“ECOWAS Cannot Afford Another Crisis in Liberia”

first_imgGhanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo delivers UL commencement address-Ghanaian President says it’s time to move forwardGhanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has emphatically said that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is not prepared to intervene in another crisis in Liberia should there be one, urging Liberians to stay true to the tenets of democracy.Ghana is one of the well respected members of the regional body and this strong warning comes at a time when Liberia is yet to reach a conclusion of its electoral process, which was allegedly marred by gross irregularities and probable fraud. Liberia has the unwanted tag of problem-child in the region as neighbors had to intervene on two separate occasions in the civil crises that gripped the nation for nearly 15 years. In these instances, Nigeria and Ghana have always led the intervention processes.But the Ghanaian President indicated that “West Africa is not prepared to contemplate the scenario of Liberia sliding back into instability and conflict.”As the key speaker at the 98th Commencement Convocation exercises of the University of Liberia, President Akufo-Addo said ECOWAS has over the years made a huge investment in promoting peace in Liberia, and “we will do all we can to ensure that democracy is entrenched in the country, but we will not accept any other outcome.”The eloquent Ghanaian leader indicated that the December 7 ruling of the Supreme Court of Liberia is to ensure that the country will have its first peaceful handover of power from one democratically elected leader to another in 73 years.He said Liberians have done a lot to stabilize the country, and there should be no turning back.President Addo: “The work undertaken by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in stabilizing the country after a bitter and protracted civil war, has been very solid and commendable. I am anticipating that at the end of the day, Liberia’s institutions, particularly the Supreme Court and the Electoral Commission, will be up to the task and shepherd the country through a successful transition.”UL’s 2017 Commencement exercises are the last for Pres. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s administrationPresident Akufo-Addo said it is not just enough to hold successful elections every six years or to be able to criticize the government and to have a choice of 100 radio stations. Democracy, he noted, “must ensure that we are able to provide our people with a good quality of life.”Colonial Economic Structures Impediment to Africa’s Growth and DevelopmentThe learned Ghanaian leader stated that though the underdeveloped state of the continent can be attributed to many factors, the economic policies and structures bequeathed upon Africans by colonialism stand at the core of the African tragedy.“The structure of economies bequeathed to us by colonialism was dependent on the production and export of raw materials. Even though Liberia was not colonized, the structure of her economy remains very much the same as the others on the continent. Such economies cannot create opportunities, prosperity and wealth for our people,” he said.He said it is no longer time for raw materials to be shipped out of Africa to other parts of the world—a situation that denies the continent better dividends.“It is rather the time for the richest continent, our Africa, to export made products on the world market, rather than exporting raw materials.”Time is long overdue for Africa, President Akufo-Addo stressed, to transform the structure of African economies to serve better the needs of the African peoples. “Too many of our peoples are still kept down by extreme poverty. The promise of prosperity that was to accompany freedom has not materialized for the mass of the African peoples, and has rather been replaced with widespread despondency across the continent. This is not what our forebears promised,” he said.President Akufo-Addo, therefore, urged “the current generation” of African youths to meet today’s challenges by helping to banish the disgraceful specter of young Africans, taking harrowing risks in trekking the Sahara Desert or drowning in the Mediterranean, while seeking greener pastures in Europe.“Your generation has to ensure the fulfillment of the statement, made almost 70 years ago in 1949 to the Gold Coast Legislative Assembly by Joseph Boakye Danquah, the father of modern Ghanaian nationalism, that ‘the two things go together, economic freedom and political freedom. And we must have the two together in this very age, and in the shortest possible time.’”A Need for New Breed of African LeadersPresident Akufo-Addo also stated that there is a need for a paradigm shift in the leadership structure of the continent, therefore “We now need leaders who are committed to governing their peoples according to the rule of law, respect for individual liberties, human rights, the principles of democratic accountability and social justice; leaders who are looking past commodities to position their countries in the global marketplace.”UL Graduate students, Class of 2017The Ghanaian President also called for “leaders who are determined to free their peoples from a mindset of dependence, aid, charity and hand-outs; leaders who are bent on mobilizing Africa’s own immeasurable resources to resolve Africa’s problems; leaders, who recognize the connectivity of their peoples and economies to those of their neighbors.” This new generation of African leaders, Addo added, “Should help bring dignity and prosperity to our continent and its longsuffering peoples.”“Africa needs leaders who are committed to govern their people in accordance with the rule of law, respect for individual liberty, human rights, principle of democratic accountability and social justice.”He said Africans have suffered too much from bad governance; and as such, it is time for a new breed of leaders who have the desire and commitment to provide a life of quality for the people.The Ghanaian President said the people of Africa cannot continue to live in abject poverty, emphasizing the need for more to be done to change their condition.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Gunmen storm Vryheid’s Lust supermarket

first_imgA-Wei Supermarket was robbed by armed men on Tuesday nightA recently opened supermarket located at Vryheid’s Lust, East Coast Demerara, was stormed by gunmen who carted off with a large quantity of cash and other valuables.Reports are the robbery occurred at A-Wei Supermarket at Lot 160 Vryheid’s Lust Public Road at about 20:15h on Tuesday night.Proprietor of the building Rameshwar Seeraj told Guyana Times that he rented the lower flat of his building to Chinese nationals who operate the business. According to him, two of the gunmen entered the property through the front entrance, while a getaway car was parked outside.At that time, the establishment was open with customers inside. This publication was told that one of the bandits was armed with a gun and held everyone at gunpoint, while the other collected $400,000 and a quantity of prepaid phone cards.The duo made their escape and ran towards the silver vehicle. No injuries were reported after the ordeal.“Last night, two guys with guns run in and hold everybody and carry away money from the supermarket. It’s about $400,000 and cellphone cards mostly. All the workers were here and a couple customers,” the man stated.The matter was reported to the Police and CCTV footage of the scene is being examined. Seeraj stated that the men were allegedly at the business earlier in the day and returned later to commit the robbery, based on footage recorded.“We have everything on camera. It show how they come in fast and then run out to the silver/grey Premio that was outside. They had a driver in the car waiting. Apparently, they were here earlier in the day so the Police is working on that and the car that they used,” the proprietor stated.Police are continuing their investigation.last_img read more