Manifesting Anti-Pro-Poor Agenda
The Masses Are Weeping
But Have They Forgotten the Promises?
It would be hyperbole to mention that incumbent President, George MannehWeah came to state power as a result of the populous people’s mandate through the ballot box.
But As the Public Agenda Reports, the masses that used their sweat and blood to elect Pres. Weah are sounding differently and unfulfilled to the extent that others have already lost hope and, perhaps finding an alternative for redemption.
In his 12-year voyage to the higher throne of Liberia while in opposition, Pres. Weah did not only rely on his popularity as a celebrated global soccer icon, he trusted the power of the masses to ascend to the highest seat while the masses on the other hand, reposed their confidence in him to liberate them from the perennial shackle of excruciating poverty and hardship underpinned by unfavorable economic policies over the years, particularly during the 12-year reign of his predecessor, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
In 2005 and 2011, when the so-called elites and intelligentsia of the land conspired against him and succeeded twice to deny him the presidency and vice presidency positions respectively, the masses’ support was unflinching; hoping that their redemption was in Pres. Weah.
Seeing themselves in Ambassador Weah as their own then, the masses continued the struggle until they made him President of the Republic of Liberia so that their struggle would end.
And gratefully during his inauguration in January 2018, Pres. Weah acknowledged the role of the ordinary people and promised to end the masses’ struggle through a pro-poor agenda, saying “in the cause of the people, this struggle must end,” he declared.
However, two years later, from the streets and communities, it appears the masses are being overburdened by renewed harsh economic policies which they fought against. According to others, the exacerbating living condition in the country is a clear manifestation of anti-pro-poor agenda for prosperity and Development.
Prior to the ascendency of Pres. Weah, Liberians were used to three day unlimited calls offered by two mobile companies operating in the country; but after taking over, the three day unlimited calls promotion was cancelled and reduced to 45 minutes, a decision that was greeted with resentment in the public.
Annoying, while the masses were unbearably trying to adjust to the latest “unfavorable communication restriction,” the Orange Liberia and Lonestar MTM announced a drastic reduction in voice calls and data bundles making communication extremely difficulty for the masses who are enduring the pinch of severe economic crisis inherited by the Weah administration.
Recently, Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) issued a 12-hour ultimatum to Orange Liberia and Lonestar MTM to disengage their action aimed at burdening subscribers.
Amid cumulative resentment amongst citizens over attempt by cell the phone companies to inflict hardship on the already struggling citizens by rendering them unable to communicate effectively, the LTA said, its attention had been drawn to what the regulatory body described as “illegal and arbitrary increase in cost of service (voice & data bundles) by the both Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) Lonestar Cell MTN and Orange under the pretense of complying with the surcharge order”.
The LTA said, under relevant provisions of the Liberia Telecommunications Act of 2007, no ‘Term Services” can be increased without its approval.
The LTA mandated all the Mobile Network Operators to, within 12 hours withdraw the illegal price increase or face appropriate punitive measures; the 12-hour ultimatum has since elapsed but the government is doing nothing to remedy the situation while the masses are struggling to in touch with comrades, family members and others to keep the flame of the revolution on.
The decision of the GSM companies came when the country is already politically charged ahead of the December 8, 2020 midterm senatorial election and a referendum.
Meanwhile, the 12 hour ultimatum has since ended while the mobile operators are still executing their latest decision at the detriment of the masses who are enduring excruciating economic harshness. Until then, many are now considering the LTA’s ultimatum as mere threat only used as a cover up to exacerbate suffering on the masses.