By: E. Geedahgar Garsuah, Sr.
MONROVIA: A presidential hopeful, Cllr. Tiawon Saye Gongloe, has expressed uncertainty over the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), led-government’s commitment to enhancing Liberia’s human resource capacity by investing in the educational sector of the country.
The Lawyer said his uncertainty is due to the massive reports of corruption in the public sector.
Gongloe, who is President emeritus of the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA), serving as a keynote speaker at the Fifth Convocation ceremony of the Cornerstone College of Professional Education and Technology pointed out that the current state of ignorance in Liberia can only be reduced through the provision of quality education.
Remarking on the Theme: “Education: the necessary first step for sustained peace, unity and national development in Liberia,” Cllr. Gongloe noted that the aspirations of many Liberians to acquire quality education is an uphill task on grounds that the primary focus of the CDC-led government is to amass ill-gotten wealth at the detriment of ordinary citizens, yearning for quality and affordable tertiary education.
Cllr. Said: “This may be wishful thinking given the current level of stealing in government. With the President and most of his senior government officials investing in building houses owned by them, I doubt that there will be any money left in the coffers of government to commit more money to education. Because, those who control resources in government know that the ruling party will not win the next election, each of them will be stealing more money, thereby leaving no money for education, health and other essential social services,” he said.
The human rights lawyer turned politician predicts that taking into account the high level of corruption currently permeating the corridor of public sector while President George Manneh Weah sits absentmindedly without taking punitive action, because he is an accomplice clearly suggests that the CDC-led government is aware that a reelection path is a no-go zone at the 2023Presidential and Legislative polls.
According to Cllr. Gongloe, the upcoming 2023 elections will be an exact repetition of the Midterm Senatorial Elections and the by-elections where the ruling establishment miserably lost several seats to independent and opposition candidates.
“Just as they lost in the by elections everywhere, they will lose the 2023 elections because the Liberian people are looking for Liberians who are willing to serve and not to steal. Liberian people want a government that will obey the 8th commandment that says “Thou shall not steal”.
He emphasized the urgent need for budgetary increment to the educational sector aimed at minimizing the already systemic increased of ignorance of the population.
“Government should resume committing more resources to education. This is the best way to promote peace, understanding, unity and development. President Tolbert once said that Liberia has three key enemies. He named those enemies as ignorance, poverty and disease. Among the three enemies, he concluded that ignorance was the worst enemy of Liberia. This is true, because when people are ignorant, they sometimes get easily angry for not understanding what is being said or done by their leaders”.
Cllr. Gongloe cautioned public service officials to halt the act of corruption in the function of their duties and responsibilities.
He said: “I am here because I want to use every opportunity available to me to spread the message, supported by my track record of public service, that government is a place to serve and not to steal. Government is a place where the president, ministers and all public servants are expected to demonstrate their love for country and show that they have their country at heart by rendering sacrificial services and not getting rich overnight”.