NEC’s Fatal Registration Fiasco

first_imgWhat really happened to the  National Elections Commission’s recent voter registration exercise?Is it true that they had mobile registration stations?  Is it true that they spent US$9 million on vehicle rental to take the registrars from place to place registering people?Is it true that they did not advertise in any newspaper the various registration sites around the country?To what extent did they engage in voter registration education? If NEC is unable to give cogent answers to these questions,   then no wonder NEC achieved little over 26 percent or 104,710 of their projected goal of 400,000 registrants.But let us examine each of the questions separately–the first, mobile registration stations.  We recall that in 2005 and 2011 NEC had fixed voter registration stations throughout the country.  This was as it should have been given the transportation difficulties people encounter traveling from one place to another all over Liberia, the greater Monrovia area included.  How much more the interior parts of the country?  All voter registration stations should have been STATIONARY, so that people knew exactly where they were expected to be registered.On what basis did they make this decision? That seemed to have been the most fatal mistake of all.  And it was a very costly one, causing NEC to spend US$9 million on RENTED vehicles.  Who ever heard of such a thing? So in the end they spent money driving the registration teams from the people; so by the time would-be registrants arrived, the teams had gotten into their rented vehicles and gone!How much advertising did NEC do to let people know where they were to report to register?  We remember distinctly that in 2005 NEC under Frances Johnson Morris advertised in a few newspapers the long lists of voter registration stations around the country.  So people knew long in advance where they were expected to go to be registered.NEC may contend they did not have the money to advertise.  But they could have approached the newspapers and appealed for concessions, to make sure that people knew where to go to register.  Some of the money use on rented vehicles could have gone into newspaper and radio advertising.How much voter registration education did NEC do?  We understand that there were posters pasted on light poles and walls.  But clearly they were not enough.  How effectively did NEC use the community radio stations scattered throughout the country?  It is a known fact that most of these stations are financially strapped.  Here was an opportunity for NEC to empower them to render a vital, patriotic service by helping them with a little fuel and something to subsist on, in return for mobilizing the people to go out and register to vote.NEC attempted a valid excuse when it blamed the poor turn out on voter apathy.  It is a fact that many people, especially the young, including first time registrants, have become apathetic given the dismal performance of our legislators–people have  failed to do the people’s business but spent most of the time attending to their own affairs, and where they perform the work they are paid to do, they often demand special favors–mainly financial.That is why NEC should have risen to the challenge of voter education by launching a massive publicity campaign explaining to 18 year-olds the critical importance of participating in the electoral process.  By registering to vote, they would prepare themselves, as they say in America, to “THROW OUT THE RASCALS!” and elect new leaders to do the people’s business.Alas! NEC missed that opportunity.  We did not expect them to be as blunt as that and thereby incur the wrath of the legislators.  But NEC could have engaged some of the young leaders, from the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), the  Liberia National Student Union (LINSU) and other youth organizations, as well as some of the country’s vocal young people, to crisscross the country encouraging their kind to go register to vote.We hope and pray that NEC will have another opportunity to repeat the voter registration for the forthcoming elections.    But from where will they get the money for a repeat exercise, with the government in such serious financial straits?The NEC Commissioners are challenged to be creative in determining their next move to correct their fatal registration fiasco.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Rewina Juduh Wins SHINE Season II Singing Competition

first_imgThe results are out! The highly competitive SHINE Season II Singing Competition finally has a winner. The formidable Rewina Juduh emerged as the winner walking away with a check of L$150,000. Juduh beat 16 contestants to clinch the prize. Other winners were Ms. Grace Klayee, 1st Runner-up, and Mr. Gustav E. Doe, 2nd Runner-up. SHINE is a gospel talent hunt brought to us by Shabbach Production. It hopes to inspire, develop and sell young talents to the world. The CEO for this unique program is Mr. Varney Qualah.The Program was held on November 30, 2015 at the Bethel Cathedral in Congo Town, Monrovia.Contestants were drawn from different churches and went through three rigorous phases: Intro, Semifinal and Final. Throughout the three phases, Ms. Juduh maintained her composure to emerge the overall winner.The seven that made it through to the grand final were: Mr. Gustav E. Doe as contestant #2 of the Bethel Cathedral Church; Mr. Calvin L.S. Elton as contestant #4 of the Providence Baptist Church; Ms. Grace Klayee as contestant #10 of the Jubilee Praise Center; Ms. Kenrusha E. Awadjie as contestant #11 of the St. Kizito Catholic Church; Ms. Marcia T. Allison as contestant #12 of the Jubilee Praise Center; Ms. Rewina Juduh as contestant # 13 of the Greater Refuge Temple Church; and Mr. Christian F. Quire as contestant # 14 of the Duazon United Methodist Church. At the close of the program on Monday, November 30, 2015, members of the Greater Refuge Temple (GRT) church gathered at the Bethel Cathedral to celebrate Rewina Juduh, or Win as she is affectionally known by her friends, family and fans, on her greatest achievement with songs of praise and worship. Win expressed thanks and her gratefulness to Almighty God for His favor upon her life. She also thanked Bishop Dr. Nathaniel N. Zarway and the GRT family for always being there for her. Bishop Zarway made a declaration the Sunday before the program that: “Win must win!” Everyone started repeating the declaration.Show organizer, Varney Qualah, expressed thanks to every contestant and person that attended the program, from the initiative stage to the closing. “The road is not to the swift, but he that endures to the end,” he said while encouraging the contestants. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Africa tackles land degradation

first_img7 December 2011Africa is setting the example in tackling land degradation, with some encouraging results – countries like Niger have managed to regenerate five-million hectares in the last 20 years. But there is still much more that can be done to tackle desertification, land degradation and drought.Some parts of Africa – the West African Sahel region, Sudan, northeast Ethiopia and Kenya – are particularly vulnerable to land degradation, resulting in soil erosion, deforestation, and loss of woody vegetation which makes them less able to bear crops and pasture.South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe used the Land Day side-event at COP 17 in Durban on Tuesday to ask all stakeholders to put this serious issue on their agenda at Rio+20 and beyond.“We meet at a time when there is growing despondence about the multilateral world governance system, where the world community has lost patience with too much talking and no action,” Motlanthe said.“You must at all times, starting here in Durban, Rio+20 and beyond, advocate the need for urgent agreement on action and funding for sustainable development and mitigating the effects of climate change.”Achieving zero net land degradation ‘very possible’Dennis Garrity, Drylands Ambassador for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), said during his address that achieving zero net land degradation and in turn overcoming poverty was very possible.He said local communities were taking action, but needed more support through policy and the creation of a rural resource centre. Garrity said a fresh, low-cost approach had to be taken to regenerate land.Motlanthe said there was a need for everyone to enhance the implementation of the UNCCD as a global policy and monitoring framework to address issues of soil and land degradation.“We also need to invest in infrastructure and services that support sustainable land use and management,” Motlanthe said. “The actions that are required on the ground to achieve a zero net rate of global land degradation are in line with the Sustainable Land Management approach.”Preserving the resource base for foodMotlanthe said African ministers had unanimously agreed that the time had come for the international community to commit itself to zero degradation of land.“Achieving such targets will go a long way in addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation, thus building the resilience of the populations and the ecosystems affected by desertification and land degradation,” he said.“Such action will also support efforts to preserve the resource base for food security and accelerate poverty eradication.”Motlanthe said it was encouraging that legislation and policies of many countries embraced the principle of sustainable development, particularly in as far as matters of land-use management were concerned.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more