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Friday, June 14, 2024

NO, SPEAKER KOFFA, I DISAGREE WITH THE DEFENSE OF LAWMAKERS

Date:

By Wondah L. Jah

In a recent public statement, Grand Kru County lawmaker, Cllr. Fonati Koffa, defended his fellow legislators, suggesting that they have gone above and beyond their responsibilities to impact the lives of the people they represent. However, his remarks have drawn criticism and disagreement from some quarters, including myself.

Koffa made these comments during a graduation ceremony at a school operated by a lawmaker, where he highlighted the impactful initiatives undertaken by legislators. He called on critics to be fair and honest in their assessments of the Liberian Legislators, stating that many of them have worked tirelessly for the betterment of the nation.

However, I strongly disagree with Speaker Koffa’s defense of his colleagues. It is my belief that lawmakers should be fair to the constituents they represent, as they owe it to the electorate who have supported them for so long. Liberians are not naive; they can discern right from wrong. The criticism and suspicion directed towards lawmakers stem from their perceived exploitation of the masses and their prioritization of personal gain over the interests of the people.

There have been numerous instances where lawmakers have been reprimanded by their own constituents for engaging in corrupt practices. In the past, lawmakers have misappropriated funds allocated for legislative projects, pocketing the money intended for the betterment of the nation. They have also been accused of passing concession agreements without proper scrutiny, often favoring their own interests rather than those of the state.

Additionally, lawmakers have failed to exercise proper oversight and have instead defended public officials who have violated the laws of the state. Corruption and other crimes have stained the reputation of many legislators, with some even resorting to using stolen funds to buy votes during elections. It is essential to note that many former lawmakers have been rejected by their constituents due to their failure to fulfill their duties.

While Speaker Koffa may be a well-intentioned individual, his defense of colleagues who have acted against the best interests of the Liberian people is misguided. It is crucial for lawmakers to be held accountable for their actions and to prioritize the needs of their constituents above personal gain.

To suggest that Liberians must be fair to lawmakers who have gone beyond the call of duty is a disrespect to the intelligence of Liberians. It is the lawmakers who should be fair to their constituents because they have been taking credit for projects that have been funded by taxpayers’ money. They should acknowledge the constituents who elected them and give credit where it is due.

It is disheartening to see lawmakers using their positions to cover up their crimes and seeking legislative immunity to evade prosecution. Many lawmakers in the National Legislature have a checkered character, making it unique for such people to be elected to such reputable positions. This is why I believe that Koffa should reconsider his statement and allow the truth to prevail.

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