‘Liberia’s Challenge Not Infrastructure, But Attitude’

first_imgAll Liberian Party (ALP) Presidential hopeful, Benoni Urey, says Liberia’s real challenge is not infrastructural development but, changing the mindset of Liberians to demonstrate patriotism to the nation. In an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer on Tuesday, Urey emphasized that every Liberian in whatever political and social orientation must join forces and work together to ensure that the minds of Liberians are changed from hopelessness to development.He reminded Liberians at home and abroad to critically examine political and economic issues in the country and develop the spirit to resist negative feelings about the country.In no specific terms, Mr. Urey’s statement appeared to buttress what President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said when she bemoaned the attitudes of Liberians toward their country’s development. Upon her arrival from Kigali, Rwanda in July this year where she attended the 27th Ordinary Session of the African Union, President Sirleaf described the tremendous economic and infrastructural transformation Rwanda and Ethiopia had made since the days of their respective national crises, especially Rwanda, whose civil war of 1984, recorded Africa’s worst genocide. She recalled that she had the opportunity to work in Ethiopia and Rwanda earlier in her career and that, “The people” of those two countries “have good work ethics, discipline and are patriotic… But ah, Liberians,” the President lamented. But then, taking it personally, she also said Liberians are “not appreciative” of all she is doing to lift Liberia, “and at times it is disappointing.”Reconciliation Urey appears more optimistic. He believes that changing the Liberian attitude involves truly reconciling the country, something he believes President Sirleaf has failed to do. “She even admitted that she has a problem forgiving people,” he noted, “how then, can she reconcile an entire country?” There was however no clear answer from him as to how true reconciliation would be achieved if he were elected President. He did proffer that the attitudes of Liberians could change if Liberians are gainfully employed, especially through agriculture. President Sirleaf came under some criticism for her remarks, with some suggesting that, as President, it was her job to inspire the people of the country towards transformation. Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe a former Labor Minster and former Solicitor General in the first administration of President Sirleaf, said the President “is acknowledging failure that she led Liberia for more than a decade and expressing disappointment a the slow pace of development. Who is to blame? She should start blaming herself.” Gongloe recalled how, under President William R. Tolbert’s administration, a self-reliance policy was introduced, which led to the construction of roads, schools and clinics. “It takes a motivational leader to lead the people to transform the country but she must not attribute the poor state of Liberia to the attitude of the Liberian people,” he said. InfrastructureUrey, in the interview, cited as an example, Liberia’s once enviable healthcare and education systems that were beacons of standard in the subregion several decades ago, have nothing much to show for such past glories. “Guineans, Ghanaians and Ivoirians brought their citizens to Liberia to seek medical health, but sadly today, the story has changed; our education was also sought-after thirty years ago and it was literally free,” he said, lamenting that things have changed for the worse today. He said owing to the kind of infrastructure that was in Liberia, the country was rated as one of the best nations in the subregion. As for the party’s vision concerning the country’s road network, Mr. Urey proffered what he called a systematic approach to the development of Liberia’s road network. “If several miles of road are constructed on a yearly basis in our country,” he suggested, “in a few years our country could be connected with better roads,” Mr. Urey stressed.FarmersSpeaking of Agriculture, Mr. Urey, who owns a farming enterprise, says all the cooperative societies must be revived with funds to smallholder farmers.“We must first of all work out programs in the agriculture sector that would help our farmers to be able to market their produce in every part of our country,” he said.He stressed the need for smallholder farmers in the cocoa and coffee sectors to rehabilitate their previous farms and provide technical training that would increase their output.He noted that agriculture from all indications would indeed stimulate Liberia’s socioeconomic growth and that would ensure stability and peace in the country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Critics could destroy Man City if we fail, says Guardiola

first_img0Shares0000Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are on the brink of a second consecutive Premier League title © AFP/File / Paul ELLISMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, May 10 – Pep Guardiola says Manchester City have to win the Premier League on Sunday or risk being “destroyed” by the critics.City and Liverpool have been engaged in a remarkable and relentless title race that has left the rest of the division trailing. That race reaches its conclusion on Sunday as Guardiola’s team travel to Brighton knowing that a victory will guarantee they retain the title. Anything less, however, and Liverpool would secure the trophy by beating Wolves at Anfield.It is a sign of the remarkable form of both teams that City have dropped just 16 points all season, winning their past 13 league matches, and yet are only one point clear of Liverpool with a match to play.Guardiola says the savage criticism meted out to Barcelona following their Champions League semi-final exit at Liverpool on Tuesday, is evidence that even the most consistently successful teams are not immune to vitriol if they slip up.The City manager told reporters at his pre-match press conference on Friday: “I don’t change my opinion on what we have done (this season) but to get more credit you have to win.“We saw it in the Champions League, that when you are out, everybody destroys the team, destroys the manager, destroys the clubs.“We know the life we live and I know how we’ll be judged. You have to win.“We are going to travel to Brighton, and we don’t need to look at any other situation. We need to win the game. That is the ideal situation. That is what we will try to do. Afterwards, we celebrate or we congratulate Liverpool.”– 95 points –City have amassed 95 points this season, only five short of the English top-division record of 100 they set in winning the title 12 months ago, and Guardiola is thrilled at the way his team have managed to stay ahead of Liverpool.At the end of December, City trailed Liverpool by seven points and the gap was still five at the end of January, yet, with minimal margin for error, they have clawed their way to the front.Guardiola said: “It’s a dream to be here. I didn’t expect months ago when we were seven points behind this Liverpool team, to be in the position that we are in now. I didn’t expect it.“Now is not the moment to say how well we have done. We have the chance to be champions if we win our game and that’s what we have to do.“We are going to have to play well and be strong mentally. It will be tough, it will be difficult. We will have big, big problems and we know how we are going to react in that moment to try to make a good game.“First of all, focus on the game, how you have to play. The focus is on my team. If the game is going bad, be calm and always be thinking and doing what you have to do.“If you have to be crazy, do it for the last five or 10 minutes, but before that, have a plan and follow the plan to win the game. That is what we have done all season.”Playmaker Kevin de Bruyne, who has missed the past three matches with a hamstring strain, is back in training and could face Brighton, but midfielder Fernandinho will not recover from a knee injury in time.He is aiming to be fit in time for the FA Cup final against Watford next Saturday.Guardiola added: “I see the players, they are training well, they smile, they are relaxed. They are completely focused.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more