As part of several activities intended to enlighten citizens on government performance in the counties, NAYMOTE Partners for Democratic Development, has taken an extraordinary civic engagement activity to various community colleges.
The civic engagement exercise is part of NAYMOTE’s advocacy. The organization started its civic engagement with the Bomi County Community College (BCCC), Cuttington University in Bong County, the University of Liberia and most recently extended its activities to the Grand Bassa County Community College (GBCCC).
On April 6, 2019, a cross-section of students from GBCCC, for the first time, expressed delight for the role NAYMOTE has played so far by informing them about what the government has done and what it has yet to do to improve the citizens’ lives.
Jestina Finda Saah, a student studying public administration at GBCCC, commended NAYMOTE for the step it took to educate students on the performance of the government.
Student Saah encouraged her colleagues to take advocacy seriously to ensure that every promise made by the government is fulfilled.
“This is the first time to have heard that President George Weah, during the 2017 elections, made 87 promises, and has completed only five, while the other ones are ongoing and the rest are not rated. So, we need to be aware at all times,” she said.
According to the student, if citizens are well informed about what the government is doing in terms of fulfilling its campaign promises, they will have no reason to call on radio talk-shows and social media to castigate the government.
“One of the reasons why many people call on radio and say all kinds of negative things about the government and the country is because they are not informed about happenings in government; what are the challenges faced, and what could be done to address these problems,” Student Saah added.
She acknowledged how the NAYMOTE’s civic engagement has clarified some of the doubts in the minds of many, adding, “even though the government has not done much to be praised, it is important to get the necessary information to the people through civic engagements so as to erase some of the high level of negative thoughts in the minds of citizens.”
Lawrence D. James, GBCCC student council president, who also embraced the NAYMOTE exercise, said the event was important for them, “because in every society, when citizens are adequately informed, they will not become a threat to the society, but when they are incorrectly informed, they become a serious threat and heavy burden on society.”
He said it is about time that citizens across Liberia take advantage of the NAYMOTE report to put the government’s feet to the fire, something which he said will ensure that the right things are done in line with those 87 promises the President has made.
“We need to use this report as a yardstick to hold government accountable in all camping promises that are legally enforceable,” he stated.
Mr. James then used the occasion to thank NAYMOTE, recommending that the engagement should also be extended to high schools throughout the country to ensure that young people are informed adequately.
Meanwhile, NAYMOTE Exeutive Director, Eddie Jarwolo, in his power-point presentation, informed the students that the report was based on tracking, interviews conducted and verified, publications from media institutions, both print and electronic, as well as visitations of various project sites.
Jarwolo clarified that, of the 87 promises the President made, five were completed.
According to him, during the President’s one year in office, January 22, 2018 to January 22, 2019, the organization, has tracked, documented and rated 87 promises (65 promises from the CDC Manifesto 2017 and 22 promises from campaign speeches), policy statements and presidential priority projects.
“Since the ascendancy of the President Weah and his government to power, actions have been taken towards the implementation of 38 promises, including five completed and 33 ongoing during the first year in office, focusing on education, health, infrastructure, agriculture and youth empowerment,” Jarwolo stated.