MONROVIA – Presidential Aspirant, Ambassador Nathaniel Barnes has welcomed and commended the announcement on August 15, 2022, that the United States Department of Treasury has sanctions imposed on three Liberian Government officials: Nathaniel McGill, Sayma Syrenius Cephus, and Bill Twehway for Public Corruption.
Stating his position in an Oped dispatched to this paper on Tuesday, August 16, 2022, Mr. Barnes said he views the US Government action as a practical endeavor to address the pervasive culture of persistent and rampant corruption which continues to foil economic growth and increase deprivation and dependency of ordinary Liberians despite Liberia’s huge endowment in natural resources.
“The state of our national existence is a clear manifestation of the impact corruption has had on us. We must embrace the fact that control of the malady of corruption (which has long undermined Liberia’s democracy and socio-economic development) is in the hands of Liberians. We are encouraged by the clarion calls and alerts made by successive American Ambassadors to Liberia about corruption in our government. In a recently published Op-Ed I stated, “Until we can overcome this malaise and create an environment of inclusivity, fairness and justice, our national progress will continue to be impeded.” We, the Liberian people, must spur ourselves into action to eradicate corruption.
“Undoubtedly, we do not want our progress to continue to be impeded. Liberians are sick and tired of being robbed of the meager resources intended for economic and social development. Liberians are sick and tired of illicit actors syphoning our resources; Liberians are sick and tired of the degrading business environment; Liberians are sick and tired of the lack of enforcement of the Rule of Law; Liberians are sick and tired of impunity of those in power; Liberians are sick and tired of the notion that it is all right to cheat at any level of the social economic ladder; Liberians are sick and tired of being classified among the ten poorest countries in the world due to corruption, poor stewardship of the nation’s resources among other abnormalities.
“Nonetheless, my fellow compatriots, the United States, alongside our other international partners, can do their best to restore sanity and a well-meaning life in Liberia, but it takes Liberians themselves to ensure that this is accomplished and sustained. Just as we exhibited our resilience and emerged from a prolonged civil crisis, as well the Ebola virus Disease Epidemic, so we can also be resilient in the fight against corruption,” Presidential Aspirant Barnes stated.
A call for Liberians must lead the charge
According to Mr. Barnes, in light of the U.S. Government’s initiative to sanction members of the Liberian Government, Liberians must now take the lead, as in the words of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas Greenfield, who urged, “Together we must take on corruption.”
“As patriotic Liberians, we extend profound thanks and appreciation to the United States Government and its able representative in Liberia, Ambassador Michael A. McCarthy, for the bold action begun against Liberia’s most pressing and persistent challenge – Corruption. By the same token, we anxiously await the U.S. Government’s expeditious expansion of the scope of the sanctions to include other principal perpetrators.
“At every level of the Liberian society we must eradicate corruption! We must eradicate it as a public health threat; eradicate it as an economic threat; eradicate it as a killer of the government; eradicate it as a threat to education; eradicate it as a threat to the growth and development of Liberia. To do this will take, not only the political will, but courage, tenacity and a steadfast commitment to see the effective demise of rampant corruption,” Mr. Barnes urged.