The Analyst (Monrovia)

17 December 2012

Liberia: Vision 2030 Snag -NDC Claims Exclusion, Points to Gray Areas

Those who carved the country's landmark development blueprint, Vision 2030, trumpets the extent to which they had gone to consult a broad spectrum of the Liberian people in both the "visioning process" and the vetting process that was just concluded in Gbarnga, Bong County. But it seems the claim is a far cry from reality, not only because a number of organizations continue to lament exclusion from processes, but also because a horde of national stakeholders weren't seen at the final vetting ceremonies. Though there are wild outcries that important personalities stayed away, reports are also emerging that some were just not counted--invited. One of such groups is the National Democratic Coalition, which released a position statement in Monrovia on its perspectives about the National Vision program. The Analyst reports.

Contrary to pronouncements by the secretariat of Vision 2030 that all important political blocs were invited to participate in the final adoption of the Vision,  the National Democratic Coalition ( NDC ) says it was not inviting and is therefore seeking clarifications from the Government of Liberia as well as all of its organizing structures, including the Governance Commission, that crafted the Vision why it was excluded from the vital national exercise.

"We are seeking clarifications from the Government of Liberia because since the formal launch of the National Visioning Program the national leadership of the NDC has never been invited to participate in any and all programs and proceedings of the Visioning National Agenda while other political parties were invited to participate in this national endeavor," the NDC of former University of Liberia professor and now businessman, Dwe Tuan-Wleh Mayson, said.

"For example," the party noted, "were never invited to the ongoing National Visioning deliberations being held in Gbarnga" unlike other major national stakeholders are in attendance, including all other political parties.

The Party said prior to the current Gbarnga meeting, other political parties of Liberia officially met with the President of Liberia on Monday, December 4, 2012 in order to deliberate on issues concerning the National Visioning program but we of the NDC was not accorded similar invitation.

"We would also like to further observe that unlike other political parties, we have never received any invitation to participate in any of the Visioning sectoral group discussions, as well as its nation-wide tour," the Party further indicated.

The Party's statement comes amid criticisms proffered by traditional chiefs and other citizens against political parties and members of the National Legislature that these important institutions and stakeholders willfully refused to be part of the adoption of the National Vision.

The NDC believes that the National Visioning Exercise of the government would be considered incomplete and unrepresentative of the totality of Liberia without the inclusion, involvement, participation, and subsequent endorsement by the NDC.

"We also like to state unequivocally that there is no segment of the Liberian political class that can claim to be more knowledgeable of Liberia than we in the NDC," the Coalition said, adding, "that not only is the NDC as a political party knowledgeable about Liberia, but also because we know exactly what is to be done to fix Liberia, how to get it fixed, as well as the required voltage of political will needed to address the complex Liberian situation."

Further, we would like to say here that no one group should seek to design the future of Liberia at the exclusion of the critical mass of the people including groups like the NDC, which represents one of the most politically experienced, ideologically clear, scientific, and consistent groups of people of Liberia.

The NDC, among other political groupings, is represented and led by two of Liberia's foremost political parties, namely, the New Democratic Alternative for Liberia Movement (New DEAL Movement), Liberia's only social democratic party, and the Free Democratic Party (FDP).

Both parties fought fearlessly with their bare hands against the forces of belligerence in Liberia for peace during our civil war, when others dared and fled the country.

The New DEAL Movement and the FDP were  architects of, and signatories to the 2003 Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement that brought final and lasting peace to Liberia, after more than a quarter of century of political violence, including fourteen years of a bloody civil war that tore the guts of our country.

The NDC is represented in the 53rd National Legislature, among few of the many political parties of Liberia, with six (6) legislators, including a senator from Bong County, who obtained the highest legislative vote count in the 2011 National Elections, as well as five (5) Representatives in the Lower House, emanating from Sinoe, Montserrado, Rivercess, Bong, and River Gee Counties, cutting across the geo-political spectrum of the country respectively. This is the minimum of what the NDC represents in the difficulty of struggle in Liberia!

The Party reminds the Government of Liberia that it is fully aware of the intrigues employed, aimed at ostracizing us from this noble national exercise and "we insist that any process of this undertaking that is characterized by intrigues, exclusive, and discriminatory politics cannot adequately reflect the aspirations of the broad mass of the people, and hence cannot survive the complex challenges of national renewal and post-war reconstruction and development."

Liberia is not the personal fiefdom of any individual or any group of people that feel that they are the only set of people that own this country, the Party stressed, stating further that such efforts in the past failed to create a stable and peaceful Liberia and one that was torn asunder by tensions and cleavages that inevitably led to war and destruction in our country.

"Therefore, not to learn this lesson and embark on a vital national process at the exclusion of other political bodies like ours is only a repeat of the very things the National Visioning process ought to be guided against. This is recipe for failure once again," says the party. "We are not grumbling or complaining for inclusion or recognition; we are only setting the record straight for posterity!" not the personal fiefdom of any individual or any group of people that feel that they are the only set of people that own this country, the Party stressed, stating further that such efforts in the past failed to create a stable and peaceful Liberia and one that was torn asunder by tensions and cleavages that inevitably led to war and destruction in our country.

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