The New Dawn (Monrovia)

25 February 2013

Liberia: JPC Predicts Troubling Future Here

In the wake of continuous rigmarole between the Executive and Legislative Branches of Government, the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission or JPC here says the events are not just troubling, but could undermine efforts directed at nation building, national reconciliation, rule of law and the fight against corruption and graft.

JPC National Director Attorney Roosevelt Gould said in a release issued in Monrovia on February 22, 2013 that the developments that have drawn its attention are the regular row among some members of the Executive and the Legislature on issues of governance.

The JPC boss' statement came shortly after the Legislature's decision to jail Montserrado County Superintendent Grace Kpaan for contempt was obstructed by Monrovia City Mayor Mary Broh and some of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf's closed women in and out of government.

"We at the JPC must let both parties know that government is not only a single branch but the three branches of it," the statement said.

JPC argued that the Legislature is not just the First Branch of government, but is the only branch of government that represents all Liberians.

"Its power is inherent in the people and therefore needs to be respected by those, who are in and out of it, because any action by them is the action of all Liberians," said the JPC.

At the same time, it admonished the 53rd Legislature to be prudent in its actions, stressing that the Legislature and the Executive Branches must collaborate in the discharge of the responsibilities that have been reposed in them by the people of Liberia.

JPC said it is incomprehensible for leaders, who should be helping to lift their people from the pages of poverty, underdevelopment and backwardness to be squabbling over the spoils of the nation's already scant resources in the face of priorities, demanding attention.

Meanwhile, the commission said it is appalled by the rearing of the ugly past when the young people were used as stooges in attaining the selfish, malicious and wicked motives of those in power against their perceived enemies.

"It beats the imagination of anybody for these young people to allow themselves to be bamboozled as means of making ends 'means' when history is replete with tales of how our young people were transformed into drug addicts and gun totting tugs thereby destroying their future," the statement read.

In the same vein, the JPC has lauded the government's pronouncement of launching an investigation into the Liberia Airport Authority (LAA's) alleged corruption saga between Board Chairman Musa Bility and outgoing Managing Director Ellen Corkrum.

"While we welcome the latest pronouncement, we think there are other institutions of government desiring equal attention. We at the JPC want government not only to launch these investigations but to also bring to prosecution those found wanting without fear or favor," it urged.

As such, the JPC encouraged the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) and the General Auditing Commission (GAC) to exercise their statutory responsibilities in redeeming the national coffer from the clutches of waste and abuse.

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