Change Has Come: What to Hope for?

first_img“Change for Hope” was President George Weah’s slogan and rallying cry throughout his presidential campaign. Whatever way he and members of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) interpret it, anyone coming across the slogan during the campaign will understand it as an imperative phrase telling the people to change the existing leadership for hope for a better future.This hope, as the slogan portrays, evokes the enthusiasm that it is the CDC that can provide it, and therefore voters had no choice but to prioritize electing George Weah and the CDC into national leadership.In compliance with the dictate of the slogan, candidate Weah received overwhelming votes in both the first and second rounds of the 2017 election, thereby leading him to the highest seat of the land.The change has now come and it is time to hope, but what do we hope for?This question brings to mind many answers: free education, reduction in prices of basic locally produced and imported commodities, low transport fares, drastically lower the foreign exchange rate, and the list goes on.All these and many others cannot be done miraculously in a day; they rather take time and hard work to accomplish.Nevertheless, there are few urgent priorities to consider that are expected to impact mainly the youth of Liberia. The first and foremost is to institute a strong, enforceable law against the importation and sale of narcotic substances that are overwhelming the country. As though to underscore the very serious challenges facing this new Weah Administration, just before the inauguration, some aliens were caught at the Roberts International Airport with different kinds of narcotic substances.These illegal substances are brought into the country and the vulnerable youth, popularly referred to as “ZOGOS,” have become addicted and prone to various psychological and medical illnesses. As evidence shows, those young men and women taking in these drugs are all over the city in filthy appearances, committing theft of phones and purses and other items, from innocent people. These are people who have pledged their loyalty to you, Mr. President, for hope after change has been made. In a country where there is hardly any efficient and effective mental home or psychiatric institution, creating a law to restrict the importation and consumption of narcotic substances is one way of bringing hope to our youth.Another thing to consider, Mr. President, is refining the education sector, which will ensure that our young  people are going to acquire knowledge. As your predecessor noted several years ago, Liberia’s “education system is a mess,” and since this pronouncement in March of 2012, there has been no effective reform in the sector up to the time the Sirleaf Administration came to an end last Monday, when you took the oath of office as Liberia’s President. Most Liberian students are functionally illiterate because there are no libraries or even available books they can read. One of President Sirleaf’s Education Ministers, George Werner, who happens to retain his job under the Weah Administration, is on record for stating publicly in local Kru language that “Education is nonsense.” This clearly shows how this cardinal sector that is the bedrock of any society has remained in ruins for the past 12 years without much attention.The concern for revamping the education sector for the youth should not only be a matter of bringing books, building new schools and training more teachers; the government must also institute measures to fight academic malpractices, including sex and money for grades.We feel compelled also to mention at this point the nation’s premier university, the University of Liberia. It has over time been marred by violent protests that some have no substantial reasons for carrying out. As a result of the violent protests all too frequently at the UL campus, academic activities are often delayed, to the detriment of many students who wish to study within the four-year scope set by this university.In his Inaugural Address yesterday, President Weah said that he is prepared to fight corruption to the end; warning that any official caught stealing public funds will be fully prosecuted in accordance with the law.Good!Many people expected to hear what President Weah had to say in his Inaugural Address on the economy, culture, transportation, infrastructure and even a robust program to revive national sports and other critical issues. But this issue of corruption was the only one he emphasized. It is a cardinal issue that affects all sectors and it must be addressed to give Liberians hope – that this Administration has truly come with genuine “hope for change” – positive and real change, devoid of the cancerous evil of corruption that has caused Liberia to remain for generations a failed state.However, the Daily Observer is also convinced that addressing the two issues raised in this Editorial — fighting the proliferation of drugs that are destroying our young people’s future, and education — are matters which, if effectively and seriously addressed by this new administration, will bring real hope to Liberian youth, setting them on a deliberate and sustained path to a better future.When President Weah was speaking to a group of “ZOGOS” on the day Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor celebrated her birthday, January 18, he made a very serious point: “If there would be change as we all expect,” he told them,  “you [yourselves] should also be willing to change.”This is a challenge to the “ZOGOS,” but how do they change when what is leading them into their unpleasant, even destructive situation remains unaddressed? This is why we are also suggesting that if there would be change and hope for a better future for our youth, government must take actions to address the two issues that may impede, even frustrate the change we all, but most especially our youth, hope and yearn for.