Home Governance No Democracy Can Thrive In Chaos …Independence Day Orator Tells Liberians

No Democracy Can Thrive In Chaos …Independence Day Orator Tells Liberians

by newsmanager

MONROVIA: The Orator of Liberia’s 175th National Independence Day Celebration, Madam Mawine G. Diggs, says “No democracy can thrive, no development can take place and the welfare of the citizenry cannot be served if peace is not guaranteed.”

While acknowledging that “the major responsibility of every government is the maintenance of peace, for us in Liberia, this is an uncompromising common good.”

She asserted that “the maintenance of peace is therefore not solely the responsibility of the government in power. The opposition has such equal responsibility as does each and every Liberian citizen including foreigners residing within the borders of our land.

Delivering her National Oration on July 26, 2022, Madam Diggs who is also the Minister of Commerce to the Liberian nation that “Peace is a prerequisite for development as a whole because it creates an enabling environment for the fundamentals of societal progress which are Infrastructural Development, Free Market Structures and the Rule of Law. When there is the absence of peace, key sectors such as Education and Health break down, critical systems to enable nationwide development all crumble. Peace preserves additional resources both human and financial which if left unabated would otherwise be used to instill violence.”

“We are all aware by now that peace and development go hand in hand, the more peaceful a nation, the more prosperous, stable, and developed it shall be,” the emphasized.

Orator Diggs: “For the many years of civil conflict, all my generation witnessed was sustained destruction of properties, loss of lives, a tarnished national image and lowering of our self-esteem. This left many to wonder if development could ever take place amidst all these conditions.”

The Orator pointed out that Liberians demonstrated a strong will, a nationalistic spirit, courage in the face of unsurmountable challenges and set aside their differences to choose peace over conflict which allowed our nation to move forward and that “with the fresh air of peace over the land, our democracy was restored, and the rebuilding of our nation commenced.”

According to her, peace is not and has not been the absence of war or violent conflict, rather it is the presence of a fully functioning society which provides opportunities and equal participation in the national space. “There is peace when development in every form is spread to every nook and cranny of Liberia. There is peace when access to education is a matter of right and not privilege. There is peace when healthcare is accessible to all by the increased number of medical facilities and referral hospitals beyond the capital city. There is peace when Liberians regardless of location and medium can freely express themselves without having to fear for their lives. Oh yes, there is peace when there is equal participation in the political landscape of the country, where the mandate and choices of the people are respected.”

She maintains that “because there is peace, we are experiencing waves of development across the country. Whether you and I choose to acknowledge it or not the development is quite visible.”
However, the Orator asserted that at 175 years of independence, the Liberian nation is still challenged in many regards. “This is not what we are proud of, but neither are we ashamed. With every challenge comes the opportunity for Liberians to demonstrate true patriotism and sincere love for country.”
Orator: “Our political history reminds us that Liberia was a founding member of many international and multinational organizations. The challenges that faced the world then which necessitated the formation of such organizations are still confronting the world today and Liberia is not an exception. Prosperity and Development resonates from sound leadership, uncommon vision, bringing citizens along in the governance process, fiscal probity, zero tolerance for corruption and accountability.”

“Nevertheless, prosperity and development is not achieved overnight nor are they instantaneous outcomes. They are outcomes of bold leadership and prudent decision making which brings me to the not so favorable topic of modus operandi in terms of donor support in the form of direct budget support or donor implemented projects,” Orator Diggs stressed.

“As we actively engage in the development of our country, I believe it is now time that we sit as partners and fully examine the impact of these donor sponsored loans and grants in order to assess the true impact on the lives of our people. What goes into deciding how projects are determined or selected? Where and what part of the country are those projects implemented? and under whose authority are those monies expended? Let me boldly say that in terms of addressing governance and accountability concerns, we have done everything as a nation, from changing governments, to fighting a senseless war, firing ministers and heads of agencies, voting new members of legislature,” he declared.

According to Orator Diggs, “But yet the one thing that remains constant is the mode of operation of donor funding regardless of the government in power or the lack of tangible impact seen. This must change. Accountability must be on all sides.”

“If we were to pause for a moment and request the dollar value of the total amounts in donor funding over the last decade or two, whether in the form of loans or grants I am certain it will be several billions of dollars.” “But yet”, the Commerce Minister indicated that “if we are to match that with the corresponding impact, we would all agree to a re-examination of the mode of operation of donor funding.”

