OP-ED: What If They Didn’t Have Liberia in Their Heart?

The offices of just seven public officials are receiving over US$7.7 million from the national cake in 12 months. Should we give their offices this much? They are becoming overnight millionaires as a result of leeching on Liberia’s scarce resources. What do our people get or have to show for voting for them?

Liberians remain the poorest of the poor because their leaders are overly greedy and corrupt. I became perturbed beyond limit while driving through West Point Saturday evening. Our people are really catching hard time. It is rough and tough. They are in a ‘catch 22’ situation.

The road leading to southeastern Liberia is almost impassable due to its deplorable state even though George Weah, Bhofal Chambers, and Albert Chie are from southeastern Liberia. What do our people have for giving them power?

This is what they are getting in 12 months (2019-2020 National Budget):

  1. President George M. Weah – US$2,103,675
  2. Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor – US$1,837,246
  3. Speaker Bhofal Chambers – US$1,043,265
  4. Senate Pro-Temp Albert Chie – US$1,188,444
  5. Deputy Speaker Prince Moye – US$722,942
  6. Chief Justice Francis Korkpor – US$179,844
  7. Humanitarian Outreach for First Lady – US$700,000

The total for just seven offices is US$7,775,416. Why are we giving just seven offices over US$7.7 million when our people are dying slowly? Most of their children are out of school this academic year due to tuition hike vis-à-vis acute hardship. Civil servants are yet to be paid amid salary cuts. Over 85 percent of Liberians are unemployed and impoverished. Even those who have jobs are ‘working poor.’

Liberians have become beggars in their homeland. They lack access to basic social services, including health, safe drinking water, electricity, sanitation, food, and housing. Does Liberia have leaders or looters? The latter is inescapably factual in my opinion.

If they didn’t have Liberia in their heart, all of us would have been dead by now, I surmise. Where is the change they promised? Nothing is yet to change in West Point, Sonewein, PHP, Plumcor, Chicken Soup Factory, etc. The republic is in trouble as public officials hurriedly amass wealth.

Greed and corruption are on an industrial scale under ex-soccer star George M. Weah. In fact, President Weah has built an empire of wealth for himself in less than two years. I am troubled with tears in my eyes. This prevailing nightmare confronting our people is too aching to stomach. However, change is possible and only the people have the power to ignite a paradigm shift.

Featured photo by the Executive Mansion

Martin K. N. Kollie

Martin K. N. Kollie is currently a student of the University of Liberia studying Economics, a stalwart of the Student Unification Party and a Lux-In-Tenebris Scholar. Martin is also the West Africa Bureau Chief / Editor of Globe Afrique, a Columnist of The African Exponent and Youth Ambassador of the International Human Rights Commission. He can be reached by email.

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