19 February 2013

Liberia: Corruption, Exclusion in Ellen's Gov't - UP Youth Congress Alleges

The Montserrado County Youth Congress of the ruling Unity Party (UP) has alleged that corruption and exclusion are in the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf-led government. President Johnson-Sirleaf is the standard bearer of the UP.

According to the Secretary General of the UP Youth Congress, Mr. Henry D. Z. Yanquoi, the Ellen-led government continues to exhibit "weak will" in the fight against corruption. He averred that government officials accused of corruption are being recycled in government without going through prosecution.

He maintained that not much has been done by the government to prosecute individuals accused of corruption.

Mr. Yanquoi made these assertions on Monday, February 18, 2013 when he addressed a well attended news conference in Monrovia.

The conference was the first edition of a monthly press conference of the Montserrado County Youth Congress of the UP. It was attended by several UP executives from the seventeen (17) electoral districts of the county. The UP executive furthered that the fight against corruption, which is a key pillar on the party's platform, remains what he called a "mere paper tiger" that is yet to be achieved under the administration of President Johnson-Sirleaf.

Mr. Yanquoi said the manner and form in which the government, especially the Executive Branch is being run by the President does not "resemble a government of the Unity Party."

He pointed out that the failure of the Liberian leader to "speak about the oil and gas sector" during her annual message to the legislature amounts to "corruption." He claimed the President is denying potential UP partisans employment, warning: "this threatens her reconciliation drive".

Averred the Chief Scribe of the UP Youth Congress: "While it remains true that the current occupant of the presidency is an offspring of the UP, it is also an arguable fact that the current structure of the government, particular the Executive Branch does not enjoy the endorsement of the party leadership. For us, this action does not only strongly undermine and contradict article 17 of the party's constitution, but further threatens Madam's Sirleaf much anticipated reconciliation drive which again in our mind is plaster with a huge level of insincerity and dishonesty. "

The Chief Scribe of the UP Youth Congress continued: "Furthermore, ignoring the doctrine of party-government relationship, Madam Sirleaf has excluded the entire youth and women structures of Montserrado County; and about 95% of the 15 counties leadership from the current set-up, this we believe is a recipe for serious political disfiguration. President Sirleaf's recent annual message became extremely insensitive to domestic, political and economic realities when she refused to address the oil and gas sector of Liberia. The president failure to address this critical segment of the republic during her appearance at the legislature can be described as a complete disservice to the Liberian people and serves as a breeding space for corruption."

Mr. Yanquoi asserted that the Ministry of Labor Report on the 20,000 job creation does not meet the aspiration of the UP. He said "little is being done by the President to realize her job strategy, thereby leaving thousands of Liberians jobless."

"There is a gap between our party and the President. This government does not resemble UP government. The reason is simple; you can't have a government where county and youth chairpersons are crying for jobs. These are people that have the admiration of the partisans. The Montserrado County Youth Congress is of the strongest conviction that there is no group of individuals in the world that can implement the UP's platform better than the partisans themselves. We are also pushing this agenda for the entire Liberian people," he accentuated.

However, he encouraged the Liberian chief executive to "attach sincerity and commitment" to create job opportunities for Liberians if "she must succeed."

Meanwhile, the office of President Johnson-Sirleaf is yet to comment on the Montserrado County Youth Congress indictment of the Ellen-led government.

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