Monrovia,Liberia- In time past, Government officials were seen as not just political authorities, but they were also revered as individuals of high moral examples. However, this has somehow changed over the years and in recent time has been manifested to a high degree in the current government. With recent behaviors exhibited, the CDC-led government of President George Manneh Weah risks losing its relevance due to the immaturity, irresponsibility and ineptitude of some of its officials.
Usually, failure of governments come from three major points: Stamp on Free Speech, Failure of the Government to deliver on its promises and Behavior of Officials in positions of relevance. Since the inauguration of President George Weah and the subsequent appointments of officials to governmental positions, some officials have embarked on social appeasement, coupled with irrational behavior rather than performing their functions effectively.
Within two months of the Weah Presidency, young officials who were appointed to positions in government took upon themselves to organize a social organization called, Association of Young Government Officials (AYGO), the same move they criticized when former officials of the Unity Party-led government organized the Professional Distinct Fellows (PDF). In fact, the PDF was one of the main pillars of political rhetoric from the CDC during the 2017 elections. After heavy criticisms, the acronym of AYGO died down but information available to The Liberian Billboard says, they still meet in disguise at homes of various officials.
In addition to the AYGO idea, most junior and some senior officials of government spends up to 70% of their work day on social media in political competition with the opposition rather than actually doing the work they are being paid for. For example, some Deputy Directors at the state Broadcasting Corporation, the Liberia Broadcasting System, usually spend hours on Facebook everyday, but citizens had to rely on Joy FM and other private citizens to bring the Lonestar Match Live because of LNTV very poor quality and service. What was very amazing, was the fact that the LBS which has all the resources available could not bring a 90 minute program live and clear without interruptions, whereas other local stations can bring hours of program live in high quality and without interruptions.
In further abnormal practices of current government officials, many times they are seen on social media not posting anything of policy nature, or something related to the position they hold, rather, they are seen posting travels, who visits them at their offices or singing praises to the President as a mode of appeasement.
Contrary to democratic principles, oftentimes, highly placed officials of government will post on Facebook terming opposition as haters, a term used in social circles as people who don’t want to see you succeed or don’t want anything good come out of you. Helloooo officials of governement; oppositions are Liberians and there is a phrase called “Freedom of Speech”. The fact is, an opposition in a political system has a simple meaning: they think different from how you think on running the country. Both oppositions and ruling parties often want the same thing for a country, but the ideas to get there are expressed or proffered differently. Another example of real immature and irresponsible behavior exhibited by Senior and Junior officials of government was, when the opposition criticized the ETON and EBOMAF loans. It was a total shock and some of the lowest behavior on the part of top officials I have seen, when Finance Minister Samuel Tweah and Information Minister Eugene Nagbe had their fingers place on their lips in a hushing signal telling oppositions to shut up in a picture. Also standing in the picture, was Minister Nathaniel McGill who was smiling and looking on. In continuation of the hushing saga, a group of Junior government officials joined the fray when they posted a pic at the SKD with the same pose. Those two actions on the part of those senior officials were more or like insinuating absolute unseriousness than sending a message to the opposition. And yes, I was one of the person who fought against the opposition criticisms of the loans because of its benefit, however, it was done in an intellectual manner, than a childish one.
Lastly, erratic behaviors by certain officials are gradually making the government to sink in a hole of irrelevance. We understand that people want to sing praises or keep patronizing the President as a show of loyalty; although we are aware that most are fake, however, an official can defend or show loyalty to the government and the President in other civil manners rather than being rude and obnoxious. For instance, Eugene Fahngon, the Deputy Minister for press and Public Affairs at the Ministry of Information has become a serious embarrassment to the Government of Liberia. Fahngon’s behavior has long-time surpassed the moral yardstick of a government official, and his recent action against Representatives Edwin Snowe and Acarous Gray is a true manifestation of his character. Oftentimes, Mr. Fahngon is seen of Facebook Live hauling insults at Liberians who disagree with the government, the same move the CDC as an opposition criticized when Isaac Jackson held the same position. Amazingly, some of the very people who criticized Jackson’s method, are the ones hailing Fahngon today; I don’t know whether it is absolute hypocrisy or mere ignorance.
To conclude, when Liberians like myself supported this President as a candidate, it was based on the message of “Change”. Sorrowfully, change seems nowhere in sight. When citizens walked miles in support of President Weah, while some of us hauled our vocal chords on Social Media in every way we could, it was not for our individual upliftment; it was for the upliftment of Liberia. Having irresponsible, immature and inept people around to spoil the message is a serious affront to the people who believed in this Presidency. Like I warned at the beginning of this Presidency, Liberians have more political sense than any previous times in our history. Even the most illiterate man knows the difference between good and bad political performance; I hate to mention this, but Unity Party can relate. If nothing is done to address the issue of officials of government treating the government more like a social club than a political authority, then it seem like the engine of the vehicle of irrelevance is just starting to warm up.