My grandfather told me before that it is not always good to blame yourself where you fall but where you misstep. While we seriously and vehemently condemn the two days violent riot carried out by the vacation job students for the embarrassment they caused for our nation and damages carried out in demand of their wages, I want to say here in a clear tone that the employer, Monrovia City Corporation (MCC), which is headed by Acting City Mayor, Mary Broh, should be held liable.
I have been one of those who have always been in support of what my dear mother, Mary Broh, has been doing especially in helping to instill order in our city and ensuring that it is cleaned and that those in the habit of keeping the city dirty are brought to book. But on the issue of this vacation job that she offered to over 30,000 to our brothers and sisters during the Christmas break, I think she should take the blame for all the illicit actions that the students carried out against peaceful Liberians and not try to justify anything. From the inception of the recruitment process of the vacation job students, I knew that there was going to be a serious problem.
Professionally speaking, any employer must know their incoming employees in totality and that is why a screening process is normally carried out to hire the best ones. Unlike the recruitment that was done by Madam Broh, there was no set policy as to who is qualified to be recruited or not. In fact, what I observed during the process was that some of students were serving as employers for their colleagues and were at some point seen distributing photocopies and scanned copies of the original forms that were prepared, signed and stamped by the MCC authority.
Initially, Liberians were told that MCC was only going to give out 10,000 Christmas vacation jobs but never put into place the requisite mechanism to avoid future problems which led to the criminal increase of the number of vacation job students, something that was initially not planned for as was reported by the very MCC.
THE ADMINISTRATIVE BLUNDER OF MADAM BROH
Realistically speaking, Madam Broh no longer listens to people besides the President of Liberia, Madam Sirleaf which I think is wrong. During the recruitment process, may individuals especially youth leaders complained about the way the MCC was carrying on the recruitment process for the vacation job students. The MCC did not involve FLY, LINSU, SURE-Liberia, the High School Student Association of Liberia and other national youth organizations in Liberia to help coordinate the process which I think was wrong. The fact that it was a youth oriented initiative, national youth organizations should always be involved in these kinds of things.
The above mentioned youth organizations are on record of having a cordial working relationship with Liberian youths even in difficult times. This was demonstrated during the "Vote your future campaign 2011" where those organizations struggled to mobilize the young people in Liberia to be a part of the democratic process of our nation. As an administrator like Madam Broh, I think she should have done a short listing to clearly inform the students who have been selected and who have not been selected for the Christmas vacation job since there was a clear report of individuals that were fraudulently recruited. By doing this, many students would have known their status and would have behaved well. Rationally speaking, no student would have loved to work if they did not find their name on that short listing. On the contrary, MCC asked the students to go in their communities to begin work without any statistics on the number of persons that were recruited. Besides, which crazy employer would love to employ anyone who behaves very insolent during an interview? No employer would dare do that.
They students threw stones, water and stakes at the MCC workers during the recruitment process but Madam Broh ignore it and went ahead employing them. Moreover, some media institutions reported on the wrong manner things were going on at MCC during the recruitment process but Madam Broh and her staff did nothing to curtail the situation. This is not the first time vacation job students have shown high level of incivility especially when it comes to getting their pay or wages. The Ministry of youth and Sports is a witness to that effect and MCC should have learnt a very good lesson from them.
Let me use this medium also to warn all young people in Liberia to desist from acts of violence that have the propensity to take our country backward again. Additionally, people should also stop politicizing the entire fracas that took place in recent time regarding the vacation job students. Let us top been political in addressing issues of national concern which I think could breed more chaos. The arrest of the National Secretary General, Mr. Acarous Gray of the CDC, by officers of the Liberia National Police for inciting the students is totally unacceptable. I also see it as a cover up by some officials of government who should have helped to arrest the situation from the very beginning. On that day of the fracas, students both boys and girls set up road blocks and were seen demanding money from people. I think no one should blame the situation on any individual but the MCC. It is the MCC that has embarrassed the President.
People who are assigned tasks to be performed must not only be very professional but must do it effectively and efficiently. President Sirleaf must now begin to take drastic actions against her officials for any negligence. No official of government must think that they have more contact with her and can do anything wrong and go free.