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Why Is The Gov’t Still Overlooking Communication? The Case Of The Historic Providence Island

By Atty Philip N. Wesseh (PNW)

One of the areas I continue to concentrate on when dealing with some issues relative to the functions or operations of this government is COMMUMNICATION or INFORMATION DISSEMINATION.” Perhaps, this is so because it is my area of specialization, coupled with nearly 40 years of practice in mainstream journalism. As I said before and maintain today in this piece, my concern about this poor communication system about the government does not mean that those in this area are not qualified or competent.

But this might be the result of the lack of the “THREE C’s and S” which are “Coordination Collaboration, Cooperation and Strategy.”

For example, the head of the government’s communication team, Information Minister, Lenn Eugene Nagbe and I graduated from the same college at the University of Liberia. He is one of the best that the college has produced. Even before I joined the department as one of its part time instructor, I was aware of that.

Moreover, I saw his thesis, which is a prerequisite for graduation. Therefore, it would be an unfair characterization or an ill-advice to suggest or insinuate that this is due to incompetence. In addition, such would be a fallacy, as we say in reasoning. Today, I am highlighting this issue of poor communication because of what is happening at the PROVIDENCE ISLAND, something which has been my dream over the years.

the Martin Luther King Jr. Museum in Memphis, Tennessee

It was few days ago when I gathered from the FACEBOOK that the government was doing some works at the historic island to give it a facelift to boost its tourism program. Some had the belief that this was being done by a partner, until recently when the government through the FACEBOOK emphatically said it was the one undertaking the project. Frankly, when I heard that, my blood simmered in me as I stood dumbfounded, because such work has not been given the necessary publicity.

Even though I have not plied or visited that area for sometimes, I still feel that with the mounting concerns for the development of the island, it should had been given the deserving publicity, beginning with a “ground-breaking ceremony” with no cost to the government.

Personally, whenever I returned from a trip abroad, I do not only focus on the knowledge acquired from such professional programs or studies, but I always highlighted the tourism programs of those countries.

I usually did that, being fully aware of how in this country we have downplayed tourism, which could be a major source of income if developed.

Top to bottom the Forbidden (city) Palace of China and the Kpatawee Water Fall of Bong County, Liberian

These countries include the United States of America, Turkey, the People’s Republic of China and Malaysia. As for the US, I highlighted the Martin Luther King Jr. Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, while in China, is the Forbidden Palace.

In those articles relative to tourism, I always cited some of such sites in this country and how they can be developed or transformed to boost tourism programs. Some of them are the very Providence Island, where the FREED SLAVES settled in the 1800’s, the Kpatawee Waterfall  in Bong County, Lake Piso in Grand  Cape Mount County, Late Shepard in Maryland and the old edifice of the Providence Baptist Church in Monrovia, where the country’s Declaration of Independence was signed on JULY 26, 1847.

The other site of great importance is the area in Sanniquellie, Nimba County, where the idea of forming a continental body became known as the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was conceived by then President William V. S. Tubman of Liberia, the Late President Ahmed Sekou Toure of Guinea and the late President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. The OAU has now been transformed to the African Union (AU) with a gigantic headquarter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, built by the Chinese.

There are other areas in this country that can be turned or transformed into TOURISM SITES. They include the home of the late

President Tubman in Harper, Maryland County and the former Executive Mansion, which today houses the General Auditing Commission (GAC) on Ashmun Street.  It is because of these many sites people sometimes say, “LIBERIA IS RICH,” because of its geographical features and rich history.

From what I saw in those countries, even if we do not have the expertise to transform these areas into tourism sites, we can count on the goodwill of those who have such facilities like the USA and China, as our country still enjoys the goodwill of the international community

One of the newly built structures on the Providence Island depicting
the arrival of the freed slaves on the Island on the ship May Flower in the 1800s

In all sincerity, to see the government embarking on one of the things we have been yearning for over the years, this is welcoming news for all of us and a major boost to our country’s tourism program. This is a project in the interest of the society. This is why it is disheartening that the government embarked upon this without the much necessary publicity. The issue of government should not be shrouded in secrecy or what we locally refer to as “ZOE BUSH.”

Coincidentally, this issue has come out at the time of the celebration of “WORLD TOURISM DAY,” last weekend. Although I did not attend the occasion, I was impressed as I listened to LBS about comments from President Weah, Minister Samuel Tweah and some diplomats about the importance of tourism. 

Once more, the government needs to review its modus operandi as it relates to communication or information dissemination which is a “sine qua non” for any democratic government.

Howbeit, as I welcome this, I hope it would not be treated the usual way we treat government’s buildings without proper maintenance, thus making them to deteriorate very fast.

I Rest My Case

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