Many Wary of Weah’s Governance

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Eddie Jarwolo, Executive Director, NAYMOTE

NAYMOTE survey says 64% of Liberians believe Weah’s Gov’t heading in the ‘wrong direction’

In a little over nine months since the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) administration came into being, 64 percent of 3,185 (46% women and 54% men) registered voters across 46 electoral districts (out of 73) within the 15 counties say the country is not being run in the right direction.

In their opinion, the George Weah administration is heading into the wrong direction.

Majority of Liberians polled believe that President Weah is not on the right trajectory in transforming Liberia into a prosperous and peaceful nation as promised.

According to a survey report released by the not for profit organization, National Youth Youth Movement for Transparent Elections (NAYMOTE) the survey was meant to assess citizens’ perception on the quality of governance in Liberia.

The report, using a sample size of 3,185 (women 46% and 54% men) registered voters out of 2,183,629 registered voters across 46 electoral districts out 73 within the 15 counties participated in the survey.

The NAYMOTE survey targeted the 15 counties, with respondents between ages 18-35 (54%), 36-50 years (41%) and 50 above (6%).

The report revealed that 35% of respondents were business people, 30% were self-employed, 12 % are farmers, 10% government employees, while 89% of the respondents were high school and college students.

NAYMOTE said with the 3,185 registered voters interviewed, 64% of respondents “think the country is going in the wrong direction, 13% said the country is somehow going in the wrong direction while 9% said the country is going in the right direction.”

“12% said the country is somehow going in the right direction, 70% of the respondents described the current economic condition as poor, while 14% described the current economic condition as very poor,” according to NAYMOTE.

The survey report says “2% of the respondents see the current economic condition in the country as good, while 1% describe the current economic condition in the country as very good; 13% of the respondents describe the economic condition in the country as fair and 9% said they don’t know.”

The results further showed that 74% of respondents said they are satisfied with the way democracy is working in Liberia, while 6% said they are very satisfied with the way democracy is working. 19% are not satisfied with the way democracy is working in the country, 1% said they don’t know.

Meanwhile, 85% of the respondents said they have not attended any meeting organized by a government official while 13% have attended a meeting organized by a government official and 2% don’t know.

44% of respondents rated their lawmakers’ performance as poor, 30% rated their lawmaker’s performance as fair and 25% rated lawmakers’ performance as good, while 1% said they don’t know.

86% of respondents said they do not approve of the President appointing local leaders or chiefs in their districts while 11% said they approve the president appointing local leaders. 3% of the respondents said they don’t know.

The Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) is rated as the most trusted security agency in Liberia. 61% of the respondents said they trust the AFL, 32% said they fairly trust the AFL, while 4% don’t trust and 3% said they don’t know. 46% of respondents said they trust the Liberia National Police 29% said they fairly trust the LNP while 25% said they don’t trust the police.

21% of the respondents said they trust the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS), 53% of the respondents said they fairly trust the LIS and 26% of the respondents don’t trust the LIS. The Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is the least trusted security agency in Liberia, with 72% of respondents saying they don’t trust the DEA, while 18% fairly trust the DEA and 10% trust the DEA.

Generally, the survey has also rated government performance in handling the economy, job creation, improving living standard of Liberians and improving health services as poor. Keeping prices stable and fighting corruption was graded as very poor. However, addressing educational needs of citizens, addressing infrastructural development/roads, addressing youth and women’s needs were rated as fair.

While the districts varied in their perspectives of what are the most important problems facing the country and what government should prioritize, the respondents generally identified the national economy as priority number one that the government must address, followed by education, healthcare, infrastructure development/roads and unemployment.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the NAYMOTE Partners for Democratic Development, Eddie Jarwolo, in the report clarified that the results of this survey reflect the perception of the respondents. It has no views, choices or perception of the enumerators and the management of his organization.

“This is simply an exercise organized to assess citizens’ perception on the quality of governance in Liberia,” he said. His institution strongly believes that this report will help strengthen democratic governance and public service in Liberia.

