Influence of ‘Big Money’ in Politics

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NAYMOTE Executive Director, Eddie Jarwolo

NAYMOTE Enlightens Young People

As part of its educational program on governance under the Young Political Leadership School (YPLS), Naymote Partners for Democratic Development is now organizing debates aimed at educating young people on the influence of “Big money” playing in the political space of Liberia.

The program is also aimed at molding students’ minds on the issue of integrity to help deepen their understanding in the governance process of the country.

The event which began on Monday, April 12, 2021 in Monrovia, brought together Civil Society actors to serve as judges in a heated debate between students of the Stella Maris Polytechnic University and the African Episcopal Methodist University (AMEU).  

The debate was held under the theme, “The Influence of Big Money in the Liberian Political Space Decreasing the Level of Political Integrity.” On the pros and cons of the issue debated, AMEU defended the proposition while Stella Maris Polytechnic University went against it. “  

Speaking during the official opening of the program, NAYMOTE’s Executive Director, Eddie Jarwolo, told the participating schools that the debate was focused on political integrity as a way of training them to become young leaders of good character.

“Today we have two of the best Universities in Liberia debating the proposition, “the influence of big money in the Liberian political space decreasing the level of political integrity in the country.”

He clarified that the organization will conduct about ten debates across the country before the elections, Something he believes will sharpen the understanding of young people to know what type of character to elect during elections.

Mr. Jarwolo said the good thing about the debate was that it has given young people the chance to do a research and a critical analysis of the issue that will help the next generation to know that money is not all to it but it is about integrity.

He recalled that Liberia is 173 years old and the political dividend of the country is not working they way it should because the issue of integrity is missing.

According to him, Liberians nowadays do not vote for people on the basis of integrity, experience and records but for money.

Mr. Jarwolo: “We thought that the young people who constitute 55% of the voter’s roll in Liberia will look at these things that will help them make an informed decision in the future.”

This program, according to Jarwolo, runs for three years and it is expected to phase out by 2023. The organization has begun to mobilize and prepare the generation who accordingly is going to make the decision come 2023.

AMEU

Dave D. Sloh of AMEU in his deliberation on the   proposition clarified that he is of the opinion that “Big money” has nothing to do with the decrease in political integrity in the country.

According to student Sloh, the lack of proper civic education and ethical values gives rise to integrity issues and not necessarily big money.

He told his fellow debaters that the issue of civic education is cardinal, because when these things are lacking in the society, people will fall for everything, but if citizens have a high level of civic education in terms of understanding what it means to have a morals, people will not easily influence others with big money.

Ruth H. Roberts, student at the Stella Maris Polytechnic, told her audience that big money has over the years influenced Liberia’s political space in such a way that it has undermined the value of morals and integrity. “It has gone to the extent that it devalues the issue of ethics in the Liberian society,” said student Ruth Roberts.

According to her, big-money influences the minds of the people to make wrong decisions during elections.

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