The 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)
Midway through the third period, Rob DeCiantis gave the Real McCoys an insurance marker, and the game would end 3-1 in Dundas’ favour. The Prairie Thunder finally got on the board in the third period, when Tim Krymusa banged a second rebound past Dan Turple, to get South East within one. But, the Krymusa goal would be the only chink in the armour in an otherwise splendid performace from Dan Turple, who stopped 43 of 44 shots in the Dundas net. By Jon Zacks The Dundas Real McCoys got over their bus legs quickly, as they stmyied the South East attack, and beat the Prairie Thunder 3-1 on Tuesday afternoon.- Advertisement – After a scoreless first period, the Real McCoys opened the scoring when Mike Kennedy jammed home a centring pass from Shawn Shewchuk. It was a powerplay goal, on a man-advantage drawn by Shewchuk, who gutted-out a recurring knee injury to contribute to Dundas’ top line all game long. Later in the second, Ryan Healy doubled the Dundas lead, when he fired a snap-shot through Justin Harris’ legs. Goaltender Dan Turple was named player of the game for the Real McCoys, and admitted he was a little nervous before the game. “I felt great – a little nervous early on, but they gave me some shots I could stop early, and I just got in a rhythm.” Turple made several outstanding saves, had excellent rebound control all game, and was a big part of the Real McCoys penatly kill, which successfully killed all eight South East powerplays.Advertisement The Real McCoys will return to the ice on Wednesday, when they take on the (0-1) Powell River Regals. The South East Prairie Thunder finish the round robin at 1-1, and will await the results of the remaining games to see who they play in the elimination round.
Chelsea should try to get Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as part of any deal to take Petr Cech to Arsenal.The Czech international has stated his desire to stay in London, opening the door for the Gunners to make him their number one goalkeeper for the new season.Blues boss Jose Mourinho hinted recently that some sort of swap deal would suit him best if he has to release the 33-year-old to a Premier League rival, and talkSPORT has been told Oxlade-Chamberlain would fit the bill perfectly.Ray Wilkins explained to the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast: “Oxlade-Chamberlain is a really good footballer, and I’ve thought that for a long while.“He has had a lot of injuries but hasn’t really had a fair crack of the whip in staking his claim for selection. It would be a good fit if he were to go to Chelsea as part of the deal [for Cech].”One man who does look certain to move to Stamford Bridge this summer is Radamel Falcao, who has been told he has no future at Manchester United following a disappointing debut season in the Premier League.The Colombian has much to prove and, while Wilkins has some doubts about that deal, he has confidence Stamford Bridge could be the place the striker rediscovers his best form.“After seeing him last season you wouldn’t say he wouldn’t be a fit [at Chelsea],“ he added. “But if there’s one guy who can get anything out of him that others can’t it’s Jose Mourinho.”