I Am Not Part Of The Progressives Coordinating Group…Says Tipoteh

“With the photograph of Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh placed in media stories on the Launching Statement of the Progressives Coordinating Group (PCG), he is making it clear to the public that he is not a member of PCG and is not seeking membership in PCG.

“Dr. Tipoteh insists that the cannot become a member in PCG because this has a leadership that takes action in support of the system that makes Liberians poor and poorer. Dr. Tipoteh gives several examples of PCG leadership actions.

“First, Dr. Tipoteh refers to the PCG leadership support for the reintroduction of the Hut Tax at the National Conference of Chiefs held three years. While the then Minister of Internal Affairs, a leader of PCG, served as Conference Convenor and the Chairman of the Governance Commission and the Minister of Finance were Principal Speakers, the government of Liberia announced the reintroduction of the Hut Tax, as Dr. Tipoteh recalls.

“When the news of the reintroduction of the Hut Tax got out through the media, Dr. Tipoteh immediately met with the Press and issued a Statement in which he vehemently opposed the reintroduction of the Hut Tax because it is the most inhumane action that has ever been taken by the government of Liberia against the people of Liberia. In his Statement, Dr. Tipoteh reminded the public of how poor people, living in huts at subsistence and below subsistence levels, with no income, were placed into thorny kinjahs, beaten and sometimes murdered right in front of their wives and children, while being forced at gun-point to pay the hut tax.

“Within two days after Dr. Tipoteh mounted his campaign against the Hut Tax, the government withdrew its action to reintroduce the Hut Tax through an announcement by the Finance Minister, who had spoken for the government at the National Conference of Chiefs. Dr. Tipoteh was quick to refuse to take credit for the withdrawal because he said that the people of Liberia speaking through the community radio stations and the Hataee Shops are the ones who deserve the credit.

“Second, Dr. Tipoteh brings out the situation of the impossibility of the National Elections Commission (NEC) to conduct fair elections, where the President has appointed Commissioners, at least one of whom is a foreigner, who conduct elections with foreign candidates and foreign voters.

“According to Dr. Tipoteh, NEC places the wrong names of candidates on ballot papers. He cited the case of the President, where in the 2011 elections NEC placed the wrong surname of the President on the ballot papers: Johnson-Sirleaf instead of Sirleaf.

“Dr. Tipoteh points out that from the Presidential Debates of 2011, held at the Monrovia City Hall, where he first spoke of NEC fraud, up to now, PCG leaders continue to give deaf ears to the NEC fraudulent actions.

“Dr. Tipoteh is calling for the President to appoint NEC Commissioners only from a short-list handed to her by Civil Society, and this call is not being supported by PCG leaders.

“Last but not least, Dr. Tipoteh insists that PCG leaders lack the realization that a Progressive is determined by what a person does to make life better for the vast majority of the people rather than what a person says. Dr. Tipoteh concluded his Statement by saying that a person can talk a lot about helping poor people but if that person supports the prevailing system in Liberia where raw materials are exported and goods made from these raw materials are imported while foreigners are making at least USD15 million a month working in jobs and doing business that Liberians, especially young people, can do, that person is not a Progressive and therefore not a Patriot, a person who loves Liberia,” a statement issued by Dr. Tipoteh said.

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