Nation in Crisis: Ex Auditor General Wants Media Dismantle Corrupt Democracy
Liberia is a country stuck in hell, with a corrupt democracy that does not afford economic freedom and opportunities for its citizens but a few connected to the ruling establishment, former Auditor General John Morlu has said.
“After nearly 10 years in office, corruption has rendered this government incapable of handling the affairs of the state. Today, people say Liberia is stable and at peace, but just beneath that superficial stability and peace, there is glaring hostility, distrust and anger in Liberia, all because of the massive levels of corruption that exist at all levels in Liberia today,” Mr. Morlu said.
Speaking on the theme : : Journalism and Self Regulations: Towards a Better Media Contribution to Liberia’s Democracy the former Auditor General implored the Liberian media to help destroy the corrupt system in Liberia for the building of a true democracy that will bring happiness to the people of Liberia.
Morlu: In Liberia, we have a kleptocracy and Sirleaf Incorporated, masquerading as a democracy. This Government has replaced political tyranny with economic tyranny, surprising and marginalizing the economic interest of the vast majority of Liberians only for the benefit of the few selected people around the Presidency.
“The Liberian Government, is a government that is afraid of its people and has continued the age old practice of doing business under the table, selling off Liberia natural resources with a blink of an eye.
“For 168 years, Liberia’s Democracy is in all practical terms a democracy that is run by a Presidency who lacks moral clarity, a bribe taking Legislature and a judiciary that is for the highest bidder. I cannot in good conscience tell the professionals in the PUL to contribute to such a democracy. Rather, the Liberian media should take a broad national interest to help dismantle this Liberian democracy.
“No media can function properly in this current form of Liberian Democracy. Not even Media Regulatory Commission can survive and make any meaningful impact on the media landscape and the wellbeing of journalists. It will end up like the National Human Right Commission and practically all independent commissions that currently exist.
The country is facing its worst economic and financial crisis in 10 years since the end of the bush war in 2003 with an unending recession that has plummeted growth to 0.3 percent coupled with alarming unemployment.
But the country’s first post war independent Auditor General has declared “Liberia is in crisis and at the tipping point”.
Addressing the 4th Annual Congress of the Press Union of Liberia in the Port City of Buchanan Morlu said “The current administration is not going to be able to solve the problem of the messy education, poor healthcare system, and poor infrastructure.
“This Government has not brought you pipe borne water and electricity in six months in Monrovia as it promised, it is not going to happen in the next two years. This government has not created the 20,000 jobs per year it promised to all the young people of Liberia, it is not going to happen.
“Our Government seems to be stuck in the NGO mentality, where piecemeal projects become the standard instead of taking a global view to address the fundamental problems facing this nation.
He said President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf “is running one of the biggest patronage systems in Liberian history, surpassing President Tubman, the man she blasted for making everything in Liberia a political business.”
With respect to Johnson-Sirleaf’s recent statement to the nation wherein she declared suffering time for Liberians due to the ailing state of the domestic economy, Morlu said it was at that moment that the President basically thrown in the tower and accepted that she has failed to work in the interest of the Liberian people.
Morlu: The main point of the speech as I saw was that the President wanted to tell the Liberian people that they are going to suffer economically over the last two years of her failed administration, as though Liberians have not already being suffering for the past 10 years.
Mr. President, American democracy is about the Pursuit of Happiness. Our Pursuit of Happiness is ONLY possible when we have a democratic government that promotes FREEDOM and OPPORTUNITY for All Liberians. The main intellectual argument for the Constitutional, Republican Form of Government in America we claimed to have inherited is contained in 85 Federalist Papers, written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison. These American founding founders laid down the three fundamental criteria in order to achieve freedom and opportunity as: (1) An Energetic Executive (2) A Deliberative Legislature and (3) a Just and Fair Judiciary. Mr. President, Liberia democracy does not meet any of these criteria.
Instead of being energetic executive that promotes the wellbeing of the Liberian people, our current executive has recruited and placed in position of power and authority the most corrupt and incompetent people amongst us. Instead of the Legislature deliberating every piece of law, contract and concession, they have connived with the Presidency to pass concessions and contracts, most Moore Stephens pointing out that 66 of the 68 concessions reviewed were done irregularly and in contravention of the very laws that the legislature and the presidency drafted and passed into law.
Mr. President, the one single issue that has undermined Liberia’s ability to build a genuine democracy is corruption.
After nearly 10 years in office, corruption has rendered this government incapable of handling the affairs of the state. Today, people say Liberia is stable and at peace, but just beneath that superficial stability and peace, there is glaring hostility, distrust and anger in Liberia, all because of the massive levels of corruption that exist at all levels in Liberia today.
Mr. President, corruption kills thousands of Liberians each day. The 4,800 Liberians who died from Ebola is a case in point where millions of dollars in healthcare funding was squandered by the current administration. The Foreign Policy Magazine said it best that the widespread of Ebola was a mere symptom of failure in economic governance.
It is unarguable that there is a wide gulf between the people of Liberia and the Liberian Government. The Liberian people have lost complete confidence in the ability of this Government to make a fundamental difference in their lives. There is no connection, especially between the Presidency and the people.
As far as many Liberians are concerned, anything that comes out of the mouth of this President is “mouth talk” and bunch of bologna. This was evidence in the President’s last address to the Nation, where she occupied the public airways and space to recount all the meaningless things she said she has done since she became President and many Liberians, including editorial pages basically told her we are tired hearing old news that have no evidence in the lives of real people in Liberia.
The President has lost the confidence of the Liberian people, because she has put the interest of the corrupt over the suffering of the Liberian people. Unfortunately, she was supposed to be a blessing to the Liberian people but she has turned out to be the biggest disappointment and impediment to the progress of this nation.
No other Liberian President will receive the billions of dollars that have poured into Liberia to support the First Elected Woman President of Africa. She wasted the opportunity to do the right thing that would benefit all Liberians and it is difficult to see how at her age, the level of corruption in the Government and the limited time she has left to do anything meaningful in Liberia to change the tide. She is a loss cost, a glorious opportunity wasted.