NAYMOTE was established in 2001 by student leaders and activists and has been one of the leading national institutions promoting democratic governance, peace building and civic engagement in Liberia. The institution is a member of the World Movement for Democracy, the World Youth Movement for Democracy, the African Movement for Democracy and the National Civil Society Council of Liberia.

The survey was undertaken with technical support from the Center for Democratic Governance through a grant support from the National Endowment for Democracy.

Authors

16 COMMENTS

  1. “The Armed Forces of Liberia rated as the most trusted security agency in the country by 61 percent”; first, AFL isn’t a security agency, and, second, by what benchmarks was that conclusion reached, many might ask. Moreover, even were the purpose for the polling honorable and it was fairly accurate – arguable to say the least -to conduct a poll based on those yardsticks during inherited sluggish economy and mass joblessness amid media-driven allegations of $16 billion vanishing container etc. seem unquestionably unfair, if not politically-motivated.

    Perhaps, some should slow down the mad hurry to sink a new ship of state that hasn’t yet left the harbor. A captain alone doesn’t steer a ship, competent aides and other able hands are needed to service the engine and work on deck for the maiden voyage, otherwise it wouldn’t move at all, or face a worse fate. Liberians must wait for that to take this ship to sea. Meanwhile, as we write, the spates of organized ‘peaceful’ streets protests against the just-elected SLPP government of President Maada Bio turned to vandalism when a gas station was set on fire in Freetown. Were the intention to provoke Security Sector overreaction, it didn’t succeed this time. The question is, how long would armed law enforcement officers tasked with public safety exercise patience when protesters morphed into violent mobs? That’s the question Civil Society groups must ask themselves before they are perceived as uncivil or inciting chaos.

    • Sylvester – As you know there is a saying in Liberia that “time waits for no man.” So, this government doesn’t have a lot of time on their hands to produce results. Liberians are desperate for jobs and income to support themselves. The President should focus on creating jobs instead of trying to change the tenured law to give himself more power, which undermines democracy. And mind you, changing the tenure law may run afoul of the requirements of the millennium challenge corporation rules, which means the country, may not qualify for the balance $250 Million dollars grant. It seems there is a pattern here that they don’t consider the consequences before making decisions. This survey reflects the frustration of the people because President Weah doesn’t have a plan to create jobs. Liberians need jobs, jobs, jobs!

  2. If one agrees with your assessment of the economy and joblessness, then why are these people taking home these unbelievable salaries and benefits? We want other countries to help us whose leaders don’t even make that kind of money. Insane, isn’t it?

    • It’s totally insane. It is a typical example of living above one’s means. I don’t know how they reasoned that paying themselves huge salaries is a good given the extreme poverty in the country. These guys are not nation builders.

  3. These noise makers (NAYMOTE ETC. ETC) know nothing about such transformational policy vis a vis the dymamics of policy change. They have no idea about large -scale and fast-paced (big bang) and small scale and gradual(incremental) patterns, nor can they understand large-scale and slow-paced (“blue print”) or have they ever read about small -scale and rapid (“Mosaic”) strategies generally used By transformative and or revisionist administrations. Hence, one should not be surprised of such noisemaking as from this insignificant noise making entity.

    These toys or transmission belts of the status quo feeding and PERPETUATING THE MASSIVE CORRUPTION OF THE ELITE at the expense of the poor have now seen that the scale, pace, and national revisionist and revolutionary strategy of this transformative governance has neutralized and even incinerated any further PERPETUATION OF THE MASSIVE CORRUPTION OF THE ELITE.

    They are intimidated By the political will and political capacity of this governing coalition; from the coalition´s policy of tuition free universities and colleges throughout the country, to salaries paid to the poor via technological means throughout the hinterlands, and cleaning the mess of this de facto unconstitutional fourth branch of tenured positions. Not to mention the CHINA DEAL of which a socioeconomic strong and vibrant Liberia shall be the natural corollary – from world class education syslem of the 21st century to a technologically post-modern democratic nation.

