GAM is a social justice, political and advocacy organization committed to building a just society in Liberia with the tenets of fair play, equality, and justice. Speaking recently to scores of Liberians in the United States of America at an event organized by GAM US Chapter during the country’s 174th Independence Day celebration, Dr. Emmanuel Urey-Yarkpawolo said in order to instill patriotism, integrity and good citizenship, Liberians need to study and analyze their past as a people and a nation. Liberia’s 174th Independence Day was celebrated under the theme: “Despite all that we have gone through as a people and a nation, we still have reasons to celebrate.”
Dr. Urey-Yarkpawolo, who provided a lengthy historical insight and outlined barriers that impeded Liberia’s development and economic growth, pointed out that with those barriers now removed, the new barriers are now corruption and bad governance. Instead of making the difference by boosting economic growth, the GAM Chairman indicated that the current leaders of the country are making the same mistakes if not worse than their predecessors, noting that the nation has in recent times witnessed the unconventional accumulation of wealth and properties by the same people that promised economic freedom
“We have seen the impacts of slavery and its aftermath on the formation of the Liberian state, the formation of a weak and small government, the oppression of the indigenous majority, borrowing monies and the negative impacts of Foreign Direct Investment on the economy of Liberia. I have also discussed the unique relationship between the United States and Liberia and how prominent African Americans supported Liberia. Today, we no longer have the Americo-Liberians versus indigenous divide as it used to be. We have a legislature that is a mixture of indigenous Liberians and Americo-Liberians descendants.
Today, unlike Liberia, Ghana is the center of attraction for African Americans,” said Dr. Urey-Yarkpawolo. “What is frustrating is pervasive corruption, and self-centeredness at the detriment of the Liberian people. Today, we have a government from lawmakers, to the executive and the judiciary that are composed of predominantly indigenous people. We even have a President of indigenous origin and someone that supposedly could identify with the masses as he himself was once a slum dweller. What is frustrating is, these leaders are making the same mistakes if not worse than their predecessors.
We have seen the unconventional accumulation of wealth and properties by the same people that promised economic freedom.” “We have seen overpowerful lawmakers for the wrong reasons. We have seen lawmakers soliciting to enact a “third traffic lane” for themselves in which they are determined to legalize traffic laws violations, which they commit each and every day. They divide among themselves each $30,000 United States Dollars in addition to their monthly more than $10,000 salaries and benefits in an economy that cannot raise 500 million dollars to support its national budget,” he furthered.
The GAM-Liberia head then called on the Liberian government to I call on our government to make a 360 degree turn in the way the country is being governed. “Stop being greedy. Stop being corrupt. Because of your greed and corrupt behaviors, our people are dying from avoidable complications in childbirths to preventable as well as treatable diseases and COVID-19. By allowing these nightmares, blood is your hands. I want to warm you of the actions of the masses. There is a price to pay by betraying their trust,” he asserted.
“I also want to call on African Americans to regard Liberia as their home. Follow the footsteps of your leaders including Edward Wilmot Blyden, Marcus Garvey, Booker T. Washington and W. E. DuBois. Come home. Your brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers are in Liberia. There is no other country in the world with a unique history African Americans connection than Liberia,” added the GAM boss.