The Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA) has called for a national day of anger against reports of massive corruption among key past and current officials of the government of Liberia.
“ULAA will consult with its membership and partners, civil society groups, religious, political, and other interest groups both at home and in the Diaspora to organize a National Day of ANGER in order for Liberians from across the globe and at home to simultaneously stage a peaceful opposition to the promotion and accommodation of corruption by the Government of Liberia,” ULAA’s statement signed by Arthur Weah Doe National General Secretary, stated in a press release.
Global Witness, an international watchdog on bad business practices, revealed what appears to be a pay to play scheme of bribery to key lawmakers and government officials to weaken the nation’s laws and award the country’s natural resources to a shady British mining firm, Sable International, said the release.
That this massive corruption was done so cavalierly in wanton disregard to the interest of the Liberian people constitutes the tragedy that has befallen “our country, and further explains why the people have not benefited from concessions and other agreements valued at over $16 billion in a small country like Liberia,” according to a press release issued by ULAA.
ULAA finds it unconscionable that individuals in positions of public trust will so easily betray that trust and form an alliance with a foreign business entity in an effort to surrender the country‘s resources to that entity. It is even more troubling as the report indicates that the Speaker of the National Legislature and other key officials of government converted their official positions to that of “consultants” for this foreign firm seeking to do business in Liberia, said the press release.
ULAA acknowledges that corruption remains one of the major challenges facing the country, but declares that this very extreme and dangerous form of corruption, which has been the hallmark of this government, is unprecedented in the history of the country.
Accordingly, ULAA hereby places the government of Liberia on notice that enough is enough. Enough is enough when hospitals lack basic diagnostic and other essential equipment while corruption walks the corridors of power. Enough is enough when health workers, ordinary police officers, teachers, and firefighters are poorly paid, and many primary students in different grade levels are crammed in a single classroom, while government officials are involved in ill-gotten wealth.
Enough is enough when schools, hospitals, roads, and bridges are either non-existent or in serious disrepair while the national budget is rigged to pay the salaries and benefits of the top one percent of high government officials, most of whom are very corrupt, the release continued.
It further stated, enough is enough when Liberians are dying from curable diseases while key government officials and law makers formed phantom companies to siphon money from the public coffers for their personal benefit while at the same time seeking medical treatments abroad.
Meanwhile ULAA views the reaction of the government of Liberia to this damaging report by setting up an investigative committee as nothing more than a publicity stunt intended to play to international theater.
Everyone familiar with how this government has handled high level corruption incidents in the past and now knows fully well that this so-called committee will produce nothing of national significance, as evidenced by the appointment of an individual with a colorful background as its head.
Finally, ULAA is calling on all Liberians not to despair at this point in the fight against corruption and the flagrant abuse of public office that has now become routine in our land. This is an existential fight for our motherland, and we must rise up to the challenge.
Accordingly, ULAA has decided to lead this charge by adopting the following actions in its efforts to mobilize public opinions and escalate the fight against corruption:
“Henceforth, ULAA as a matter of policy will no longer invite or share platform with any official of the Liberian government who is implicated in corrupt practices either by the General Auditing Commission, the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, or other credible investigative bodies until their names are fully cleared of any wrong doing. ULAA will encourage other Diaspora organizations to adopt this policy.
“ULAA is currently examining the legal ramifications of leading a direct protest at the homes and schools of children of government officials who have families in the United States that are implicated in corrupt practices either by the General Auditing Commission or other credible investigating agencies.