An independent presidential candidate in the October 10, 2017 elections, Senator Oscar Cooper, has attributed the backwardness and un-progressiveness of Liberia’s development to bad governance.
Speaking yesterday to reporters in Paynesville, Senator Cooper said that under his leadership, Liberians will take ownership of their own economy starting with the funds in the national budget for goods and services contracts to be awarded to Liberians. Senator Cooper said that for Liberia to develop economically and enhance its need, the leaders must possess the political will to prosecute those involving in such corrupt acts that are responsible for leading the backward. He said that as Liberians head for the polls in October, they should think twice and vote a leader that will defend, protect and stand for the rights of the people, and not those who lack the political will to prosecute violators and corrupt officials. “If Liberians want to fight corruption and take ownership of their economy, it’s about time that they elect the Oscar Cooper experience to take the country from its nightmare of deficit leadership”, he stressed. Senator Cooper, who is also one of the loudest voices at the Liberian Senate and an advocate for the reduction of lawmaker’s salaries, still holds to the fact that the wasteful spending of government on its officials is one of the factors affecting the progress of Liberia’s economy. He furthered that if elected as President, his first executive order will be for the reduction of salaries and benefits of the President, Vice President and all heads of public corporations of all executive government agencies. “The savings realized from the deductions will be appropriated in the national budget towards education, health, security, and affordable housing among other social services”, he added. “As for the two other branches of government which include the Legislature and the Judiciary, I would wish that the power of the people will persuade and encourage them to follow suit if they mean well for Liberia”, he added. Senator Cooper said in order to enforce the rule of law and discourage corruption under his presidency; there will be no interference from the President in the affairs of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), the General Auditing Commission (GAC), and the Public Procurement Concession Committee (PPCC) in executing their duties. He at the same time pledged his government’s commitment under his leadership to improve the agricultural sector through mechanized farming, assisting local farmers with technical and capacity needs through the use of innovative financing mechanisms. In order for Liberia to be developed, he explained, Liberia’s leadership must have hands on participation in the development of the country with specific focus on rural communities. “Monrovia isn’t Liberia. Therefore the Oscar Cooper leadership intends to begin some of its major road constructions from the rural areas. We will focus on developing the country starting from the Ivory Coast, Guinea, and Sierra Leone’s borders coming towards Monrovia. With this, our citizens in the rural communities will have access to their market and farms roads in transporting their goods and services thereby contributing to the economy more efficiently”, he said.