    And they haven´t seen nothing yet, as our people would retort. For this transformative and revisionist government machinery has the electoral mandate and the institutional resources to build our people a great nation.

    • @ Dortu-Siboe Doe:
      Your blind loyalty for President Weah is preposterous! Many Liberians give President Weah credit where credit is due, and yet, many Liberians criticize him where criticism is due. However, your perpetual habit to mislead the Liberian public whenever this inexperience government does something wrong only leads this government down a slippery slope toward dictatorship.

      All your sanctimonious flattery of President Weah on the internet, whom you worship like a Cult Leader, is dangerous toward the positive development of this new government that vowed to be transparent and also professed to look out for the poor people of Liberia.

      Remember, Mr. Doe, Our New Found Democracy is better served when our democratic system is based on ‘checks and balances”. Such system of government serves as a wedge among the three branches of government in order to avoid concentration of power in one branch of government….which is currently developing in this new government before our eyes.

      From my Operation Research On Dortu-Siboe Doe:

      I came across this interesting rebuttal found on the internet posted by Counselor Charles K. Sunwabe Jr. on Jan. 2013 questioning Dortu-Siboe Doe’s so called legal credential. D.S.Doe wrote Attorney Alvin Teage-Jalloh in his infamous lawsuit @ the Supreme Court of Liberia challenging the 1973 “automatic loss” of Liberian citizenship which was dismissed.

      However, President Weah’s staunch blind loyalist, the so-called legal scholar, Dortu-Siboe Doe, cowardly avoided a legal response to Counselor Sunwabe’s challenging Dortu S. Doe’s legal qualification? See the Couselor’s letter posted below to refresh your memory!!!

      Sunwabe Replies Dortu-Siboe-Doe (from the Internet Jan. 2013)

      Dear Mr. Dortu-Siboe-Doe:

      Happy New Year, my dear brother! It has been quite a while since I became familiar with your virulent response to my question. I sent out an email to interested readers on the Every- Liberian list-serve on December 5, 2012, asking if you were absolutely certain about a particular “legal position” that you had advocated in your debate with Attorney Alvin Teage-Jalloh. My question was asked in good faith and out of curiosity. I had no prior malicious or suspicious intent, when I asked you.

      Candidly I anticipated an educated response, since you had previously professed to be an “attorney” and a “scholar.” Along these lines, I expected actual case-law from the Liberian Supreme Court or a reasonable legal analysis that tended to remotely support and offer credence to your position. I wanted to become educated, as far as the foundation of your assertion. Regrettably, you offered little, if anything, in this direction.

      Surprisingly, you responded to my honest and innocent question in “the typical Liberian fashion”:You became insulting, dismissive, and unnecessarily demeaning. In the process, you not only failed to answer my question, but engaged in a behavior that was questionable and raised question about your professed legal scholarship.

      Please allow me to address your response to my communication. According to you, my question regarding the certainty of your advocated legal position was an “illogical” undertaking. In fact, you wanted me to jump in and state a position rather than asking you “illogical question”. Mr. Legal Scholar, this position of yours is murky and acutely disconcerting.

      Let me point out that lawyers and judges routinely asked questions—mainly to unearth the truth, adopt or change legal positions, and to advocate their clients’ particular position. In fact, asking questions is a vital legal tool—lawyers who ask good questions are highly effective in and out of the courtroom. Additionally, they tend to write effective legal briefs and motions. Thus, I argue the questioning skills of lawyers are essential, cardinal, and central to the practice of law.

      It is stunning, if not totally unheard of, for a professed attorney to begrudgingly dismiss a pertinent and pointed question as being illogical. In the ongoing debate between you and Attorney Jalloh, my question was pointed directly at your advocated legal position. From a lawyer’s perspective, a sufficient or minimally acceptable legal response was anticipated.

