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“Vision 2030” a gimmick: Replace it with a practical ‘Vision 2012’

By Tewroh-Wehtoe Sungbeh   

Pick up a phone and call a Liberian – any Liberian living in the country. Ask the individual how things are in Liberia? The person will tell you this: “Life in the country is a living hell; things are hard, the country is lawless, and the government is corrupt.” I am not making it up.

Do me a favor again. Ask the same question to a Liberian who just moved to Liberia to escape from America’s own hardship (which, of course is survivable than Liberia’s) to find a job there. The response from the Liberian who moved to Liberia for the easy ride will be like this: “Liberia is sweet, and the “Old ma is trying her best.”

Those Liberians from the United States who ran to Liberia for jobs and their brand of “comfort” will not boldly endorse the perceived leadership Ellen Johnson Sirlfeaf has provided since she became president in 2005, (because the woman has shown zero leadership) but will often romanticize Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ‘s gender as the continent’s first elected female president, as if that historical distinction will or has created jobs and put food on the table for over a million Liberians.

Anyway, those are two painfully contrasting answers from two different lenses, coming from Liberians who sees the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s administration as incapable of improving the living conditions of the Liberian people. The other from opportunistic sympathizers and parasites, whose tepid endorsement of the Sirleaf administration is as cold as the water in a pond.

The questions now are, how sweet can the country be when 85% of the population is unemployed, when Liberians cannot afford to go to school because they lack school fees or bus fares; when Liberians are starving and dying daily from curable illnesses, when Liberians are denied admissions to hospitals or clinics because they have no U.S., dollars; when there are no drugs in those healthcare facilities, when President Sirleaf’s children are hired by her to head the National Oil Company, and the other as deputy governor in the country’s National Bank?

Or when the Acting Mayor of the city of Monrovia, Mary Broh, reportedly slaps Nancy Gaye, a female Liberian Senate employee in the face for “provoking her.” Mary Broh is not fired and put in prison yet for violating Nancy Gaye’s civil rights?

How best is this ‘Old ma’ trying?

The truth is, President Sirleaf is not trying, and the Liberian people are suffering. And the other truth is, the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration – in 7 years has failed miserably to solve the nation’s chronic unemployment problem, which currently stands at 85 percent.

Instead, the Liberian people are introduced annually to gimmicks and outlandish lies and pie in the sky theories and solutions that exacerbates the problem, rather than solving those myriads of problems that plagued the country.

And instead of staying at home to solve the country’s chronic problem, Ms. Sirleaf and her entourage (with no accountability) continue to travel around the world in chartered commercial airliners like a celebrity.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s “Vision 2030” is a gimmick – so outlandish I will refer to it as “Gimmick 2030,” which needs to be immediately set ablaze and replaced with a practical and achievable Vision 2012 policy, whose practical benefits Liberians can touch, hold, feel and use right now.

It is so true that there has to be long-term goals that prepare a nation for the next generation. However, the Liberian people craves a short-term goal right now that gave them hope, at a time when some go to bed hungry, are homeless, and are beggars in their own country.

As the Liberian people suffering increases and becomes visible, spineless, and  sycophantic government officials and members of the national Legislature sleeps in bed conveniently with the Executive branch to enhance their own selfish financial and political interests.

However, something has to be done right now, not 2030; and the Sirleaf administration must put food on the table for Liberians, must create jobs in both the public and private sector, and must make healthcare accessible and affordable, before history repeats itself.

The Sirleaf administration must also make education accessible and affordable, must make pilot’s training/airline schools and aircrafts available also to train pilots(the nation needs its own airline); must coordinate or solve the existing commercial transportation mess in the country, must work hard to solve Liberia’s chronic sanitation/landfill/garbage problem, must address and find solutions to the chronic problem of rural dwellers migrating to the capital, and must also address the erosion problem that continues to destroy the coastal parts of the country.

How about revamping the tax system to make it efficient? Did I forget to add that the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration is still importing rice into the country in 2012? Another failure of her government to make Liberia self-sufficient.

The Commissioners at the National Elections Commission who supposed to supervise and coordinate national elections are partisan members of the president, who are also appointed by her. Conflict of interest at the highest level, isn’t it?

Remember the controversy that occured during the last presidential elections, when Elections Chairman James Fromoyan reportedly undermined the electoral process by favoring the incumbent, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf? Are Liberians waiting for the last minute when another corrupt electoral practice takes place before demanding change?

Wake up, Liberians, you are too compliant!

As it is now, Liberians in the Diaspora cannot vote in their country’s elections. This violation allows corrupt and spineless politicians to go unchecked and unscrutinized by those who knows their voting rights, and takes voting seriously.

This also allows corrupt and spineless politicians in Liberia to be in the president’s handbag, always rubberstamping everything coming out of the Executive Mansion, which does not bode well for democracy.

There is a leadership failure in Liberia right now. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is not a leader, but a spectator. This president is not only a colossal failure, but also an embarrassment to the people of Liberia and the country.

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