‘Poverty Has No Tribe’

Dr. Mills Jones


The political leader of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE), Dr. J. Mills Jones, has said that although poverty affects the majority of the Liberian people, it is not their destiny – and that it can be changed by the Movement for Economic Empowerment.

Because poverty affects all, irrespective of tribe, Dr. Jones called on Liberian voters to be wary of politicians who use tribal politics to ascend to the presidency.

Dr. Jones spoke last Friday during a tour of four towns in Bong County (Salala, Totota, Zeansue and Gbarnga), where he told a gathering of hundreds of supporters at each of the visited towns to discourage any politician that preaches tribal politics.

Dr. Jones told partisans and others that many Liberians are affected by poverty, which he blamed on the poor quality of the country’s leadership since independence in 1847.

Known across the country as ‘Poverty Doctor’, Dr Jones told partisans that it is his party’s responsibility to lift Liberians out of poverty, adding that “MOVEE is a party for the teacher, the driver, the motorcycle rider, marketers,” among others.

He admonished the crowds that if any politician tries using tribal identity as a means of getting their votes, they should ask him or her if their tribal kinship has ever given them jobs or benefits.

Dr. Jones said the primary issue is not about speaking the same language or coming from the same tribal background but rather about who cares for the Liberian people. He made reference to his empowerment efforts throughout the country when he used the opportunity he had as the Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia to make sure that Liberians in the leeward counties have access to loans to improve their lives.

With a consistent message that poverty is not the destiny of Liberians and that MOVEE can lift them out of poverty, Dr. Jones said the greatest enemy of the Liberian people is poverty.

“When you are poor you have no human dignity and your children and wives don’t respect you,” Dr. Jones said, “you only exist…and MOVEE is here to change that.”

He called on Liberians not to allow the same old way of doing things to remain the status quo, “because change is coming,” and they must “join the movement for it.”

Dr. Jones said Liberians should decide to make a change for justice, equal opportunities, fairness; and a land of promise, a land of possibilities, and must look up to working together for the promise that MOVEE stands for.

Meanwhile, speaking on the controversial Code of Conduct, Dr Jones asked: “Why did many people think I was the target? What have I done to be the target?”

He described as misinformation news that he had been barred from running in the election or that the Code of Conduct had affected his presidential bid for the October elections. “Go out there and tell your people that Dr. Jones’ name will be on the ballot for the president in October,” he told them.

Dr. Jones said in all his deliberations, he wants Liberians to get out of poverty, and had helped many in the country to get financial independence which should not be counted as evil against him.

In their responses, representatives of the National Petty Traders Union of Totota, the Welekermah Women Association of Salala, and other organizations expressed appreciation for the clarity that his name will be on the ballot.

They assured him of their support because of what he did for them as Governor, which they believe would be bigger and better when he is elected President of Liberia in October.


  1. Oh Liberia, where have we gone wrong? Most politicians fail to address Liberia’s problems. They focus on party loyalty. They focus too much on dividing our nation. Our current administration focused too much on building infrastructures instead of focusing on uplifting the people from poverty to economic prosperity. Liberians do not want hand-outs…..the dependency on foreign aids. Liberians want jobs…Jobs….jobs to feed their families: Jobs to send their children to school: Jobs to make a decent living.

    Poverty is destroying our country. Because of unemployment, some of our men have become drug dealers. Because of unemployment, some of our young girls have turned to prostitution just to earn a living. Because of greed, some of our government officials have made corruption the most popular word in Liberia. For the love of power, some of our politicians are turning to juju man to help them win election……no wonder our country is so backward. Because of low salary, some teachers are selling grades for sex. Because of unemployment, many young children are pan-handling (begging) just to support their unemployed parents. Just to assist their unemployed parents, some young children are in the streets selling all sorts of goods instead of going to school.

    Unemployment has skyrocketed in Liberia. Poverty is the new disease killing poor Liberians. No wonder our jails are running over with criminals. When will our leaders take the time to analyze the reasons for all these social problems that are destroying the fabric of our nation? Who are we putting in jail? Our jail houses are overcrowded with the poor, overcrowded with the unemployed, overcrowded with the `venerable, overcrowded with the homeless, overcrowded with the prostitutes, overcrowded with the pan-handlers, overcrowded with the drug dealers, and overcrowded with various criminals.

    As long as the politicians neglect the poor and vulnerable people, the lawlessness will continue to rise. Our leaders need to implement social programs to address the multitude of problems that are causing our people to look for illegal means to survive. The lack of jobs and social programs in many African countries to address severe poverty are causing too many Africans to risk their lives to cross the Mediterranean into Europe.
    As long as poverty continues to rise in Liberia there will be more crimes committed. The poor will always find means to survive…be it legal or illegal. We need to address the root cause of these problems: POVERTY AND HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT!!!

    Dr. Jones is right: “poverty has no tribe; and therefore, Liberians should avoid tribal politics.” We are all poor Liberians in the eyes of the world.

    As Benjamin Franklin said, “Poverty often deprives a man of all spirit and virtue; it is hard for an empty bag to stand upright.”

    Disclaimer: In no way do I support criminal behavior…….not from the poor nor the corrupt government officials.

  2. Mills Jones is exactly correct, poverty has no tribe, and knows no bound. however, his problem is, he has no momentum leading into election day.


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