Special Awards In Pictures

LIBERIA IS JUST on the periphery of two significantly serious historical events with the huge potential to its shake ingrained foundation: an election dubbed extremely crucial and the current administration - the siting president – is just few months away from bidding farewell to the sweetness and the unforgettable trappings of political power for which nations are at war.

On the day of departure from office which is just around the corner, millions of Liberians who defied drenching rains and scourging blaze of the sun to politically make the first democratically elected female leader of the onetime ‘Sweet Land of Liberty’ will watch with the deepest of glee and anxiety seeing their somehow ‘cherished and scolded’ President bidding farewell.

IT IS ALWAYS a moment not too cherished and embraced but must be allowed to pass because as life is time tagged so is any opportunity afforded anyone. Coming to the end of the long-running leadership always provides a platform for sober reflections, not only for the one at the helm of power but those around him/her, looking into every action, every agenda and every policy proclaimed, whether it worked or not. Indeed, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her associates, those who have been helping her pilot the “national plane” to safety, must be having sleepless nights, hefty days and rough hours looking through the files to pick the most touching issues yet attended to.

WE HAVE HEARD and seen over the past twelve years of the tantalizing engagements of a leadership in the construction or rehabilitation of roads, although some of the roads are gone bad than they were, the rejuvenation of the electric power sector and many remarkable undertakings. Positive! Also, in the last twelve years, we have seen the hike of poverty, deplorability of the monetary or commercial sector - the jungle of the administration – and the complete death of the Education Sector. So, the stakes had been very high, thus leaving Liberians to call for ‘paradigm shift,’ no matter how overdue it may be seen.

HAS ANYTHING EFFECTIVELY done to alter the situation from bad to better or verse-versa? It is resounding NO! Thinking or hoping the last minute attention or focus would be around one or two of the issues that have cast aspersion on the two-term lifespan of the administration is from the fountain of imagination. Insiders in government circles at the different ministries and agencies have indicated that nothing should be expected in these dying times because all requests and appeals are simply falling on deaf ears. Everyone is on the lookout for what cometh from ‘Above’ to take home as final package of the hustle and bustle. Common sense tells that this assumption is real considering the reticence with which developments in the market.

WITH ALMOST ONE month elapsed and in spite of public hullabaloos, nothing looks positive with the exchange rate between the Liberian and American dollars as it has reached the first historical pinnacle in terms of hike – US$1.00 to $L117 or 120. Before members of the National Legislature where he was summoned to provide reasons for the escalation of the exchange rate, Central Bank Governor Milton Weeks sang the usual chorus. In a move that appeared to be ‘adding insult to injury’, he cajoled lawmakers into Executive Session – the place of big boys talks – thus lancing the hearts of ordinary Liberians – the have nots – who crave for change or a remedying action.

WORST OF THESE throbbing developments – the last minute betrayal of the people’s interest - is the departure from the country of the President for a church-related gathering in the United States where is likely to spend close to a month. As someone would say her absence is more than her presence as did nothing, put no pressure on her financial and economic team. Glaringly, Liberians should know that they are on their own in the few months left for the current leadership, or to put it succinctly, they should make no appeals because ‘everything is just falling on the deaf ears. Of course, nothing will change since it did not change in the beginning.

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