Rev. Dr. Slewion P. Lewis
Appointment to public office is a privilege and not a right, and as a result, it should be considered an opportunity for one to serve his or her country diligently with patriotism and not a trough to amass disputed wealth to the disadvantage of the masses.
Over the years, many who served and are serving in public offices have equated the appointment to public office to the acquisition of questionable wealth and, as such, come to government positions with the mindset of acquiring wealth to the disadvantage of the suffering masses. Because of this inclination, many public officials who come to public positions "poor" or with "nothing" turn out to be rich within the twinkling of an eye and, in many instances, leave with impunity or unquestioned.
Serving in public office is and should be a chance for one to make the difference and place the interest of the country above self, with the aim of giving back to one's country. Holding public office should not be just about money, prestige, fame, or amassing wealth, but working hard for a noble cause and being committed to one's responsibilities of serving your fellow citizens and country. Serving in a public portfolio calls for doing the right things even when it is not easy and upholding the highest professional and ethical standards because of the high expectations from the public and those who entrusted you with such opportunities.
Occupying a government or public office is a service to one's country and an honor and opportunity to give back to your country and not a chance to loot state's resources or enrich oneself. It demands serving with the highest degree of integrity, patriotism, and calls for fair and transparent governance and a stewardship of public resources with accountability.
Therefore, as President Boakai will be appointing members of his cabinet and heads of autonomous agencies in this new administration, let those would-be appointees be a reminder that they are coming to serve and not to enrich themselves or loot the state's resources at the expense of the suffering masses. Let all would -be cabinet ministers and heads of autonomous agencies in this government see their appointment as a sacred duty and an opportunity to serve the country, not a means to steal and live in luxuries and funfairs. Let them come with integrity, commitment, honesty, and the fear of God aligned with their love for country.
While we admonish all would -be appointees in this new government to see their appointment as an opportunity to serve the country and not a conduit to amass wealth, we must also commend President H. E. Joseph N. Boakai for his promise to appoint individuals with integrity in his cabinet and make compulsory the declaration of assets by all members of his cabinet, beginning with himself as president. Also, the statements by the President that his government will not be a government based on friendship and there will be no business as usual are highly welcoming and in the best interest of the country. Similarly, we commend His Excellency Joseph N. Boakai for his promise to restore dignity and integrity to public service through livable remuneration and pension schemes for civil servants and foreign service government workers. We see these assertions as the beginning of a verifiable and profound leadership that will indeed rescue our country. We pray that President Boakai will hold up to these promises and lead by example, as we assure him of our prayers for God's guidance and wisdom.
Remember, "The Lone Star forever, the Lone Star forever!
O long may it float o'er land and o'er sea!
Desert it, no, never!
Uphold it forever!
O shout for the Lone Star's banner - all hall!
About the author
The Rev. Dr. Slewion P. Lewis is an ordained priest of the Episcopal Church of Liberia who currently serves as Dean of the Emmanuel W. Johnson College of Theology at the Cuttington University Undergraduate Program, Director of Theological Education of the Episcopal Church of Liberia and Priest-in-Charge at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Sergeant Kollie Town (SKT), Suakoko, Bong County.