Former Information Minister now minister of the gospel, Rev. Emmanuel Bowier, has opened up for the first time since the insertion of the George Weah Administration, stating that “Liberia is heading nowhere” because of several factors confronting the society nowadays.
In his view at his residence in Sinkor a few days to Christmas, Rev. Bowier, an experienced government official who served the Samuel Doe Administration as Information Minister up to the Liberian civil war, emphasized that the government of today is in the hands of “Inexperienced” youths who do not consider the old folks’ advice on national and social issues.
Known for his reflective fire heart history of Liberia, Rev. Bowier said he was at age five when he began following activities relating to the Liberian government under the guidance of his father. The latter held various administrative positions in the local governance structure in some counties in Liberia.
According to him, not many people in government today have any good orientation in governance to convince Liberia’s partners outside; something
he said is responsible for the kind of economic condition and the country’s lukewarm diplomacy. He added that many young people vying for positions in government or awarded public positions are not truthful to the leader appointing them but set false impressions to gain the leader’s favor just to keep them in those positions without impacting the public. “A lot of them do not have the qualification and competence but want to live by favor for which they go ahead to lie to the leader of the day,” he noted.
“The young people today do not respect older people, neither regard their views nor consider them to be valuable to the society, but they feel that what pleases them should be done and they always take older people’s advice as ‘olden time’ talks that have expired,” said Rev. Bowier.
Touching some specific pressing issues affecting society, Rev. Bowier said the country’s financial crisis and unprofessional practices in the media are some severe problems.
According to him, some past administrations, especially during the First Republic (1847-1980), encountered such a problem where banks ran out of money. Still, the sound and wise officials and ordinary patriotic citizens of those days remedied it without the public knowing that such a financial problem was facing the country.
“I tell you, past administrations faced this same problem, but you know why? Those who had money in this country trusted the government, and whenever anything like this occurs, they will come together to credit the government to pay civil servants. Afterward, the government will reimburse them,” Rev. Bowier said.
During those years, an elite group of people referred to as “Congos” ruled the country. Besides working in government, most of them owned large rubber farms and estates, and the government was renting their houses as ministries and agencies. It was so far the administration of Samuel Doe that Liberia began to see more government-owned
He also indicated that the government of George Weah has an inferior Public Relations arm that is not helping to propagate messages that will help the government to build its image. Still, those clothed with the responsibility for Public Relations are all reactionaries.
“While at the Ministry of Information, I will do my research with ministries and agencies that certain issues are coming from, and after understanding their workings, I will hold a press briefing to tell the public what is happening, but it is not happening now. Rather, people just come out to talk and say things that will sound pleasing to the President without convincing the public how the government is working,” said Rev. Bowier.
Rev. Bowier also frowned at how journalists are siding with politicians and others to denounce others. “Let young people, especially those in the media, know that there is a tomorrow. Collecting money from people to criticize others is not a good practice because you do not know whom you are going to meet tomorrow.”
He, however, predicted that as overwhelming as unqualified and incompetent dominate government and other institutions, including the media, there would come a time in Liberia that qualified and competent people will be searched out to work as the country’s progress remains at a standstill and brain drain among younger generations of today heightens.
Bowier, who used to appear on the radio to educate the public on Liberian history and other governmental issues, has planned to get back on the radio to provide civic education on governance and social issues as his contribution towards restoring those social values Liberia is losing.
He also indicated that the government of George Weah has a very poor Public Relations arm that is not helping to propagate messages that will help the government to build its image, but those clothed with the responsibility for Public Relations are all reactionaries.