The squabble has not only splintered the House right in the middle, but also stalled adoption of the national budget for fiscal year 2016-2017. Without the passage of the budget, the implementation of key development projects will definitely be stalled. Civil servants pay will continue to be delayed. This ugly situation is further exacerbated by the fast depreciation of the Liberian dollar, just as prices of commodities keep skyrocketing. And as ordinary Liberians prepare to scrounge money here and yonder to send their children to school early September, our honorable lawmakers, instead of working hard to pass the national budget, they are busy fighting one another over who should preside in plenary.
This alarming situation has in fact caught the attention of our international partners. The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General Farid Zarif just told the UN Security Council that the leadership war spells dangerous consequences for progress in Liberia, especially as the country prepares for the 2017 presidential and legislative elections.
“In Liberia, as anywhere else, the prevention of conflict can only be effective in the context of broader social, political and economic transformations, and the respect for the rule of law,” Zarif said.
What Mr. Zarif is saying in simple Liberian English is that you cannot be called lawmaker when you yourself have become lawbreaker.
The Liberian people are tired of these gimmicks. We elected members of the House to represent our interest; not to be obstacles to our progress and welfare. But even as the country reels under economic shocks; even as fathers and mothers scratch their heads in bewilderment over how to pay their children school fees; even as marketers spend weeks on rotten roads because their produce are stuck in mud for days on end, you our lawmakers are only thinking about your pay check. Yes, your agriculture break has been extended. Your fat salaries will continue to roll even as you hold separate sessions.
But like we say in Liberia, 99 days for rogue; one day for master. Whatever you do, the 2017 elections will be held. The people will separate the sheep from the goat.