Orator Diggs: “To the friends of Liberia and our donor community, I want you to understand that you remain valuable partners in keeping our peace and promoting our development agenda. However, in partnerships there must be honest exchanges and flexibility in operations to truly support the agenda of a nation. Perhaps the level of bureaucracies in the approval and procurement processes and the excessive control over these projects can lead to reduced impact and subsequently shift the pressure back to government, who in most instances have little or no control over these projects but yet are held accountable for the dollar value of these projects.”

She pointed out that on the average, it takes half of a presidential term, if not a whole term, to get a donor funded project signed, implemented and completed. This I am certain needs to be looked at critically.

Turning to her cabinet colleagues, Orator Diggs told them: “We have a crucial role to play in helping the president deliver on his Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development; this must never be taken for granted. It is an expectation that the children and people of Liberia benefit from the decisions we make and the impact those decisions have on their lives. We must all strive to reduce the bottlenecks associated with the implementation of these donor projects, as those delays work against the timely delivery of these projects in the interest of the Liberian people.”
She also told Liberians: “About two centuries ago this year, we celebrated the formation of our country and the richness of its history. This was only possible due to the sustained peace we have enjoyed and togetherness that accompanied it. All Liberians should be credited for the resilience the country has exhibited over the last two centuries. Together we have faced and fought many foes, with much valor.

Be it political, social or economic. Recently, like the rest of the world, we even triumphed over a major global pandemic. This is a testament to the Liberian spirit of patriotism and determination for which we must all be proud. Nevertheless, we as a people must never forget the price paid by leaders of generations before us and the sacrifices they made to give us what we now have as Liberia. It is important to note that irrespective of our differences and the unfettered freedoms we enjoy daily; we must never return our nation to its darkest past.”

She applauded the Legislature for the passage of the amendment to the Alien and Nationality Law, setting forth the path for dual citizenship, saying “I believe it is long overdue, but as they say, it is always better late than never.”

It is on this land that our forebears lived in freedom, after years of servitude and bondage. This is where their roots have been planted. Although the last few decades brought with it political, social and economic crises, giving rise to the exodus of some of our compatriots, they have never ceased their support and love for the motherland.

They say home is where the heart is. This is indeed the Land of Return for all Liberians: Once a Liberian; Always a Liberian. No law should have to separate brothers from brothers. We all have a stake in whatever direction this country takes and it is therefore our collective responsibility to ensure Liberia regains its rightful place amongst the comity of nations.

“It is with this charge that I feel an obligation to address how we as individual citizens portray our nation to the outside world. What we say matters but most importantly, what we do is what will ultimately make the difference. Honestly, it is quite simple to sit behind a computer or better yet call into a radio or online show to spew negatives about Liberia. But let me tell you this today, such actions do not demonstrate strength, courage or love for nation, Quite the contrary, it demonstrates weakness, arrogance and lack of patriotism in the face of opportunities to engage and make an impact in your country. Today is about Fostering Unity, protecting our Peace for Development and Prosperity and as the good book reminds us, there is a time for everything under the heavens so we as a people must learn to be patriotic even while waiting for our time.”

Orator: Patriotism is defined as “the feeling of love, devotion, and sense of attachment to one’s country. My fellow Liberians, can we confidently say we are patriotic? Because at times I do wonder if we as Liberians truly understand what it means to be patriotic.”

Madam Diggs: “175 years of Independence and 200 years of existence requires a different level of boldness so let me take a moment to address our self-proclaimed social media and talk show heroes who are constantly disguised in self-dignified arrogance. Understand that your criticisms without the proffering of solutions or actions is just another level of hate. So as you use your individual platforms to point out the ills of our Liberian society, I challenge you to demonstrate your love for country by not just words but also actions that make a difference in the lives of everyday Liberians. For the country’s image you so easily tarnish today is the same country you desire to lead tomorrow. So for the sake of love for nation as proclaimed, let us unite in the midst of our differences and move Liberia forward so that if you are ever given an opportunity to lead, you will inherit a wholesome nation. Not one divided based on personal interest or political ambition.”

Related Posts

Leave a Comment