VP Koung Lays Out Good Leadership Model -Says Accountability Is Driver of stewardship

MONROVIA: The Vice President of Liberia, Jeremiah Kpan Koung, says leaders, have the rare privilege to make decisions with consequences for the common good of our people; but quickly adds however that they as leaders still struggle to demonstrate a sense of accountability to the people they lead.

The Vice President further said any democracy without Accountability of its Leadership is almost certain to fail, adding that the essence of true leadership in a modern democracy is to be accountable.

Vice President Koung who made the statement when he spoke yesterday at a summit for democracy and political accountability organized by NAYMOTE partners for democratic development told the forum that accountability is the essence of true leadership in a modern democracy, and we must embrace this new mindset.

“Let it be known that the burdens, dreams, and aspirations of the people we carry on our shoulders demand the ultimate sacrifice of accountability for our stewardship,” the one time Nimba County Senator noted, stating that the Liberian democracy must not only be celebrated because of peaceful elections and transition of power, but must be celebrated also base on the collective ability of leaders to be accountable to their people and improve their livelihood.

“We, as Leaders, have the rare privilege to make decisions with consequences for the common good of our people; however, we still struggle to demonstrate a sense of accountability to the people we lead. Let it be known that the burdens, dreams, and aspirations of the people we carry on our shoulders demand the ultimate sacrifice of accountability for our stewardship,” he averred.

For him, accountability is a central piece of good governance, necessary for checks and balances over the management of public resources, stating further that it is accountability which strengthens democracy and fights against the abuse of political power, corruption, and upholding the rule of law.

“There can be no public trust without accountability; our citizens must have the right to access information, get explanations and pass judgment on those of us entrusted with public responsibilities,” he asserted, and expressed belief that many of us, politicians, have not formed the reputation which makes our political landscape attractive.

“As a result of disappointing performances of us politicians for many years, the public perception concludes that “Politics is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get rich”. Our people are tired with Business as Usual; we must restore confidence, ignite hope, and change this perception,” he stressed.

Vice President Koung indicated further, “It is now a matter of urgency that we sanitize our politics, so that we the leaders understand that public service is not for the accumulation of illegal wealth, but a call to serve our People.

“Our democracy,” he maintained, “will be stronger when we, as leaders, engender the mindset that Governments are formed for the benefit of the People and this must remain our singular driving force behind our public service.”

VP Koung accentuated, “As we deliberate on issues of democracy and accountability in the different sessions of this summit, I encourage the frank exchange of ideas and recommendations to develop a strong resolution that can improve our governance framework.”

On behalf of His Excellency President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, he use the forum to reaffirm the Government’s commitment to remain accountable to the People of Liberia, as we strive to strengthen Liberia’s fledgling democracy, wishing the forum a successful Summit, as the government awaits the resolution and its attending proposals for consideration and implementation.

Earlier, VP Koung agreed that the summit was an affirmation of their collective belief that democracy is the bedrock for the attainment of sustainable development.

He reasoned that along with political accountability, democracy presents the surest pathway to address a Nation’s socio-economic challenges, saying that for Liberians to maintain a functional democracy, we must as a people, cultivate the mindset that accountability which he said is one of the key tenets of democracy by which the citizens will always demand answers from those with the torch of leadership.

He said any democracy without Accountability of its Leadership is almost certain to fail, stating that the 1986 Liberian Constitution provides that all power is inherent in the People and that the Government is instituted by their authority and for their benefit.

Accordingly, he mentioned that leaders under the Liberian democratic form of Government are servants of the People and therefore answerable to the People.

“It follows that we as Leaders, whether elected or non-elected public officials, have an obligation to explain our decision and actions to the citizen- the People. This obligation of being answerable as Leaders for our decisions, policy formulation, implementation, reform, and service delivery demonstrate accountability in a functional democracy,” he explained.

The young Vice President maintained that as a Nation, our democracy continues to strengthen, evidence by our recent history of two successive democratic transition of power.

“We have learnt to be tolerant, peaceful, and embrace dialogue as major doctrines of a mature democracy. I do believe that even with our recent success as an emerging democracy, we still have not elevated our discourse to reflect issues above individuals,” he added.

He said the political landscape is still bankrupt of policy debates; it is therefore my desire that we will rise above discussions of individuals and proffer ideas.

“While our democracy is steadily improving, there must be an emergence of a new generation, with an approach of building strong democratic institutions.” Asserted and said, “We can never achieve accountability and democracy unless institutions are placed above individuals; adding that this is the challenge which confronts the Liberian democracy, and that we must change the narrative without any form of doubts.

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