— LRP's political leader promises food for all, resources for all, and Liberia for all, but what are his chances at the polls come October?
The newly nominated standard bearer of the Liberia Restoration Party (LRP), Allen Brown, has a huge vision for Liberia.
He wants to place Liberia on a trajectory that would lead to an unprecedented era in its history if given the mantle of authority to lead the country for the next six years in the ensuing 2023 presidential election. The LRP political leader, no doubt, has a huge social program or package for the country if given the opportunity.
But the question is whether Brown and his LRP can convince the Liberian electorate to look decisively in his direction, with barely seven months left until the polls. However, an upset in every political contest is possible. It could be out of this that Brown and his LRP’s convictions grow.
For them, they already have an agenda. Brown said in a speech delivered in Bomi Hills last week that his victory at the polls will be the rebirth of a new Liberia, as the state will begin to move into an era of equality, unity, integrity, growth acceleration, transformation, and restoration.
This new and vibrant Liberia, Brown said, will be a microcosm of the best that “democracy in the Western Hemisphere has to offer.”
He said the LRP presents the best choice for the Liberian people as the country now finds itself in a life or death situation.
“The redemption of Liberia is upon us,” he said. “And the choice is clear, inclusion and coexistence or exclusion and nonexistence, that is the choice before us today if we want to build a nation.”
But Brown says he is not here to pick fuss with anyone, given that others have built their political campaigns by dwelling on the shortcomings of other candidates. “I do not seek the nation’s highest seat for the purpose of disparaging others,” he said, opposing self-righteous indignation, but rather to address pertinent issues so as to improve the lives of each and every Liberian.
To ensure this, Brown and his LRP have a vision to make Liberia a bread basket, not only engaging in agriculture to feed the citizenry, but also to feed the world beyond its borders.
The United Nations’ latest State of Food Security and Nutrition report shows the world is moving backwards in efforts to eliminate hunger and malnutrition as the number of people affected by hunger globally rose to as many as 828 million in 2021, an increase of about 46 million since 2020 and 150 million since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. These prove that the world is moving further away from its goal of ending hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030.
Brown sees these global challenges as opportunities for Liberia to leverage upon and position itself to accomplish greater things developmentally, as the country has the potential to become a global food hub.
“The UN report predicts a tremendous demand for food in the future, and we can only use five percent of our arable land to feed ourselves and the world.”
In what some would consider a very ambitious plan, Brown noted that a LRP government will introduce a policy that will provide at least one meal a day for each Liberian.
This, he said is important, because a hungry individual is a disadvantaged individual, and there is no possibility of growing a nation when its citizens are hungry.
According to a recent World Bank report, over two million Liberians are unable to support themselves, said Brown.
“So, it starts with ensuring that our people can eat, and we have seen an example of a government that fed its people,” he said while drawing from an example by former US President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who during the Great Depression, opened soup kitchens as one of the solutions to the problems that the United States faced at the time.
Brown says he has a practical knowledge of a feeding program. “I want you to know that your interest is my interest. I have been part of a feeding ministry for years, Feeding Peter’s Kids, headed by Pinky Bemah. We have fed over ninety thousand children, and even adults over the years, and still, it seems that the more people that we feed, the greater the demand,” he said.
With respect to other aspects of the economy, he said his government will encourage manufacturing, the service industry, technology and climate.
With a vibrant and booming economy, he believes that Liberia, with its small population, would become a melting pot boasting of an array of different nationalities.
“We must explore joint ventures with international companies that are engaged in businesses that we need,” the LRP political leader said. “We are a nation of around five million people, and in a robust economy, we will easily absorb our citizens. This means that we will eventually need to import people, an attractive economy will do that.”
“We cannot wait until the demand happens to formulate an immigration policy; we have to be clear now about how we want to absorb others and what our policy will be as it relates to the path to become a Liberian citizen.”
Additionally, a LRP government would ensure that infrastructure development happen in all fifteen counties simultaneously, and, this, Brown noted, that can happen through private sector initiatives.
“There is a correlation between accessibility to clean drinking water, accessibility to affordable electricity, and poverty,” he said, believing that the more inaccessible clean drinking water and affordable electricity is to our citizens, the poorer they will be.
“It’s that simple. I will make sure that clean drinking water is accessible. I will make sure that affordable electricity is accessible,” he said. “I support BOT’s (Build, Operate, and Transfer) as ways to build national roads thereby helping our farmers transport their produce. Moreover, roads and infrastructure encourage other areas of development.”
The LRP political leader believes that a strong and truly independent judiciary will greatly enhance security, and ultimately deter crimes against women, raping of children, and other heinous acts of violence.
“Government is responsible to secure the lives and property of its citizens. Fortunately for us, we are traditional allies with the United States, because I would engage them on security from the standpoint that vulnerable and insecure nations threaten the security of secured nations.”
He also noted that greater emphasis will be placed on the well-being of our children. “Let them be children again, growing up in an environment that fosters love, innocence, discipline, integrity, and responsibility,” he said. “Broken children, become broken adults, and broken adults create a broken nation.”
“We must resource our youths, providing opportunities in education, sports, the arts, and fine arts, understanding that a nation’s children and youths are truly its future. If we build our children, if we build our youth, if we build men and women, collectively, they will build Liberia.”