Monrovia- The Unity Party’s presidential candidate has harshly criticized the Liberian government for the way it is conducting the nation’s population and housing census. Ambassador Joseph Boakai, the candidate for the UP, compared Liberia under President George Weah to a ship that is continuing to drift in wide waters without a captain.
In a statement to the nation and its people on pressing concerns facing the state and the people of Liberia, Ambassador Boakai criticized the government. “We continue to watch other acts of poor leadership, irresponsible behavior, lack of concern, impunity, and wanton misuse of our finances on the part of the president in the middle of misery on our people.”
He claims that President Weah has left the country and will be gone for the next seven weeks without providing the Liberian people with any concrete justification for such a protracted absence. He also claims that other government representatives could have represented the country at the meetings and countries that President Weah visited.
“We are aware that President Weah’s presence and absence are the same, but at least with minimal impact on our financial resources, it goes without saying that his prolonged absence from the country without a justifiable reason is unique in the history of the Liberian presidency.”
The former vice president spoke on the national census and remarked that it had been hampered by issues, with outright corruption and a lack of clearly defined policies. “At the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Services, we observed the hauling and pulling in a narrative of stealing money intended for the Census by dishonest personnel (LISGIS). Is LISGIS truly equipped to perform a thorough national census? Are the staff members who were allegedly trained and rapidly hired able to swiftly and effectively gather the vital national data required to establish benchmarks and policies that will fundamentally alter the development of the nation?”
The former vice president claimed that the haphazard partisan training, which was also marred by discontent, protests, and demonstrations across the country, shows that the CDC-led government has not understood the seriousness and importance of the national census, as without these accurate empirical data, noting that all planning for the nation will be based on falsehood, leaving no basis for making important national developmental decisions.
“I feel that because of the egregious mismanagement and lack of responsibility of budgetary monies at LISGIS, the process that is extremely important to the country and to our partners for reasons of national development has been damaged.”
Boakai expressed skepticism about how effectively the process of counting individuals will be carried out throughout the nation and he urged residents to cooperate if and when they are able to be counted.
“Your participation in the census is a civic duty, so let’s keep in mind that “two wrongs cannot make a right! But allow me to add that I demand that the fired officials as well as everyone else connected to fraud cases be charged right away and held liable for misappropriated funds. We will not continue to put up with the carelessness, heedlessness, and dishonesty that are associated with this CDC-led government despite my appeal for your participation in the census process. We should criticize President Weah and other government officials as often as we can for their horrible leadership style, which is bringing our nation back to a failing, pariah state.”
The Unity Party leader attacked the Weah Administration’s careless handling of state matters, in particular, how little attention his administration devoted to the Liberian people’s right to accurate information about topics that affected their everyday lives. He also attacked the president’s expensive travels, saying they put a strain on the country’s taxpayers.
UP Boakai called on the Weah Government to work fully with the National Election Commission to ensure the electoral process is free, fair, and credible and insist on the timely registration of voters through the biometric system to avoid the duplication of votes and the manipulation of election results. “We, therefore, challenge the NEC to provide timely the needed education and awareness to the population to ensure a credible outcome.”
The former vice president claims that elections are extremely contentious matters and that they should be conducted with a high level of justice and transparency. The NEC should work to close the sad chapter of the nation’s history that has been marked by conflict related to elections, he said, adding that history has demonstrated that the improper handling of elections has greatly contributed to conflicts in the country. Amb. Boakai urged the government of Liberia to ensure that the nation never again enters the shadowy stage of shame and degradation.
“Let us always be reminded that all we do as a nation and people should be characterized by deeds that progress economic growth, peace, and stability.”
Reported by: Augustine Octavius