19 June 2017

Liberia: Brumskine's Nimba Promises

Opposition Liberty Party (LP) standard bearer Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine says when elected president this October, his administration will reconcile Liberians to ensure domestic peace. "We will Reform government to ensure justice and the rule of law; the renewal of a country in which the fundamental rights of all are respected, and each is accorded equal protection under the law", he told LP's national convention recently in Gompa City of Nimba County.

He makes 15 commitments that he claims will be accomplished in the short-term of his presidency if he gets elected this October. He promises that government will underwrite all WAEC fees and make all government schools free of charge. Government will establish a Student Service Corp to draw high school graduates and college students into community service, working for government during their annual vacations, and in turn pay for their college education.

He promises expansion in the education sector; not re-creating the old Liberian education system with its bias towards Liberal Arts training leading up to the college level; and will use the Armed Forces of Liberia as a vehicle to assist with the development of the country.

Cllr. Brumskine says his government will reintroduce the militia, as a means by which young Liberians may be trained and become reserve soldiers, and in exchange have four-year college education paid for by the government, among others.

Cllr. Brumskine says when elected, the Brumskine/ Kanwea regime would "meet Liberians, in palava huts, in halls, on the streets and the village paths" to talk about how government can rebuild the country into a magnificent mosaic of what the founders, both repatriates and those who never left the shores, intended. He argues that Liberia will never go forward without an appreciation of what each ethnic group, religion or political group contributes to the country's common heritage.

As such, he says under a Liberty Party government, "we will strive to highlight our cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity and educate our nation of our heritage". Within the first six months of his government, he promises the appointment of teams of experts from every ethnic group of the country to document the history of each, revealing the contribution of each ethnic group to the founding and the growth of Liberia.

He says the LP's vision is based on four strategic principles, which he names as reconciliation, reform, recovery, and rebuilding. Education and healthcare delivery system and governance system are cited in his speech for reform, while also vowing to ensure that city mayors and chiefs be elected once again by the people whom they should serve.

He says recovery is about national pride, those values that made Liberians one people and [make them] "brothers and sisters' keepers". Cllr. Brumskine expresses believe that Liberia will wake up to the true meaning of what it was meant to be, a dream that he says is yet to be realized because other administrations have been unable to transform a nation of powerful men and women into a nation "of the people, by the people, and for the people."

"We will Rebuild our infrastructure; and restructure our economy to open more opportunities for jobs, self-employment, and for producing wealth", he adds. The LP political leader promises to move away from the Tubman economic policy, the core of which he says is the dependency on the export of extractive resources, rubber, and oil palm.

Instead, he says his administration would diversify the economy, with emphasis on the agriculture sector and will strive to develop Liberian entrepreneur, and add value to the country's raw materials.

Of all the presidential candidates, Cllr. Brumskine wonders which one of them can Liberia truly trust, in reflecting on who was the man around that stood up for Liberia when Liberians needed an alternative voice in 2003 during jailed former president Charles Ghankay Taylor's rule.

"Which of us has the integrity to lead our country; which of us has served in the Liberian government at such high level as that of President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate, and left with his character intact and free of scandal?" he asked. He believes that with the support of most Liberians, he is now on his way to being the next President of the Republic of Liberia. "I believe that because I know that the salient issues of the ensuing elections are trust and integrity", he notes.

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