Challenges Prez. Weah to address situation
As Liberians continue to experience a current wave of economic hardship, in which the price of basic food items and other commodities have increased rapidly, a local faith-based group calling itself the “Faith Justice Network of Liberia (FJN)” has challenged the Weah administration to address the economic hardship facing the country.
Rev. Dr. Thomas T. Jallah, regional executive director of FJN, made the call recently at a press conference held in Monrovia.
According to Rev. Dr. Jallah, the FJN is a Christian organization that believes in advocating for peace and justice for Liberians in order for the government to see itself fully accountable to its citizens.
He said the sharp increase in the price of basic food items is a serious economic problem that government needs to immediately address to ensure that citizens continue to enjoy the peace.
“The government has the duty to demonstrate its commitment to citizens’ welfare, peace and justice to make sure peace prevails. This can be done by appealing to reciprocal actions for duty bearers and rights holders,” he explained.
He however attributed the current situation to bad economic decisions made by past governments, which he stated have resulted into the high rate of the United States dollar on the local market, thus increasing prices of commodities.
“The government needs to address the general perception that the current bad economic performance is a result of bad economic decisions by past governments, corruption, greed and opulent living among those connected to power. This has manifested in the current wave of economic hardship,” he stressed.
“This economic problem has manifested itself into the unprecedented increase in the exchange rate between the United States dollar and the Liberian dollar,” he added.
Meanwhile, the FJN has reiterated its call for government officials to see reason to declare their assets to ensure the principles of good governance and accountability.
“We are of the conviction that the declaration of assets by public officials is healthy in enhancing accountability, transparency, as well as integrity in government. Besides, it is the law and must be respected if this government is serious about addressing wasteful spending,” Rev. Dr. Jallah said.
Rev. Jallah said that the call for assets declaration was necessary, particularly at a time in which the government claims to promote its so called “Pro Poor Agenda.
“It is in this regard that we are again calling on public officials and employees of government as a matter of urgency and without any pre-condition to immediately declare their income, assets, and liabilities as required in accordance with the National Code of Conduct for All Public Officials and Employees as they claim to promote the ‘Pro Poor Agenda’,” he said.
Rev. Jallah further asked church leaders to continue speaking out against the ills in the society, adding that it is the gift that God has given the Church.
“This is the moment of truth to which the Church must respond. The Church has a responsibility to speak truth to itself and to the world. In this way, we reject violence, intolerance in all its forms and economic hardship against the war-ravaged people of Liberia,” he said.
He pledged his organization’s commitment to work with other Christian denominations in imploring the Liberian public not to allow the current crisis to lead them into any act of violence.
“FJN rejects as evil, all economic manipulation that masquerades itself as divine solutions to the current economic situation of Liberia. We call upon the spirit of solidarity and sharing through the churches in Liberia to influence the peaceful ways we respond to the current economic hardship facing our country. We call upon Liberians wherever they are to seek to contribute to a new Liberia in which all will have access to goods for their needs and not their greed,” he concluded.