Are there lessons to be learned from the recent outpour of ordinary citizens who participated in the so-called CDC rally? No matter what, the Liberians for Change Movement believes that this mass gathering of mainly disadvantaged youths and ordinary citizens must capture the attention of every patriotic and peace loving Liberian citizen. Let’s establish the fact that while our voter registration listings total 2,183,683 registered eligible voters, which would render the numbers associated with the mass rally negligible at under 10%, the fact remains that the frustrations and hopes expressed by those thousands of youths and ordinary citizens through the terrible weather and long distances travelled should not be ignored by the entire country. The frustrations, hope and aspirations expressed by this group through their various utterances during the march caught our attention during our observer mission. One thing came out clear that this group represents thousands of other disadvantaged youths and ordinary citizens that were not out in the streets from every facet of this country although some of their choices of candidates and party affiliations might be different. “you say your know book, but the country dirty like this” , “you know book, you na’ know book, that Weah we want”, “We coming enjoy this country now”, “All our trouble finish, we tired suffering”…etc. etc. When you listen to these kinds of statements, you are reminded of similar frustrations, hope and aspirations of ordinary Liberians in April 1980, November 1985, Dec to June 1989/1990, August 1997, and August to October 2005.
Fellow Liberians, the recipe for violence will be knocking at our doors, if we do not come together as one people to address the issues and policies in unison that will bring about lasting relief to disadvantaged youths and ordinary Liberians. According to the United Nation’s World Food Program, 1.3 million Liberians live in extreme poverty and food insecurity. We as a nation are also faced with the reality of 80 percent of unemployment and the fact that 83.2 percent or 3 Million of our current population are between the ages from 0 to 39 years of age according to multiple sources including the United States Central Intelligence Agency Fact Book.
We need to not only close loopholes in a underperforming budget system, but stop leakages that are depriving Liberians of Millions of dollars in lost taxes and expand our revenue collection and budgetary allocation. We need to address the immediate issues that will increase our revenue collection while we work to connect our idled and unemployed population to mechanized and value added income generating activities on our vast underutilized land for viable cash and food crops We need to address how we monitor and place physical teams at our concessions to tally what is being exploited and also another independent team at our ports to weigh and inspect what is being shipped. We need to stimulate the Liberian economy by providing new credit to Liberian businesses and consumers in Liberian Dollars, while stabilizing the value of our currency through carefully designed Central Bank policies. We need to address the envisaged, researched and business plan developed, National Business Development and Advisory Service (NBDAC) Regional Centers to support organized and well-coordinated business linkages for Liberian businesses. We need to address the awarding of ALL Government of Liberia and Concessions contracts for goods and services to ONLY verifiable Majority Liberian Shared Holding Entities. We need to address the issue of the APM Terminal Deal and make it work for Liberia in terms of revenue sharing. We need to revisit the revenue sharing at our largest Gold producing company in Cape Mount and address the security of illicit foreign miners in the country, especially in Sinoe. We need to address the issue of building a smelting plant for Liberia through a private public partnership framework that will produce steel products for Liberia and create thousands of jobs and create an ownership framework that will incorporate ordinary Liberians. We need to address the construction of modern homes with electricity and running water for thousands of Liberians that would be benefitting from these new income schemes. We need to address the issue of allocating at least two hectares of land starting with at least 5000 ordinary citizens in our main bread basket counties for rice, cocoa and palm.
WE WILL NOT GET ALL THESE GOOD THINGS FOR OUR CITIZENS, UNLESS WE ARE PREPARED TO CONFRONT THE BIG ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM WITH OUR TEARS AND BLOOD
We need to come together no matter the party, to endorse a national inclusive socio- economic road map of issues that would bring relief to our citizens and nation. WE CAN FIX THIS, LET FIX IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!