By E. Geedahgar Garsuah
MONROVIA: The tough-talking and no-nonsense former President of Dock Workers Union of Liberia, Grace Kpaan, who currently serves as Assistant Pastor at the Life Tabernacle Church has been named as a running-mate to Dr. Clarence Moniba, standard bearer and political leader of the Liberia National Union (LINU).
Pastor Kpaan who also serves as Assistant Pastor to her husband, Pastor Oliver Kpaan, at the Life Tabernacle Church, was unveiled over the weekend to a huge gathering of supporters and well-wishers as a running mate to Liberian Presidential aspirant, Dr. Clarence Moniba, who is also son of Liberia’s former Vice President, Harry F. Moniba (late).
Speaking at the colorful and well-attended occasion, Madam Kpaan who is also former Superintendent of Montserrado County warned Liberia’s voting population to rise above electing “rogue and corrupt leaders.”
Kpaan who is also a popular rights activist cautioned voters to see the 10, October, 2023, Presidential and Legislative elections as a “watershed moment to rise above constraints of apathy (unconcern) and complacency (contentment).”
The Liberian clergywoman, in her acceptance speech, reminded voters that “God does not vote” and as such, voters must to take full responsibility for Liberia’s developmental growth.
“Fellow Liberians, God does not vote. It is the decisions that we make at the ballot box that will either break or make us. So, it is time to rise above the shackles of complacency, vote with our consciences, by electing individuals who have demonstrated integrity and who will put the best interests of Liberia above their personal gains,” she told the gathering.
Madam Kpaan: “But, if you elect rogue officials as it has been done in the past, you will have no one to blame but yourselves for the backwardness of our dear country. The responsibility for change lies with us all, and if you abuse that come the October 10 polls; you must hold yourself accountable for bad governance and corruption,” she emphasized.
According to Madam Kpaan, the battle to change the current leadership of the country which emboldened corruption and bad governance depends on the “Will and Pleasure” of voters.
She indicated that to change the wrong leadership of the country, voters must cast their ballots based on merits, rather than being carried away by tribal sentiments and /or instant political and other gratifications.
She intoned that by electing any rogue leaders to the presidency, and the Legislature comes October is tantamount to “giving a seal of approval,” to bad governance.
Kpaan joins Moniba as a seasoned administrator with a wealth of experience in local governance, including workers’ and women’s rights activism.
Observers and other socio-economic and political commentators are of the view that in the past, winning election in Liberia was not mostly based on integrity, policies and vision, among others as issues such as religion and ethnicity, lack of education, and poverty often determine how votes are cast.
Madam Kpaan, however, appears to be tackling these factors with “conscious messages,” which she believes can cut across and help LINU make inroads nationwide ahead of the crucial October polls.
According to Kpaan, Liberian voters, in the past could be held partly responsible for the poverty, inequality, and bad governance in the country because they elect corrupt leaders but expect change for good which is “impossible.”
She argued that it is wrong for Liberians to blame politicians alone for the failure of the country but should share such responsibility since it is the voters that are contributing to creating such problems by the decisions they make at the polls.
“For years, it has been easy to blame politicians for the failures of our nation, but Liberians must shoulder their share of the responsibility for their failure of to be vigilant, and to critically scrutinize the records and platforms of all of us seeking power,” she said.
Pastor Grace Kpaan: “However, another opportunity is here and that is the October 10 elections. On this day, the fate of our nation lies in your hands and when you cast your vote on that day, you will be doing so not just for yourself, but, but for generations to come.”
“If you elect leaders who embody the principles of integrity, accountability, the experience of doing it before, and selflessness, as it is the case with Dr. Moniba and me, you will be seeking a prosperous future for your country, yourself, and generations to come,” she declared.
Meanwhile, Madam Kpaan, who is also former Head of the International Transport Workers Federation Coordinating Committee, calls on Liberia to rectify the mistakes of the past by voting for the “Moniba/Kpaan ticket in the face of deteriorating economy and governance.”
According to her, the Moniba ticket is a vision for a New Liberia where the rule of law reigns supreme; where our resources would be used judiciously for the betterment of all; and where every Liberian, regardless of their background, has the opportunity to thrive.
“Together, we can create a Liberia that our children will be proud to inherit; A Liberia where dreams are not crushed by corruption, but nurtured by opportunity; A Liberia where hard work, dedication, and integrity are rewarded. Change, my fellow citizens, begins with us. We must be vigilant and discerning in our selection of leaders,” she emphasized amid resounding applauds from the gathering.
“We must demand transparency, accountability, and proven track records of good governance. If you don’t engage in critical thinking, seek truth beyond the superficial allure of political campaigns, and demand transparency and integrity from politicians seeking power, you should not cry when your hopes are shattered and the noble ideals you once held dear crumble before your eyes.
“The Moniba/Kpaan administration will build a Liberia that works for all its citizens, not just a privileged few. We will tackle the root causes of corruption and institute comprehensive measures to eradicate cancer from our society,” Kpaan said to a cheering crowd of supporters.