Home News Coloquah News Liberia Bicentennial: A fiasco and money-eating “OPS” in waiting

Liberia Bicentennial: A fiasco and money-eating “OPS” in waiting

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In September 2018, the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo formally launched the Year of Return to commemorate 400 years since Africans were taken from Africa as slaves to North America. The main purpose of Ghana’s Year of Return was to encourage diaspora Ghanaians as well as other people of black heritage to return to Ghana and experience their history while investing in the country.

Ghana’s real main purpose of launching the Year of Return was monetary rather than the branded purpose placed all on advertisements around the world. A company called Adinkra Group was contracted by the Ghanaian Tourism Authority and Ministry of Tourism to create programs that would encourage individuals of black descent to visit Ghana during festivities marking the Year of Return. Ghana along with partners from all sectors of the country started work two years before the planned launch, and the planning involved Ghanaians from all political backgrounds, cultures, religions and beliefs. At the end of the day and due to all hands on deck as well as adequate planning, Ghana realize $1.9billion United States Dollars against the $300million spent preparing.

This now brings me to Liberia’s purported Bicentennial Celebration.

Let me firstly state that the Bicentennial is either a fiasco in waiting, or a scheme orchestrated by certain elements at the top who have access to power and the country’s resources to corruptly eat money in the name of hosting a Bicentennial program.

From the so-called launch or pre-launch of the Celebration at Providence Island few weeks ago, it could be seen that the Celebration was already on the brink of failure. No adequate or real planning had been done, neither were there any real intent of what the program was about through the launch. Celebrating 200years of the slaves return to Liberia is the foremost ingredient to any detail of Liberian history. That ingredient should have acknowledged not just a few group of partisans of the ruling party of the launch, but all sections of the Liberian society and at all levels.

The failure of the program, Celebration or whatever you call it is already evident due to lack of planning. Except where it will be like any normal program where a few persons from the ruling party will go and shout battle cry while mesmerizing the egos of the President and his cronies, everything, from branding to purpose of the Bicentennial is pruned to fail.

Branding, which should be the most intense aspect of this kind of Celebration is non-existent. Who told you people that these kinds of celebrations involves only posting a misfit logo that doesn’t even represent the intent of the project on Social Media is any major step to branding? Where is the step-by-step plan that include the launch to the end result? Where is the inclusion of the traditional council, the opposition, the clergy, stakeholders from all sectors and schools of thoughts in Liberia, as well as officials and influential citizens at the county level on this?

Before I forget, the opposition and clergy were not invited to the so-called formal launch which the Minister of Information Ledgerhood Rennie said, the committee forgot to do. This is a very laughable and comic statement. The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism should have been the lead in this; but for some reasons, they are more like a “so say one, so say all” cast in this.

The intent or purpose of a program like this should be to unite the country, expose your Tourism industry and make some considerable amounts of money, but all I see is a group of CDC and government partisans coming together in a clique to divide money budgeted for such program. With the Office of the Minister of State at the helm of this, the Celebration has already become a disaster before it can even start. This program should have had nothing to do with the executive or MOS direct involvement, rather, it should have been turned over to experts and consultants (both foreign and local), to adequately devise strategies and plan to make the program successful, or a bit successful due to late timing.

As I conclude, I expect the blind loyalists of the government to come on an attack spree as it is their TOR when facts against them are stated. I don’t care. Most of the appointments and slections on the various committees are incapable of delivering the results of the program. Moreover, the politicization of the program has altered the real purpose it should have been held. We can just change the nomenclature to an awards program, or let’s say, a partisan meet-and-greet rather than effecting a Bicentennial angle which is just for a show-off.

Well, holding everything constant, the Bicentennial is a fiasco and money-eating OPS waiting to happen. As sad it may sound, that’s the fact, and corruption as we know, is a rooted seeding in this government….

Source: Strong Gbana Pekin

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