Opposition Vision for Liberia Transformation (VOLT) Political Leader Dr. Jeremiah Z. Whapoe has welcomed terming as laudable and necessary the much-publicized students’ based movement Fix the State Protest’ when he endorsed any non-violence patriotic assembly that seeks to call international and national governments’ attention to the extreme hardship and poverty in the country.
The vanguard Student Unification Party (SUP) of the University of Liberia has launched what it called “Fix The Country Rally Campaign” against the leadership of President George Manneh Weah slated for July 26, 2022, when the nation will be celebrating its 175th Independence Anniversary.
According to SUP, the protest is necessitated by the excesses of bad governance practiced by the Weah government, including economic failure, massive corruption, and state collapse. The UL firebrand student grouping then called on all well-meaning Liberians to boycott all programs earmarked for the celebration throughout the country and urged the citizens to join the mass action against the government on that day.
In a press statement signed and approved by the Secretary-General and Chairman of the campus-based student organization, Jusu Kamara and Mustapha N. Kanneh, on Monday, July 18, 2022, the students narrated the conditions the nation has been experiencing since the ascendancy of the CDC-led government, describing it as “turbulent and tumultuous for the Liberian people”.
“It has been five years since the homeland was beseeched by not just one of the worst tragedies ever in the country’s history, but also the least yet fraudulent collection of people who are so bereft of statecraft. The last five years have been very turbulent and tumultuous for the Liberian people as discontent, hopelessness and frustration overwhelm them due to the poor leadership that presides over the Country.
“Liberia is at a critical juncture where the path to a progressive state-building remains elusive to the people; with no hope, horror has become the official symbol of the country. Hard times and crises have befallen the people thus subjecting the masses of the Liberian people to horror and economic despondency. This is a miasma never experienced before in the motherland.
“The country is in a hemorrhaging tornado of crisis. There is a general degeneration and sporadic breakdown of the Liberian state. Governance is now taken for wild child’s play as George Weah and his cohorts distribute the resources of the country amongst themselves. The countryside is bleeding and crying. The people are living akin to the wrong side of forty; they sleep in darkness and under odious circumstances, they struggle very hard to survive and to see the next day. Under these difficult circumstances, some young people have either dropped out of school or abandoned school to toil for economic survival. Social vices are on the increase in their dozens; a situation pushing many young people into shameful existence- crime is on the rise, prostitution is on rise, and misdemeanor is on rise- all these are throwing the republic back into the sewage tank”, the statement said.
Commenting further on the students’ action in an exclusive interview during the weekend, Dr. Whapoe argued that the Weah-led government has damaged every fabric of the society and Liberians are now left with complete hopelessness.
“We need to come together so that we can call our government again to the prevailing hardship and poverty in the country. This is not only about SUP but the entire nation and every patriotic Liberian. We have nothing to show and celebrate as a country and people. Our security, health and economy are all damaged and stolen by vampires. I am part of this call because it’s a national request. Moreover, gathering to call government attention to bad governance and other issues is a fundamental right under the law so they need to protect us’’ Dr. Whapoe echoed.
Whapoe, a constituent member of the Democratic Alliance of Liberia (DAL) mentioned that there is no social service for the society and other marginalized groups because the government is paying lackadaisical to the citizens’ plight therefore since protest is the only request there can be communicated that is the medium that will be used by the citizens because demographic date submission about the lifestyle and health of Liberian cannot even move this government than protest.
Commenting on the independence of Liberia and its freedom and severity, Dr. Whapoe further indicated that Liberia is sovereign but not free because You can be governed as a nation to do what you want to do but you are not free to enhance what you want to do therefore with that, Yes, Liberia there is a severity but we are not free.
He wondered how can Liberia celebrate independence day when the security system is in danger with emerging news of mysterious disappearances on the rise and citizens going missing on a daily basis with the Librarian President calling for all to get CCTV cameras for protection.
How can you celebrate when you do not have the economic might to feed yourself and also provide jobs‘’ Liberia is truly not an independent we can even for a day. There is no job creation and opportunity for our people. Since this government came, we are not having investments, investors and companies coming in to work here and pay taxes to employ our people. when they say you are free, independent, that means you can live your life anyhow and at any point and living not because you have to live but because you want to live. Looking at out that in our case here, how many people are living the life they want to live? Anything that stops you from living the life that you want to live is a form of slavery’’ he noted.
Dr. Whapoe indicated that if the economic situation is stopping Liberian people from living the kind of life they want to live they are slaves to their economic situation and they are not independent, stressing that if Liberians also find it difficult to get food to eat they are salve to food security.
‘’ if the Liberian people are finding it difficult to move which is a fundamental right where their security is not guaranteed and they are slave to their security situation. The health system is extremely poor and our pregnant women and other sick patient die daily due to the lack of drugs in various public facilities across the country. However, the sad part of it all is that the common cold, malaria and other manor illness are killing our people while the government living high life. We have nothing to celebrate but we have something to call their attention to again’’ he concluded.
By: Stephen G. Fellajuah