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Thursday, June 20, 2024

THERE SHOULD BE NO BIG DEAL WHEN A GOVERNMENT DOES WHAT IT WAS ELECTED FOR…

Date:

A Patriot’s Diary 

With Ekena Nyankun Juahgbe-Droh Wesley 

President Joseph Boakai’s critics would continue to herald that his little over 21,000 marginal victory following last November’s run-off put the country at a practically divided pedestal. Does it really matter what manner of win in as Boakai got a considerable figure to shamefully retire former soccer legend, George Manneh Weah? It doesn’t as it were.

Historically, the politics in the small West African nation has been characterised by sheer nonchalance when it comes to even the minute progress a previous administration made to national development.

Though a military leader, Samuel Kanyon Doe implemented various projects inherited from his predecessor including the Sports Complex, Police Barracks, New Georgia and Barnesville Housing Estates, as well as the Liberia National Headquarters – the slain President William R. Tolbert. Unarguably, there was a precarious transition from civilian rule to military takeover. Despite the coloration of the regime- it was simply “government in continuity. ”

When it was time for the late President Doe to embark on his new vision for Liberia, the trappings of a self-destructive conflict enveloped him brutishly! Matadi Housing Estates, S.K.D. Boulevard, Kesselly Boulevard, the proposed Ganta-Harper highway, the National Housing Bank, among others were lined up.

In spite of the chaotic slaughterhouse Charles Taylor and his backers imposed on Liberians, a typical laissez faire adopted by the international community kept his regime wantonly isolated. But the former warlord had won an ECOWAS-backed election in 1997 dubbed “Proportional Representation.” Perhaps Taylor was not the face the international community had anticipated after all.

A looming Rogue State remained suffocated until Charles Taylor was shamelessly whisked out of office into coerced exile in the Eastern State of Calabar. Taylor’s purported face-saving smartness saw him comically resign thus giving way to his Vice President, the late Moses Blah to step up in the line of succession. It was all a charade! Embattled across two major frontiers in a war he could not win, a tactical resignation was simply foolhardy. History will remember him for some kind of resignation.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf took over a country bereft along all fringes of socioeconomic development. As in the slogan of Joseph Boakai’s newfound loyalists “small-small,” surely former President Sirleaf made twickling strides that brought an impactful turnaround. The Central Bank and Ministry of Health started under the late President Doe were completed during Madam Sirleaf’s era.

In the craze of continued Liberia’s naive party-driven propagandistic politics; loyalists cum enablers- in their cheaply patronizing grand scheme would ignore the doctrine of government as an epitome of continuity, yet resort to heralding individuals rather than the structure of governance that informed related accomplished milestones and projects.

Under President Sirleaf, a lot of proposed projects particularly roads were in the works in terms of design, acquisition of donor funding vis-a-vis level of progress made. Former Public Works Minister, Gyude William Moore’s handover notes cannot be scrapped! Under George Weah’s CDC, some of these projects got off the ground but Weah’s surrogates and ardent supporters saw them as CDC-inspired. Like the Brits would say, “They’re not to blame.” Surely, they aren’t to blame in every meaning of the phrase, though.

Visible signs of ongoing progress at the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation simply point to the trappings of government in continuity. When Mo Ali landed at LWSC, it was just timely and not miraculous that he had to sign an agreement for the expansion of LWSC’s services to parts of Monrovia and its environs. Lest we forget, every leader comes to the fore with a certain degree of pedigree or for a better word, ‘zest.’ Mo Ali’s job is technical and so being out and about to get the job done speaks volumes.

When Liberians chose President Joseph Boakai over footballer – president – George Weah, they sought to settle for the lesser of two evils. They voted for Joseph Boakai for change! They cast their ballots to make Joseph Boakai their President to end a nightmare. Indeed Weah was an unpardonable nightmare!

President Boakai has told the Liberian people that his plan to change Liberia is embedded in his ARREST Agenda. Whether Boakai won Weah by hundredfold or thousandfold is irrelevant. Liberians asked Boakai to provide a new leadership characterized by hope, quality in education, health, self-sufficiency in food, improved road network, probity and accountability because Weah failed dismally.

But Weah’s name will go down in history for building sports parks across Monrovia.  We’ll, the rest of the country can go to hell! For those who thought stardom was a composite for national leadership and governance, Weah’s madness is a sickening reminder that you cannot give a boy a man’s job. Give Joseph Boaka credit for reminding Liberians – as such though.

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