Madam Sirleaf Should Not Evict Westpointers Like Animals

By Abubakar Bah, Contributing Writer


The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
May 26, 2016

                  



 
 
 
 
Slum of Liberia

Few days ago, I heard about a plan by the Government of Liberia to relocate the heavily impecunious people of the densely populated township of West Point that host over 75,000 inhabitants. The Government has been expressing concerns about the constant sea erosion which takes place one after the other and is causing serious panic not just among residents but also to concern citizens of Liberia who are prognosticating that if nothing is done rapidly, there will be a colossal disaster that will happened in the not too distant future. It is to our understanding based on the above-mentioned reasons that the Government of Liberia has reached a decision through the National Housing Authority to build homes outside of Monrovia, Broadville to be exact for the people of Wet Point to be relocated.

As a young man who is concern about the welfare of the people of West Point, I decided to pay a visit at the area earmarked for the construction of those homes in Broadville City, Liberia. When I got to this very site, I broke down in tears and started to wonder about the vision of our President who will authorized the building of zinc shacks for her people that voted her twice to live in. Throughout my study about government, I have learnt that the primary responsibility of any government is to improve the living standard of her people but it is very sickening that this government that is headed by a product of the John F. Kennedy School of Governance will condemned our people to shackles that are despicable. Where is that human side of our government that we elected to seek our interest? Why are you treating these people like animals but you are pretending to forget that you do not know that even around the World, there are places that governments give protection to every living species? When will you stop being cruel to your own people that made you to be one of the most important personalities to have ever come from Liberia?

Our Government is behaving like she is the only government around the World that is suffering from financial scarcity to the extent that she has turned to beggars among other governments. As a government that was elected to provide adequate leadership for her citizenry, it is just prudent enough to build durable, affordable and quality housing unit for the very people that put you in power today. Those zinc shacks that you have built in Broadville to be inhabited by the people of West Point do not represents a serious-minded government that is bent on improving the living standard of her people. Those zinc shacks do not show that you have been sincere to your campaign promises of building quality and affordable housing unit for the poor people. I believe that it is very wicked of the Government of Liberia to think that the taxpayers of West point do not deserve to live in descent houses as officials live in opulence and extravagance. The masses of our people are being condemned to live in ghettoes by the government that she elected to change her condition from bad to good. When will our people start living the life that our forbearers envisaged that led to the foundation of our Country, Liberia?

I believe that the absence of love for Country is the sole reason behind this Government building substandard dwelling places for our people. The West Point people are Liberians too just like you government officials who are living in places that are better than West Point. Those Liberians who are living in West Point do not find a comfortable to live there but because of their financial ineptitude they are living in that slum community. They are not happy living in a place that lacks electricity, pipe borne water, sanitation, adequate and affordable health care among others. Every human being loves to live good life so these people from West Point do not find pleasure in living in desperation and destitution. They are praying for that Messiah who will alleviate them from these afflictions that are giving them a tough life. They too want better dwelling places and deserve better than those zinc shacks that you have built for them as a government. Even during times of emergencies, no responsible government will build such contemptible homes for refugees or asylum seekers inhabiting her territory. Shame on this government of ours that has shown that the interest of our people does not mattered.

When you look around Africa, you will realized that many African Governments are prioritizing building affordable and reliable housing units for her citizens unlike our own Government that has refused to make this a priority to make life better for us as citizens of Liberia. When you go to Ghana, you will see massive housing unit construction ongoing in five (5) major regional capitals of Ghana. The Government of Ghana is currently implementing its own affordable housing program for delivery of over 5,000 units in Accra-Tema, (GAR), Kumasi (Ashanti), Koforidua (Eastern), Tamale (Northern) and Wa (Upper West). The Ghanaian Government is committing over 109 million United States Dollars to fund this project from her own budget while our Government is busy treating our people like animals that have no conscience. The Liberian Government Officials are building duplexes for themselves while the ordinary masses that gave them the power to lead sleep in the open and zinc shack. What a wicked World we are living in? They cannot allow their pet dogs to live in those ghettoes but they are building it for human beings from West Point to live in. God is watching you carefully as you continue to make life bitterer for the absolute poor people of Liberia! This too shall come to pass and they will explain your wickedness from one generation to another. Life must not only be good for Liberian Government Officials but every Citizen of Liberia.


Author's Statement: Mr. Abubakar Bah is a born Liberian, a scholar, a political analyst with a vast understanding of the body-politics of Liberia and a member of Liberia’s best known and youth developmental intellectual centers (Center For the Exchange of Intellectual Opinions) where critical minds converge on a daily basis to discuss issues affecting the Liberian society and the world at large. He currently serves as Co-Chairman on the Intellectual Discourse Committee at the Center. He can be reached through email: intelligentbah@gmail.com and Cell #: +231886847236/ 776-774-749.


James McGill
Mr. Bah:

Your essay leaves some doubts on my mind. Are you saying that Ellen should have waited until some disasters occurred before she took action?

I personally do not think that every decision a leader takes must be weighed against popular consensus especially when the situation is dire and needs urgent attention.

You also mention about the housing project which the Ghanian government is undertaking to improve the standard of living of its citizens. This is a laudable undertaking; notwithstanding one has to look at the industries that contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Ghana; and the revenues which they generate to give the Ghanian government the capability to undertake such capital expenditures.

As you are quite aware, Ghana has also become a producer of oil. We hear a lot of brouhaha concerning oil money in Liberia. Nonetheless, oil was discovered but it was not tapped because of the current oil glot on the world market. Moreover, findings revealed that the kind of oil that has been discovered along Liberia's hydrocarbon shores would have been too expensive to dig for commercial purposes.

I made the point above to bring into focus a thinking that has recently been bred into the Liberian pscyche that the Liberian government has billions of dollars from oil sales and therefore has the magical wane to do everything that the citizens wish. This is wishful thinking!

I hope that you do not misunderstand my stance that I might be trying to defend corruption in Liberia. This is not my intention. As a matter of fact, I live in the United States.

Notwithstanding, Liberians must also learn to assume personal responsibility. The fruits of democracy demand it.

Let us put Ellen aside for one second for her term will be over soon. When will we, the Liberians, who live in the prosperous West begin to pool our resources and start undertaking projects to help our impoverished country?

Is absolute dependency on the government the solution?
James McGill at 06:23PM, 2016/06/04.
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