Dr. Q. Somah Paygai, Vice Presidential candidate of the former ruling National Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2005 Presidential and Legislative Elections and now a member of the opposition Movement for Progressive Change (MPC), has basically set six important goals which with each aiming well for national peace, security and development.
In his six-count recommendation, Dr. Paygai, who is also a former Vice President for Administration of the faith-based African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU), placed top of the goal effort to reclaim constitutional democracy and keep it vital for the future.
According to him, Liberians must never allow the good system of democracy and good governance as set by the country’s founding fathers to be hindered or threatened.
The Liberian politician and educator was speaking at the weekend when he served as keynote speaker at the induction ceremony of the 4th senior class leadership of the Graduate School of AMEU.
“The Founding Fathers established separate executive, judicial, and legislative branches in order to create a system of checks and balances that would protect Liberians from tyranny. We must never allow that system to be under threat. The executive branch has increasingly asserted its right but must never act in secrecy and to ignore laws passed by our National Legislature,” said Dr. Paygai.
“The courts ought to step up to the challenges posed by these unprecedented claims of presidential power, and the Majority in the Legislature has chosen uncritical support or the president instead of meeting their constitutional duty to oversee and check executive power. The judicial branch has increasingly substituted its judgment for that of a Legislature on issues of national importance. The result is a system that is dangerously unbalanced. We must insist on a return to the Framers' vision of three branches that respect and check one another,” he indicated.
In a bid to realizing this, he called on the country’s leadership to look forward and recognize only one method of leadership – diplomacy, economic development, and the protection of human rights.
“We must not fail to recognize that poverty and individual humiliation are as dangerous to our security as any weapon. We need to return to the most effective ways Liberia has influenced nations throughout the world in the past: by offering a helping hand and abiding by our deepest principles,” the MPC official pointed out.
Furthermore, he stressed the need for the government and its people to push towards achieving an economy that works for all and not just for a privileged few, adding that the incomes of Liberians are as unequal today as they were under President Joseph Jenkins Roberts.
Dr. Paygai, also a former Chairman of the National Investment Commission (NIC) during the regime of former President Charles Taylor, called on the government of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) headed by President George Manneh Weah to exert all efforts in providing healthcare to every Liberian.
“One of the most jarring consequences of inequality in Liberia is that we are capable of providing first-rate medical care but fail to make it available to many millions of our people,” he stated.
“The fifth goal is to resume the march of progress toward equal opportunity for all. We cannot allow the march of progress to come to a halt or to shift into reverse. The sixth goal is to restore our basic values and reunite our nation,” he pointed out.
In a message to senior students of the AMEU graduate school, the institution’s former VPA urged them not to settle for less as they move on in their educational sojourn.
In his inductor speech, the President of the 4th graduating class Randolph P. Swayer, vowed to serve the interest of all members diligently.
According to him, he will work to ensure that the trust and confidence reposed in him and members of the leadership by the 4th graduating class reciprocated through responsible leadership that has a deep sense of consciousness to serve.
"Our leadership will serve your interest at all levels, irrespective of who you are. We will go the extra mile to ensure that you are well served because we bring a different philosophy to leadership. At the Professional Alliance for Transformation we lead by serving others," Mr. Sawyer asserted.
"Let me say this, you the graduating class, you have entrusted us with your right to lead. This is not our rights but rather it is a privilege and opportunity for us to practice another level of responsibility to serve the 4th graduating class," he furthered.
He expressed his heartfelt thanks to the professional alliance for transformation for their tireless efforts working overtime that their dreams has come to success.
He vowed that his leadership’s commitment to the establishment of the first audio visual system that will enhance smooth presentation during lecture series and thesis defense, while at the same time allowing instructors who are teaching online to effectively present their lectures to their class with an effective and more interactive manner.
Sawyer asserted that the leadership will also ensure that the graduating class has a memorable graduation program that will encompass of social activities, sports and others.
"Fellow colleagues, with your support and the support of this great institution we all can achieve this. We, as graduating senior of the graduate School, are the next group of leaders in line as the guest speaker said. We have arrived, we have achieved what this school has given us," stated the young Sawyer.
In order for Liberia to be a better place for emerging leaders, he stressed the need for change in the dynamics by placing Liberia first above selves.