By Atty Philip N. Wesseh (PNW)
Yesterday, this paper carried a story captioned: “ CDC Wants Reshuffle In Gov’t,… Calls For Withdrawal of Ellen-Appointed Ambassadors,” in which the National Executive Committee of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change [CDC] made several recommendations it believes would greatly and significantly help to reverse the negative trends of development, especially the economy of the country. First of all, let me make it clear that I share some of the issues raised and at the same time disagree with some of them.
Making the recommendation at a major press conference last Tuesday, CDC’s Chairman Mulbah Morlu recommended among many things calling on President George Weah to conduct a reshuffle at the senior levels of governance and also to recall all those foreign Ambassadors appointed by former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
The party accentuated, “Recall all of Sirleaf-era Ambassadors and senior diplomats in foreign Service who may be working counter to the agenda of the government of the Republic of Liberia,” CDC National Chairperson said.
Additionally, the party called on government headed by the CDC’s political leader to remove those the party called “underachievers and undermine functioning in senior level positions, especially those who appoint cronies to critical positions at line Ministries and Agencies to scheme a counter-progressive agenda.
Also, it called for an immediate investigation into the acquisition of real estate properties acquired by officials of this government during this current period of employment; this process may validate how officials and other employees working in this government acquired new properties and assets so as to exonerate them from the corrupt perception index.
“Commission a comprehensive audit of the past administration and our administration to date so as to establish the facts surrounding the country’s resources and how it has/were being used; prioritize our civil servants timely salary payments as these are the people who ensure that government functions properly.”
“Ensure that all public officials with the exception of the President, Vice President, Speaker, Chief Justice, Pro-tempore and Deputy Speaker attending government functions outside of Liberia be made to fly economy class and that private trips using government funding be immediately aborted.”
“Reinforce the existing protocol or give attention to the agreement establishing the Coalition for Democratic Change for a more effective cohesion of the three parties and allies,” the party recommended to be implemented by government.
Chairman Morlu who was flanked by District #8 Representative, Moses Acarious Gray and District #5 lawmaker, Thomas Fallah also recommended that they must ensure that those who contributed to the downfall of the past governments and have common reputations of being corrupt be distanced from the hallowed halls of the Presidency as they can in no way be Liberia’s domestic or international faces.
The party called on the Liberian leader to address the nation in line with current economic emergency that has led the President to request the Legislature’s request, reassuring all Liberians on the future direction of the economy. Morlu said the party will not hesitate to distance itself from officials of government who will transgress from the popular mandate upon which “We were elected.”
Frankly, I agree with the party on the issue of effecting changes in the government because it is axiomatic that the country is not making progress. This ugly trend recently led the
Senior Pastor of the Providence Baptist Church, Rev. Dr. Samuel Reeves to call for a complete overhaul of the government.
In his words as was published by the FrontPage Africa Newspaper, Rev. Reeves among other things said, “There have been too many goals against the team. It’s time for good members of the team to get on the field and win the game for Liberia and God’s people. Fire the entire government and put a brand new team on the field to win the for Liberia.”
There is no argument that the present team is not performing to expectation, therefore, it now behooves “Coach” Weah to carry out the requisite changes for progress so that it would be “forward ever backward never,” just to borrow from Ghana’s first prime Minister and President, Dr. Kwame NKruma.
There is no gainsaying that many of those in the high echelon of government are friends and buddies, but considering the dismal performances of some, the issue of friendship or “buddism,” should have no place in the public sector; this is time to incorporate people to deliver the goods; this is no time for mediocrity and ineptitude; this should not be time for flunkies, but goal getters.
My next point of agreement with the party’s recommendation is that which says that the Liberian leader to address the nation in line with current economic emergency that has led the President to request the Legislature’s request, reassuring all Liberians on the future direction of the economy.
Yes, this is a welcoming point because for too long the President has been too mute on many issues. As I said recently in an article that the President’s comments on issues would greatly help to calm the storm or provide assurance to the people who are experiencing difficulties because of the present economic situation, which is adding more frustration because of the “NO LIBERIAN BANKNOTES” in commercial banks.
In time of crisis like the country is experiencing now, the President MUST always say something, as the leader of the country or captain of the ship.
My third point of agreement with the party is on the issue of prioritizing the timely payments of civil servants’ salary, as these are the people who ensure that government functions properly. The civil servants, as we know, are the fulcrums of the government and it’s advisable for them to be paid on time to encourage, motivate and energize them to increase their velocity to work.
Conversely, my only disagreement with the CDC’s recommendations is that which relates to recalling ambassadors appointed by former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
The party called for the recall of all those ambassadors appointed by former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. The party said, “Recall all of Sirleaf-era Ambassadors and senior diplomats in Foreign Service who may be working counter to the agenda of the government of the Republic of Liberia.”
I reject this with vehemence because it is naive to say that because these individuals were appointed by the former President they are working against the agenda of the government. The CDC fails to know that government is continuity.
It is only the administration that changes. The CDC cannot provide any incontrovertible evidence of any wrongdoings or diplomatic breach for those they are targeting. If the party wants to make changes in the Foreign Service, which calls for experience, it can do so, but to cite the issue that they were appointed by the former President is amorphous and unpersuasive.
Is it a crime to work for previous governments? Certainly, I say a
BIG NO! In fact, this is even against the spirit of reconciliation by trying to exclude certain Liberians.
All-in-all, as a student of Mass Communication, let me say that from the press conference of the CDC, I surmise that all is not well in the party, as some feel marginalized and disrespected. However, this is not the issue for today’s discussion.
I Rest My Case.