Former CDC Stalwart Decries Poor State of the Liberian Economy￼
MONROVIA – A ranking member of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Dr. Toga Gayewea McIntosh has disclosed that the change for hope message portrayed by the ruling party during the 2017 general and presidential elections is not being manifested in the lives of vast majority of Liberians across the country.
Dr. McIntosh is a former Minister of Foreign Affairs. His party, the Liberian People Democratic Party (LPDP), is one of the parties that make up the CDC. The others are: the Congress for Democratic Change and the former ruling National Patriotic Party (NPP).
Less than two years to the expiration of the first term of the CDC led-administration, he (McIntosh) was appointed by President George Manneh Weah to head the Governance Commission (GC) but declined to take the post due to personal reasons.
Dr. McIntosh observed that promises made by the governing party to the citizenry are yet to be actualized.
He made these comments when he appeared as guest on 50-50 talk show on Sky FM107 in Monrovia on Tuesday, August 9.
Dr. McIntosh said though the CDC led-government continues to maintain the silent of the guns by ensuring that the nation remains peaceful as compare to past administrations, the government still appears to be putting “petrol” to escalate violent acts and happenings due to its failure to deliver on promises made to the Liberian people.
“Go and ask the people; what’s your hope? When you were out there saying we will vote for hope-what’s that hope? Ask them the second question ‘do you feel that hope or is it manifesting’? You will not be surprise to know that majority of the people, throughout our country and not Monrovia alone will say ‘a mehn we’ve not seen the hope yet’. When people are voting for hope, it is for their children to go to school, for them to go to the hospital, and for them to eat”.
“There is a caveat that if you maintain this kind of peace (that we have today) and you do not deliver what you have promised, you are just putting petrol and that’s why we see all these violences and we are hearing all these things happening. We are not shooting guns from the two sides, but guns are being shot, knives are being used and rapes are going on”.
Dr. McIntosh maintained that violent acts in Liberia have taken a different dimension.
According to him, Liberia’s economy is currently in a “very poor state” under the administration of President George Manneh Weah.
He emphasized that the economy of a country should have a positive impact on the citizenry, but the current state of the Liberian economy is moving at a slow pace.
Dr. McIntosh stated that the economic environment of the post-conflict nation is not conducive to attract both foreign and local investment opportunities.
He blamed the situation on the lack of confidence in the governance process of Liberia.
“Confidence in a country is a key word for investors. It goes beyond putting it on paper. (it’s about) What you experience and the little you have heard over the last few years-Investors have tried to come; they get engaged into discussions with the appropriate authorities, they go back and don’t come back”.
He wondered why investors who attempted investing in the country left and did not return to actualize their plans after meeting authorities of the Liberian government.
Dr. McIntosh attributed the situation to the alleged request for kickbacks from foreign investors and difficult tax structures in the country, noting that, Liberians are the ones suffering the consequences of these acts.
He said the economy which supposed to provide job security and income for citizens remain shattered.
Governing Council fails to meet
Dr. McIntosh requested his party to replace him from the Governing Council (GC) of the CDC prior to his decision taken to endorse the presidential bid of Mr. Alexander Cummings of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC).
He disclosed that the Council was previously established to make sure that the party came up victorious during the 2017 elections by imploring strategies and reaching out, and to also give advice or be a part of the team to govern the country by continuously meeting and monitoring the leadership of the country.
According to him the Council failed to meet consistently as part of its tasks and responsibilities since the CDC won elections in 2017.
“The meeting I am talking about, it’s pushing five years now-but I don’t think there’s any record that it has been held for more than three or four times since elections. And that’s ridiculous”.
Dr. McIntosh indicated that though he was eagered and anxious to proffer pieces of advice to the national leadership when he was a member of the GC of the governing party, the body did not meet frequently to accord him the opportunity to do so.
He disclosed that efforts were applied by the other two parties, including the Liberian People Democratic Party (LPDP) and the National Patriotic Party (NPP) within the CDC through written communications to the national leadership for the holding of regular meetings, but the efforts did not come to fruition.
He questioned the rationale behind the failure of the Council to regularly meet, but blamed the situation on negligence and misinformation.
Dr. McIntosh stressed that a “purposeful leadership team with clear vision. Commitment, focus, quality and direction” is needed to resuscitate the country.
He said supporters and followers of the team would move from one stage to another if they are given the necessary support and opportunities.