As Liberia celebrates its 174th independence
The opposition Unity Party (UP) has said amid the celebration of Liberia's 174th independence anniversary, citizens are seemingly plagued with unemployment and the lack of earning opportunities.
The party in its independence day message named low and extensively unpaid wages, inaccessible and poor healthcare, poor education system, lack of safe drinking water and poor nutrition, increasing crime rate and gender-based violence, impunity, lack of accountability, and more are on the increase leaving the citizens insecure.
"Since our existence, we have produced leaders whose values and works transcend our borders and impact the world. However, our past achievements and the freedom we fought for are inconsequential, if not elusive, if our people continue to live in poverty," the party said.
According to the party, the public and private sectors across the country are confronted with failing institutions and diminishing confidence.
"While we have so much to celebrate with such a long history of trials and survivals, we are in somber times that demand sobriety, restraints, and reflection," the party noted.
UP further that every time Liberia makes leaps forward, it experiences a series of internal and gender-based backs that test its resolve for change and progress.
"However, as a people, we must remain resilient, courageous, and hopeful," the party's independence day message encouraged citizens.
The message said for over 174 years Liberia has been in the vanguard championing freedom, diplomacy, and global integration adding that, "even in the darkest days and through our tribulations, we set examples for the world to follow; whether it was demonstrating that the black race can become free, independent, and enterprising, that women are equals & can lead effectively, that Africans can excel in sports and compete in every facet of our global society, or that war must never be an option for political change or dispute resolution.
UP added most of the country's post-conflict achievements are eroding due to internal weaknesses in governance thereby fomenting macroeconomic instability and an unattractive investment climate.
"Fellow Citizens, your courage and resilience are needed now more than ever. The years ahead will be arduous and challenging. We must unite in taking the government to task to implement radical changes and a realistic development agenda that would foster sustainable recovery and medium to long-term growth," UP added.
The party called on citizens to demand the equitable and strategic distribution of resources and recovery support; Liberian entrepreneurship must be supported and prolonged-term to take over key sectors such as agriculture, value addition, and tourism as the foundation for real economic growth.
According to UP, the government should champion the development of the public health infrastructure and invest in science and technology to lengthen our inside and disaster management teams to be more responsive and prepared.
"We all must realize that some of the defining tenets of an ambitious and progressive society are reconciliation, tolerance, good governance, fiscal discipline, proper planning, rule of law, security, and equitable distribution of wealth. We must fight corruption and the marginalization of our citizens aggressively; these have become even more conspicuously prevalent during this difficult period, the party said.
The party said citizens must take seriously the issue of establishing the War and Economic crimes court; not to target individuals, but to prevent relapse into conflict, and end a culture-targeted press all efforts forward.
The message said as a people, we must put aside individualism, politics, and creed and develop a predictable and concerted approach to making Liberia better.