Liberian Action Party Says
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL
New Year Message Of The
Liberia Action Party
Partisans of the Liberia Action Party, Fellow Citizens of Liberia:
From the National Executive Committee of the Liberia Action Party and on my own behalf, I bring you greetings and heartfelt felicitations as we enter the New Year 2005. We thank the Almighty God for sparing the lives of each of us to reach this day and we continue to pray to Him for his grace and his blessing on each of you, your families and your endeavors for the coming year.
The year 2005 is a very important year for political parties and politically motivated and politically conscious Liberians; it is the year of decision for all Liberians, a decision to take charge of our country and transform it to a peaceful, secure and prosperous place for all of us or a decision to return it to anarchy, chaos, destruction, and degradation. During this year of decision, we pray that our Almighty God, who has stood by us and carried us during the most difficult and turbulent times of our history, will continue to guide us as we make this decision of our lives in October, 2005.
This time 2003, we recall that our country was still slowly emerging from the ravages of a senseless civil war, which had taken us to the brink of total destruction. Our international reputation was the worst; we had been described as a “failed state”, a “pariah nation” and Liberia once a beacon of hope for Africa has now degenerated to geo-political irrelevance. As the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) was the formula to stop the senseless war and bring relief to our people, even though its Chairman is a nominee of political parties, all other key positions were assigned to warring factions. Restructuring the government under the comprehensive peace agreement was a slow and daunting process; but that was eventually achieved.
It would appear that the next focus of the NTGL was to restore Liberia’s image in the international community and to make us functioning participants in international political, economic and monetary institutions. We believe that the NTGL is making tremendous and encouraging strides in this direction; but in concentration so much efforts on improving our international relations, it has clearly neglected major domestic issues and concerns.
The NTGL had not placed sufficient emphasis on domestic issues and problems. To endear itself to the ordinary Liberian people and leave a legacy for itself, the NTGL must re-direct its energies and the resources available to it to domestic issues and concerns now. And Lap’s National Executive Committee has committed itself to ensuing that the NTGL will urgently make this change in its focus.
For the faults and defaults of the NTG; there are some politicians who prefer to gain political capital as the means of posturing themselves for elections in October 2005 and they do so by shifting the blames of the NTGL to LAP only because the NTGL Chairman was once the Chairman of LAP. We will never deny that Chairman Bryant was LAP Chairman for many years prior to his ascendancy to the NTGL chairmanship in October 2003; but chairman Bryant was a single individual in a major political party; he was one of several equals in terms of influence and stature in LAP. Holding LAP responsible for Chairman Bryant’s management of the NTGL or for NTGL’s policies and programs is grossly unfair; ascribing to LAP the deficiencies or defaults of the NTGL is also a total lack of understanding of the formation of the NTGL and the political dynamics which govern it.
Certain political competitors, who have personally participated in the destruction of Liberia or assisted others in the destruction of Liberia, see LAP as a major obstacle to achieving their lifelong dreams of becoming President of Liberia. As they can find nothing inimical that LAP or its senior partisans have done to Liberia and the Liberia people, they have decided to ascribe to LAP all the faults and defaults of the NTGL, hoping that the Liberian people will forget their misdeeds, their pronouncements, their contributions to militarize Liberia and misconduct that destroyed our country. LAP knows that the Liberian people have long memories and LAP knows that those who wish to divert the attention from their misdeeds and misconduct by leveling false accusations and manipulative propaganda against LAP will not succeed.
If the NTGL were a government in which LAP’s partisans held senior and policies making positions or a government where LAP solely appointed senior officials and could dismiss them at will as a deterrence to misconduct and stimuli for productivity and competent performance, the it would have been politically sensible to hold LAP responsible for NTGL’s faults or defaults. But as it is, where Chairman Bryant is merely a caretaker Chairman, who has no appointing power and whose authority to either dismiss or otherwise discipline any senior NTGL official is virtually non-existent, LAP cannot be held responsible for and LAP is not responsible for either the faults or defaults of the NTGL.
