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When You Get to the Senate, George, What Will You Do?

first_imgOne of the popular spirituals sung by the Old BWI Glee Club in the 1950s through the 1970s was entitled, “When You Get to Heaven, Brother, What Will You Do?We think this question is most appropriate and timely for Ambassador George Weah who is poised to be declared the winner in Montserrado County.Weah, who handsomely beat Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the first round of the 2005 presidential elections, though not enough to prevent a run-off, was still a formidable candidate to beat nine years later in senatorial elections.  Also, Weah, though he was number two on the Winston Tubman Presidential ticket in 2011, CDC still carried Montserrado.   Robert Sirleaf, above all people, should have known that, for he hails from a political family.  His mother is the President.  None of the other Montserrado candidates in the recent senatorial election ever had immediate family members running for the Senate. The whole nation listened to the counting on some of the radio stations Saturday night and most people went to bed confident that Weah had captured the Montserrado seat.  Many ordinary Liberians recall that there were moments in the counting when Weah had 300 and Sirleaf had only 20 or less.  Weah even beat him badly in a place Sirleaf thought his stronghold—PHP; but there, too, Weah overwhelmingly won.The big question on everyone’s mind is, why did Robert Sirleaf attempt such a race—was it to further embarrass his mom?  For how does a sitting President’s son lose an election so badly?  Counselor Pearl Brown Bull said as much from London on LIB 24 Radio Saturday evening.People recall the most recent embarrassment Robert caused his mom when he sued her at the Supreme Court over her Executive Order #65, then  ducked when it was time to go and defend his lawsuit.  So what was the point in exposing his beloved mother to judicial and public ridicule?The main question in this Editorial, however, is what will Ambassador Weah do when he takes his seat in the Liberian Senate?  First sub-question: Will he continue to downplay Education, as he and his immense number of fanatical partisans have done since 2005?  Remember his campaign slogan that year?  Your partisans were joyfully singing while running from central Monrovia to the S.K.D. Stadium, “You know book, your country dirty.”  The themes on your partisans’ lips last week and the week before were not different.  Most of the CDC partisans in those demonstrations were even abusive, calling Robert Sirleaf many different uncomplimentary names and abusing even the President herself.  We have to remind Mr. Weah in this editorial that he did not offer the people of Montserrado a platform announcing what he would do if he won the election and became their Senator.  Also, Mr. Weah was invited along with other candidates in the Montserrado race to a debate, but he, like all the others, failed to show up.  What were these candidates thinking?  They wanted our votes, yet could not bring themselves to be questioned by us as to what their real intentions were for running for the Senate?If they could not face us during the campaign, then what can we expect from any one of them who gets elected?  She or he would most definitely come to think that we are owed nothing—absolutely nothing.Rep. Edwin Snowe, a zealous Weah supporter, has already announced him the chair of the Montserrado Legislative Caucus.  But what does Weah bring to the table besides his immense football popularity?Montserrado has many challenges.  Take the challenges in all of Weah’s strongholds: Clara Town, West Point, New Kru Town, Logan Town, PHP, Peace Island, Douala, Paynesville Red Light, etc.—all of them are slums, without running water, power, proper sanitation and adequate health facilities and housing.  Many of the residents in these slums are jobless and therefore self-supporting peddlers.  Has Weah promised them anything?  What is his vision for their future and the future of their children?  Surely it cannot be a disregard for education.  Every one of these areas needs well-equipped and staffed public elementary and high schools.We pray that beyond the tumult of the massive demonstrations, Mr. Weah and his supporters will think soberly on these challenges in Montserrado and indeed the whole country, and start strategizing on how, with commitment and  decisiveness to address them.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Top Cop developing ‘security intelligence’ within Police Force

first_img… before “riding off into sunset”With just a few months left under his belt before his retirement next year, Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud is looking to develop ‘security intelligence’ within the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to further strengthen its mandate.Police Commissioner Seelall PersaudThis project is among three recently outlined by the Top Cop to be implemented in 2017, when he will be closing the curtains on his 30plus years law enforcement career. The other two projects have to do with having officers more closely monitor communities at the station level and developing the Force’s Public Relations (PR) Department to reach the younger generation.“I intend to fully implement these three major projects before I ride into retirement. I think they are all achievable and I think with the team that I have right now at the top of the Force, it is something that we will be able to implement very smoothly,” he remarked at an event on Friday. The Police Commissioner explained that the Police Force has significantly developed its crime intelligence outside of the Special Branch, which has proven to be more beneficial both on the tactical side as well as the strategic end. At the same time, however, he explained that the Force’s security intelligence has been lagging. “We have a very strong crime intelligence but we have a not so strong (security) intelligence that deals with other factors such as borders, espionage and the different kinds of political objection groups, activism and that kind of stuff,” he stated.To this end, Persaud disclosed that the GPF has turned to its Jamaican counterpart – the Jamaican Force Constabulary, which is said to have the best Police intelligence system in the Caribbean – to lend assistance in developing its security intelligence.He added that already, a team from the Caribbean Island came to Guyana and conducted an analysis during this year. A report was since produced and based on the recommendations made, an operational plan for implementation has been developed and is now with the Public Security Minister for approval, the Police Commissioner noted. He said that once the Minister gives the green light, this project will be implemented next year.Meanwhile, the second project that Commissioner Persaud is seeking to have rolled out ahead of his 2017 retirement will tackle two areas; having a specific group of ranks focusing on a particularly geographic area within the Police Station’s district and this will in turn hold specific persons accountable at frontline levels.According to the Top Cop, this initiative has already been introduced at some Police Stations with teams of ranks being given responsibility for a geographic area within the district of the station. The Station Sergeants are expected to manage this initiative to ensure effectiveness. He noted that this way, the ranks would know the households, the people living within that community, the businesses operating there and the nuisances affecting the community in order to be better able to provide Policing servicing within that community.“If that community is getting worst, those are the people who will be called upon personally to be accountable,” he stated.On the other hand, the third project involves enhancing the Force PR Department, which Commissioner Persaud said has been suffering and just woke up. He disclosed that an in-house team is currently working along with PRO, Superintendent Jairam Ramlakhan, to develop a plan for next year.The Top Cop noted that the Private Sector Commission (PSC) has already offered assistance and the Force is looking to collaborate with other organisations or individuals with expertise in this area to add to a workable plan for next year.“So you are likely to see a lot of changes in the way we do public relations and I think that will benefit not only the media, but the society. I have made mention in recent time to the millennial generation; they are people who we are seeing entering the justice system, meaning they are being arrested for crimes and there are persons who play video games and live on social media. They don’t watch the news on television and don’t read the newspapers. So the positive messages that come through those medium does not impact them,” he stated.In this effort, the Commissioner noted that he along with A Division (Georgetown) Commander Clifton Hicken, met with about 25 entertainers such as DJs and promoters, soliciting their help to get positive messages from the Force across to people who go to the parties or listen to specific radio programmes. (Vahnu Manikchand)last_img read more