EDITORIAL:WELL DONE AMB. MCCARTHY!

MONROVIA-United State Ambassador to Liberia, Ambassador Michael A. McCarthy is expected to depart the country shortly after ending his tour of duty in Liberia. Ambassador while in Liberia representing his country was very instrumental in flagging out some of the vices that continue to undermine the growth and development of our country after nearly two centuries of existence as a nation.

Undoubtedly, Ambassador McCarthy during his tour of duty in Liberia has had a bitter-sweet relationship with the Liberian Government, especially for his stance on issues that are affecting ordinary citizens including corruption and the abandonment of ordinary citizens.

The outgoing US Ambassador arrived in Liberia on January 6, 2021. Ambassador McCarthy was nominated by President Donald Trump to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Liberia on June 2, 2020. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on November 18, 2020.

While in the country, Ambassador McCarthy did not mince his tongue in speaking on issues of national concern. The outgoing US Ambassador being disappointed in Liberian government officials, at one point accused lawmakers of buttering their own bread and feathering their own nests while underfunding hospitals and service centers, leaving rural citizens destitute.

Ambassador Michael McCarthy following his visit to some western counties of Liberia said he was startled and deeply troubled to encounter multiple county hospitals that received not one penny of what they were promised in the 2022 budget. The US Ambassador being frustrated in how the country is being managed disclosed in a statement that some US $100,000 was meant to be distributed to hospitals.

Speaking on the situation in Liberia, Ambassador McCarthy noted, “The blocking of resources is so complete that it must be institutional and the lack of any alarm being raised indicates a syndicate involving players at the Legislature, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.” He also said none of the countryside service centers he visited had received any of their budget allocation for 2022, normally around US$13,000. “It was striking that the further I went from Monrovia, the more elaborate and explicit were the reasons given for the lack of funding from the central government,” said the ambassador.

In a strong statement, the US outgoing Ambassador noted, “While hospitals went without, and service centers withered on the vine, Liberia’s 30 Senators and the 73 Representatives spent US$65 million feathering their own nests.” He also lambasted Representatives, Senators, and Ministers for receiving annual duty-free imports and for paying lower taxes than average citizens.

As the United States Ambassador to Liberia, Ambassador McCarthy felt disappointed in how government officials were neglecting their fellow compatriots while they and their families were enjoying the national cake. The outgoing US Ambassador did not just sit in office but went from county to county to acquaint himself with the reality on the ground and get first-hand information relative to how Liberians are feeling the impact of their government.

It is based on these interventions that we hail the outgoing US Ambassador for his stance on issues affecting the citizens and his numerous interventions to ensure that the citizens benefit from their government and from aid from friendly governments and international partners.

Undoubtedly, Ambassador McCarthy stood for good governance, respect for human rights, and transparency. He was in the vanguard of fighting corruption in high places as was seen when some Liberian officials were sanctioned by the US Government for their alleged involvement in corruption.

As he departs the country for another assignment, we say, well done Ambassador McCarthy for your service to our nation. Remember that Liberians will always miss you and continue to appreciate you for your numerous interventions in issues that continue to affect the Liberian people. As you depart the country, be reminded that Liberia is your second home and you will always be welcomed. Thank You Mr. Ambassador!

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