Subject: Our Anniversary Memo to President Weah
Though it has been quite a while when we last tendered our regular Memo to the President to you, we feel constrained to break the silence on this day as The Analyst celebrates its 23rd Founding Anniversary. Twenty-three years of active newsroom activities brought us too close to a wide range of people and national events and leaves us with a vast knowledge on national political issues as they particularly concern the welfare of ordinary Liberians. It puts us in an ideal position to send you regular memorandums, as we did during the days of former Transitional Chairperson Gyude Bryant and former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf bordering on burning issues facing the people and the nation.
Allow us, first of all, to commend you on your policy decisions and development actions of the last few years of your incumbency. We follow keenly your initial actions and policies towards free speech and gender equality. The prompt passage of the Bill decriminalizing free speech and the Bill on Domestic Violence and your appointment of a record number of females to prominent public positions is well noted. There also seems to be good signs of improvement in the macroeconomic landscape, with much of the challenges in the money market lessening, coupled with the relative regularity of servant servants’ salary payment. We however think dire challenges still remain, and we see signs of lethargy and complacency in many areas that beg for your attention.
Your Excellency, too many Liberians are crying and weeping, burned by hardship. The prices of goods and services are still extremely high. It seems the Ministry of Commerce and Industry or by the extension the Government of Liberia is nonexistent. Foreign merchants are having field day—selling anything anyhow their own way. Rice price is still above the poor purchasing power of ordinary Liberians. Prices of flours, sugar, Maggi Cubes, and just all essential commodities are skyrocketing. You may not know. Your officials may not care. But the fact is, you must know from today that the people you professedly came to liberate are dying—dying of hunger and want. If you doubt this, if there is someone close to you telling you the opposite, just disguise yourself into an ordinary person and ask retail sellers. You will be stoned. You will know how the common people are drawing your name in the mud, feeling that you don’t care for them.
Secondly, the mysterious deaths of both officials of government and ordinary people is getting pronounced. A week hardly comes to pass without newsbreak reporting a missing person, be it in Monrovia where the situation seems worse or be it in the interior of the country. Yes, it is true deaths take place everywhere in the world; even mysterious deaths. But the difference between Liberia under your administration and other jurisdictions is that investigations of these deaths remain inconclusive. Either the officials of Government responsible to help you and nation on these matters are lazy, incompetent and careless, or it is like the government is insensitive and/or complacent. Let it also be known to you that more ordinary Liberians are in fear as a result of the foregoing. Begin to pressure your officials who are responsible for security and for investigations. They are not doing you any good at all, Mr. President, because all the lamentations and criticisms don’t go to them. They go to you, dragging your name and the name of your regime in the mud. Please act, and quickly, so that Liberians are reassured that they have a president that cares in Weah.
Thirdly, while we applaud you for solar lights installed in rural towns and citizens and the street lights restored in Monrovia and its environs, we also want to use our 23rd Founding Anniversary to draw your attention to the poor maintenance regime in place. Most of the lights, for instance in Monrovia, are mere decoration. They are off in the night when citizens need them the most. In the interior, some of the solar lights have given up. Whether it is in Monrovia or in the interior, communities that were lighted have virtually returned to darkness. The celebrations for the lights have now turned into murmuring and gossips. It appears someone having responsibility to ensure their constancy is reneging their assignment. Please, Mr. President, awake, and ensure that lights once installed in any Liberian community are maintained. If possible, recruit a special “Street Light Team” that monitors these lights, because they are a heartfelt project you intend for the people to enjoy. This will help to sustain the joy and celebrations and wards off disappointment and murmurings amongst your people.
Your Excellency, there are several other issues that are critical and need your urgent attention which a single Memo cannot convey. We are resolved in the coming days to ensure the constancy of our Memo to the President Column in our bid to confront you with issues that ordinary Liberians face, talk about, and are burned by, and to seek your intervention. Thanks for your attention.