The political leader of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE), Dr. J. Mills Jones has said that democracy as a form of government does not have meaning when those who are governed are hungry.
As a result he said Liberians must not choose their leaders out of fear in October elections because they now have the capacity to select new leaders with track record to be able to build a new nation for the betterment of the country and the people.
Speaking at the Christian Literature Crusader Church Leaders Summit at the Trumpet Baptist Central Church in Ganta, Nimba County recently, he said Liberians should not be complacent with the decisions they will make to ensure that the capacity to build a new nation is not undermined.
Dr. Jones, defending his party’s theme of hope, said Liberia is still a land of possibilities that can only be realized if the people vote into office the right leadership to break away from the past.
He made reference to the theme of the summit, ‘Leading in a time of transition,’ and said for the church, transition is a constant challenge, growing out of humanity’s continuous march on the highway of modernity.
“One could argue that the day the church settles down in the sea of stability will be the beginning of an existential stretch to the church as an institution and more importantly as a place of hope to sound the gospel of Jesus Christ to all peoples,” Dr. Jones said.
He said the same is true for the state because the leadership of a nation must not only be prepared to deal with the challenges of change but must also be agents of change.
Dr. Jones quoted the late reggae king Bob Marley and challenged Liberians to emancipate their minds from mental slavery, because “no one would do it for us.” He said it is about time Liberians break with the past and do things that would reflect how long Liberia has been an independent country.
“By July this year,” he said, “Liberia will be 170 years old as a sovereign nation,” adding that he regrets that Liberia’s age does not positively reflect on the country’s development, because it is a historical fact that the country lacks visionary leaders, which has held it back.
“This is one of the enduring lessons of history and it is a lesson that the people of Liberia must accept and acknowledge because it is the scarcity of visionary leadership over the long period of our history that has led to the sorry state of our country today,” he said.
Speaking to the Christian community, Dr. Jones took consolation in the Bible, and though he did not give the specific quotation, he said a nation without vision is a recipe for the destruction of that nation.
Probing the conscience of his listeners on why Liberians have become so immune to development as compared to neighboring countries, Dr. Jones said: “it is good leadership that gives vision to a nation and this is why I continue to say and to make the argument that leadership matters.”
He explained MOVEE’s determination to make a difference and to ensure social cohesion, economic development and the enjoyment of peace and stability, if elected.
Dr. Jones returned to the subject of tribal politics and admitted to his audience that he came from a humble background, and said MOVEE understands that “our people in the towns, cities, and villages are interested in a ‘countryman’ but want to get out of poverty, and poverty has no tribe. Therefore, we offer not divisive politics but vibrant and visionary leadership with a track record.”
“I hear people say that this is a time for the so-called ‘countryman’ to become president, but only a dull man can come up with such for a change. This is a talk that will lead us down the road to nowhere,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Jones warned Liberians about those politicians who show up at every election “not because they want to change the conditions of Liberians but to change their own conditions. They are the politicians who have started to sell the future of Liberia to outsiders. MOVEE has been constantly empowering the businesspeople, farmers and others, because democracy doesn’t mean much when the people are hungry.”