11 July 2014

Liberia: Kofi Woods Calls for National Consultative Process

A former Minister of Public Works in the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf led-Government, Atty. Samuel Kofi Woods, has called for a national consultative process.

Atty. Woods said his call for the consultative process is to manage and address what he termed as a national discontent in the country.

He observed that for more than a year now there have been indications of increasing anger and anxiety from many Liberians on the governance process of the country and therefore a national consultative process is necessary.

He was speaking on Thursday, July 10, 2014 in Monrovia when he addressed a major press conference on crucial national issues.

The prominent human rights lawyer, who is currently serving as a legal consultant of the Liberia Law Society, averred that Liberians are losing faith in their national leaders for reneging to proactively address the teetering problems the country is facing.

"This situation needs to be addressed irrespective of our political, social, and economic persuasion. Why a national consultative process? We need a national consultative process to manage and address what is becoming a national discontent," he further told the press conference.

"The excruciating economic conditions exhibited by increasing poverty, high costs of living, increase in the exchange rate affecting disposable income and savings, lack of a clear economic plan of action and a deep sense of economic injustice," he pointed out.

He divulged that the national discontent regarding Liberia's natural resources relates to various concession agreements, noting, "We must revisit the concession agreements negotiated by the Government of Liberia (GoL) to investigate how the country's newfound resource-oil has been managed and collectively take corrective actions where necessary to assure proper management and the application of proceeds to the broad-based development of the country for the benefit of Liberians."

He stressed that all current and future intentions to sell additional oil blocks must be discouraged.

" With ordinary Liberians already bearing the brunt of economic mismanagement and the financial managers are failing to offer solutions and a plan to redress this situation, the least this government wants to embark on is to hassle press freedom and silence the media and other voices of reasons which are only serving as the messengers and not the author of the multiple messages of poor planning, corruption, nepotism, cronyism, and indifference to the plight of the people," Atty. Woods among other things added.

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