A Liberian legal practitioner says the main challenge in tackling the age-old problem of governance in the country is to redefine the government -citizens' relationship and there is not necessarily a need for generational change.
According to Attorney Bobby Livingstone, to address the problem of the persistent disconnect between the government and the local citizens, there needs to be a new conceptualization of the act of governance, a revisit of the value system and the adoption of new patterns of distribution of economic resources in Liberia.
For too long, according to Attorney Livingstone, governance has meant a perpetual struggle for one group of political actors to ascend to state power to show-off their political prowess, and to elevate their social and economic status. He said a narrative that intrinsically embeds the wellbeing of all citizens in the mainstream of governance; the building of viable institutions, to include a robust and uncompromising legal system to address the social ills is the way forward.
Speaking on Sunday in Jacob Town when he served as principal discussant at a debate organized by the 'Our Future' Youth Organization held under the theme: 'Generational Change: Liberia at 165', Attorney Livingstone argued that he does not subscribe to generational change as it is being argued, but rather a change of systems, mindsets and approaches in the way governance has been exercised.
He emphasized that the role of the state in the globalized world is to create the enabling environment, to set the pace and to build viable social institutions. At 165, Attorney Livingstone noted, Liberia is at a crossroads, and those who aspire to lead should be prepared and willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country to become better and stronger nation tomorrow.
Attorney Livingstone agreed that there is a need for ideological change and stressed that if systems and values are not changed, if trust is not built between state actors and ordinary citizens, Liberia will continue to experience pockets of fragility; which if not tackled now, can be a locus for future violent conflict; adding, 'The only way to address this scourge is to forge a new state-citizens relations, where economic opportunities, political participation in decision making, decentralization of the governance architecture and a framework in which the voices of the people are placed at the epic center of development programs'.