Urey: Leaders Must be Servants, Not Masters, of the People

first_imgThe political leader of the All Liberian Party (ALP), Benoni Urey, says Liberia can become a prosperous and developed nation only when political leaders change their ‘master mentality’ and become servants of the people.In his New Year message to the nation delivered over the weekend in Monrovia, Urey said Liberians’ precarious situations are such that the leaders want to accrue everything to themselves, thereby leaving the masses, whom they have been called to serve, in abject poverty and illiteracy.“A healthy and prosperous life continues to elude most of our citizens, not because they are not working hard, but because they toil in a country that has reserved the best for people who misrule them because officials of government make decisions that affect the lives of all citizens,” Urey said.He said, “Government officials ask us to make sacrifices by paying more taxes, take less money home, go to unlicensed health centers with untrained workers, and send our children to inferior schools and colleges.”While Liberians are making sacrifices, he said government officials have not taken pay cuts in salaries and benefits, instead they take more money home to support their luxurious lifestyles, seeking medical attention abroad and sending their children and political allies to the best schools in the world at the expense of the Liberian people.Austerity measures cannot only be directed at ordinary citizens while officials of government continue to live extravagant lifestyles, Urey said.“Other countries are prospering because they put the interests of their citizens first, but in our country it is the other way around,” he said, adding that governments everywhere are servants and not masters of the people.He said current Liberian leaders have forgotten from whence they came, adding: “Few years ago, many of those who run our government today were ordinary citizens living in wretched conditions.“We elected and supported their appointments with the hope that they would make our lives better, instead they only care for themselves, but not much for the ordinary Liberians.“Over the 11 years of this administration, while very little progress was made in the lives of Liberians, despite our hard work and yearning for peace and despite the abuses meted out to us by the system that continues to deny us the basic necessities of life, we Liberians have shown our resilience.”The government, Urey noted, is not creating an enabling environment for economic expansion because the tax base is not growing, and instead the government squeezes more taxes out of the shrinking base.He noted that in 2016, the Liberian Government increased taxes on goods and services from 7 to 10 percent, while it sought to impose excessive taxes by increasing the cost of clearing a container by Liberian importers at the Freeport of Monrovia by nearly 300 percent.Bad economic and fiscal governance continue to obstruct progress in the country under the UP administration, Urey said. “It is bad economics to increase taxes when our economic growth rate is declining while the government makes only half-hearted attempts to reduce expenditure.“In times of economic hardship, it is incumbent upon our leaders to also make sacrifices including drastically reducing spending. But instead, legislative perks, unbudgeted and off budget spending are not being controlled. In the midst of the hardship, prices are increasing due to the depreciation of theLiberian dollar and the additional taxes imposed,” he added.The increment of the least commodity on the Liberian market, a sachet of mineral water that has gone from L$5 to L$10, is a clear consequence of this situation. “We cannot afford to impose such hardship upon the poorest people in our midst, especially when the government itself cannot provide potable water for them,” he said. An optimistic Urey noted that though 2017 is a critical year for national decision making through the ballot box, it can be a better year.“This will be a lot better than the challenges and tribulations we endured in 2016 and years before. On an optimistic note, 2017 can be a year of change. We can change our present circumstances and improve our future by making the right choices this year during the elections,” he said.Liberians, Urey indicated, can change the direction of their country, and this change can only come through free, fair and transparent elections.He said that it is therefore incumbent upon the national leadership to ensure free, fair and transparent elections and subsequently a smooth transition, the first in 73 years since 1944.“We have the opportunity to proceed on an irreversible path of democratic governance, which will ensure inclusive economic growth and development.“We can rise up to be a great nation, as we are blessed with all the potentials, including a vast arable land mass, abundant water and natural resources, and best of all our greatest asset, human resources,” he said. He refuted the logic of those who say Liberia is doomed. “Liberia is not doomed. We have the potential to be a healthy, prosperous and creative nation,” he said.“Let us make 2017 the beginning of the big push that will lead us to sustained development where our hopes, dreams and vision of a new Liberia will be achieved.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Police Investigating UTV Theft In Fort St. John Over Long Weekend

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St John RCMP are investigating the theft of a side-by-side over the weekend.Sometime between 4:00 P.M. on Thursday, May 19, 2016 and just before 6:30 P.M. on Monday, May 23, thieves broke into a business yard on 87A Avenue and stole a 2013 Polaris Ranger XP Side by Side.  The Ranger is maroon in colour and had an aftermarket light bar attached to the roof at the time of the theft.If anyone has any information about this theft, or any other thefts of All Terrain Vehicles, they are encouraged to call the Fort St John RCMP Detachment at 250-787-8100, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.- Advertisement –last_img

Michigan House supports landmark civil asset forfeiture reform package

first_img The Michigan House today gave its approval to a bipartisan package of bills reforming the state’s civil asset forfeiture policies, said state Rep. Brandt Iden.Current Michigan law allows law enforcement agencies to seize property from an individual or individuals who are suspected of a crime, even if there isn’t enough evidence to charge them.Rep. Iden, who sponsored House Bill 4507, said the reforms will bring about much needed transparency while protecting residents from sometimes unreasonable seizures of their property.“While law enforcement can use civil asset forfeiture as a legitimate tool to fight crime, we need to do more to protect residents in Michigan,” said Rep. Iden, R-Oshtemo. “By adding more transparency to this process, we can allow law enforcement to continue to do their job to keep us safe while also ensuring residents have their property rights respected.”HB 4507 is part of the package that creates the Uniform Forfeiture Reporting act, which will require law enforcement agencies to report the total worth of property seized in forfeitures and the crimes to which the seized properties are connected.“The new reporting act will still allow law enforcement agencies to protect us from criminals while holding them accountable and protecting the property rights of innocent individuals,” Rep. Iden said.The package of bills, HBs 4499, 4500 and 4503-4508, is part of the House Republican Action Plan, and now goes to the Senate for their consideration.### 04Jun Michigan House supports landmark civil asset forfeiture reform package Categories: Iden Newslast_img read more

Pluto TV has launched a curated indie film channel

first_imgPluto TV has launched a curated indie film channel, Pluto TV Indies, on its ad-supported over-the-top service in the UK.The channel joins Pluto TV’s existing line-up of UK film channels, which includes Pluto TV Movies, Pluto TV Romance and branded channel The Asylum.At launch Pluto TV Indies will offer titles including: 2014 Berlinale competition selection Two Men in Town, starring Forest Whitaker and Harvey Keitel; and 2007 Berlinale Panorama selection Fay Grim, starring Parker Posey and Jeff Goldblum.Pluto said the channel will be home to feature films from “world-renowned auteurs” and will include award-winning and nominated independent films, classic cinema and documentaries.“At Pluto TV we are devoted to developing the right environment for quality content,” said Olivier Jollet, managing director, Europe, at Pluto TV. “With our curated channels we are opening unknown doors to clear-cut niches.“The linear model allows viewers to switch on a channel apt to their mood. This gives content creators an opportunity to showcase their work, as viewers decide by interest rather than names. We are working hard on creating additional offerings and environments for cineastes, with an additional channel committed to world cinema planned for Q2 of this year.”Pluto TV World Cinema will feature films solely from non-English speaking markets. The recently launched Pluto TV Romance channel specialises in “everything romantic,” including romcoms, while The Asylum channel is from the creators of Sharknado and showcases ‘guilty pleasure original movies,’ including action-adventure, sci-fi and horror films.last_img read more