore. Weah’s the current President.
It is true that President Weah’s lack of words and direction on any issues, and his incessant foreign travels (when there is a Foreign Minister), shows that he doesn’t have a credible domestic policy that breeds hope into the lives of Liberians who desperately needs his leadership on the issues that are important to their lives.
Puzzling also is the lack of words and outrage from religious leaders, business leaders, civic leaders and the Press Union of Liberia on this issue, as these groups are known in most societies to have a moral and liberating voice that can change lives and change the direction of a country.
As a Liberian, I am not puzzled at all about anything that happens in that country and the presidency.
However, selfishness, naked arrogance, incompetence and the lack of leadership, the lack of empathy, the lack of oversight and accountability, makes me to believe wholeheartedly that the Weah administration and his flunkies in government are a danger to the growth, development, stability, and survival of Liberia as a country.
Interestingly, the ‘wicked’ Americo-Liberians are not in power anymore.
Indigenous (native Liberians) are the ones in power now.
It pains me to know that these native Liberians with their enormous education and worldwide travel experience, who have seen development and knows governance, development, economics, and finance, and understands job creation, because of greed and feckless opportunism are unable to make Liberia a prosperous nation.
Truth is, George Weah is Guilty of Not Doing His Job As President of Liberia.
It is a shame and a disgrace!