It was quite interesting on September 8, 2017 seeing one of our presidential hopefuls, Simeon Freeman, appear in the Monrovia City Court to answer why his party, the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC), had not settled the debt it owes a printing press that printed flyers to propagate his campaign messages.
Our Judicial Reporter, Abednego Davis, reported in the September 11 Edition of this newspaper that Mr. Freeman in court excused himself from the debt of US$850 MPC owed the J. Max Printing Press.
He is quoted as having said, “I do not know Vinton (owner of the printing press), and I have never met him anywhere in my life, but I know that the party owes him, and not me as an individual.”
While it may be true Mr. Freeman as an individual does not owe the J. Max Printing Press, the fact remains that Simeon Freeman established the MPC, manages everything there and currently runs on its ticket as a presidential candidate.
Whatever the fate of this party, Mr. Freeman should and must be able to defend its cause, for God’s sake.
To our dismay and that of many others, this tough-talking man, who criticizes government and goes so far as using invectives on the President of Liberia, is shamelessly distancing himself from a minimum amount of US$850 his political party owes a striving local press.
Is that how he will treat Liberian businesses if elected president?
Is Mr. Freeman unconscious of the fact that anything reflecting negatively on this political party affects his political career? We have written two to three editorials urging Freeman to quit politics and concentrate on his business, but with total disregard he has paid no attention.
Exempting himself from a minor financial obligation of the party he established to run for the presidency says a lot about his competence for the job.
How seriously does he want Liberian people to consider him and the MPC when he cannot settle such a paltry bill? Is he proving that he is moving towards “progressive change” that people can believe?
Although there are no constitutional requirements for integrity before running for public office in this country, common sense and conscience should compel people, especially those seeking high public office, to demonstrate some degree of integrity and morality to build trust in the people whom they want to lead.