The vice president for administration at the African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU), Dr. Q. Somah Paygai, has said Liberians must be ready to meet the country’s challenges as the country moves toward the 2017 general and presidential elections.
Dr. Paygai made the assertions over the weekend at the 18th Thanksgiving Exercise of the St. Peter Lutheran High School in Sinkor, which was witnessed by over 200 students, parents, guardians and friends.
He spoke on the theme “Fulfilling Liberia’s Promise,” and listed seven challenges as the country moves towards the 2017 elections. They include reclaiming the country’s constitutional democracy and keeping it important for the future; developing a new definition of Liberia’s national security for a changed world; and participating fully in a shrinking world. Other challenges are achieving an economy that works for all, not just for a privileged few; providing healthcare to every Liberian; resuming the march of progress toward equal opportunity for all; and restoring our basic values and reuniting our nation.
Dr. Paygai said Liberia’s founding fathers created a system of checks and balances that would protect Liberians from tyranny, and called on Liberians not to allow that system to be under threat today or at any time.
He called on each branch of the government to play its role and not pass it on to another branch, while at the same time calling on them to check each other’s power and reach.
“I am referencing the leadership that will respect and uphold the tenets of diplomacy, economic development, and the protection of human rights and all well-meaning citizens and partners of Liberia must unite ideas for the globalization pattern,” he said.
According to him, Liberians need to return to the time when the country influenced nations throughout the world by offering helping hands and advice. Those same principles of caring and sharing, he said, must still be manifested as the panacea for Liberia’s global economic outlook.
“Liberia must respond to globalization by preparing every man, woman and child to compete successfully in this new world. We must be dedicated to the general welfare of every citizen,” Dr. Paygai said.
He underscored the importance of the courts in stepping up for the challenges posed in the dispensing of justice and urged the National Legislature to always give critical support by performing their constitutional duty to oversee and check on the embodiment of the Executive.
He advised students, who he called the leaders of tomorrow, to look forward to and recognize only one method of leadership – leadership that will respect and uphold the tenets of diplomacy, economic development, and the protection of human rights.
According to him, one of the jarring consequences of inequality in Liberia is that the government is not fully capable of providing medical care for its citizens.
Dr. Paygai also called on the government to attract most of its citizens in the Diaspora who are in medical professions to return home and ensure that they are motivated by receiving better salaries and benefits in line with countries like South Africa and Ghana.
He lauded the students’ parents for their efforts so far in taking their children to the level of graduation, as well as the teachers for preparing the children academically.