Liberia, A Nation Without Leadership

I seldom post about the situation in Liberia because it is gloomy, if you dwell in Liberian politics for a long time, you may die of heart attack. The plight of our people is worrisome, you feel so helpless because there’s little or nothing an individual may do to alleviate the burden on our struggling masses. It is up to the government of Liberia to initiate programs and policies to assist the people. A true government of the people will ensure the reduction in graft and corruption, improvement in the healthcare sector, education sector and improvement in the overall socioeconomic wellbeing of the Liberian people. The current CDC government in Liberia doesn’t care about improving the plight of the people, all they care about is corruption and merriment.

A week ago, I heard that the President of Liberia had travelled out of the country. According to the source, he had been gone for over 55 DAYS! Now most of you would be wondering if he was sick and needed advanced medical care in a foreign nation. The answer is NO! He has been away from the country for almost TWO MONTHS on a plehjay trip (in Liberian parlance, plehjay means good time, merriment, enjoyment). It is not that the president does much of his official tasks when he’s in Liberia, he does absolutely nothing. Prior to his dismissal for graft, Nathaniel Mcgil, his chief of staff, ran the nation while Weah was doing everything except being the leader elected by his people. President Weah is a musician, footballer, basketballer, and philanderer… any adjective except a LEADER.

As a veteran of the United States Army, I learned early on, the meaning of Leadership. The Army defines leadership as “the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation to accomplish the mission and improve the organization.” A leader provides the direction by setting the right example. I have seen no instance where President Weah has set an example as a leader for his subordinates to follow. His lackadaisical attitude has permeated throughout his administration, and this has proven to be a deterrent to progress. The blanketed immunity he provides to corrupt comrades and militants has destroy all transparency and accountability within the Liberian bureaucratic system. Currently, Liberia is #8 of the ten poorest nations in the world and 138 of 180 in ranking of the least corrupt nations worldwide. Please note that the least corrupt nation, Denmark is #1 on the list and Southern Sudan, is the most corrupt at 180. Southern Sudan is a nation that got their freedom a few years ago. Through civil conflicts, they are striving to form a government. Liberia has been an independent nation since 1847, what’s our excuse? We keep electing bad leaders to the highest office and expecting them to change overnight; have you ever seen a tiger change its stripe? NO!

Some may ask:

“If you say Weah is worthless, why are we worried about his absence? The answer is twofold:

He is the PRESIDENT of the nation; He was elected by the people to be president of Liberia. Having the leader around promotes stability within the nation. His presence deters speculations and innuendoes.

As President, Weah is obligated BY LAW to lead Liberia. Even if he’s leading through surrogates, he needs to be available. His presence is necessary because he sets the example for government officials and other civil servants to follow.

Though Weah is incompetent as President, it is unusual for a healthy leader to travel out of his nation for over two weeks. Mr. Weah has been gone for about two month, what kind of leader does that? It’s a leader who doesn’t care about his responsibility, nor his people. How can this leader be seeking reelection for a position when he is incapable of executing the tasks associated with the office? I blame the Liberian people. They do not care about their own wellbeing. A few cups of rice and “argo” oil will make them forget all of his transgression.

I hope that I’m wrong. I hope that the Liberian people have come to the realization that it takes professionalism and experience to run a nation. It takes a trained uncompromised civil service system to execute the daily tasks associated with running a bureaucracy. Without that, Liberia will remain on the list of poorest nations and the list of most corrupt nations in the world.

As we move towards election season, please understand that Liberia cannot continue to withstand years of incompetence and mediocrity. We need leaders who have the experience in leading, we need leaders who will build Liberia up using clear policies and regulations. We need leaders who understand that their election victory signifies a contract with the citizens that they will work assiduously to solve the numerous problems that confronts the nation every day. George Weah and his gang of CDC hooligans are not equip for the task of leading a soccer team, much less equipped to run a nation.

I admire George Weah as an individual, I’ve interacted with him and to me, he is a very nice guy. My personal admiration of him doesn’t change how I feel about his leadership or the lack thereof.

St. Clarence Avery

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