Liberia: Misuse of Public Funds Will Not Go Unpunished – Pres. Boakai Assures UMU Graduates

Monrovia — President-elect Joseph Nyumah Boikai has declared that, in the pursuit of transparency, every outgoing official of the previous government will undergo an audit.

“As transparency and accountability remain our goals, we want to reiterate our commitment to a comprehensive audit of the stewardship of the previous government. It’s important to clarify that this audit is not intended as a witch hunt. We aim to send a message to our current officials that the misuse of public resources will not go unpunished,” President Boikai stated.

As the keynote speaker at the 19th graduation exercises of the United Methodist University, President Boikai, who received an honorary doctorate of humanitarian degree, addressed the young graduates on the theme: “Transforming the Mindset for Societal Change.” He emphasized that a positive mindset can contribute to societal improvement. However, he criticized some Liberians for spending too much time tearing each other down on social media, stressing the need to walk together for faster progress.

“Liberians spend so much time bringing each other down and miss the opportunity to uplift themselves. As the African proverb goes, to move faster, we must walk together. Therefore, you have to change your mindset to change society. Your degree should not only be about the knowledge you acquired but also about how well you will use it to bring about societal change,” he emphasized.

The UMU graduated 1,162 students in various disciplines, attracting well-wishers, including former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Degrees were conferred in BA in Liberal Arts, BSN in Nursing, BA in Mass Communications, BSC in Economics, BSC in Chemistry and Biology, BBA in Management, and more.

However, the program ended in confusion when the administration, citing time constraints, announced that graduates would not be called out by their colleges. Instead, all colleges were called simultaneously, leading to overcrowding on the platform. In the ensuing chaos, the administration resorted to throwing diploma covers into the air for students to grab. A female graduate expressed her frustration, saying:

“They are throwing our diploma covers to us like dogs, but when they were collecting over US $500 from us as graduation fees, they were doing it with precision because it was about money.”

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