Former Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Dr. J. Mills Jones, has called on Liberians to give him the chance to lead Liberia as president during the upcoming 2017 elections. “Give me a chance to lead, and I will be your servant,” Dr. Jones said in a statement on Wednesday. “Liberia’s interest will be my interest. I will be president for all Liberians. It will be a tough fight, but I am prepared to carry the cross.”
He made the statement at an appreciation dinner at the Paynesville City Hall on Wednesday, May 25, held on behalf of Liberians who gave him their support during his tenure as Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia.
It can be recalled that Dr. Jones was criticized by some sections of Liberians for the CBL microloan scheme that empowered small Liberian businesses that evidently improved his relationship with locals throughout the country. His critics said he was using state resources to feed his own political ambition, calling it a waste of resources. But the Governor insists that giving back to the Liberian people is not a waste.
He however said that a good leader must have the will to stand up for the people and encourage them to remain focused and calm under pressure to implement change in the nation’s interest.
That evening, for the first time ever, Dr. Jones announced publicly his political direction. “I have decided to give a positive response to the desire of a cross-section of our citizens that I should contest for the position of President of Liberia in 2017. Your desire is now our desire. I will be your candidate,” Dr. Jones declared.
His statement comes a week following his acceptance of a petition to contest the 2017 general and presidential elections by a group of Liberians under the banner “United Liberians Concerned About the Future” at his Marshall residence in Margibi County last Saturday.
The former CBL boss said his fate is in the hands of Almighty God, who has brought him from a humble beginning to this day. “We mortals can only express or wish. Only God Almighty has the final say. So I say to the people of Liberia that, God willing, I will provide the leadership that
will put Liberia on a new course of economic, political and social transformation.
“I will bring this leadership to the Executive Mansion; so when I promise to provide leadership that is different from the business-as-usual ways that have been the standard approach of the political establishment, that promise is based on my record at CBL,” he said.
Dr. Jones said although not everyone will agree on everything that he did; however, a fair assessment of his performance will show that he demonstrated vision – though outside of the box – to bring about transformation by changing the living condition of Liberians.
“And to those who say we were using public resources to do what we did, I say, yes,” he stated.
“And if all in the public service were using public resources to help the people rise out of poverty, Liberia would be a better place. And those who want to criticize us for promoting policies that have helped to lift our fathers and mothers, our sisters and brothers out of poverty, to keep the poor school teacher or health worker from traveling out of their counties sometimes in the rain to cash their salary checks, I say you are only demonstrating the limitations of your own minds.”
The Liberian banker said he will work to nurture a stable democracy, as well as bind the wounds of injustice, distrust, and alienation that continue to tear apart the fabric of Liberia’s democracy.
Dr. Jones told the gathering that it is now time for the real people who have the country at heart to take over so as to revive the hope of the vast majority of Liberians who continue to live in abject poverty.
He cautioned his compatriots to stand firm in the midst of suppression, but said the creator of the universe will not let the oppressors to succeed.
“The growing waves of chronic corruption, nepotism and deception; those emphasizing these vices shall be stripped and those in the valley of poverty shall be lifted up and that mountain of false fight, misrule and incompetence shall be made ruined,” said Dr. Jones.
He assured Liberians that a new day is coming for a new Liberia to be born and as such, they should stand firm and tall in order to achieve their desires.
He said: “We will surely win the forthcoming election.”
Dr. Jones said during his administration, healthcare delivery system, education and the economy will top his agenda.
He added that his government will make Liberia more prosperous and politically stable, that all Liberians irrespective of tribe, social and religious background will have equal opportunity during his regime.