The former Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Dr. Joseph Mills Jones, has called on patriotic citizens to give him a chance to rule the country as president, asking them to vote for him in the 2017 presidential and representative elections.
Dr. Jones made the appeal over the weekend in Gbarpolu County, when he was officially elected on a white ballot as the standard bearer of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE), aiming for the country’s highest seat.
In his acceptance speech during the party’s 2nd national convention, he told partisans that he will keep the promise he made to his late parents not to let the Liberian people down “when elected president.”
“It has also been a journey during which we have had the benefit and care of loving parents who instilled in me a sense of moral responsibility to care not just for myself but also for others, something that money cannot buy,” he said.
He added: “My parents also taught me to use opportunity wisely because it was not just about me. I have not forgotten my father saying to me as a young boy just about to board the plane at the airport in Sinoe to go to school in Cape Palmas that, ‘we are counting on you and them.’ He then he asked whether I understood him and I replied, ‘yes.’”
“Just as I promised not to let down my parents, I say to the people of Liberia, give me a chance as your president: I will not let you down.
“I accept your decision to serve as standard bearer of this great party (MOVEE), and with the hard work of all of us and the trust of the Liberian people we shall be victorious in October of this year.
“This is a time for celebration, but also a time for reflection. We celebrate because of the confidence you have reposed in us, taking cognizance of our accomplishments as a public servant and the efforts we continue to make to reach out and touch in a meaningful way the lives of the people of our country, Liberia.
“I say a time for reflection, because I am fully aware that I stand at the crossroads of history, and getting here has been a journey of faith nourished by the grace of almighty God, which has brought me this far from a humble beginning. It has also been a journey during which we have had the benefit and care of loving parents who instilled in me a sense of moral responsibility to care not just for myself but also for others, something that money cannot buy,” Dr. Jones added.
MOVEE postures itself to be “the party of ordinary Liberians, the long-suffering poor, the marginalized, the disaffected and the voiceless” and promises to usher in a new day for Liberia.
“We have the will, the courage, the maturity, a healthy dose of optimism, and the relevant expertise, experience and exposure, which together make for good leadership.
“But the most important aspect of leadership that I will bring to the table as President is a caring heart for the people of Liberia. It is a caring heart that makes a difference between leadership that loves power for the sake of power and leadership that draws its lifeblood from patriotism. And it is patriotism that causes the leader to put country above self, not just in word but indeed,” Dr. Jones noted.
He said when elected president, “we intend to govern Liberia as a collective responsibility, drawing on talent from wherever it can be found, seeking advice from across the political spectrum and from our traditional leaders and making all Liberians feel that they have a stake in the destiny of Liberia – one country, one people, one destiny!
“It is a matter on record that we made a practice to invite representatives of the Marketing Association, the Petty Traders, Carpenters Union, etc. and people from West Point and New Kru Town to programs held at City Hall and the Executive Pavilion when serving as a keynote speaker at major events. This should serve notice that when we get in the Executive Mansion, the people’s house will be open to all.”
Dr. Jones also promised Liberians that there will be no 4G concession agreements; no 4G legislations intended to keep certain individuals down, that will require “under-the-table” deals.
“There will be no ‘scratch my back, I’ll scratch your back’ deals between the Executive and Legislative branches of government. How about that as a starting point for fighting corruption? And while we will make every effort to maintain a productive partnership with the Legislature, especially with regards to aligning the budget with the country’s development agenda, as I said once, and I say again, we will not hesitate to veto any budget that fails to give priority to inclusive economic growth and development, and will use all avenues available to the office of the president to inform the public of the reasons for our decision,” he said.
“I say to the people of Liberia today: in the life of every nation, there comes a time when the necessity for change is no longer a subject for debate, it even comes from the lips of children.
Let not 2017 go down in history as another example of a missed opportunity. It is time to say ‘no’ to continuity; the Unity Party Administration has done what it could, even being honest about progress far below potential in many instances. But although honesty is a criterion for leadership, honesty about underachivement is not a basis for re-election.
“Let us not forget that the problem that most Liberians are concerned about is the problem of underachievement as a country. It shows up in the fragile nature of our economy; in our weak, educational and health delivery systems; and in our underdeveloped infrastructure, among others. Our accomplishments as a nation do not match our age. We must move faster, and I believe, we can! But we need change. Same people are promising new things, but having the same mind, cannot equal anything else but the same old result of underachievement, which we don’t want.”
To those who see criticism in this assertion, “I say stop and think; rather than seeing it as criticism, this should be considered an argument for Liberia’s future. If we mean what we say, when we say ‘Liberia first,’ then a faster pace for Liberia’s progress demands new vigor, new thinking and new commitment in the Executive Mansion.
“I am ready for the task. And not because I am right in everything I have done as a public servant – no mortal can meet that challenge – but because I have demonstrated that my heart is in the right place as a nationalist, a patriot, as one who cares for the Liberian people: that I have the capacity to think outside the box to find solutions; that I have a proven record as a builder and a transformer; that I believe in the future of Liberia; that I have inspired Liberians to believe in themselves when we say, ‘don’t wait for others to do for you what you can and should do for yourself’ and that ‘Liberia is still a land of possibilities.’”