Dear President Sirleaf,
We, a group of concerned citizens of the Republic of Liberia, having heard from some officials of your government, as well as supporters of yours, the statement "Rome was not built in one day," somehow as a defense for your government’s apparent failure or inability to carry out certain needed development projects, write to make a few comments in this direction.
You see, Madam President, we are sick and tired of hearing this usually wrongly applied statement. We are really sick and tired of it. It seems they – those of your officials and supporters who are fond of making this statement – want to use this as an excuse for your government’s apparent failure or inability to undertake quite simple development projects in the country, especially in the capital.
In the first part of our letter, we mentioned the many bad roads and streets in and around Monrovia. It’s too discouraging, especially considering the fact that the affected streets and roads are right in Monrovia or areas near it. We don’t know whether this embarrasses you or not, but the condition of 9th Street, 11th Street, 15th Street, 24th Street, Police Academy Road and other places is embarrassing – really embarrassing. If this is happening right in the capital, then we can imagine how places far from it look. It is sad, Madam President.
In the second part of our letter, we wish to talk about the lack of electricity in Monrovia and areas near it. Sometimes we feel that restoring electricity to the country is not even part of what you consider your priorities. Considering your words during the war, for instance, telling Taylor to destroy the Executive Mansion because you would build it in three days’ time, we thought you would be able to restore electricity during your first term, even if not for the entire country, but you have failed miserably.
Seriously, Madam President, because your supporters and partisans tout your international-contact credentials, and based on your own words during the 2005 campaign season, we thought you and your government would have fully restored electricity to Monrovia and its immediate environs, but you have performed dismally.
We are aware that some of your the-President-is-doing-her-best defenders and supporters will bravely and shamelessly ask us, "Can’t you see that there is electricity in the city?"
And to such people we will say, using our one of local expressions, "Da electricity here"? We will ask this because Monrovia is virtually dark. Most businesses are using their own generators. Most of the main newspapers operating right in the heart of the city – for example, In Profile Daily, New Dawn, Daily Observer and so forth – are using generators. Some of your ministries and agencies are operating on generators. Some of them have to implement compulsory lunch at 1:PM because they are constrained to switch off their generators for some time. This is annoying and disappointing, especially when you project yourself as a person who can fix Liberia’s problems. And it is also annoying and disappointing when we think about the millions of dollars that are lost to corruption.
Our ears are being deafened from the sounds of various generators. Generators in the day, and generators during the night. Liberia has become a generator-using society. Now we know how easy it is to destroy than to build. All of you engineered and launched a war that destroyed the supply of electricity, and you become president and you can’t restore it, despite the fact that you have been in officer for almost seven consecutive years.
When we want to talk about your failure to restore electricity, some of your officials and supporters stand on Mt. Wologisi and tell us: "Rome was not built in one day." Isn’t this insulting?
We, the group of concerned citizens mentioned above, wish to stop here for now, but wish to also ensure you that we will continue this electricity discussion in our next letter.
Yours very sincerely,