‘Don’t Blame Dillon, Blame the Messy System’

Sen. Abraham Darius Dillon

-- Accountability Lab executive, said as he discussed a wide range of accountability issues ahead of his plan ideation workshop with young people across the country

Lawrence Yealue, Executive Director of Accountability Lab Liberia, has called on fellow Liberians and all others following Liberian politics to not blame Senator Abraham Darius Dillon for lying about a plane ticket by which he flew on to the U.S. but the “messy political system” of the country.

On the OK Morning Rush (early morning radio talk show on OK FM 99.5), Yealue said: “It is sad that Liberia continues to go down the drain rather than rising up to meet up with the advancing realities in the contemporary world.”

“About Dillon’s hopping here and there on things he says, including his lies and apologies, there is no need to blame him. He is not a saint and there has never been one in this country. The system is messy and we are painfully living with the realities,” he said.

He added: “It is not his fault, but the corrupt foundation upon which the political system and many other systems of our country are thriving. Don’t expect any change from them because they don’t have the discipline and courage to do it.”

According to Yealue, family life is an integral part of society and the best is expected to come from there, as well as from learning institutions for better service to the public; but the very homes from which families come breed corruption and are living with the menace.

“Parents intentionally compel their children to lie. For a case, a parent will be indoors but tell his or her child to tell whoever comes to see him or her that he or she is not at home. In rare cases, however, some children develop the courage to tell the visitor “my ma or pa is inside but he or she says I should tell you that he or she is not inside.”

“Imagine that. Educating children to lie about simple things and they grow up believing that it is a good thing to tell lies, even if there is no need to do so,” Yealue said.

He further noted that integrity and accountability are not based on loud noise or shouting on or about issues, but sincerity to oneself first, and to those who believe in you.

Yealue was on the talk show to discuss more on how he will roll out his upcoming workshops for youth but chose to also discuss national issues that are negatively impacting the country and the very young people he is working with.

“You people are journalists. Take time and listen to many young people who call your shows. They always sound angry. On social media, they are even more agitated about the way those who they have campaigned for are running the affairs of the country. It is painful but there is still a hope for them. We will contribute our best to helping those we can in order for them to make the needed impacts in their own communities,” he assured.

Accountability Lab is a social action program that promotes and honors integrity through training of young people in technology, social action, talents development and leadership skills.

“Many young people lack the opportunities to attend good schools. A lot of them don’t live in cities but they are equally smart and capable of learning good things to impact change. We need to stand up for them. We have to do it now, or tomorrow will be too late,” Yealue admonished.

He explained that due to lack of developed and independent minds, Liberia continues to experience very low output and gains from its youthful population.

“Universities graduate several accountants, doctors, engineers and many others, but how many of them are critical thinkers? A lot of them think going to school is only about getting jobs. They are not critically thinking out of the box on what they need to do to impact change.

“For instance, since the colonial days we have been told that Liberia’s geographic size is forty three thousand square miles. We accepted that thought but up to now, there is no cartographer from our land who has challenged this idea by conducting a new research, practically to prove it wrong or right,” he said.

Yealue pointed out that in most instances, and mainly at debates, people who shout the loudest are perceived to be making more sense, as compared to those who take their own time to speak after analyzing what they have to say to the same audience.

“This is our problem. This is why corruption has become something normal among us. This is why those who don’t have, crave to have the opportunities others have so they too can steal to improve their lives. This is the sad reality we are living with and until tangible actions are taken, Liberia will never move forward,” Yealue averred.

Dismissal of Bishop Alan Kalyee from RIA 

Lawrence Yealue said he was disappointed when President George Weah dismissed Bishop Alan Klayee from his post as Managing Director at the Roberts International Airport (RIA).

“He should not have been fired, but the Minister of Health and the head of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL). They put us in this mess. The reemergence of COVID-19, mainly the new variant, is as the result of their negligence in the testing they are conducting at the Airport.

“Reports are there that people got tested but their results were overly delayed. Some even had to miss their flight schedules while others coming into the country maneuver to leave the Airport without getting the results. The Health Minister should have resigned by now if only accountability and integrity were anything serious in our country,” he said.

Missing out on youthful population

Yealue said the Liberian case of a youthful population has become a sad story.

“According to our constitution, at the age of twenty five, one is mature enough to contest for public office, mainly as a Legislator. At thirty five or more, you can become President. At that age, you are no longer a youth but an adult who knows better. But sadly, because of the extreme poverty and the political conspiracy, many people in their late thirties and even forties, consider themselves youths.

“They are categorized into youth leagues, women leagues or wings and so on. That is mental slavery. They don’t want them to excel. They don’t want them to aspire for the position of standard bearer in the parties they are. This is the sad thing but ignorantly, the very so-called youth have become complacent and living within their own minds’ captivity,” he said.

He said his upcoming workshops will be held in Bong for Central and northern parts of the country while Bomi will host the Western side.

“Montserrado will stand alone because of its huge population while Buchanan hosts the workshop for the coastal side, including Grand Bassa, Sinoe and Rivercess Counties,” Yealue added.

He further explained that he will work with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Federation of Liberian Youth to work with the youth across the country.