Liberia: Naymote Embarks on Accountability Crusade

Liberia: Naymote Embarks on Accountability Crusade
Liberia: Naymote Embarks on Accountability Crusade

Africa-Press – Liberia. The Executive Director of Naymote, Eddie D. Jarwolo, has underscored the significance of citizen participation in good governance, stressing the constitutional power vested in the people to elect their respective leaders.

Jarwolo lamented past tendencies of voting based on superficial criteria rather than qualifications or experience, urging citizens to actively engage in holding leaders accountable for their promises.

Reflecting on past endeavors, Jarwolo acknowledged both the successes and challenges encountered in holding leaders accountable. Despite criticism and pushback, Naymote remained steadfast in its commitment to advocating for transparency and accountability in governance.

These remarks were made during a recent town hall meeting in Gbarnga, Bong County, where Jarwolo concluded discussions on the President Meter project, highlighting its significance to citizens.

Funded by the Swedish Embassy and executed by Naymote under the Democracy Advancement Program (DAP), the President Meter initiative aims to educate citizens across the country, including Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County, and Montserrado County, about their role in holding leaders accountable for campaign promises.

The meeting also shed light on Naymote’s ongoing efforts to track promises made by political candidates, including the incumbent President, Joseph N. Boakai.

Cleon highlighted Boakai’s hundred-day deliverables, spanning various commitments from youth empowerment to infrastructure development.

Jarwolo emphasized the need for citizens to compel leaders to fulfill their promises, stating, “It is time for all of us to peacefully demand what belongs to us.”

He debunked the notion of Liberia being a poor country, urging citizens to hold their leaders accountable for national development.

Regarding President Weah’s tenure, Naymote tracked 292 promises over five years and six months, of which only 24 were completed. Jarwolo attributed this progress to Naymote’s advocacy efforts and called for continued support from the public to ensure accountability.

Jarwolo outlined Boakai’s manifesto, categorizing promises into six pillars covering critical sectors such as economics, education, governance, and social welfare.

He stressed the importance of reminding leaders of their commitments in a respectful manner, emphasizing dialogue over protest.

Jarwolo expressed optimism that the current administration, having witnessed Naymote’s monitoring efforts, would strive for improved performance.

“So, we actually came to say that it is time for all of us to stand in a more peaceful way to demand what belongs to us. This country is rich, and if anyone tells you that Liberia is a poor country, that is a lie,” he added.

Jarwolo underscored the right of every Liberian to a better quality of life and highlighted the significance of community-level awareness campaigns in effecting societal change.

“Our aim is to empower communities to make informed decisions for the betterment of the country. By starting at the grassroots level, we can gradually influence decision-making at higher levels of governance,” Jarwolo said.

Speaking earlier, Joshua D. Cleon, Deputy Program Director at Naymote, recounted the project’s inception and evolution, emphasizing its role in promoting transparency and good governance.

Cleon urged attendees to hold leaders accountable and demand results that benefit their communities.

According to him, this accountability endeavor documented campaign speeches, statements, and manifestos of key political figures, notably George Weah of the CDC, who assumed power during the project’s inception.

“We track and monitor the promises made by leaders to ensure they fulfill their obligations to the citizens,” Cleon remarked, emphasizing the importance of the project in informing the public about the government’s progress.

From tracking campaign promises to monitoring the performance of elected officials, he said, Naymote had remained steadfast in its commitment to transparency and good governance.

He challenged attendees to hold their leaders accountable and demand results that would benefit their communities.

Participants in the meeting expressed profound gratitude for Naymote’s initiative, recognizing its pivotal role in bolstering democracy and accountability in Liberia. They commended Naymote for its bravery in advocating for truth and transparency despite potential risks.

James Sumo and Emmanuel Ballah, among others, lauded Naymote’s efforts and pledged unwavering support for its continued advocacy. They emphasized the need for citizens to actively engage in holding leaders accountable and encouraged Naymote to persevere in its mission.

“So, I want to tell you not to give up; we want to stand with you and your team because our leaders always come to us and lie and use us, for example. President Weah is now enjoying our country’s money.

“Nobody is saying anything, so we put people there and said to us, we will do xyz, and we are not raising this issue with them to tell them what you said you were going to do for us, and then they will just do things to us and go free,” another participant said.

Meanwhile, Naymote’s President Meter Project had not only raised awareness but had also ignited a flame of hope that would continue to burn brightly in the hearts of Liberians for generations to come.

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