      Your response in this capacity, in concert with the sum total of your writings regarding Mr. Jalloh’s pending lawsuit challenging the 1973 “automatic loss” of citizenship law, leaves one with the impression that you are not a licensed or practicing attorney. No serious attorney, irrespective of his or her jurisdiction of practice or place of legal education, would respond to a well-intentioned question as you have done here.

      You did not answer my question and I am still inclined to ask you even more pointed questions: What case law (from the Republic of Liberia) are you relying on to support your assertion? Where are your legal analyses? Where are the Liberian constitutional provisions that you believe support your position regarding the automatic loss of citizenship question? How are you applying those provisions?

      For some of us who have followed the debate between you and Mr. Jalloh, it is a foregone conclusion that you have offered nothing remotely substantive or legally coherent. You have offered a number of poorly researched Google’s legal terms and opinions. These Google’s legal terms have not been analyzed and applied with the unique skills of a lawyer. In fact, they are starting to appear like a display of infantile legal preoccupation—they lack serious legal intuition and scrutiny.

      Lastly, in responding to my question, you intentionally omitted the original list-serve that was used to communicate my question to you. I had no means of knowing that you had in fact responded to my questions, since I am not subscribed to the host of other Liberian list-serves on which you posted your response.

      By not including the original medium of communication, you directly created the impression that I was somehow incapable of responding to your “legal” opinion. It is unacceptable for a professed scholar to behave in this erroneous manner. Please include me on the original list-serves of communications, in all future engagements.

      As for the other issue you raised, know that we, the friends of Attorney Alvin Teage Jalloh, will make gifts to support his lawsuit against the Liberian government.
      Thanks,

      Charles Kwalonue Sunwabe, Jr., Esq.
      Arlington, Virginia
      703-402-8589

      p/s: Mr. Dortu-Siboe Doe, your professed Juris Doctor (Doctor of Law Degree) is questionable?

  4. Dortu Doe, your blind loyalist of the CDC government will lead George M. Weah to his early grave, as the blind loyalist of Sylvester Moses led Samuel K.Doe to his grave, while he Sylvester Moses is in the USA enjoying himself. Think twice.

    Thanks.

  5. I definitely understand the frustration of the people of Liberia. And as I read through the various comments, I must admit that everyone is making valuable points. But we must understand that the problems of our nation is gigantic. And if we’re expecting an instant coffee solution, this simply will not happen. It’s certainly true the president is the captain of the ship but it takes the entire crew to get the ship to its destination. We must all start to ask ourselves the question: what is my role in the grand scheme of things? If the ship must get to its destination, we all have a role of great importance to play to make it happen.
    There’s a saying “it is insanity to continue doing the same thing over and over expecting different results”. One thing we’ve always done is point fingers at the government as the reason for our deplorable condition. This is not to say the government should not be blamed but there’s a saying that the one who always point finger at others, forgets how many fingers are pointed back at them. Before we start castigating the president we must also asks ourselves what have I done or could be doing personally to help the course? There’s always something we could be doing but often times we’re blinded by our shortcomings so we don’t look around us to see what we could be doing. You are a people of great potentials. The most industrious people I know. One can do the job but two can doing it better. We are more than two and I’m sure we can do it even better. Let us not wait until foreigners come in to tell us what we should do to get there, lets start thinking ahead and instituting our own programs. Lets put aside our petty differences and start to unite in our various communities and see what we can do as a people to get the ship to it’s destination.

    Thank you and God bless Liberia and the whole of Africa.

  6. It’s a shame how Liberians are rating the Country giant poorly. Everytime you try to advice them, all you could hear them say was ” we are the masses we can’t get tire” well. fast forward nine months, and we begining to hear another ”seo o lady”

  7. The likes of Sylvester Moses, Dortu-Siboe Doe and other mercenaries of the pen who gate-crashed onto the CDC’s kleptocracy government only know what Weah tells them. They have forgotten the aphorism that for a government who cannot give account of over 16 billions Liberian dollars of the people’s money, lying is child’s play.