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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first_img Comments   Share   – / 13 Would you like to see the tablets be allowed more in the season?“I hope not. It helps bad coaches. You spend six hours on a blitz on Tuesday, and he can watch it. He doesn’t get to watch it until Monday. Offense, you don’t run the same plays very often. But defensively, you spend a lot of hours and time on a blitz that a guy can sit there and watch it on tape and show his guys and fix it in the first quarter. That’s not what it’s all about.”Has Jake Coker progressed the way you’d hope he has?“He’s progressed nicely since minicamp. Whether it’s good enough, we’ll see.”What do you expect out of Calais Campbell, what kind of player is he now that maybe he wasn’t before?“I expect a dominating player every week, which he’s capable of being — especially with the guys around him, with Corey (Peters) back and Chandler (Jones) in the mix, and Frostee (Rucker) and everybody else over there. I expect a dominating player that shows up in the stat sheet every week big.”When he’s not practicing it seems like Larry Fitzgerald is a coach on the field“He understands his position now. He’s helping the young guys as much as he can, and if you see him, he’s always following somebody, he’s telling them and he’s also getting mental reps for himself.” The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo “Looking forward to a game-week preparation. Finally putting in game plans and installations this morning to see how guys respond mentally during this practice — you’d hope mental errors and penalties would be reduced in this practice. I thought Sunday and Monday were outstanding start to the week, finishing up the traditional camp aspect of it. A lot of times guys get bored and I thought it was good competition and two really fast practices to end up the true training camp part of it.”Did you have a feeling the cornerback situation would be a bit unsettled this late in camp?“No, because I thought Justin (Bethel) would have been back the first day. With him re-injuring it, it set it into a whole different set of motion.”Do you see swagger, confidence in Brandon Williams?“Oh, you see it in Brandon every day. That’s one thing I like about him. One play flies off is back and he goes to the next play.”You know the offense very well, do you have a need to see them get in a rhythm this preseason?“Not really, not really. I see it in practice enough. Whether or not we get into a rhythm in the plays that we play in this game, you would hope, just to be a little comforting. But everybody’s back from last year and I feel very, very confident in that.” Carson Palmer is still a hard worker at this stage in his career“It’s amazing. He’s a workaholic. Whether he’s studying, preparing, lifting weights, training, in the classroom. He’s a workaholic.”Do you think this team has the capability to be top five in offense and defense this year?“I don’t really put a lot of stock in stats. If you (win) 14, 15 games, you’re going to be there. That’s the only stat I care about.”Does the NFC West look different to you this year?“Seattle’s always Seattle. I think the Rams, with that defense and (Todd) Gurley healthy, they’re always a threat. And I think Chip is going to do a phenomenal job in San Francisco. I think they’re the sleeper in the division.”Why is the competition committee something you want to be a part of?“I haven’t definitely said yes.”How did Robert Nkemdiche look on Monday?“He looked fine. He’s a little sore, but he needs to push through it and go.”How much have you been using the tablets on the sideline?“We used them the first game — they’re not going to be there during the season. I watched one play that the referee called holding and it wasn’t holding and I showed it to him. Said this would be your worst nightmare if I had this on the sideline.” Coach Bruce Arians during training camp Aug. 22. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories GLENDALE, Ariz. – Head coach Bruce Arians, now in his fourth year with the Arizona Cardinals, meets the media each day during training camp.Here, in this space, we’ll highlight many of the key topics and personnel conversations he has with reporters following the morning walk-through.“Out today, on a scheduled day, is Carson (Palmer). Going to take my time with Larry (Fitzgerald); he’s going to take today off, also. Shaq Riddick is out; (Elie) Bouka is out; (Alex) Okafor is getting real close, but he’s off today. And Olsen Pierre. That’s pretty much it. Everybody else is either trying it, seeing how far they go in practice, but they’re all practicing. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Could you see Fitzgerald being a coach one day?“No. He makes way too much money to coach. Way too much.”How do you feel about cornerback Mike Jenkins?“Michael Jenkins is the guy that’s the sleeper in the mix. He’s a pro. He’s been struggling with that cast. Now that the cast is smaller, he’s really in the mix as a starting corner.”What do you think of Jaron Brown and the path he’s been on to get to this point?“Those are the guys you fall in love with. He made it on special teams. Then he made it as a receiver. And he continues to improve in both areas. His value goes up and up and up.”Why do you think things have worked between you, Steve Keim and Michael Bidwill?“Because every decision we make is a Cardinal decision, the best thing for our organization. There are no egos involved. It’s very hard to find an owner, a GM and a head coach who one or all three don’t get in the way.”Is there one thing you like best about Jared Veldheer?“He’s a very competitive guy. He’s got a lot of pride, he’s very smart, but he’s very competitive.” Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more