Several youths from Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu Counties have lauded Flomo Theater and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) for establishing the Youth Vigilance Committee, aimed at monitoring the county and social development fund and its impact on ordinary citizens of the three counties, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu.
Speaking on behalf of youths in Tienii, Grand Cape Mount County, Charles Dargor, a youth activist from Tewor District, noted that the youths have a vital role to play in the fight against corruption.
“Liberia has a very youthful population; and this demographic dividend would become a demographic disaster if the youth are not properly guided and their energy not harnessed in the fight against corruption,” he said.
He encouraged the youth in Grand Cape Mount to fully support the Youth Vigilance Committee and be willing to speak up and out against corruption, even when the perpetrator is a family member.
“I appreciate Flomo Theater for being farsighted to establish this worthy initiative, which is in the interest of the young people, and I can assure you that they will give their best support,” Dargor added.
For his part, John Daff, president of the Youth Action Initiative (YAI) in Gbarpolu, pleaded with the youth to wake up from their sleep and fight corruption by reporting and conducting social audits.
He intimated that Gbarpolu, which is rich in natural resources, is dirt poor, and suffers from disunity among its leaders.
“We are the direct victims of corruption since at the end it affects our future. It is about time we become vigilant on the way the county social and development fund is used by monitoring these projects,” Daff said.
He noted that there is tremendous pressure on youths in Liberia to end or minimize corruption; therefore everyone is looking towards the youth, and it is about time that step is taken.
For Bomi County, Barbara Manjohn, who spoke on behalf of youths from the Gawah Hill Community, said the youth have a great task ahead and it is their responsibility to achieve it.
Quoting Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh, she said, “The youth of today will need to recognize that they shoulder a great responsibility. They will need to fight for rooting out corruption, for ensuring that no one is above the law and uniting the citizens of Liberia as ‘Liberia first’ instead of communal or geographic factions.
“Liberia first is all about us being honest. The youths have to rise at their personal level in the fight against corruption, as it is a matter of an individual’s integrity that should be exhibited by all youths,” Ms. Manjohn said.
At the end of the three-county tour, Flomo Theater’s program manager Alex Lassanah Swaray commended the youth communities for their active participations, and cautioned them to be watchful as Liberia draws close to elections.
He warned that young people have become shopping centers and are used as canon-fodder for people with selfish agendas during elections, a tendency that leads to corruption.