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.