Former interim President Dr. Amos C. Sawyer says many reform initiatives the Unity Party government has embarked on since its inception in 2006 will be of no use if certain people are bent on marginalizing others in the Liberian society.
Speaking in Gbarnga, Bong County at the National Development Summit on Monday Dr. Sawyer, chairman of the Governance Commission, said that the numerous on-going reform exercises in the country are meant to make Liberia an inclusive, peaceful and harmonious society.
This would be unlike the past when a minute segment of the country’s population had onto itself the wealth of the country and influenced every sector, economic, social and political, thereby marginalizing majority of the citizenry, he said.
Making a presentation at the event, the GC boss noted that exclusivity, which is entrenched in the Liberian society, was the root cause of the prolonged civil crises in the country that brought the already underdeveloped Liberia to its knees.
Some of the major reform initiatives that the government has embarked upon include, land, the governance structure, the revision of the constitution for possible amendment that would reflect the aspirations of all Liberians and many more.
He said it is ambiguous to note that while all of these are being undertaken for Liberia to reflect a unified country, there are some people trying to bring division through legislation.
Dr. Sawyer told President Sirleaf and others present that one important issue that is currently occupying the Governance Commission and other reform bodies on the software side of the reform agenda is the constitution review process.
“We learned that the joint committee at both houses are finished with their work and have made presentation to the full body,” he said.
Dr. Sawyer said the logic about the reform initiative in the country is about inclusive growth, reducing marginalization, and participatory government, but some of the propositions are totally against these principles.
“The constitution review process is not a different point of the national agenda for reform, but rather it is part and parcel and it is the logic driving all of these documents. This logic is about inclusive growth, reducing marginalization, and participatory government,” he said.
Dr. Sawyer added, “And that is the spirit within which we should see the propositions. So if there are propositions that are going in another direction, these fundamental logics that we hold so dear are under threat. It is dividing us rather than uniting us. It is against the whole spirit and direction of the reforms. We are talking our national vision – one people one nation. We want to end marginalization that kept our country backward for so long.”
He also spoke about the electioneering process in the country, which he described as another important area on the soft component of the country’s reform agenda, which the GC and others are working on.
He said adequate preparation, logistical preparedness, voting education and efficient management system and prompt mediation into arising claims will be extremely important to ensure free and fair election processes in the country.
“These will be very important as we go into the electioneering processes that are fast approaching. These are some of the important things that we should focus on while tracking our success in the agenda,” he said.
He stated that all stakeholders in this regard, including the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, are being engaged to ensure that the country comes out successfully in 2017.