By Mr. S. Kaipha Brown (October 31st 2005)
"...Do Liberians sincerely think that Oppong will stand up and speak up against corruption and bad governance? Have we ever heard Oppong adding his voice to many who were advocating for good governance? How is he going to tackle corruption in his government? Look at the people surrounding themselves around him. ...”
It’s a good thing that we now have some level of free speech, where we can speak out our minds on important issues concerning our country, and we must applaud ourselves for this positive step. Liberians just experienced probably the worst suffering in Africa, and I’m quite sure that no one wants to go back to those days. It is therefore very important that we carefully select our next president, putting down our personal differences and emotions, and doing what would be best for Liberia.
No one can argue-not even the Weah camp, that Ellen’s resume is the most impressive of the candidates, and even Weah’s resume falls billions of light years short of Ellen’s. With Liberia’s economy shattered, it puzzles me as to why some individuals would like to see the reins of leadership handed down to someone who cannot even define the word ‘economy’. These folks have the misconception that Oppong has Liberia at heart. WRONG! Let’s analyze their statements.
1. “Oppong has Liberia at heart”. The biggest argument here is what Oppong did for the Lone Star football team. With all the football achievements he won, Oppong fell short of one thing. He hadn’t been to the world cup like all other football heroes, and he desperately wanted to make it to the world cup. He poured a lot of his resources, but the Lone Star did not make it. This was more of an effort to get himself to play in the world cup. His actions since his failure to get to the world cup prove that it was for him and not Liberia. He has completely deserted the Lone Star. If his intentions were to promote Liberia, absent or present from the Lone Star, he would have still stuck by the team. This shows a selfish and self-minded character.
2. “Oppong is honest, and he’s a unifier”. This is a big joke! Ask the Lone Star players who played with Oppong. They will tell you how unfair he is and how he always showed favoritism on the team. I don’t know how people define honesty but buying a masters degree from an online university that you did not attend sure does not sound honest to me.
3. “Oppong cares about Liberia”. Let’s put aside the Lone Star, which was just for his personal interest. Oppong declared his assets during elections according to reports, and we know that he’s a billionaire. If Oppong loved and care about Liberia so much, as his followers claim, we would have seen support in areas that really need help.
Versus spending millions on football, which has little benefit for the people, how about helping the University of Liberia? Not just giving scholarships that will help a few but the whole. Renovate classrooms, donate computers, get books for the library, and help the medical school and TNIMA. Help JFK. This will improve the health, education and quality of life of the people he so love and care about. He gave America, a country capable of handling her hurricane disaster all by herself, ten thousand dollars. Surely he could contribute a lot more to these institutions. Fellow sportsman Dikembe Mutombo of Zaire contributed $3.5m from his pocket to build his country a modern hospital. He established his own foundation that caters to urgent needs of his people. This is love and care for your people.
This is what we call love and concern for your people. Oppong has lavished his money on personal reasons and not for his people. Who can argue that Oppong could not afford to give a million dollars to help L.U. or JFK, or TNIMA or the Medical College, or help pay salaries for teachers in the MCSS school system? And don’t come up with the excuse that he was afraid that people in charge would eat the money, because he could buy drugs for JFK; he could pay contractors to renovate classrooms at the University, he could order books for the Library…etc. But again, what do we expect…? Why should we expect Oppong to prioritize education when he did not see the importance of a fifth grade education?
Followers of Oppong claim that the ‘educated people’ have failed Liberia, and so a fourth grade drop out should be given a try; and of course Oppong agrees with that silly idea. God knows how long Lone Star had tried to make the world cup and had failed. Why did we not take local based players only for qualifiers? Why did Oppong scramble professional players to make it to matches? Even when Salinsa bluffed us over and over, refused to show up for training, and arrived on the day of the match, why did Oppong put aside local players who had practiced with the team, and allow Salinsa to play? A patient does not go to an accountant for a cure after the first doctor did not cure him, nor do you turn to the devil because you prayed to God that you will get a particular job and you did not.
No one can argue that Oppong loves Liberia more than Ellen. Ellen has represented Liberia internationally, and is widely respected. Ellen has spoken out against irregularities in government, and has even been to jail for doing so while others were afraid to speak out. She has shown how fearless she is in standing up for good governance, and has more than the experience needed to get us out of the economic mess we’re in. Yes, she’s served in government, but with a clean record. No stories of corruption while at finance.
Do Liberians sincerely think that Oppong will stand up and speak up against corruption and bad governance? Have we ever heard Oppong adding his voice to many who were advocating for good governance? How is he going to tackle corruption in his government? Look at the people surrounding themselves around him. Ellen and others risked their lives for the sake of this country, and he sat there, scared to speak. There are some individuals who still want to be corrupt, and that’s why they dread the idea of Ellen becoming president, because she won’t tolerate corruption. Liberians need to open their eyes to the reality and vote wisely. On the other hand, our prestigious ‘First Lady’ title is “NOT” for a Jamaican.