By Timothy T. Seaklon
Veteran Liberian politician, Oscar J. Quiah, has called on President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to take the lead in the fight against corruption.
He said such an exercise will go a long way in preserving the legacy of the Liberian leader who has been acclaimed as the first elected female President of Africa and the only Liberian leader to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Mr. Quiah said while it is the right of all Liberians to fight corruption everywhere in the society, the Liberian leader must take the lead in the fight and all others will follow.
He said by seriously bringing to book those in the habit of taking government’s money into their own pockets, the President will be setting precedence that citizens from all walks of life will follow.
In an exclusive interview with the INQUIRER recently at his Gardnersville residence, Mr. Quiah said it is disheartening that people are accumulating huge wealth at the detriment of the Liberian people noting that what is not earned honestly is something that is counter-productive to one’s own success in life.
Asked about his relationship with President Sirleaf and if he had met her to talk on the issue of corruption, Mr. Quiah replied, “Our relationship is lukewarm because I have tried on countless occasions to meet with her but have not been successful.”
Mr. Quiah who lauded the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf led administration’s establishment of some anti graft institutions such as the General Auditing Commission (GAC) and the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) said if the government must be successful in the fight against corruption, it must take seriously the work of these institutions.
Mr. Quaih said the President should personally take action against corrupt officials by not only dismissing them but at the same time imprison such individuals after the due process of the law and be made to restitute any stolen money or ware.
He however praised the Johnson-Sirleaf administration for the level of free speech in the country noting that this is a serious ingredient in promoting the democratic process.
He called on the young people of Liberia to continuously place their government on check by being outspoken on issues of national concern because the burden of developing a sound democratic culture lies on their shoulders.
Mr. Quiah who in his twenties joined the struggle against one party state in the 1970s said the young people must not stop being vocal but continue to move forward because when they become silent any leadership in the country will take them for granted.
The one time member of Liberia’s Council of State during the heat of the civil war, in recent time has announced his intention to contest the Sinoe County Senatorial seat in October 2014.