Interview With Maritime: A Job Well done
A Letter From Arthur Doe
John S. Morlu
I am very much grateful, first, to God for our existence,
for at least we can breathe air, and second, to you
for the exclusive interview you held with Mr. John Morlu,
Liberia's Maritime Commissioner. I must admit that the
interview was to the point, and I think that the learned
Commissioner performed to his best.
However, I must say here that the Commissioner has been with the Maritime Organization for over twenty years now and all that were said would have been done before the civil war. Even before the war, there were greater opportunities for the Maritime to excel in its short and long terms goals. The then President at the time, the Late President Samuel K. Doe, though as it was said in the Liberian quarters that he was illiterate, was developmentally prudent. He engaged in the building of our country infrastructures, to include roads, public buildings such as the damaged Libyan building in Sinkor, the unfinished Defense Ministry in Congo Town, the Liberian-Japanese Friendship Hospital in Sinkor and many others. Although the Late Doe's human rights record were disgraceful and draconic, He had infrastructural vision for the country. The Maritime Commissioner and its staffs, including Mr. Morlu, sat there and did nothing to advance or compete with other non-Liberian maritime operations. Maybe, the learned Maritime veteran may argue that he was not the head of the organization at that time, and so he could not do anything. Okay, I will pass by this. Is he really ready to take the Maritime Bureau to the next level? Yes, Liberian Maritime has a good program but only benefit certain individuals. To name them, don't ask me.
Now, having said that I am recommending to the Commissioner that a Maritime Building be constructed in Liberia to attract international ship owners; that maritime offices be increased and established in every maritime member country or ; that the Liberian representative to the IMO and the Commissioner make quarterly report to the Liberian government and said report be published in the electronic and print media for the Liberian people own education; that the Maritime Bureau be autonomous and a Board be established to include the Ministries of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Commerce, Transportation, Planning and Economic Affairs, Justice, Defense, Liberia Chambers and Commerce, Liberian Bar Association and at least three Prominent Liberians.
The Bureau of Maritime Affairs is a strategic entity that all eyes are on. In this new Liberia with our Iron Lady being the Head of State is doing all within her means to put Liberia first above all. We must rally around her to deliver the good, despite our political ideologies. If you can take a shovel or broom to clean the streets, please don't wait for approval; do it and do it good. I have no doubt that the Maritime and its Commissioners can make the different. With President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in power, every official in this government will strive to do it right or else your ass will be kicked, oops! I am sorry.
Therefore, I urge Commissioner Morlu to take the Maritime serious and avoid partisans’ politics. Work with the President and the Liberian people and stay away from the pockets of individuals who are bent on swindling our coffers. We have come a long way, and we will forget the past. Now that we are here, the question we should ask ourselves is: what next? Liberia needs basic infrastructures, and it is depending on the proceeds from the Maritime and other income generating areas to engage in such infrastructural development. So, please do it right.
Arthur Weah Doe
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