    “Liberia is a sick country, (but maybe someday) it might get well.”(John Gunther, Inside Africa).
    The Republic of Liberia is indeed a sick country, were this not so, the government and our market women would not be talking of recovery. Since the vitality of any state resides in its economy, the necessary conclusion follows that if a country’s economy is sick, that country is sick. Take it any way you wish. Hence, the mere fact that most of our people are talking about recovery or more precisely economic recovery, speaks well for the proposition that the Republic of Liberia is truly a sick country. Speaking from a viewpoint of metaphysics, a being is only capable of becoming what it is not. Thus a person or thing which is not sick cannot become well. A being can only recover when it is not well. According to the Philosopher, one and the same thing cannot be in act and in potency towards the same degree of perfection. Going even further, the principle of contradiction holds that one and the same thing cannot be and not be at the same time. From the foregone, it is safe to say that it would be pure absurdity for anyone to argue that our country’s economy can recover when it is not sick.

    Now that the unhealthy state of our nation has been fully established, let’s now hasten to uncover who or what made or makes this country sick. While it is true and undeniable fact that the Republic of Liberia is poor, there is one malaise in which the country is rich; that is corruption. Unwritten history tells us that the Republic of Liberia is replete with corruption and a corrupt people. It was this inseparable pair that transformed this once rich and peaceful nation into the poor and wretched hollow in which we find ourselves today.
    His Excellency, George Weah, was not far from being right when he lamented months ago,” we are all corrupt, I don’t know who to trust.” There is an urgent need therefore for Good governance to help curb corruption.
    1. First corruption undermines government revenue and therefore, limits the ability of the government to invest in productivity-enhancing areas.2. Corruption distorts the decision-making connected with public investment projects. 3. corruption contributes to a misallocation of human resources.4. Bribery and corruption lead to other forms of crimes. 5. Corruption makes our people poorer especially when those in high position in government steal money intended for development for their private use, like for example, the recent disappearance of the 16 billion Liberian dollars, the people’s money, which is yet to be accounted for by this government.

  8. The likes of Sylvester Moses, Dortu-Siboe Doe and other mercenaries of the pen who gate-crashed onto the CDC’s kleptocracy government only know what Weah tells them. They have forgotten the aphorism that for a government who cannot give account of over 16 billions Liberian dollars of the people’s money, lying is child’s play.
    “Liberia is a sick country, (but maybe someday) it might get well.”(John Gunther, Inside Africa).
    The Republic of Liberia is indeed a sick country, were this not so, the government and our market women would not be talking of recovery. Since the vitality of any state resides in its economy, the necessary conclusion follows that if a country’s economy is sick, that country is sick. Take it any way you wish. Hence, the mere fact that most of our people are talking about recovery or more precisely economic recovery, speaks well for the proposition that the Republic of Liberia is truly a sick country. Speaking from a viewpoint of metaphysics, a being is only capable of becoming what it is not. Thus a person or thing which is not sick cannot become well. A being can only recover when it is not well. According to the Philosopher, one and the same thing cannot be in act and in potency towards the same degree of perfection. Going even further, the principle of contradiction holds that one and the same thing cannot be and not be at the same time. From the foregone, it is safe to say that it would be pure absurdity for anyone to argue that our country’s economy can recover when it is not sick.
    Now that the unhealthy state of our nation has been fully established, let’s now hasten to uncover who or what made or makes this country sick. While it is true and undeniable fact that the Republic of Liberia is poor, there is one malaise in which the country is rich; that is corruption. Unwritten history tells us that the Republic of Liberia is replete with corruption and a corrupt people. It was this inseparable pair that transformed this once rich and peaceful nation into the poor and wretched hollow in which we find ourselves today.
    His Excellency, George Weah, was not far from being right when he lamented months ago,” we are all corrupt, I don’t know who to trust.” There is an urgent need therefore for Good governance to help curb corruption.
    1. First corruption undermines government revenue and therefore, limits the ability of the government to invest in productivity-enhancing areas.2. Corruption distorts the decision-making connected with public investment projects. 3. corruption contributes to a misallocation of human resources.4. Bribery and corruption lead to other forms of crimes. 5. Corruption makes our people poorer especially when those in high position in government steal money intended for development for their private use, like for example, the recent disappearance of the 16 billion Liberian dollars, the people’s money, which is yet to be accounted for by this government.
    Reply