Instead of ascribing to LAP the faults and defaults of the NTGL, what all political players ought to do in 2005 is to engage the NTGL to ensure that it prioritizes domestic issues and concerns on its agenda. This is the pro-active role, which Lap’s National Executive Committee has committed itself to, assume and play during 2005; and we call on all our partisans, supporters and well-wishers to join us in this constructive engagement with the NTGL during the course of 2005.
In engaging the NTGL during 2005 on domestic issues and concerns, the rampant and pervasive corruption in government and the public service will be a priority. We submit that notwithstanding, the limitations on the power to dismiss or otherwise discipline senior NTGL officials, unless stringent punitive actions no matter the culprit are taken against corruption in government and the public service, NTGL would be perceived as having failed the Liberian people. It is not in the interest of any well-meaning Liberian for the NTGL to fail.
The second area, which our attention shall be focused, is basis social services to the Liberian people. We acknowledge that the NTGL does not have access to major sources of revenue and most of our natural resources are not being exploited to generate the amount of resources that would make significant difference in the lives of the Liberian people. We however submit that whatever limited resources are available can be more effectively utilized for basic services such as education and health. If the NTGL would prioritize education and health services that benefit a cross section of the Liberian people and successfully implement both, the NTGL would have justified its mandate as a caretaker government. Neglecting basic social services is not an option for any government, irrespective of limitations in its mandate.
A third area of engagement of the NTGL is utility services for the Liberian people. We know that the resources are not available to provide electricity and water at this time and it appears that the international community is hesitant to assist in the reconstruction of electricity and water at this time; however we urge the NTGL to redirect its attention to address the concerns of the international community who have shown interest in providing some solution.
We encourage the NTGL to address the issues of salary arrears, of the former Government, which it committed itself to pay.
Given his meager income in Liberian dollars, high prices of essential commodities have always been a problem for the ordinary Liberian. As most of these essential commodities are imported, LAP recognizes that there is very little that can be done where the international market dictates the price. What concerns LAP is the utilization of the numerous fees that are linked to the importation process including the rice stabilization fund which were intended to provide relief to the consumer in times of international price movements. LAP shall engage the NTGL to take the necessary actions and make the necessary adjustments to bring relief to the Liberian people.
If the NTGL would minimize corruption in government and the public service, reduce waste and consumption, especially consumption for the convenience of its senior officials, and redirect resources from security matters and unnecessary travels, there will be enough to undertake the programs and projects identified above. And as these programs and projects will directly benefit the Liberian people, all politicians and political parties of good will should work together to ensure that the NTGL undertakes and implements these programs and projects.
For LAP, we will continue to constructively engage the NTGL, and by so doing, help it achieve its mandate to bring peace to Liberia and supervise general elections in October 2005. Our constructive engagement will include criticisms, where we believe that such criticisms would propel NTGL to doing what is good for the Liberian people and right by them. We will never, ever exploit situations in order to obtain what we perceive to be political capital for purposes of promoting LAP during the October 2005 elections
Therefore we call on other political parties to take polities from the level of personal rivalry and destruction of others, which we have experienced in the past, to the level of what each politician or political party can do for the Liberian people and how different one politicians or political party is from the other. Falsely ascribing to LAP faults and defaults of the NTGL as the vehicle though which some p0olitical parties and politicians believe that they will ascend to state power is a misguided approach. We discourage this.
Finally, we thank all our partisans, supporters and well-wishers for all the work and support of the past year; we look forward to much harder work and more support from each of you as we approach October 2005. It is with your support and hard work that we can be assured of victory at the polls; and with victory at polls, the elections stolen from us in October 1985 will be delivered to us 20 years thereafter in October 2005. We will then set our to transform our native land by making it a place of genuine social peace, political stability, equal protection of the law, and economic prosperity and development for all our people. And then we shall truly have “Liberty, Honesty, Justice” (our motto) the hallmark for our people, for our country.
Thank you! And God bless you and save the Republic.
ISSUED UPON THE AUTHORITY OF THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE LIBERIAN ACTION PARTY (LAP) THIS 29 TH DAY OF DECEMBER 2004.
/S/ D. Sheba Brown (Mrs.)
/t/ D. Sheba Brown (Mrs.)