After 10 years of peace and a successful democratic rule, Liberians still see themselves as vulnerable. The ordinary Liberians though are gullible, know when situation has improved or is improving. After the last election, which brought President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to power, Liberians decided to put aside their political differences in order to monitor the promises made during campaign season.
The promises can be summarized in a few words; they include improving the overall well-being of the people such as happiness, comfort, security, welfare, safety, health and interests. But what are Liberians still vulnerable? Are they not happy, comfortable, secure, and safe and, are their welfare and interests not guaranteed?
These questions are the heart for this article, and the answers should not be difficult to come. When Liberians went to the polls to elect their leaders, they wanted a government that would make them happy, give them comfort, ensure their safety, and make sure their welfare and interests are assured.
Today, this is not the case. What Liberians ought for is not what they are getting, even though they are constantly asked to be patient, which they have been doing. On the contrary, those who ask them to be patient are not being patient themsleves; they, the governors are comfortable, well secure and safe and their interests and happiness are assured.
The vulnerability of the ordinary Liberians is in the open, except that their leaders pretend they are not aware of any vulnerability of the people. Almost 90 percent of ordinary Liberians know and say they are vulnerable.
Irrespective of their social, religious, political and ethnic background, Liberians share common vulnerability, which is categorized by Liberians themselves.
Let’s list the categories according to their order of importance. The wealth of the nation is not properly distributed; the governors take lion share and leave crumbs to the majority of the people. For example, there is 98 percent difference in salaries between government officials and ordinary government employees and security guards and petty traders, and market women sit in the sun all day and take home less than US$5, 00 or LD$ 400, 00.
The alarming depreciation of the Liberian dollar against the U.S. dollar also calls for a serious concern. The U.S. rate only goes down temporarily when the people complain; it goes back up when the people are calmed. This kind of attitude of the government is hypocritical and is a justification of the constant allegation of corruption. As we speak, the rate is far down, but prices remain the same, and if possible, they will never go down, even if the rate continues to be down. This is vulnerability number one.
Safety is one of the concerns of the ordinary Liberians. Liberians throughout the country have been complaining about the lack of adequate police presence and police stations or depots. Liberians complain they are left at the mercy of God.
Still, on safety, the issue of safe movement has been and continues to be discussed by ordinary Liberians. Liberia is becoming a junk yard or it is already is junk yard for defective cars from Europe and elsewhere. The people’s safety is compromised each day when they get in those defective cars that have no headlights, no proper brakes, no brakes lights and many other things necessary to be on vehicles for safety purposes are lacking. Yet the police allow those cars to ply the streets, only because of lack of sufficient transportation. Driver licenses are issued to people without training and background checks; in some cases minors are issued driver licenses. This blatant disregard for safety policy makes the people vulnerable.
Health is one area that no doubt justifies the vulnerability of the people. The health system is a complete disappointment and worrisome. There are too many poorly equipped health centers and facilities around the country. Curable diseases are sending hundreds of Liberians including babies to their early graves, while government officials and their families seek medical attention abroad.
The foregoing analysis provides enough reason why the happiness of the people as outline in this article cannot be delved into. It is obvious, all the various categories of vulnerability vividly explain why the people are not happy. Let be reminded that the pursuit of happiness is one of the fundamental reasons there is a government. When the people are not happy, there is a national problem, and our political history is a testament to this.
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