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  9. Zinnah Gotombo,

    How can we stop corruption, when it is from the heads of the country. Corruption is the way of life in Liberia. Our leaders a not shame, they steal from anywhere, including the loans that they sign for development. I don’t know why people cannot see what is going on in the country. What is better? Love for the country or party.

  10. I am very skeptical about the fibdings of the Naymote Survey. Very, very skeptical!

    First of all, it is unheard of (but only in Liberia is such a thing possible) that 3,185 registered individuals were polled. By golly, the sample that’s been used by Naymote is way too high. Why was the number 3,185 chosen or agreed upon by Naymote? Why not 4,185 or 2,185 or something else? Is 3,185 a lucky number? Any compulsive gambler can try his or her luck on pick four. That may net a gambler some mullah.
    But on a serious note, at lesst a sample size of 645 or better per county, would have been reasonable. Furthermore, we all know that Weah is derivative of the Kru tribe (Sinoe) and maybe another tribe in Liberia. Did Sinoe County’s registered voters throw Weah under the bus? It is hard to believe that a native son would be baggered like that by his very own.

    There is no doubt that chronic unemployment exists in Liberia. So, if a pollster asks an unemployed person a tricky question about whether Weah is serious about job creation, the answer will be no. What I am getting at is simple. Did Naymote use telephone, questionnaire, robocall or person to person in order to collect its findings? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not in anyway trying to impugn Naymote’s integrity. I am curious to know something.

    Conclusion:
    In the future, I think Naymote will be taken seriously if its pollsters survey registered and non registered voters county by county.

  11. Gentlemen:
    In the court of public opinion, our personal viewpoints will not be positively received by everyone. Let us promote Liberian patriotism. Let’s be respectful of one another irrespective of whether we strongly feel that someone’s personal opinion is the slimiest on earth. I hope I am not wrong.

    Phil George underscores the importance of job creation. He is right. DaVoice informs us about the fact that an overnight quick fix should not be expected, but rather patience should be considered. Gotombo and Johnson sound like crime fighters. They’re headed in the right direction. Like Gotombo and Johnson, almost all people of goodwill agree that corruption is ingrained in Liberia’s social fabric.

    A few commenters have been mentioned above. What’s about the rest of the commenters? Well, Varmah respectfully disagrees with some Liberians (no names) who take home humongous paychecks. Varmah is right because our schools, hospitals and roads need to be repaired. Of course, those who get paid in US bucks will disagree with him. Flomo is concerned about blind loyalty. Flomo is convinced that Siboe Doe and S.G. Moses are ardent supporters of Weah. Siboe Doe, many people think you are a little too fierce. C’on gentleman. You can express yourself differently. On the other hand, don’t be cowed by anyone. Be persuasive.

    The catch: Flomo is 100% entitled to his opinion and should not be trashed because of his belief.
    Reality check: Moses and Siboe Doe are 100% correct for being supportive of whomever they feel comfortable with. As turbulent as the political wind is in Liberia, every leader needs reliable partners.

    Jayroll seems to be a crusader for law and order in Liberia. Guess what? Every country needs a slice of law and order. S.G Moses is somehow uncertain about Naymote’s survey especially as it relates to the country’s armed forces. Naymote, more work needs to be done, that’s how Moses and others feel. Sunwabe and Conneh, you’re great patriots like all the commenters who’ve been mentioned above. We can all agree to disagree. We can all make Liberia a loveable country irrespective of our differences.

    Come Thanksgiving Day, don’t over do it guys.

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